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World Population and Over Exploitation of Natural Resourses

Rapid Growth of Human Population
Today there are approximately 7.8 billion people (as of December 2019) living on planet earth. This number is growing every day at an alarming rate. We will need more food, clothing, housing, and transport vehicles in order to survive in this planet. As a result, we will exploit natural resources to get water, oil, wood, metals, and other minerals.
A few days ago, I visited a very big mall in Surabaya city of Indonesia. I saw various kinds of products that were offered by vendors in the mall. There are restaurants that sell foods of Chinese, Japanese, Western and Indonesian cuisines.  There are also stores that offer clothes, leather goods, footwear, toys, tools, furniture, jewelry, and smartphones, watches and everything that we use every day.
Tunjungan Plaza Mall in Surabaya city of Java island
A Shopping Center

Di ITC Mall Natal Dirayakan Dengan Tarian Tradisional

Kemarin siang, saya berkunjung ke ITC Mall di Surabaya. Ketika memasuki lantai 1, ada sebuah acara menarik yang digelar oleh pihak manajemen mall tersebut. Acara itu adalah Perayaan Natal. Kegiatan ini tidak bersifat ritual. Yang ada adalah pergelaran tari-tarian tradisional khas Jawa Timur. 
Christmas celebration in Indonesia
Traditional Dance Performance in ITC Mall of Surabaya
Pergelaran tari tersebut dihadiri oleh warga masyarakat yang berkunjung ke mall dari berbagai latar belakang budaya dan agama. Meskipun berlangsung sederhana, para penonton nampak gembira menyaksikannya, mereka bertepuk tangan kepada para penari setiap kali mereka menyelesaikan tariannya. Ini adakah bukti bahwa masyarakat Indonesia toleran dengan perbedaan budaya dan agama sekaligus menghargai kemajemukan.

English Version
Yesterday afternoon, I visited ITC Mall in Surabaya. When I entered the first floor of the shopping center, I saw an interesting event conducted by the management of the mall. It was a Christmas Celebration. However, it was not a ritual one. The celebration was carried out in the form of special exhibition of traditional dance from East Java.
Visitors and vendors from various cultural and religious background watched the performances. Although the celebration was a simple one, the audiences were very happy, they applauded the dancers every time a performance was completed.
This is a real evidence that people in Indonesia are tolerant with the differences in religion, culture and at the same time respect pluralism.

Becak in the Era of Grab-Bike and Gojek

Becak (human powered cycle rickshaw) is a mode of transportation that still exists in the era of Gojek and GrabBike. In cities and towns of Java island, becak drivers can still be found pedalling their tricycle taxis usually loaded with 1 or 2 passengers. Sometimes, becak drivers carry goods such as food materials from a traditional market or construction materials from a shop to a nearby housing area.


Apeng Kwetiau Medan

There is a famous Chinese food restaurant in Surabaya city. Its name is Apeng Kwetiau Medan located on Jalan Kedungdoro 267 Surabaya. It is always full with customers from morning until night time. The service is fast, and clean but the price is slightly higher than the average price of foods in similar restaurant in town.
Rumah Makan Cina di Surabaya
Rumah Makan Apeng
Every day, we can see people queuing outside of the resto waiting for their turn to eat their favorite menus in the restaurant. The employees of the restaurant put plastic seats outside of the resto for people who wait. They also check the number of each group of the visitors so that they can find the most suitable table for their customers.
Well, next time if you pass by this city, you can visit Apeng Kwetiau Medan to try some of its delicious foods. 

Hutan Kota di Surabaya Terbaik di Indonesia

Sudah beberapa hari ini saya jalan-jalan keliling Surabaya. Ini adalah kota ke- 2 terbesar di Indonesia. Kota pelabuhan, perdagangan, tapi juga disebut kota hijau.



Melihat-lihat Buku di Surabaya

Toko Buku Periplus di Galaxy Mall, Togamas di Jalan Semarang, Toko-toko Buku Bekas di Jalan Semarang
Tempat-tempat Penjualan Buku di Surabaya
Salah satu hobi saya adalah membaca. Ya, setiap hari saya membaca. Sering kali saya membaca e-book memakai tablet Samsung Tab A yang saya miliki tetapi terkadang juga saja membaca buku secara fisik. Kebanyakan buku yang saya baca adalah tentang ekologi, pariwisata, burung, serta teknologi informatika. Ketika saya bepergian ke kota-kota besar, saya akan selalu menyempatkan diri untuk berkunjung ke lapak-lapak penjual buku.
Kali ini, saya sedang berlibur di Surabaya dengan keluarga. Saya sudah berada di sini dari tanggal 23 Desember. Saya menjelajah toko-toko buku di Surabaya ini sejak tanggal 24 Desember. Toko Buku TOGAMAS di Jalan Diponegoro, Gramedia di Tunjungan Plaza 1 serta Bazar Buku di Lantai 1 City of Tomorrow Mall sudah saya kunjungi. Hari ini, di pagi hari, saya berkunjung ke toko-toko buku bekas di Jalan Semarang. Ternyata koleksi buku di sini banyak sekali. Saya menemukan beberapa judul menarik yang dijual dengan harga murah.

Marine Life at Sraoseri Beach of Mansinam Island

Sraoseri is the name of a beach in Mansinam island of Manokwari city. It is a nice place for tourists who are interested in snorkeling and freediving. Its coral reef is still in pristine condition and is the natural habitat a lot of species of marine animals. 
White sandy beach in tropical Mansinam island near Manokwari city
Sraoseri Beach in Mansinam island near Manokwari city

The Sea as The Source of My Art Inspiration

The sea has always been the source of my art inspiration. I like drawing, watercolour painting, or creating digital illustrations life at sea from a simple drawing of an outrigger boat to vector illustrations of whalesharks. I try my best to my the artworks as good and as clean as possible so that they look great when printed on t-shirts, mugs, posters or drawstring bags.
In the process of creating my artworks, I use vector drawing software called Inkscape. Now because of the availability of digital drawing application such as Autodesk Sketchbook, I use it more frequently.
The sea as the source of my art inspiration
Art Illustration inspired from the sea

Drawing with Autodesk Sketchbook is more intuitive than drawing with vector drawing software such as Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator. However, because they are vector drawing softwares, the illustrations created by them are scalable meaning that they can be enlarged without jeopardizing the quality of the artworks. 
I still use Autodesk Sketchbook when drawing illustrations for my digital artshop in Redbubble and Zazzle but I still spend significant amount of my time drawing sketches manually using pencil or pen on paper. By practicing sketching, I can continuously improving my drawing skill.
Well, I hope that I can create more illustrations about marine animals and life at coastal areas as a whole.
Most of my illustrations are now available as prints on t-shirts, tote bags, draw stripbags, bed cover, stickers, mugs, clocks and a lot more. Please, have a look at them at this link: Charles Roring's Art

Virgin Coconut Oil

VCO stands for Virgin Coconut Oil. It is extracted from Coconut Fruit. The process is relatively easy for farmers or people who live in tropical region and who grow coconut trees in their farmlands. 
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil

Freediving over Coral Reef

I like swimming and snorkeling as well as freediving. My main objective when doing freediving is to take pictures of fish and other marine creatures in coral reef area. To do freediving, I wear swim fins, snorkeling mask and snorkel. My usual camera is Fujifilm XQ2 which I put inside its waterproof case. Sometimes I use Nikon Coolpix AW130. 
To take pictures underwater, I always try to immerse my body so that I could be on the same eye level with the fish, coral reef or Christmas Tree Worm that I want to shoot. 


There are a lot of coral reef sites in West Papua. I freedive in Manokwari, coastal area of Tambrauw, Sorong and Raja Ampat. For me, the best place for marine environment is Raja Ampat. The marine life is abundant and the coral reef is in pristine condition.

Magnificent Riflebird Dances Like a Cheerleader

If Western Parotia dances like a ballerina, the Magnificent Riflebird dances like a cheerleader.
Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)
A Male Magnificent Riflebird (Ptiloris magnificus)

Explore the Natural Beauty of West Papua

Papua Barat, also called West Papua, is a province of Indonesia. It attracts the attention of marine scientists because it has got the highest marine biodiversity in the world. Most of the land of West Papua is covered by tropical rainforest that is the habitat of birds of paradise, cuscus possum, colorful butterflies, and unique reptiles. Because I work as a tourist guide, I could explore a lot of places in this province appreciating its beautiful and pristine nature.
I usually bring digital camera with telephoto lens when I guide tourists in the forest. Canon 200D, en entry level D-SLR camera, and Tamron 150-600mm have been my photographic devices for nearly 2 years now. To watch tropical birds in high trees, I use a pair of Visionking 10×42mm binoculars. When I guide tourists, I bring my spotting scope Kinglux 20-60×60mm that is mounted on a tripod. There is also a laser pointer that I usually use to indicate the location of birds or wild animals that live in distant trees. However, I do not aim the laser pointer directly at the animals. I usually aim the pointer around 2 meters below the animals and inform my clients that the animal or bird is above the pointer. This is a good technique to respect the animal while we are watching it.
Traveling to Indonesia adventure in Raja Ampat
Natural Beauty of West Papua
If you are interested in exploring the natural beauty of West Papua and want me as your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

West Papua A Little Heaven on Earth

I made a collage of pictures about what I do to make a living yesterday. But I did not arrange pictures of me doing somehing. I only wanted to show to people the vocal points. I am a tourist guide. I organize tours in the forest for people to see birds. One of the birds that has become the main target of observation is Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). So, I arrange the picture of this beautiful bird on top of the collage. While traveling in the forest with tourists, I see unique tropical plants. There are big trees, shrub plants, lianas, but there are also small plants. The next photograph that I put in the collage is a small plant - terrestrial orchid flower.
West Papua is a little heaven that has fallen on earth
Natural Attractions of West Papua's rainforest and coral reef
Besides guiding tourists in the forest, I also guide tourists swimming and snorkeling at sea. So, I put a picture of Blue Sea Star. Well, that's some of the attractions that I and my clients see when we explore the natural beauty of West Papua's rainforest and coral reef. It is really a little heaven that has fallen on earth.
Most tourists who want to spend their vacation in West Papua go to Raja Ampat. They need to take international flight from their country to Jakarta. After that, they need to continue their flight to Sorong city. Domestic airlines such as Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya, Batik Air and Lion Air provide regular flight service to Sorong city. A lot of hotels can be found in the city including Swissbelhotel, Fave Hotel, Belagri, Kyriad M hotel and etc.
Visitors can take a rest in Sorong city for 1 night or continue their trip directly to Waisai town by fast passenger ferry. At port of Waisai, they can continue their trip to any beach resorts or homestay which they have booked in one of the many islands of Raja Ampat.
And that's where their adventure begins.

Also read:

Secluded Beach

Raja Ampat islands are famous for their beautiful sceneries both above and under the water. These tropical islands attract tens of thousands of visitors every year. Most of them travel to Raja Ampat to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving or sunbathing at white sandy beaches. They stay in nice beach resorts, or homestays. But there are also people who are interested in exploring more remote islands whose beaches are secluded and whose coral reefs are in pristine conditions. The followings are some of them:
Isanak Beach - This beach is located in Waim - a small uninhabited island in the east of Raja Ampat.
Swimming, snorkelung and sunbathing in Raja Ampat
A Secluded Beach in Raja Ampat
An empty beach in an uninhabited island of Waim in Raja Ampat
Waim island
This tropical island is surrounded by coral reef. So, it is very nice to enjoy swimming and snorkeling at this beach.

Kofiau

Kofiau is the name of a group of islands in south-west region of Raja Ampat. Because of its remote location, very few tourists have visited it. To the west of Kofiau, there is another group of islands called Boo. It is surrounded by coral reef.
During diving season (October to June), some liveaboard ships go to Kofiau. There are tourists in the liveaboard ships who want to enjoy scubadiving in Kofiau. 
Coastal View of Deer village in Kofiau islands of Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Deer village in Kofiau islands of Raja Ampat
People can visit these islands by taking sea tour by a motorized boat. Every week, there are passenger ferries that connect Kofiau and Sorong city. Travelers who want to visit Kofiau can go to Pelabuhan Rakyat or Pelabuhan Pelni to check for ships and their departure schedules to Kofiau.
There are some villages in Kofiau islands. Most of the islanders work as fishermen. However, they do not have modern cold storage that can preserve their daily catch before it can be shipped to Sorong city. As a result, they could only sell the fish, sea cucumber and other marine products as dry products. People in Kofiau and Kepulauan Sembilan collect coconut fruits and smoke their meat (kernels) and sell them as kopra. 
Birding, hiking, island hopping, sightseeing, swimming, snorkeling and fishing can be done in Kofiau. So, visitors are advised to bring all the necessary devices which they need during their trip around Kofiau.


Also read:
A Visit to North-east Coast of Waigeo Island
Kabui Bay of Raja Ampat

Coastal Birds in Raja Ampat

The tropical beaches of Waigeo are getting famous as tourist destination. Visitors travel from Europe, North America, Australia, and Asian countries to enjoy their holiday here in Waigeo island. There are beach resorts and homestays that visitors can choose to stay to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scubadiving, and sunbathing. 
Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus)
Beach Kingfisher
There are also tourists who travel to Raja Ampat to enjoy birding. There are a lot of coastal birds which they can watch. As a tourist guide, I have organized birding tours for visitors who want to see coastal birds such as Crested Tern, Willie Wagtail, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Beach Kingfisher, Lesser Frigatebird, Striated Heron, Eastern Reef Egret, Pacific Swallow, Torresian Crow, Radjah Shelduck, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Beach-stoned Curlew, Singing Starling, White-breasted Woodswallow, Wimbrel, Plover, Moustached Treeswift, Eastern Osprey, and etc.

Humpback Grouper

Humpback Grouper (Cromileptes altivelis) is a tropical reef fish whose economic value is very high. It is also called Kerapu Tikus (meaning Mouse Grouper) because the tapered form of its mouth looks similar to the mouth of a mouse. I used to see the fish several times when I enjoyed snorkeling or scuba diving in West Papua. The last time I saw the expensive fish when I was diving in Raja Ampat. I was in the waters of an uninhabited island at a depth of around 20 meters (65.6 feet). I saw the grouper was hiding under a big leaf coral. I did not want to disturb the fish so, I took picture from a distance of around 5 meters. Seafood Restaurants offer various kinds of menus whose main ingredient was the meat of the Kerapu Tikus.
High economic fish in coral reef of Indonesia
Polka Dot Grouper in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat
Because of its high economic values, aquaculture companies are trying to produce the fish in higher quantity through fish farming. Usually the seed stock is taken from coral reef.
In Raja Ampat the massive production of groupers has not been carried out by fishermen. Most of the fish that are supplied to local market is taken from the sea. So, the opportunity for investors to introduce aquaculture business in this region is very high.
Marine life in Raja Ampat - diving in an uninhabited island
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
Coral reef of Raja Ampat islands is the richest in the world in terms of marine biodiversity. Raja Ampat is a very important destination for marine tourism. However, its aquaculture business is still small. 
Also read:

by Charles Roring

Pied Imperial Pigeon

I went to Warduwer beach this morning to see the progress of the construction of Raja Ampat Flower (RAFLOW) Resort. It would be continued soon. While I was there, I did some birdwatching. I brought with me my camera the Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm telephoto lens. Inside the complex of the beach resort, I saw some Pied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) sitting on the tip branches of a tree. Slowly I walked closer to the birds. They did not fly when they saw me. So, I could take pictures without having to hide behind shrub plants. There were also Hooded Butcherbird on the lower branch of the tree.
Pied Imperial Pigeon in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
There were also Lesser Frigatebirds that were flying high in the sky. From the nearby forest, I heard the calls of Eclectus Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Rufous-bellied Kookaburra.

Abundant Fish in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat

This is the photograph of marine life in coral reef of Raja Ampat. It is a very rich environment. With the highest marine biodiversity in the world, Raja Ampat islands are considered as the best destination for marine tourism activities. I often guide tourists to these tropical islands. We enjoy swimming, snorkeling, freediving and other activities that are related to Raja Ampat.
Diving photograph from Raja Ampat
Abundant fish in Raja Ampat islands
When snorkeling with tourists, I often do freediving to take pictures of fish and other marine life in deeper water. Usually the drop off or fore reef area is the place where fish is abundant. By freediving, I could get closer to fish and other interesting creatures of Raja Ampat. 
There is abundant fish in Raja Ampat islands
Abundant Fish at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
To take pictures, I set my camera to dive or snorkeling mode. In Fujifilm XQ2 or Nikon AW 130, the dive mode is symbolized by fish icon on the camera screen. I often go snorkeling with tourists on 3 to 6 days tour. It is combined with other activities such as hiking, birdwatching and sightseeing. The average number of tour participants is from 1 to 4 people. 
Participants of the tour have to bring their own snorkeling gear such as mask, snorkel, and fins. Sometimes I see one or two participants bring dive computer or waterproof watch. 
Camera is needed to take pictures of this very beautiful marine environment. Sealife DC2000 is a nice camera but readers can choose other cameras as well such as Canon G1X Mark III with waterproof housing. 
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling and wildlife watching tour in Raja Ampat and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Also read:
Christmas Tree Worm
Snorkeling Tours in Raja Ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat

How to Take Pictures in Coral Reef?

I live in Indonesia, a country that consists of thousands of tropical islands. Most of the islands in the province where I live have got coral reef around them. This allows me to observe the marine life in this very rich underwater environment. During the observation works, I take pictures or make videos of fish, sea stars, coral reef and other echinoderm creatures that I see. 
I usually wear snorkeling mask, snorkel, and swim fins. To avoid fogging on the glass surface of my mask, I apply some shampoo on it. After that I rinse it but I still leave some thin layer of the shampoo on the glass. When I wear it, I will touch my forehead and temples to remove strands of hair that are  trapped between the rubber seal of my mask and face. It is important to remove them to prevent any water leaks when I do the snorkeling, scuba diving, and freediving. 
Three Spots Dascyllus, Red and Black Anemonefish
Underwater Picture from coral reef in Manokwari
Light Factor
Abundant marine life can be seen in the coral reef where sunlight can reach. In deeper water where sunlight has been much reduced, there are not many marine animals that we can see. So the best depths for taking underwater pictures are from 1 to 15 meters. At this depth, shooting a fish or a nudibranch does not need flash. In deeper water, the use of flash, and artificial lights is needed for underwater photography.

Lizardfish in Coral Reef of Raja Ampat

This is the photograph of a lizardfish that I made when I was diving in Raja Ampat. Perhaps its species name is Reef Lizardfish (Synodus variegatus).
Reef Lizardfish (Synodus variegatus) in coral reef near Gam and Waigeo islands of Raja Ampat
Lizardfish in Raja Ampat
I and 3 divers were at a depth of around 18 meters (59 feet) below the surface of the sea when I saw the fish. The sunlight had been much reduced at this depth. I did not activate the flash of my camera to avoid disturbing the marine life when shooting the fish. As a result the picture that I made was not colorful at all. At least I could use it for identification purposes. I used Nikon AW 130 - a compact and waterproof camera that was suitable for snorkeling, scuba diving and freediving.

Flowers in Neighborhood

I had a short afternoon walk around my neighborhood yesterday. I passed by the front-yard of a junior high school, there were several flower plants that I saw. One of them was Red Hibiscus. Because it looked beautiful, I stopped for a while to take pictures. After that I continued walking to meet some people that I recognized. There were several other species of tropical flowers that I saw including zinnia elegans, and plumeria. There was a huge building of a Catholic church in my neighborhood. The name of the church was Santo Agustinus. Its surrounding yard had some flower plants too. I could not identify their names because I did not have the field guide book for the tropical flowers of New Guinea or Indonesia.
Tropical flowers in my neighborhood of Komplex Missi, Manokwari
Kembang Sepatu Merah

Butterflies in Susnguakti Forest

Last week, I guided 2 tourists to Susnguakti forest. They were Geoffrey and Jessica. They came from France. First they took international flight to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia, after that they flew to Manokwari by Batik air. I met them at Swissbel hotel and organized their trip by a chartered transport vehicle to the forest.
We spent 4 days/ 3 nights exploring the forest to see birds of paradise, cuscus possum, reptiles and insects. The forest was located in the south of Manokwari. We went there by chartered pick-up car that was operated by local villagers as public transportation that connects villages in the south and Manokwari city.
Adventure tur in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Cruiser Butterfly
I saw some butterflies such as The Silky Owl, Cruiser, Blue Mountain Swallowtail and some other species which I could not identify. I saw them along the path to a rose apple tree and near the clearing area of our basecamp. The butterfly came out in the mornings when the sunlight was bright. They landed on leaves to take a rest, or collect nectar of flowers and also collect the salty sweat from our exposed hands, shoulders or feet.

Coral Reef in Mansinam Island

Marine life in coral reef
Marine Life in Mansinam island
I went to Mansinam island this afternoon to do a field survey over its coral reef. The island was located across from Manokwari city. We did the survey at Sera Oser beach on the east coast of the island. I was with a friend of mine - Matias. I did the survey by snorkeling and freediving over the coral reef. My friend did not freedive, he only did the snorkeling. To take photographs, I brought my camera - Fujifilm XQ2 that had been put inside its waterproof case.

Snorkeling Sites Near Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

coral reef and tropical fish of mioskon island
Marine Life in Mioskon island of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat islands are very important destination for marine tourism. People go there to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and even scuba diving. There are hundreds of coral reef sites in this archipelago which tourists can visit to enjoy snorkeling. The followings are the snorkeling sites that I recommend:

Kabui Bay of Raja Ampat

Kabui is the name of a bay between Waigeo and Gam islands in Raja Ampat. I often organize tours to the bay for visitors who like sightseeing, snorkeling, bird and wildlife watching. The duration of the tour is usually 3 to 4 days. I and the tourists whom I guide stay in a simple guesthouse run by local villagers or in a comfortable beach resort.
The view of Kabui bay as seen from Yengkawe homestay  wikipedia.org misool salawati batanta waigeo  stayrajaampat
Kabui bay in Raja Ampat
The tour to the bay will be conducted by a speed boat or by a motorized wooden boat. We usually visit karst, and then on the way back to the guesthouse we stop at several small islands to enjoy snorkeling and birding. Because the waters inside Kabui bay are protected by islands, the sea is mostly calm except between July and September.

Amboyna Cuckoo Dove

This is the photograph of Amboyna Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia Amboinensis) that I saw in the forest of north-east region of Waigeo island of Raja Ampat regency. I and two villagers were conducting an early morning bird walk when we saw the bird 2 kilometers outside Yenbekaki village. It was a nice trip because we were able to see other birds as well including Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Oriental Dollarbird, Papuan Black Myzomela, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Olive-backed Sunbird (now also known as Sahul Sunbird), Beach Stone Curlew, Shining Flycatcher, Singing Starling, Eclectus Parrot, Torresian Crow, and Papuan Blyth's Hornbill.
Birding in Indonesia
Amboyna Cuckoo Dove
I turned on my camera and shot the bird. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 200D telephoto lens to make this picture. I also brought a good pair of roof prism Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars.

Queen of the Orchids in Waigeo island

When I visited northeast region of Waigeo island, I saw a large orchid plant on a big rock at Warebar beach. I approached the rock trying to find whether the plant had some flowers. It was around 4 meters or 13 feet above the ground. The flowers that I saw were the same as the orchid flowers in Yenpapir karst. When I did some research on the internet, I found that the flowers on the rock of Warebar beach were similar to Queen of the Orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum) which was also called Tiger Orchid. But its labellum is puple-pink Perhaps, it was a sub-species or a different species at all. 
Close up photo of Waigeo's Queen of the Orchids

Watching Birds and Sea Turtle in Waigeo Island

I visited Waigeo island in Raja Ampat regency around two weeks ago. I went there to watch tropical birds that live in the rainforest as well as sea birds that live along the coastal region. I stayed in northeast region of Waigeo island for 5 days/ 4 nights. It was a nice experience because I could see a lot of birds. Some of them were Black-capped Lory, Oriental Dollarbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Brahminy Kite, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Shining Flycatcher, Papuan Black Myzomela, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Eclectus Parrot and a lot more. 
Palm Cockatoo in northeast region of Waigeo island
Palm Cockatoo

Sketch of Lesser Bird of Paradise

I have visited Susnguakti forest several times since 2 months ago. I guided tourists from France, Germany, Belgium, Thailand, and Switzerland on a trip to watch the Lesser Birds of Paradise performing their courtship dance.. This is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. We spent between 3 to 4 days in the jungle to see birds, cuscus possum, and various kinds of unique tropical plants. Because I like art, I make several sketches of birds that I see in the forest. I have created some drawings of male Lesser Birds of Paradise using watercolour pencils. After that I redraw them using stylus on my Samsung Tab A. The application that I use is Autodesk Sketchbook.
There are other birds that we saw in the forest including Hooded Butcherbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Eclectus Parrot, King Bird of Paradise, Brown Cuckoo Dove, and a lot more.
Drawing of Lesser Bird of Paradise
Sketch of Lesser Bird of Paradise in watercolour

Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Sketch of Male Lesser Bird of Paradise

I may also draw them in the future. My drawings are now available as prints on various redbubble products such as t-shirt, iPhone and iPad cases, canvas print, mugs, drawstring bags, tote-bags, and etc.
Illustration of Lesser Birds of Paradise
T-shirt with Drawing of Paradise Bird

Please, have a look at them at these links:
In the same website, there are also illustrations of flowers that I saw from rainforest such as Terrestrial Orchid, Red Hibiscus Rhododendron, lotus or Water Lily, Rain Lily (Zephyranthes rosea) and a lot more. 
I offer rainforest tour for anybody who wants to watch Red Bird of Paradise, and Wilson's Bird of Paradise in the forest of Raja Ampat. The tour can be combined with snorkeling and sightseeing trips by speed boat.  Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Lesser Birds of Paradise

I have created some artworks of Lesser Birds of Paradise that are now available as prints on several products such as mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, scarf, spiral notebooks, and a lot more. One of them is a manual painting entitled: Paradise Birds in Watercolor. The other is a vector illustration that I created using Inkscape entitled: Lesser Birds of Paradise. I also have another drawing of the male bird that I made using Derwent Watercolours. The title is still the same: The Lesser Birds of Paradise. Male bird has got more beautiful feather. They like to gather in the branches of a tall tree to dance for attracting their female counterparts. Please, have a look at the artworks at the above links.
As a tourist guide, I organize tours for visitors who want to watch the paradise birds in the forests of West Papua. In Raja Ampat islands there are Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. They can also be watched by visitors who want to spend their holiday in the tropical archipelago.
Drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise by Charles Roring
Watercolor Painting of Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest by Leo Charles Roring
Paradisaea minor artwork by Leo Charles Roring
Vector illustration of a male Lesser Birds of Paradise by Charles Roring
Visitors need binoculars to watch birds. For taking photographs, bridge camera such as Nikon Coolpix P900, Nikon Coolpix P1000 and Canon SX70HS can be used.
If you are interested in watching paradise birds, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Reef Fish Art

I often create drawings of reef fish that I saw when I was guiding tourists on a snorkeling and freediving tours to coral reefs of Raja Ampat islands. Some of them include Striped Surgeonfish, Convict Surgeonfish, and Moorish Idol. First, I make sketches of the fish using conventional tools such as pencil on paper and watercolour. After that I redraw them using stylus and my Samsung Galaxy Tab A. I use Autodesk Sketchbook as my drawing application. Drawing on glass surface of the tablet looks the same as drawing on the surface of a paper. However, it is more difficult because the surface of glass is more slippery to draw curved lines or other complicated forms.
In the past, I used vector drawing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Expression Design 4 and Macromedia Freehand MX. Although the illustrations that I make a scalable, the way I created the artworks was not as intuitive as the Autodesk Sketchbook.
Freediving to see Manta in Raja Ampat
Watching Manta 
Digital drawing of surgeonfish
Striped and Convict Surgeonfish

Clown anemonefish
Anemonefish
Reef fish art digital drawing
Moorish Idol
Now the artworks are available as prints on various products such as mugs, iPhone or Samsung Galaxy cases, pillows, scarf, t-shirt, in my Nature Art shop in redbubble website. Anyone could see them here: Reef Fish Art.
Raja Ampat is a famous tourist destination for those who like marine environment. Every day, people fly from all corners of the world to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia and then continue their trip to Sorong city by such airlines as Garuda, Batik, Sriwijaya, Nam Air, and Lion Air. As the main gate and transportation hub to Raja Ampat, Sorong city has got tens of big hotels which visitors can choose to stay. Most of the hotels provide free wifi internet connections. The 4G internet connection is available in the city for travelers who buy data voucher from Telkomsel. 
If you are interested in taking snorkeling, hiking, bird and wildlife watching tours in Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Red Bird of Paradise

Here are some drawings of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). I saw the birds when I guide tourists in Raja Ampat islands on a hiking, birdwatching as well as swimming, snorkeling and sightseeing tours. To watch the birds, I and the tourists whom I guided had to wake up at 04.30 in the morning. It was still dark outside. We made preparation by wearing jeans, t-shirts, and putting binoculars, and a bottle of water into each of our bags.
Red Bird of Paradise

After that we went to the dining room of the guesthouse where we stayed to have tea/ coffee and some bread. We had our early morning breakfast for around 15 minutes and then left for the birding ground of the paradise birds. Because it was still dark, we used flashlight. First, we used a small boat to a beach in the south of Waigeo island and then continued our trip on foot for around 1 hour. It was a round 06.00 when we reached the site. Local villagers had build a platform for tourists around 2 meters high. We climbed its ladder and sat on the benches also made of round woods. When the sunlight reached the top branches of the tree where the paradise usually gather, the male Red Bird of Paradise began to call their female counterparts.
As more birds perched on the branches of the tree, the male birds started to perform their courtship dance. It was a beautiful dance similar to acrobatic pole dance in human world. The male Red Birds of Paradise were often in upside down position when they were dancing. Their female counterparts were watching from higher or nearby branch. When one was impressed with the performance of one of the male Red Bird of Paradise, she gave an ok gesture for mating.
I have made several artworks of the birds both in colored pencil drawings and anyone can see them at this link: birds of paradise art
Please, send whatsapp to my number +6281332245180 if you want to take birdwatching tour to Raja Ampat with me (Charles Roring) as your guide.

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti Forest

Here are pictures of Lesser Birds of Paradise that live in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari regency. It is part of lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. These Birds of Paradise are active in the mornings and in the afternoons. They become the main attraction for visitors who want to explore the biodiversity of West Papua.
Birding in Manokwari
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Lesser Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) in West Papua of Indonesia
Male Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Arfak range
The above pictures were made by Andre Aquino. I guided him and his friend Jens Wirth on a 4 day/ 3-night hiking, bird and wildlife watching in Arfak range. Because there was no guesthouse, we stayed in a basecamp.
Birdwatching tourism has become an alternative income generation for local villagers who live near the forest. When they see that they can get positive benefits from the forest through ecotourism, they will preserve their forest.
In addition to the Lesser Birds of Paradise, tourists who go trekking and camping in the forest can watch other birds such as Magnificent Riflebird, King Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hooded Butcherbird, Mimic Meliphaga, Blyth's Hornbill and a lot more.
The Susnguakti forest of Arfak mountains is the natural habitat of cuscus possum, dragon tree lizard, bandicoot and snakes. 
If you are interested in traveling to Indonesia for watching paradise birds in Susnguakti forest, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Snorkelling Tours in Raja Ampat

written by Charles Roring
I organize snorkelling tour for visitors who are interested in seeing coral reef and tropical fish in Raja Ampat islands. The duration of the tour can be 3 days to 1 week covering important coral reef areas in Waigeo, Kabui bay, Mansuar dan Kri islands, Arborek, Piaynemo and Wayag. A motorized boat will be used to explore remote snorkeling sites and small islands around Waigeo. Life jackets will be provided in the boat.
Snorkeling and Sightseeing Tour

There are a lot of fish that live in this region. Some of them include: Raja Ampat Scorpionfish, Tasselled Wobbegong, Freckled Hawkfish, Pink Anemonefish, Orange skunk Clownfish, Moorish Idol, Diagonal Sweetlips, Giant Trevally and a lot more. There are also other marine creatures such as burrowing clam, Christmas Tree Worm and Sea Stars which we can see in shallow waters. 
Orange-skunk Anemonefish

Raja Ampat regency is located in bird's head region of West Papua province of Indonesia. There are 1,577 coral reef fish species that have been recorded by Marine Biologists.

Safety Guidelines for Snorkelers

  • Snorkeling Gear - Every snorkeller has to practice safe snorkeling. The rubber of snorkeling mask has to elastic so that it can provide water-tight seal that prevents sea water from leaking into the eyes. A good snorkel pipe has got valve that closes when a snorkeller freedives into deeper water. Sea water will not flow into his or her mouth while he or she is in the water. When the snorkeller returns to the sea surface again, the valve will open to allow air to flow into the mouth again. Wearing a good pair of swim fins will help snorkeler to swim fast easpecially when there is current. 
  • Most often, snokeller will encounter small jellyfish and stinging hydroid (that looks like sea plants). There are also venomous fish such as lionfish, catfish, and scorpionfish. Snorkeler has to avoid being in direct contact with them! The warm water of Raja Ampat sea makes everyone thinks that a long wet suit as not necessary. Most snorkelers in Raja Ampat wear shortie wet suit, bikini or simple swim trunks. Unfortunately, these snorkeling suits have got their downside. A snorkeler will suffer from skin burns when he or she is stung by, for instance, pink soft coral. I personally used to be stung on my right stomach by stinging hydroid when snorkeling in southern coast of Waigeo. I felt burn and itchy immediately. I stayed at a homestay of villager at that time. Back to my room, I applied kayu putih oil on my skin. It helped reduce the itchiness that lasted for around 3 days. I continued to apply the oil until the itchiness disappeared.

Land Tour

In addition to snorkeling and sightseeing boat tour, I will also include hiking trips in the forest for tourists who want to see tropical birds such as Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Magnificent Fruit Dove or the beautiful Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) and Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). 

Marine Life in Raja Ampat

Karst islets in Kabui bay
Karst in Kabui bay
Raja Ampat is a famous destination for tourists who like snorkeling or scuba diving. Its marine biodiversity is the highest in the world.
According to 2011 edition of Diving Indonesia Bird's Head Seascape written by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, in Raja Ampat there were 1,427 reef-fishes, 553 hard corals, and 43 mantis shrimps. 
From my personal experience, when I swim over a number of coral reef areas, of this regency, I see a lot of species of fish and other marine creatures. For instance, in Yenbuba strait, I see turtles, sweetlips, boxfish, and black-tip sharks. In Sawondarek, I see barracuda, and batfish. In Arborek, I see trevally, and giant clams.
From my recent scuba diving excursion in Mioskon island, I saw lizardfish, humpback grouper, lionfish, sweetlips and a lot of other fish.
Marine life in mioskon island of raja ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
My favorite snorkeling site is Warduwer beach located in southern region of Waigeo island.
I bring my own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins. For taking pictures, I bring Fujifilm XQ2 with its waterproof case or Nikom AW 130. The camera is good enough for taking pictures of fish and coral reef. To take pictures underwater, I freedive to 2 - 5 meters so that I could be on the same eye level with the marine creature that I want to shoot. To stabilize my body in the water, my left hand holds a rock and my right hand takes pictures. The results are the ones that I present in this blog.
Here, I see Pink Anemonefish, Orange Skunk Anemonefish, Red and Black Anemonefish; parrotfish, catfish, scorpionfish, Tasselled Wobbegong; sea stars; Christmas Tree Worm and a lot of other marine creatures that are very beautiful and colorful. A beach resort is being constructed at the beach now. Soon, it will operate and its rooms will be available for visitors who want to spend their holiday time at this beach. The name of the beach resort is RAFLOW. It stands for Raja Ampat Flow Resort.

Turtle Conservation Works

In north-east region of Waigeo island, local villagers have been involved in turtle conservation initiatives by protecting nests or relocating eggs of leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley. Their works are supported by local governments and NGOs, tourist guide association.
Release of olive ridley hatchlings to the sea.
Turtle Conservation Works in Waigeo island
Tasselled Wobbegong fish
Tasselled Wobbegong
Tourists who want to visit Raja Ampat can take international flights from their country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. After that they need to continue their trip by taking domestic flights to Sorong city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik, Lion Air provide regular flights to Sorong city. Arriving in Sorong, they need to continue their trips to Raja Ampat by fast passenger ferry or by speed-boats. 
Equipment
Visitors who come to Raja Ampat can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and birdwatching. Most dive resorts have got all the diving gear needed by guests. If tourists choose to stay in homestays, they need to bring their own snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins.
Also read:

Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise

Art drawing of Red Paradise Bird (Paradisaea rubra) by Charles Roring
Male Red Bird of Paradise
Early this month, I guided two American tourists to Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. We went there for watching birds, snorkeling and scuba diving. One of our birding targets was Red Bird of Paradise. To watch the bird, we had to wake up early in the morning at 04.30. After making preparations and having tea/ coffee and some bread, we left the beach resort where we stayed in by boat for a beach in southern region of Waigeo. It took around ten minutes for us to reach the beach. We still had to continue our trip by hiking up steep slopes for one hour to the lek of the bird.
Because the path was still dark, we used our flashlight. We walked for 1 hour under the canopy of tropical trees through a narrow footpath. We arrived at 06.00. The paradise birds had not shown up. We waited until the light from the rising sun reached the tree tops. Male Red Birds of Paradise began calling their female counterparts from the top branches. Soon after the female ones had come, the male birds began to dance. They performed courtship dances to seduce their female counterparts. If a female Red BOP is impressed with the dance of a male Red BOP, she would give green light for them to mate. We watched the birds using binoculars. The whole birds show were finished at around 09.00.
The American tourists who watched the paradise birds that morning were astonished with the dance skills of the Red Bird of Paradise. 
I have just finished drawing the male Red Bird of Paradise. Its feather were yellow, brown, red, and some green especially on the head area. It is now available as prints on various products of Redbubble including t-shirts, iPhone/ Samsung Galaxy case, poster, pillows, tote bag, spiral note book and hardcover journal. If you are interested in having some of them, please, visit this web page: Red Bird of Paradise

Christmas Tree Worm

I like snorkeling, freediving and even scuba diving. It is a very good water sport that I like to do when going to the beach. There is a nice beach in southern region of Waigeo island of Raja Ampat which has become my frequent snorkeling spot. Its name is Warduwer. Swimming at this beach, I could see very nice coral reef with a lot of marine life.
There are parrotfish, sweetlips, moorish idol, butterflyfish, and anemonefish. There are other marine creatures as well, such as blue sea star, sea cucumber, burrowing clam, and Christmas Tree Worm.
Feathery sea worm in Warduwer beach
Sabellastarte sea worm

A Visit to North East Waigeo Island of Raja Ampat

I visited north-east coast of Waigeo island last month. I went there with some friends of mine who were tourist guides. We used a long wooden boat that was driven by two 15 outboard engines. Each had a power of 15 horsepower. We started our trip from the market of Waisai at around 11.00 morning time. The sea was calm. The bright sunlight made the sea atmosphere warm. We traveled a long the coast passing by the sea pass to Mayalibit bay, Yensner and Yenpapir village, Mamiaef island, Sopen and Waim island. It was around 13.00 when we arrived at Yenandau beach. It was a very beautiful white sandy beach. We stopped there for a while to have lunch. 
Traveling to Raja Ampat
White Sand Beach in Waigeo island