Sunday, May 31, 2020

Snorkeling and Freediving in Tambrauw Regency

Travel to West Papua province of Indonesia
A tropical beach in Tambrauw regency
I went to Tambrauw regency with a Dutch lady last month. We stayed in a small coastal town to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and freediving. Because I like taking picture underwater, I brought a small action camera - Brica Pro5 Alpha Edition. It was not a professional photographic device but it was good enough to show how beautiful the coral reef was. I wore a set of fins, and snorkeling mask to go to deeper water and descend to a depth of around 3 to 7 meters below the surface of the sea.
The sea was quite calm and the visibility was around 10 meters. With this small camera in hand, I shot a lot of pictures of the underwater world of Tambrauw. There were blue sea-star, sea cucumber, baby giant clam, anemone, and hundreds of species of fish. I saw a giant humphead wrasse too. I tried to chase him but he swam into deeper water. So, I missed the chance to shoot him.
Snorkeling picture from West Papua
Seaweed bed and fish in Tambrauw
Although this tiny camera could not produce professional pictures, I did my best to get very good underwater images of Tambrauw's coral reef. It gave me more freedom of movement in the water. The coastal region of Tambrauw has got huge area of seaweed beds. They become the natural habital of fish, urchin, sea cucumber. Dugong and sea turtles frequently visit them. Before pressing the shutter button, I did my best to keep calm and still underwater.
I did not wear a weight belt. To keep my body in the water, I often had to hold hard corals with one hand and took pictures of the marine life with the other hand. The coastal area of Tambrauw was very beautiful.
For years, marine scientists have been visiting Tambrauw coast to study turtles. Jen Womom beach that is located in remote area of the regency is a popular site for watching Leatherback turtles, green turtles, olive ridley and some hawksbill turtles that land on the beach to lay eggs.
Snorkeling tour in West Papua
Bluefish among hard corals
Tambrauw is a regency that is located in the middle of Sorong and Manokwari. I often visit it to guide tourists. Most of our activities are related to rainforest. We go hiking, camping and birdwatching in the mountains for approximately 4 days to find various tropical birds and other wild animals. We also go to the beach at the end of our tour to enjoy beach walk, swimming and snorkeling, freediving and sunset watching.
For visitors who want to go to Tambrauw for birding, wildlife watching and snorkeling, I suggest that they spend at least 4 to 5 days traveling in this regency. Four days could be spent in the forest and one day could be used to enjoy snorkeling at its beach.
Most photographers use D-SLR camera with telephoto lens. I recommend Sigma or Tamron 150-600 mm. A cheaper alternatives for birders that I recommend are compact bridge camera Nikon Coolpix P900 and P1000.
To take photographs of the marine life, I recommend a  Sealife DC 2000 or Canon G7X with waterproof housing.
If you are interested in visiting Tambrauw, and want me to be your guide in organizing your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

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