Sunday, April 19, 2020

Snorkeling and Coral Reef Preservation

German tourist was snorkeling in Raja Ampat
A German tourist was snorkeling in West Papua's Raja Ampat archipelago
Snorkeling is a water sport activity where you swim on the surface of the water while wearing mask and snorkel. With this device, you can see things under the surface of the water and protect your eyes from irritation.

The best snorkeling experience can be achieved when you swim over coral reef. This marine ecosystem is the habitat of various species of ornamental fish and corals. Use underwater camera to take pictures of them. People who cannot swim may enjoy snorkeling by wearing life-jacket.
Coral reef preservation
Coral reef in Dorey bay of Manokwari

Snorkeling is a healthy and fun watersport

Snorkeling Device
Snorkeling is one of the most popular marine sports that people do when going to the beach. When we do snorkeling, we swim on the surface of the water or through a body of water while wearing mask and snorkel (a small and short pipe that we use to breathe using our mouth). The mask provides protection to our eyes from dirty sea water, and direct water contact with water pressure. Mask that is made of tempered glass will enable us to sea marine life and coral reef while we swim on the water. Because while swimming our head, eyes and mouth face the bottom of the sea, we need snorkel to breath in the water. Sometimes because of the ripples or waves, small amount of water enters the snorkel hole and flows through the pipe to our mouth. We need to exhale it strongly to push or to exhaust it from the snorkel. Before blowing the mouth-piece, we have to cover the higher hole that is above the sea surface. Because the entrance air hole is blocked, the air that will blow will find another way which as a valve near our mouthpiece that is located at the other end of the snorkel. It is the lowest valve hole in the snorkel that has been uniquely designed to release the water. The air that we blow will push the water out of the snorkel leaving the pipe free of water. This is the basic working principle of snorkel device. It is different from the diving gear which is more complicated.
Other equipment that we use when snorkeling are fins, and snorkeling jacket or inflatable vest. However, wearing such floating jacket will make you feel uncomfortable in the water while trying to swim freely or dive two or three meters below the surface of the water because the jacket will force you upward again. Fins will enable us to move faster like fish whereas snorkeling jacket helps us to remain buoyant on the sea surface. If we swim in cold water, we need to wear wet-suit.
Seascape of Raimuti island and Arfak mountains at the background  as seen from Arfai beach
Dorey bay in Manokwari
The best time for snorkeling
If you want to go swimming and snorkeling, check the weather whether it is sunny or not. Snorkeling experience is best achieved when we do it when the weather is clear and the sun shines brightly. Why? Because the sun light is important for us to see the beauty of the colorful corals and the ornamental fish. In addition, we need to go snorkeling when the tide is low. By then we will be able to swim through the water and sea the marine life from close distance. If the corals extends throughout the coastal region, to avoid breaking or destroying the corals, it is better to wear the inflatable vest. This vest will support our body so that we will remain afloat even if our feet and hands are tired in paddling us through the water.
As a tourist guide, I have been traveling around the Dorey bay with foreign tourists for many times. There are three islands in the bay but the famous ones are Mansinam and Lemon islands. Here foreign tourists can enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving among the corals or World War II shipwrecks. My favorite activity when traveling to the islands in this Dorey bay of Manokwari is snorkeling. I don't bring heavy snorkeling gear. I usually use only a snorkeling google that was made by a local fisherman in this town. Unfortunately, it does not have snorkel or air pipe so, I have to come up to the surface after one minute moving in the water. The beauty of underwater corals is excellent. I cannot explain it all in words. They are just beautiful. Corals consist of hard and soft ones. They are colorful especially when we see them in the morning at around 8 a.m or 9 a.m. It is when the sun is shining well from the sky in the clear weather and most importantly when the tide is low.

Snorkeling Site

Respect Marine Life and Protect Coral Reef
When you swim or snorkel over corals, try not to stand on them or you will brake them. Every where around the world, corals are facing extinction due to the rising temperature of our globe. Global warming has caused massive coral bleaching around the world. We all have to participate in fighting the global warming.
If you find plastic bags covering the corals, please remove them. Be an informed snorkeler or scuba diver. Suppose that you cannot swim, what you can do to help save the marine environment? It's easy, you can go to the nearest beach and contact the organisation that works on the preservation of marine environment and coral reef. There you can participate in beach clean up activities. If you live far away from the beach and never see corals and the beautiful ornamental fish and other marine animals, you can still participate in preserving this important marine environment. Cycling to work, consume less electricity are some of the ways to fight global warming that is getting worse day by day.
Because Manokwari is a city (the capital of Papua Barat province in the Republic of Indonesia), that is located near the equator, the islands here are full of vegetations or plants that are unique to tropical region. Coconut trees and mangroves are common along the white sandy beach of these islands. If you are interested in visiting Manokwari city to enjoy the beauty of the coral reefs in these tropical islands, you can contact me for further information about it. Written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Snorkeling with 4 Dutch Tourists

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