Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Natural Attractions in West Papua

West Papua is a very important destination for anyone who is interested in everything about coral reef and rainforest. Every year, before the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of international visitors went to this region to see the beauty of its marine life and watch the exotic courtship dance of birds of paradise.

There were visitors who were traveling solo or in very small groups of 3 to 4 people and relied on local guide like me to accompany each of them to see tropical reef fish and wildlife in the rainforest. But there were also visitors who came in big groups to enjoy scuba diving using the service of big companies that provide liveaboard scuba diving cruise boats to remote islands in Raja Ampat, Cendrawasih Bay and Triton bay.

As the largest tropical island in the world, New Guinea can be considered as one of the epicenters of biodiversity. The indigenous people depend on the wealth of plants and animals both at sea and in the forest for their survival. They get timber for house construction, herbs for their traditional medicine and animals as their source of protein. Sago trees are cut and processed to produce starch and coconut fruits are grated, squeezed to produce coconut milk. This milk could be boiled to make cooking oil.

A German tourist in Raja Ampat was swimming over pristine coral reef
A German tourist was  enjoying snorkeling in Raja Ampat
 
French and Spanish visitors were watching Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
European visitors were watching birds of paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
A European tourist was watching King Bird of Paradise using a spotting scope
A European Tourist was watching King Bird of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

British girl was making chilli sauce while camping in the jungle of Manokwari
A British visitor was making chilli sauce when taking a multiple day camping tour in the jungle of Manokwari
Coral reef and tropical rainforest absorb CO2 gas that we emit every day from our farming, household, industrial, and transportation activities. They are also the largest deposit of plants and animals on earth. They have to be protected because science and technology that we develop to improve living standards often need natural resources from these coral reef and rainforest.
Ecotourism is a strategic scheme that I and my friends try to develop in West Papua to generate alternative income for local people and at the same time preserve our nature. We offer multiple day tours to rainforest and coral reef for visitors to enjoy hiking, sightseeing, wildlife watching, snorkeling and other related activities that are environmentally friendly.
Visitors who are interested in taking this tour need to take international flight from their country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia). After that, they can continue their trip to Manokwari city by plane. Airlines such as Batik Air, Sriwijaya Air and Lion Air provide regular flight service between Manokwari and other major cities in Indonesia. 
There are hotels, lodges, inns, restaurants, shops and supermarkets in Manokwari city to cater the needs of visitors before and after their trip to remote coral reed and mountainous areas. When visitors spend a few days in the jungle, tents, sleeping bags and other camping equipment will be needed. In Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, we have prepared them for visitors. In Mount Soyti of Arfak range, comfortable guesthouses are available. For traveling to other remote forests, beaches or islands, we can arrange an accommodation inba homestay in a village or we use camping equipment.
I can meet visitors at the airport or hotel in Manokwari and organize their tours to remote places in West Papua.
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wisata Nonton Cendrawasih Kuning di Papua Barat

Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil atau yang bahasa Inggris dikenal dengan nama Lesser Birds of Paradise adalah salah satu spesies burung surga yang hidup di hutan hujan tropis di Tanah Papua. Burung jantan memiliki warna bulu yang indah sekali yakni kuning keemasan ditambah putih, hitam, coklat, hijau serta sedikit abu-abu kebiruan pada paruh dan kakinya. Cendrawasih betina memiliki warna coklat di punggung, sayap serta ekor. Dadanya putih sedangkan paruh dan kakinya sama dengan yang jantan. Kepalanya kehitaman dengan mata yang berwarna kuning serta bagian iris mata hitam.

Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil (Paradisaea minor) jantan sedang menari
Dua Ekor Cendrawasih Kuning Jantan Sedang Menari

Keberadaan burung-burung Cendrawasih Kuning di hutan menarik perhatian banyak sekali wisatawan domestik maupun manca negara untuk berkunjung ke hutan guna menontonnya. 

Ada sejumlah kawasan hutan di Provinsi Papua Barat yang menjadi lokasi favorit untuk wisata nonton Cendrawasih. Beberapa di antaranya adalah sebagai berikut:

  • Hutan Susnguakti di Kabupaten Manokwari. Dengan kendaraan bermotor, waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk mencapainya adalah sekitar 1 jam. Sesampainya di pinggir hutan, wisatawan perlu dipandu oleh warga kampung untuk masuk ke dalam hutan. Jalan setapak yang harus ditempuh adalah terjal dan pada bagian awal cukup berbahaya. Wisatawan harus mengenakan sepatu hiking atau sepatu olah raga yang baik. Durasi mendaki adalah sekitar 1 jam. Di dalam hutan ada basecamp yang telah disiapkan sebagai tempat istirahat. Piring, gelas, sendok, garpu dan peralatan masak juga tersedia di basecamp itu. Wisatawan bisa menggunakan peralatan itu jika membawa bahan makanan dari kota. Lokasi tempat nonton Cendrawasih Kuning dari basecamp adalah sekitar 5 menit jalan kaki.
  • Pegunungan Wondiboy di Kabupaten Wondama adalah lokasi berikutnya dari wisata nonton burung surga. Sebenarnya ada beberapa lokasi wisata nonton burung surga baik di utara dan selatan semenanjung Wondama. Banyak sekali spesies burung tropis yang bisa diamati oleh wisatawan ketika berkunjung ke Wondama. Beberapa di antaranya adalah Kakaktua Putih, Kakaktua Raja, Eclectus Parrot, Coconut Lorikeet, Burung Kumkum, Raja Udang Paruh Kuning, Mina Muka Kuning, Mina Emas, Jagal Papua Wisatawan bisa ke sana dengan naik kapal penumpang kecil dari kota Manokwari menuju kota Wondama. Ada juga penerbangan beberapa kali seminggu yang dilayani oleh maskapai Susi Air. 
  • Hutan Gunung Sakofsiah dan Lembah Ases di Pegunungan Tambrauw juga merupakan destinasi alternatif bagi wisatawan yang ingin menonton tarian burung Cendrawasih. Pemandangan alam di Tambrauw indah sekali. Sebenarnya, ketika berada di hutan Pegunungan Tambrauw, wisatawan bisa mengamati satwa lainnya seperti kuskus, rusa maupun soa-soa. Daerah pesisir pantai di Kabupaten Tambrauw juga memiliki hutan yang menjadi habitat alami dari Cendrawasih Kuning. Nama hutan itu adalah Weyos. Wisatawan bisa berkunjung ke sana dengan didampingi oleh warga kampung yang menjadi pemilik hak ulayat dari hutan dan pantai Weyos.
Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil atau Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Cendrawasih Kuning Jantan
Umumnya, wisatawan membawa binocular (teropong tabung ganda) yang bisa digantung di dada dan saat hendak menonton burung atau satwa liar lainnya, binocular itu digenggam dan diarahkan ke mata.
Ada juga peralatan pengamatan lainnya yang disebut spotting scope. Alat ini merupakan teropong satu tabung yang membentuk sudut. Spotting scope tidak bisa digunakan sendiri. Alat optik ini biasanya dipasang pada sebuah tripod agar ketika digunakan ia berada pada posisi diam/ statik. Spotting scope statik bisa digunakan oleh beberapa orang secara bergantian untuk mengamati burung yang sedang bertengger di dahan pohon atau yang sedang berada di sarangnya pada posisi yang cukup jauh. 
Nah, jika ada dari pembaca yang berniat untuk berwisata ke Papua Barat untuk nonton burung Cendrawasih dan burung-burung tropis Papua Barat lainnya serta membutuhkan pemandu di lapangan, silahkan menghubungi saya (Charles Roring) lewat email: peace4wp@gmail.com atau whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Wildlife Watching Tour in Ases Valley

International Visitors in Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley

This is the photograph of Ases river which I took several years ago. I did an exploratory trip to Ases valley to see its flora and fauna. I did some birdwatching and saw such birds as Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Yellow-faced Myna, Blyth's Hornbill, Red-flanked Lorikeet, Great Cuckoo Dove, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, Black-browed Triller, Little-pied Cormmorant, and a lot more. 

Riverwalk tour in Tambrauw regency
Ases river in Tambrauw regency
Sakofsiah mountains in Tambrauw regency of Indonesia
Sakofsiah Mountains

A few months later, I returned to Ases valley again and its nearby Sakofsiah mountains with two American tourists. Local villagers guided us in the forest. It was a great destination for visitors who like to see not only birds but also mammals such as deer, cuscus possum and wallaby. A long the river, we could see large frogs especially during night walk.  The water in the river was very clear. There were freshwater fish in the water. Butterflies could also be seen both along the river and roadsides. 

So far, several groups of tourists have visited Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley. They liked their adventure trips in these places.

Sakofsiah Mountains and Ases Valley are definitely important destination for visitors who are interested in birding and wildlife watching.

There are houses in Ases village where visitors can stay during their trip in those places. Due to their remote location, they can only be reached by 4WD car from Sorong city or Manokwari city. 

In the future, after launching vaccination program to the whole population of Indonesia, government plan to open this country again for foreign travelers. It means, visitors will be able to visit West Papua as tourists. 

If you would like to book your trip to West Papua and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Raja Ampat Snorkeling Tours

The tropical islands of Raja Ampat have been considered as the epicenter of marine bio-diversity. It is a must see destination for visitors who want to see pristine marine life, healthy coral reef with thousands of species of fish and other sea creatures. As a tourist guide, I offer snorkeling and freediving tours for nature lovers who are interested in visiting Raja Ampat. Participant can be a single traveler or a group of visitors consisting of 2 to 8 participants or even more.


Snorkeling adventure tour in Raja Ampat islands
Sightseeing Tour in Fish Lagoon of Raja Ampat
There are a lot of coral reef sites which we could explore to see parrotfish, surgeonfish, anemonefish, grouper, boxfish, barracuda, turtles and a lot more. Visitors who join this snorkeling tours will be able to visit some uninhabited islands in the region.

Jungle Adventure in Raja Ampat island

In addition to snorkeling, we will also explore tropical rainforest of Waigeo island to see its butterflies, wild flowers and birds such as Palm Cockatoo, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Papuan Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-Billed Kingfisher, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, and etc.
To enjoy birding, a good pair of binoculars manufactured by Leica, Swarovski EL 8.5×42, or Nikon Monarch 5 10×42 is highly recommended. However, there are some Chinese made binoculars such as the 10×42 and the 10×26 Visionking binoculars that are affordable but produce sharp images for birdwatchers. Personally, I take pictures of birds and other wild animals using an old Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR camera.

Getting to Raja Ampat

  • Take an international flight to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Continue your trip by flying to Sorong city
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your tour to Raja Ampat
The cost of traveling to Raja Ampat is more affordable if visitors go in a group of 2, 4 to 6 people or more. However, solo traveling visitor can still enjoy the tour in a customized itinerary that is also affordable.

Booking
Please, contact me (Charles Roring) for detailed itinerary and prices to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp text message to: +6281332245180
Also read:

Full Moon

I have just taken some pictures of the full moon this night. It was a magical moment for me to be able to see the detailed terrains of the moon. I used Kinglux 20-60×60 spotting scope to watch the moon. Fortunately, this simple device can be used for some astronomy works such as watching the moon and Planet Jupiter. This was just an amateur scope that I used to watch birds in the forest. So, it was not powerful enough to see man made structures in outer space such as the International Space Station and any telecommunication satellites. In other words, it was impossible to see any space vehicles or rockets left by the American or Soviet Union on the moon or in the outer space. 

Yesterday, it was impossible to watch and to take some photos of the moon. This night the weather is good. Although there was some cloud passing over it, the strengh of its light could well be captured by my Camera, the Canon 200D with Tamron 150- 600 mm G2 lens. 

full moon photograph taken on 28 March 2021 using Canon D-SLR camera 200D and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens
Full Moon

image of full moon taken by Leo Charles Roring in Manokwari on 28 March 2021
Full moon photo shot at slightly different hour

I tried several different settings on the camera to get the best result for my pictures. I set my camera to Program  AE mode, and then adjusted the exposure compensation to between -3 and -2. The ISO was 200. Although I took picture at night, I did not use flash. The moon was glowing brightly. I had to reduce the brightly by applying different values of exposure compensation every time I shot the moon. Well, it was a trial and error photography. If the subject that I shot was a paradise bird, he could have flown away seconds after I took my first picture.

Fortunately, the subject was the moon. So, I had plenty of time to adjust the settings of my digital camera. Actually, my photographic device was not an ideal tool to shoot the moon. I did not use tripod either. I used my light tripod to mount my spotting scope for moongazing. There was a car near me, so I leaned on the body of the car with to stabilize the camera. I had to aimed it to an elevation of about 75 degrees. It was guide difficult actually to shoot the moon. So, I held my breath for a few seconds when I pressed the shutter button. 
some youth and children in Manokwari city were watching the full moon
Some youth and children were waiting in line to watch the moon (inset) through a spotting scope

Honestly, the pictures of the fullmoon above were edited in photodirector where I sharpened, darkened and created more contrast to them. After finishing the photo-editing  works, I shared them in facebook and my whatsapp status.

I feel so happy now. I don't need to write lengthy article about it at the moment. I just want to show you how beautiful the full moon is. I hope that you like the pictures. 😊

Sound of Waves

It has been full moon since last night. This afternoon, I am at the beach enjoying the scenery of the sea. The waves are bigger than usual. 

They are generated by the gravity of the moon. When full moon comes, the high and low tides differences are bigger. Although the waves are big, I enjoy the scenery and the sound of waves landing on the beach. It is good to be closer to nature.

Waves play important role in coastal environment. They clean coral reef from dirt and wastes. Broken corals that are washed to the beach are ground or broken to fine sand by the waves. 

Today, experts in renewable energy harness wave energy to generate electricity. 

Waves also attract surfers. Who enjoy wave surfing which is a kind of tourism activity and a sport.

Meditation with Waves

I like doing meditation with waves. Because sea tides are influenced by the moon and wind which are cool, they carry the energy of the moon or "Yin energy." I stand at the water edge waiting for a wave to land on the sand. When it lands and hits my feet, I will take deep breath absorbing the Yin. When the sea water retreats to the sea, I release my breath again. Meditating with waves makes me feel more relaxed. I am able to control my emotion well. 

Wave Season

In the region where I live, wave season starts in late November and finishes in March or maybe a little bit later. It curbs the activity of fishermen at sea. So, actually wave season allows marine environment to recover and rejuvenate itself. Waves often bring jellyfish closer to the beach significantly reducing activity of human in coral reef. However, waves that are too big can cause damages to coral reef. Waves can also uproot sargassum sea algae and wash then ashore. In other words, waves control the population of the sea algae so that it will not become the dominant sea vegetation in certain sea area. 

As we understand more about the roles of sea waves in our environment, we will give more appreciation to their roaring sounds while we stand at the beach admiring their power. 

This is written by Charles Roring

Friday, March 26, 2021

Mandi Bulan

Mandi Bulan atau Moonbathing bisa diartikan sebagai aktivitas "berjemur di cahaya bulan." Cahaya bulan sendiri sebenarnya adalah pantulan dari cahaya matahari. Ada istilah sunbathing atau mandi matahari yang artinya berjemur di sinar matahari. Nah, moonbathing berarti mandi bulan. Tapi cahaya bulan tidak berbahaya bagi mata sehingga bisa dilihat secara langsung. 

foto bulan sehari sebelum purnama
Hampir Purnama

Cahaya bulan yang lembut ini dapat memberikan suasana sejuk dan damai di hati orang yang menatapnya.  Orang yang menikmati mandi cahaya bulan bisa merasakan dirinya terhubung langsung dengan alam semesta. Mandi bulan bisa membantu mengurangi stress atau ketegangan pikiran yang dihadapi di tempat kerja atau selama menghadapi berbagai persoalan hidup yang dialami sehari-hari.

Meskipun dari jauh ukuran bulan nampak kecil, bulan memainkan peranan penting dalam kehidupan manusia. Pasang naik dan surut air laut ditentukan oleh posisi bulan terhadap bumi. 

Di kampung-kampung nelayan pesisir yang terletak di laguna atau teluk sempit, ketika air pasang tiba, ikan-ikan besar dan kecil akan bergerak masuk ke dalam teluk. Mereka akan menunggu sampai air pasang tersebut sudah maksimal. Setelah itu, mereka akan menebar jaring. Ketika air surut, ikan besar akan terperangkap di jaring sedangkan ikan kecil bisa lolos menembus lubang jaring yang sengaja dipilih berukuran besar oleh nelayan. Ini adalah cara menangkap ikan yang murah meriah karena nelayan tidak perlu mengeluarkan biaya bahan bakar untuk perahu motor mereka buat pergi ke laut.

Perahu atau kapal-kapal tradisional yang berlayar, navigasi mereka di lautan sangat terbantu oleh keberadaan cahaya, karena mereka bisa melihat daratan.

Dalam kebudayaan suku-suku di nusantara ada yang menggelar upacara atau pergelaran tari saat bulan purnama tiba. Ada tarian ucapan syukur kepada Sang Pencipta karena telah memberikan hasil panen yang berlimpah, ada juga tarian bagi muda-mudi yang sedang mencari pasangan dan lain-lain.

Para petani gula aren pasti tahu bahwa ketika bulan purnama tiba, nira yang bisa mereka peroleh lebih banyak dari pada hari-hari biasanya. Agar nira memiliki rasa manis, maka tempat untuk menampung nira tersebut (biasanya bambu atau jerigen plastik) perlu dicuci bersih supaya tidak ada sisa-sisa ragi yang dapat mengakibatkan fermentasi. 

Nira itu kemudian dimasak menggunakan peralatan yang sederhana untuk membuat gula aren atau gula merah. Nira yang manis tersebut, di kalangan suku tertentu di nusantara, diminum oleh para ibu yang sedang menyusui bayi dengan maksud untuk meningkatkan jumlah Air Susu Ibu (ASI). 

Karena hampir 60% tubuh manusia mengandung air maka tentunya ketika kita melakukan mandi bulan atau beraktivitas di bawah cahaya bulan purnama, maka tubuh kita akan terpengaruh oleh gravitasi dan cahaya bulan tersebut. Seberapa besar pengaruhnya pada diri kita, tentunya hal ini memerlukan penelitian ilmiah yang lebih mendalam.  

Dalam filosofi timur, bulan dipercaya sebagai bagian dari energi Yin. Orang yang kelebihan energi Yang biasanya merasa badannya panas, emosi tidak tenang. Ia perlu menyeimbangkan energi di dalam tubuh. Oleh karena itu, mandi bulan dipandang sebagai salah satu cara untuk menyerap energi Yin yang bermanfaat bagi dirinya baik secara fisik, emosional dan spiritual. Pendapat ini tentu masih bisa diperdebatkan. 

Yang jelas adalah, ketika kita memandang bulan, kita akan merasakan kekaguman tersendiri pada ciptaan Tuhan yang bercahaya lembut di malam hari tersebut. Cahaya yang tidak merusak mata, cahaya yang dapat membuat perasaan atau hati kita menjadi teduh. Oleh Charles Roring

Impermanence - Konsep Ketidakabadian

Di dunia ini, tidak ada sesuatu apapun yang abadi, termasuk Anda dan saya. Segala upaya untuk mempertahankan apa yang tidak abadi agar tetap ada hanyalah sia-sia dan mengakibatkan penderitaan. Ini adalah konsep dasar dari impermanence

Filosofi ini menyadarkan kita bahwa sewaktu-waktu, kita yang ada atau yang hidup ini bisa menjadi tiada. Oleh karena itu setiap hari yang kita lalui harus kita hadapi dengan sepenuh hati. Contohnya saat kita bekerja untuk mencari nafkah bagi keluarga, kita perlu melakukannya dengan sungguh, memberi pelayanan kepada pelanggan (customer) sebaik mungkin. Konsep hidup seperti ini bisa dibaca dalam berbagai buku yang membahas tentang zen. Saya tidak akan menuliskannya secara panjang lebar di tulisan ini.

filosofi agama buddha tentang impermanens
Impermanence - Sebuah Konsep Ketidakabadian di Alam Semesta

Meskipun filosofi impermanens menyatakan bahwa tidak ada sesuatu apapun yang abadi di dunia ini (termasuk lingkungan hidup dengan segala kekayaan keanekaragaman hayatinya), bukan berarti ini merupakan pembenaran kita boleh mengeksploitasi apa saja, merusak atau menghancurkan alam, demi memperkaya diri kita secara materi. Ini namanya serakah, rakus, egois.

Segala sesuatu di dunia ini saling terkait satu sama lainnya. Contohnya: Matahari bersinar, sinar itu sampai ke permukaan bumi, sinar itu memberi kehidupan bagi tumbuhan, hewan dan manusia. Tumbuhan melakukan foto sintesis dengan memanfaatkan sinar matahari dan melepaskan oksigen ke udara. Kita semua memerlukan oksigen untuk hidup. Pada saat yang sama, sinar matahari terpancar juga ke bulan yang selanjutnya memantulkan cahayanya ke bumi. Cahaya bulan itu dimanfaatkan manusia ketika sedang berjalan di malam hari. Bulan sering menjadi acuan dalam berlayar, atau dalam berbagai penanggalan manusia. Cahaya bulan yang lembut memberikan ketenangan hati pada manusia yang sedang dirundung banyak persoalan hidup. Memandang cahaya bulan dapat membuat orang yang kesulitan tidur, akhirnya bisa tidur nyenyak. Bulan purnama menjadi tanda air pasang yang tinggi di lautan. 

Karena segala sesuatu di bumi ini saling terkait maka kita perlu menjaga keseimbangannya. Manusia dengan segala pengetahuan dan teknologi yang dimilikinya bisa memanfaatkan hewan dan tumbuhan serta material di alam untuk memenuhi kebutuhannya. Kemampuan iptek dan kekuatan yang dimiliki haruslah bersamaan dengan tanggung jawab yang dimilikinya untuk menjaga keharmonisan hubungannya dengan alam semesta. Eksploitasi sumber daya alam yang berlebihan tanpa adanya tanggung jawab untuk melestarikan lingkungan hidup akan mengakibatkan kerusakan lingkungan serta bencana alam.

Oleh karena itu, konsep impermanence yang kita pahami di atas tetap menjadi landasan berpikir kita untuk tetap mempertahankan keharmonisan hubungan kita dengan alam semesta tempat kita berada. Oleh Charles Roring🙏


Snorkeling Season in Manokwari

We are going to enter the month of April. The waters around Manokwari and the adjacent regencies are calm. It means that we can now enjoy snorkeling over coral reef areas. Manokwari has got a number of coral reef sites that are good for snorkelers. Some of them include Sra Oseri Beach, Bakaro Beach, Abasi Beach, and Raimuti island, Kaki Island, Mansinam Island, Lemon Island, and etc. 

Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
a snorkeling site in Manokwari

To enjoy snorkeling, we need to bring our own snorkeling mask, snorkel, and fins. Morning is the recommended time for anybody who likes snorkeling. But it is also nice to enjoy snorkeling between 16:00 and 17:30. The water is calm and the sunlight can penetrate deeper. A good visibility will enhance our snorkeling experience. We can see colourful fish and marine plants and take pictures of them. 

Remote snorkeling sites in Manokwari can be reached by motorized boat. So, we need to rent an outrigger motorized boat if we want to enjoy snorkeling in Anggrisi beach, Kaki island or even the Asai beach.

Manokwari is a very good destination for anyone who likes snorkeling and birdwatching. Its coral reef is the natural habitat of parrotfish, wrasse, butterflyfish, lionfish, anemonefish, and etc. 

When we walk along the beach, we can see Lesser Frigate Bird or Priamus Birdwing Butterfly flying in the air. Sometimes, Olive-backed Sunbird hops among the coconut flowers to eat their nectar or Sacred Kingfisher sits on the branch of a tree with its eyes on the surface of the water to find small fish that he can catch. 

A beach is also a nice place for visitors who like to enjoy walking meditation. 

Marine life in Mansinam island
Coral reef in Manokwari

The snorkeling tour in Manokwari can be combined with hiking, camping, and wildlife watching activities in tropical rainforest of Arfak mountains. Birds such as Blyth's Hornbill, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Helmetted Friarbird, Rainbow Lorikeet, Spangled Drongo, Grey Crow, Black-capped Lory, Red Myzomela, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Lowland Peltop, can be watched in coastal forest.

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguaktinforest of Manokwari
Lesser Birds of Paradise

Most people who do this trip want to see birds of paradise. Visitors need to wear darker clothing and bring binoculars of they want to watch these beautiful avifauna. Bringing a digital camera with telephoto lens will also visitors to take pictures of the birds, butterflies, cuscus possum, soa-soa lizard, and as well as other interesting things in the forest. For watching cuscus and bandicoot, night walk in the forest can be organized for that purpose.

Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus) in the forest of Manokwari
Blyth's Hornbill

As the capital of Papua Barat province, Manokwari has got hotels and inns which visitors can choose to stay during their snorkeling tour or after returning from their camping trip in the forest. Some of them include Swissbel hotel, Mansinam Beach Hotel, Hotel Fujita, Hotel Triton, Aston Niu, and a lot more. 

Flights from major cities to Manokwari are served by Batik Air, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air. Flight connections to the surrounding towns are served by Susi Air and Wings Air.

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour and rainforest trip to Manokwari and needs a guide to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:

Snorkeling and Freediving at Drop off Reef of Mansinam Island

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Walking Meditation

Is it possible to do meditation while walking? Yes, it is. I regularly do it several times a week around a track and field some 250 meters from my house. It is a beautiful place for doing walking meditation because it is located near rainforest that constantly supplies fresh air to anyone living near it. I walk from around 15:00 to 16:00. People begin arriving at the field at 15:45. So, there are fewer people in the track and field during the time. When I do walking meditation, I contemplate about my life, what plan to do or what mistakes I have done. All these things are reviewed during the walking meditation. While I meditate about my personal life, I stay connected with my surrounding environment. 

riverwalk tour in Manokwari
Walking Along the Sides of a River

I guide tourists to various places in West Papua. Sometimes, when I travel to the mountains, to the islands or coastal areas, I can have time to do the walking meditation. In this environment, I feel very close to nature. My favorite place for doing walking meditation is along the sides of a river or a long a beach. I can hear the sounds of birds, and water that flows in the river. 

Tourists whom I guide like this riverwalk tour very much. There are various kinds of flower plants that we can see during the trip. Insects such as dragonfly, butterflies, beetles, cicadas, water insects also present in the river environment. 

riverwalk tour in Tambrauw mountains with American and European tourists
Riverwalk Tour in West Papua

The benefits of walking meditation are not only on creating healthy body, a feeling of relax in my mind buy also helping me to generate new ideas for articles that I will write in this blog. 

Also read:

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Moonwatching

I have been doing moonwatching for two consecutive nights now. I use a pair of binoculars and a spotting scope that I installed on a tripod. Actually I do this as part of my moonbathing activity. When people pass by, they can watch the moon through the scope. 

children were enjoying moon watching
Moon Watching in Manokwari

Children and adults who never watch the moon through a spotting scope were surprised to see the detailed terrains and numerous craters on the moon. Moon  constantly moving from east to west so I have to adjust my spotting scope to follow its trajectory.

In yin & yang philosophy, moon is considered as yin. Its light can make us feel calm and relaxed. 

I work as a tourist guide. I often accompany visitors on a camping and wildlife watching tour in the forest of West Papua. We spend a few nights in the forest to watch paradise birds, butterflies and other insects as well as other wild animals that we may encounter while walking through the big and small trees of the forest. 

cuscus possum in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Cuscus Possum in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

We also do night walk to find cuscus possum, and forest dragon lizard. When there is a full moon in the sky, it is quite difficult to find the cuscus possum. Our chance to see cuscus possum is much higher when there is no moon in the sky. 

I also heard that if fishermen catch crab in tidal mangrove forest during the full moon, the crabs will not have a lot of meat. Well, this is something debatable.

Sunbathing on Track and Field

I do walking exercise several times a week. There is a football field around 250 meters from my house. It is located behind an army base. This track and field is near rainforest providing a calm environment for anyone who wants to enjoy exercise and see the green scenery of the surrounding. 

I start my walking exercise in the afternoon at 15:00. It is usually sunny. The temperature is hot even for people who live in this tropical environment. For me, I like doing walking exercise from 15:00 to 16:00 because there are fewer people in the track and field. I could enjoy walking, sunbathing and breathing fresh air that is produced by the nearby rainforest.

Sunbathing while doing exercise is actually good for our health. Our body releases sweat that protects our skin from harmful light. So, I don't apply sunblock lotion while doing walking exercise. 

Because the football field is close to rainforest, we often can see butterflies flying across the field or hear the calls of birds.

football field in Manokwari
Track and Field near rainforest

Every time I go there to do my walking exercise, I see other people who also do athletics. Athletes and ordinary people are mixed in the field. They play football, volleyball, long jump. Most of them like jogging. Local athletes do their exercises in this field as their preparation for their participation in national and international sports competition. 

local people and athletes exercise in track and field of Manokwari city in Indonesia
People were enjoying sports

The football field and its surrounding track belongs to the army but they provide them for the public to use. There is a shooting field next to the track and field. The shooting field has got a hall with high concrete walls protect the shooting area from outsiders. Sometimes soldiers do their shooting exercise there. We can hear the loud explosions of assault rifles and pistols during the exercise.  It is safe for people to do their athletic exercises while the soldiers do their shooting exercises.

Most people who like sunbathing usually do it at the beach. The beach environment provides a relaxed atmosphere for them.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Moonbathing

I went out of my house last night. I did not go far. I only stood at the frontyard. There was half moon in the black sky decorated with thousands of visible stars. I looked up to the moon. With my eyes staring at the moon, I took deep breath several times understanding in my mind that I was absorbing the light energy of the moon - the yin energy. 

showering in the light of moon
Near full moon

I tried to take pictures of the moon using my cell phone but the result was not good enough. I went into my house again to get my pocket camera, it is a Nikon AW130. I used it to take some pictures of the moon. Still the result was not sharp enough. Well, I should use better camera later. 

Because my main intention was to enjoy moonbathing, I decided to do it by standing towards the moon for a few minutes to be more exposed to its light.

Earlier than that, during the day, I showered in the rain. This time at night, I was moon-bathing. This may sound weird but in Chinese philosophy having a balanced yin & yang energy in our body is important for our health. Well, that's what I have done in the last few days since Sunday. 

Going to the beach to enjoy the scenery of the sea, and its waves while doing meditation on the white sand, walking around the football field under bright sunlight, getting drenched under heavy rain and moonbathing is my way of getting exposed to a balanced yin and yang energy.

The result? 

Well, I can sleep early and well at night. I could not do it for years. I always fell asleep late at around 04.30 morning. 

Tonight, moon will be bigger. I hope I can stay longer to absorb its moonlight energy. Most people do sunbathing but do they also do moon bathing? This is something, you may consider doing in order to balance your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. You could try if you are interested. 

Moon and Environment

Moon plays important role in our environment. For example, the sea tides are influenced by the gravity of the moon. When I was a university student tens of years ago, I saw how villagers caught fish by taking advantage of high and low tide. There was a small bay at the coastal area of their village. When the tide was high, they let the fish entered the bay. They know the time when the tide would go down again. So, during the peak time of the tide, they deployed net to close the bay. The net has big holes to let small fish to pass through. When the tide was receding, big fish swam to deeper water but later they were trapped in the net. With this technique, the villagers did not have to go to the open sea to catch big fish. It was an environmentaly friendly way to catch fish. They let small fish return to the sea. 

My father is a farmer. When I was a kid, he collected the sap of aren tree that is consumed by us as traditional drinks. Thr sweet sap of aren palm tree can be 'cooked' to make palm sugar. So, when there is high tide, the level of water in land is also higher and it allows plants to absorb more water. So, during full moon period, my father can collect more palm sap. To make sweet palm sap, we need to wash the container that we use to collect the palm sap so it does not contain natural yeast. If not the palm sap will not be sweet. Mothers drink sweet palm sap which we call saguer to increase their milk for breastfeeding their babies. These are simple examples of how moon play important contribution to environment and human life. 

Also read: Moonwatching


Showering in the Rain

This afternoon I walked out of my house to enjoy showering in the rain. The water that fell from the sky landed on my head and body. But I did not go out directly when it started to rain. I waited for around 15 minutes for the rain to clean the atmosphere from smog, and tiny toxic particles that were flying in the air. When all the airborn particles had been taken down by the rainwater, I went out to enjoy bathing in the rain. 

It is not something that I enjoy doing every time the rain comes. I did it some times when I was a kid. Showering in the rain is a nice experience. I cannot explain the health benefits of rain water to my body. One thing that I know is that when I enjoy showering in the rain, I do something different from my daily routine. I don't do it every day. 

It is one of the many ways to relieve stress. Doing recreational activities such as going to the beach, trekking in the mountains or enjoy swimming in a lake are ways to relieve stress. But showering in the rain is one of the cheapest ways to do it. 

How rain is formed

Rain actually is the precipitation of atmospheric water. During the day, light from the sun hit the surface of the sea, lakes, ponds, plants and everything on Earth that has water. The energy from the sun turn the water into gas. Water evaporates. Because water vapor is gas, it is light. It goes up to the sky or atmosphere. 

As it goes higher, it reaches an elevation where the temperature is low. There the vapor turns into tiny water droplets. This process is called condensation. The tiny droplets gather to form clouds. From time to time they become heavy and cannot stay any longer in the sky. 

Pulled by the gravity of the Earth, the water droplets later fall again to the earth in the form of rain, drizzle, snow or hail. 

Rain water is very important for our environment. It resupply water to plants and animals both in the forest, in the lakes and rivers, in the farmlands. Rainwater cleans rivers. It cleans our atmosphere by taking down dust, smog, and any dirt from the atmosphere creating cleaner air that is vital for any living things. Cleaner air is needed by airplanes to travel to any directions, it also ensure better communication. Usually after heavy rain in a big city, the air is cleaner again. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Working in Outdoor Environment

I work as a tourist guide escorting or accompanying visitors in outdoor environment. Most of my activities are related to hiking in the forest for wildlife watching, birdwatching; or swimming and snorkeling over coral reef to see colorful tropical marine plants and animals in the sea. 

birdwatching in the forest
I was watching birds with some British tourists

My job is fun. I can see beautiful tropical birds, flowers, butterflies, and breathe fresh air. Walking in outdoor environment, I consider it as a physical exercise and that at the same time as a way to refresh my mind and emotional well being. 

Living in the city, we are often trapped in uncomfortable environment such as traffic jam, noisy sounds of machine tools from construction sites, cars, and engines in factories. We are also exposed to air pollution. 

Going to natural places such as to the beach, to the mountains, lakes and forest is one of the ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

But sometimes it turns out to be a challenging profession if the terrains are more difficult or the weather is bad. For instance, if I guide tourists inside the lowland and montane forest, I and my guests have to deal with a lot of mosquitoes, and other tiny insects that like to bite our skins. Applying anti insect lotion may be a good solution.

I always try to see things from several different perspectives. For instance, if I experience bad weather in the forest, I don't complain. Heavy rain may not be good for me and my clients who are doing birdwatching along the edge of a forest. But it is the nature's way to water plants and provide water to animals and human being. Rain takes down all dust, and every tiny and toxic particles from our atmosphere. Rain cleans the air. With the clear weather, airplanes can travel safely again to their destinations.

My job as a tourist guide in outdoor environment, allows me to understand nature and give more appreciation to its unique functions in our life. This is written by Charles Roring.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Sounds of Nature

When we go to the beach, we can hear the sounds of waves, and feel the breeze on our skin, hair and ears. The wind that passes through trees can push branches and leaves to move and generate sounds. 

The sounds of nature can also be heard when we are in the forest. The water stream that flows through the stones can generate sounds. In the mornings and in the afternoons, birds play and sing. 

These sounds of nature are not melodic like man made music that uses modern electronic keyboard, and electric guitar but they can remind us about the importance of connecting our spiritual and physical body with nature.

The sounds of nature such as the eruption of a volcano, the  crashing thunder can be scary too but they teach us about how powerful our nature can be. 

We may feel refreshed in our mind and body when we go to the beach, the forest or other natural places. People who do meditation can get inner peace if they sometimes do it in open nature. So, the beauty of nature can be considered as medicine for our spiritual well being.

In the above video, we can see waves from the sea that reach the beach. These waves are generated by wind and sea tide. Wind itself is caused by the differences in air pressure. These differences are caused by differences in temperature. And most of the temperatures on the surface of the sea are influenced by the sun. 

The sea tide itself is not independent. It is influenced by the gravity of moon. 

So, everything in this universe is inter-connected. Understanding and appreciating this interconnection of the universe will allow us to have more balanced life. Having a balanced life is good for our health. In eastern or Chinese philosophy, there is a term called yin and yang. Well, I may discuss more about it in my later post. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Digital Art of Paradise Birds

When I guide visitors to rainforests of West Papua to watch birds of paradise, I take some pictures of those avaifaunas. Later they become important references for my digital art works. I can draw manually using conventional media, colored pencils on paper and digitally using vector illustration software or digital drawing apps. Some of them can be seen below:

Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) created in Autodesk Sketchbook
Digital Drawing of Red Bird of Paradise

The above male Red Bird of Paradise lives in tropical rainforest of Waigeo island. It has become a very important target of observation for birding visitors who travel to Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia.

Vector drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
Vector Drawing of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Another important target of observation among birdwatching visitors is Lesser Birds of Paradise. This bird species lives in tropical forest of New Guinea (the provinces of Papua and Papua Barat as well as the independent state of PNG). Lesser Birds of Paradise live in lowland and lower montane forest of New Guinea. Unfortunately, because of their beautiful feather, they are often hunted by local people.

I create digital artworks of these birds to raise awareness of all nature lovers about the importance of protecting these wild animals especially the paradise birds. Their natural habitat is tropical rainforest. They don't belong to cages in the houses of wealthy people. Birds are guardians of rainforest. They eat fruits and disperse seeds to all corners of the forest. They eat insects to help control the population of the insects whose larvae eat leaves or wood of trees.

In West Papua, there are a number of rainforest areas where tourists can visit to watch birds of paradise and other tropical birds. Some of them include Wondama regency, Susnguakti forest of Manokwari, Mount Soyti in Arfak range, Tambrauw mountains, Klasow valley and Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. 

Wondama regency is located in Cendrawasih Bay, it has got a lot of islands. Visitors can enjoy birding in the forests of mainland as well as in the islands. Because there are coral reef with abundant fish, visitors can also enjoy swimming and snorkeling. For wildlife watching gear, tourists usually bring binoculars; camera; laser pointer; and spotting scopes. 

In addition to drawing birds, I also draw fish, flowers, butterflies, human figure and any interesting subjects that I see in nature. All these digital art drawings can be seen in my redbubble artshop at this link: Nature Art Shop. The manual paintings and digital drawings can be printed on mugs, t-shirts, mugs, stickers, tote bags, spiral notebooks and etc. They are offered in affordable prices and can be bought through the online shop. 


Monday, March 1, 2021

Rainforest in West Papua as Tourist Attractions

Tropical rain forest in West Papua is a very rich environment. It is the natural habitat of thousands of species of insects, birds, mammals, reptiles as well as plants. It attracts the attention of tourists, nature lovers, students, and researchers to visit it and see its wealth of plants and animals. Rainforest has now become an interesting tourist attractions. 

Mangrove forest in Wondama regency
Mangrove forest in Wondama regency

The kind of tourism that I mean here is an alternative tourism. It is not a mass tourism. For instance, based on my experience, the average number of visitors per group is between 2 and 8. They travel from Europe, North America, Australia, India, China to watch birds, mammals, reptiles; and see unique plants in the forest. There are other tourists who are interested in insects or only butterflies.

tropical rainforest in Wondama regency of West Papua
Lower Montane Forest in Wondama regency

There are also tourists who want to see types of rainforest based on their elevations measured from sea level such as Mangrove forest and lowland forest, to lower montane and higher montane or cloud forest. 

There are a few destinations in West Papua province of Indonesia which have such ecosystems. One of them is Wondama regency. It has got almost complete rainforest ecosystems. The regency has got islands, coastal area, hills, and mountains that are covered by pristine rainforest. 

The regency of Wondama has got a lot of islands that are covered by rainforest. They can also be visited by tourists. Coral reef in the waters of these islands are the natural habitat of various species of marine animals and plants. After exploring the wealth of biodiversity of the islands, visitors can enjoy swimming and snorkeling to see the marine life in coral reef of Wondama. Coral reef is sometimes called by people as the rainforest of the ocean. And we need to preserve it too.

Tropical rainforest of West Papua is unique because it is the natural habitat of various species of marsupial animals. Some of them include cuscus possum, bandicoot, and wallaby. Most of them are nocturnal animals and can be seen when we do night walk in the jungle.

If you are interested in taking a tour to rainforest to see its plants and animals, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to +6281332245180.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Long-tailed Paradigala

Long-tailed Paradigala is a species of birds of paradise that lives in tropical rainforest of West Papua. It is an endemic bird of Arfak mountains. I saw it when I guided two American birdwatchers on a 2 week birding and snorkeling tour from Raja Ampat to Manokwari. We did not have plan to find the bird because he does not have a fixed display tree. 

Long-tailed Paradigala was feeding on red fruit as his breafast.
Long-tailed Paradigala

One early morning time in Arfak mountains, I and Paige (one of the tour participants) went hiking to the dancing ground of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata). We started at around 05.00 a.m. when it was still dark. The slopes were steep so we walked slowly and stopped several times on the way. Around forty five minutes later, we arrived. A red pandanus fruit had already been placed just outside the dancing ground of Western Parotia to attract the bird to come. 

Shortly after we sat on our "bench" which was actually a fallen log, we saw that some birds began to land on the fruits. There were female Black Sicklebills, female Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise and Western Parotia. They took turn in occupying the red fruit to have their breakfast. 

Suddenly, a Long-tailed Paradigala landed. I was surprised to see it. I had not seen the bird during my previous trips to Arfak mountains. Now the bird of paradise was just around four meters from me. I immediately aimed my camera at the bird and and took some pictures of him. After getting his fair share of the red grains as his breakfast, he flew away. 

That morning, we saw the Western Parotia dancing on the ground. There were also Green-backed Robin, Black-eared Catbird and Blue Gray Robin, Vogelkop Melidectes, Western Smoky Honeyeater, and Spectacled Longbill that we saw during our walk back to the guesthouse.

We were happy with the morning walk because we could see birds that are endemic to Arfak mountains. This was written by Charles Roring.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Logo Burung Cendrawasih Merah

Ini adalah logo burung Cendrawasih Merah yang saya buat dengan posisi kepala menghadap ke bawah (lihat ilustrasi dijital ke - 2). 

Kalau kita pergi ke Pulau Waigeo di Raja Ampat, untuk menonton burung Cendrawasih Merah berdansa, kita akan mendapati posisi alami saat sang jantan berdansa adalah dengan kepala yang menghadap ke bawah.  Gambar ini saya buat sketsa manualnya menggunakan pensil di kertas, setelah itu saya gambar lagi menggunakan stylus memakai Autodesk Sketchup.

Logo Burung Surga Merah sedang berdansa
Gambar Burung Cendrawasih Jantan sedang berdansa

Oleh karena itu, logo yang saya buat ini, posisi kepalanya menghadap ke bawah. Saya membuatnya menggunakan software vektor inkscape. 

Logo Cendrawasih Merah
Logo Burung Cendrawasih

Nama ilmiah burung Cendrawasih Merah adalah Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). Burung ini spesies endemik Raja Ampat dan bisa dijumpai di Waigeo, Gam, kemungkinan juga Pulau Mansuar, Batanta. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Foto Burung Cendrawasih

Saya memiliki banyak sekali foto burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil/ Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). Foto-foto tersebut saya buat ketika memandu wisatawan di dalam hutan hujan tropis Papua Barat. Burung ini indah sekali warnanya sehingga menjadi target pengamatan yang utama di kalangan para wisatawan pengamat burung baik di dalam dan luar negeri. 

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Malagufuk village of Klasow valley of West Papua
Lesser Birds of Paradise

Untuk menontonnya, kami harus bangun pagi sekali dan pergi ke pohon tempat biasanya burung surga ini berkumpul untuk berdansa dan kawin. Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil hidup di dataran rendah dan hutan perbukitan di Tanah Papua. Burung ini suka berdansa di pagi dan sore hari. 

Lokasi burung berdansa biasanya terletak lebih ke dalam hutan. Di Manokwari, saya suka mengantar wisatawan ke hutan Susnguakti yang terletak di kawasan pegunungan rendah dari Pegunungan Arfak. Di Kabupaten Tambrauw dan Teluk Wondama serta Sorong, Burung Cendrawasih dapat pula diamati. Wisatawan perlu berjalan kaki ke lokasi pohon tempat burung surga ini biasa berkumpul.

Burung Cendrawasih dan burung-burung tropis Papua lainnya memakan buah dan menyebar biji-bijiannya ke seluruh penjuru hutan. Ini artinya, burung Cendrawasih bermanfaat dalam melestarikan hutan tropis.

burung cendrawasih jantan dan betina
Cendrawasih Jantan dan Betina

Perkembangan penduduk, pembangunan jalan, gedung perkantoran serta perumahan telah mengakibatkan luasan hutan hujan tropis Papua, yang adalah habitat alami dari burung Cendrawasih, semakin berkurang. Hal ini diperparah lagi oleh masih adanya perburuan satwa burung cendrawasih di Tanah Papua. Akibat dari semua ini, populasi Cendrawasih juga ikut terancam.

Apa yang bisa kita lakukan untuk menjaga kelestarian burung Cendrawasih?

  • Tidak membeli burung Cendrawasih baik yang masih hidup atau yang sudah diawetkan.
  • Tidak ikut merusak hutan hujan tropis Papua
  • Memperkenalkan satwa Cendrawasih ini kepada sesama kita agar mereka ikut peduli.

Burung Cendrawasih Kuning Kecil Jantan
Cendrawasih Jantan

Saya juga suka menggambar burung-burung surga baik secara manual menggunakan pensil warna dan kertas, maupun secara digital menggunakan gambar vektor inkscape dan bitmap seperti Adobe Autodesk Sketchbook. Gambar-gambar itu selanjutnya saya upload ke situs Redbubble untuk kemudian bisa dibeli cetakannya oleh pembaca dalam bentuk mug, t-shirt, tas, sarung bantal, dan lain sebagainya. Pembaca bisa melihatnya di link berikut:

Baca juga artikel berikut:


Friday, February 5, 2021

Manta Postcards

I have just received emails from Redbubble which says that somebody just bought postcards with my drawing of mantas. I don't know who bought it but I would like to say thank you. I am happy if people appreciate or buy artworks that I create and upload to my Redbubble pages. 

postcard with drawing of manta ray fish created by charles roring
Freediving with manta

I created the manta drawing a few years ago using Derwent watercolour pencils. I drew the fish and a lady who was freediving to get closer to mantas. Well this was not an imaginary picture. It was an experience of mine when guiding tourists in Raja Ampat islands. I guided some European tourists on 1 week snorkeling trip across the beautiful archipelago. The presence of a lady swimming towards manta is a good comparison for us to see how big the giant fish is. 

vector art of swimming with manta
Vector illustration of Swimming with Manta

When we were at Manta Point one early morning time, we saw a group of mantas moving around in the water in circle formations. To get closer to the fish, we freedived to a depth of 5 to 7 meters. Because there were no scubadivers at that time, we could enjoy the show for quite long. After that we continued our tour to Piaynemo karst. I recreated the manual drawing in the first picture above into some digital versions using vector drawing software: inkscape hoping that with more choices more people will be interested in buying artwork that printed in various functional products like t-shirts, mugs, bags, laptop skin, smartphone skins, pencil skirt, pillow, anti-covid virus masks. To my surprise, people bought more of my manual drawings instead on the digital ones. 

After finishing the tour, I returned home with ideas of creating a number of drawings inspired from the marine creatures that I saw in Raja Ampat. 

If you are interested in seeing them, please, have a look at my art page at this link: Art Inspired from Nature.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Gambar Cendrawasih Merah

Ini adalah gambar burung Cendrawasih Merah jantan (Paradisaea rubra) yang hidup di hutan hujan tropis pulau-pulau Waigeo, Gam dan Batanta. Sketsa awalnya saya buat menggunakan pensil biasa. Setelah itu saya warnai dengan pensil warna cat air. Setelah itu gambar tersebut difoto dan diolah lagi secara digital memakai Autodesk Sketchbook. 

Cendrawasih Merah

Hasilnya adalah gambar yang lebih tajam dan bisa dipakai untuk dicetak di t-shirt, mug, ponsel, tas dan notebook dan lain-lain. Pembaca bisa membeli produk-produk yang bisa dibeli di halaman ini: Red Bird of Paradise.

Selain Cendrawasih Merah, ada juga Cendrawasih Wilson atau Wilson's Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes respublica) di pulau-pulau yang saya sebutkan di atas. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wildlife Watching in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat islands of Indonesia are mostly visited by scuba divers and snorkelers who want to see marine life. However, its tropical rainforest is also a good destination for wildlife watching. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Before the Covid-19 pandemic reached this region, I guided tourists to Waigeo island to watch birds of paradise. Bird watching is a popular activity among visitors who are interested in exploring wildlife in West Papua province of Indonesia. We did birdwatching inside its rainforest to see Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, Moluccan King Parrot, Red Cheek Parrot, Great-billed Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Hooded Butcherbird, and Western-crowned Pigeon. In coastal area, a lot of birds can be seen too. Some of them include Whimbrel, Radjah Shelduck, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Violet-necked Lory, Eastern Osprey, Moustached Tree Swift, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pied-Imperial Pigeon, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Willie Wagtail, Beach Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Dusky Scrubfowl, Olive-backed Sunbird.
Sometimes, when walking in the forest, I and the tourists whom I guided saw cuscus possum, snake and soa-soa lizard. 
Raja Ampat, and mainland West Papua did not have huge animals like elephant, rhinoceros, and lion. 
Various colorful flowers such as Hibiscus and orchids can be seen in Waigeo. I used to see pitcher plants in the karst of Kabui bay. 
After exploring the rainforest, we usually did some snorkeling at the house reef of the guesthouse where we stayed. For marine life, Raja Ampat islands had the highest number of fish species in the world. 
Olive-ridley Sea Turtle
Turtle in Waigeo

When I was traveling to the north coast of Waigeo, I saw turtles. In the middle of the night, when I was about to sleep, a villager knocked the door of my room and said that a turtle was laying eggs. She came out of the sea and went to the beach to lay her eggs just behind the villagers' houses. So, she was exposed to the lights from the houses.  But she was not disturbed by the villagers so she continued laying her eggs. 
coral reef in Raja Ampat
Marine Life in Raja Ampat
I hope that the Covid-19 pandemic can be mitigated by the introduction of vaccines and strict health protocol under new normal so that in the near future, access to this beautiful archipelago for tourists can be opened again by the government. 
If you are interested in visiting West Papua to watch wildlife and enjoy snorkeling, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to my cell phone: +6281332245180.

Please, support this blog by visiting my online artshop where you could buy some of the drawings of paradise birds, reef fish or flowers that are printed on t-shirts, mugs, spiral notebook, tote bags, cell phone cases, tote bags and etc. at this link: Wildlife Art. Or you could also click the following artworks to see the shop.
a couple of dolphins jumping at the blue sea
Dolphins jumping at the blue sea

paradise bird drawing printed on t-shirt
Red-Bird of Paradise T-shirt


Monday, January 25, 2021

Snorkeling and Freediving in Drop-off Reef of Mansinam Island

I have just completed a snorkeling tour in Mansinam island for 2 tourists. They were two girls from United Kingdom and New Zealand. We enjoyed snorkeling and recreational freediving in the drop-off reef. We were accompanied by a student who studied Marine Biology. It was a great experience because we could see a lot of fish and hard corals. Reef flat was around 1 to 2 meters deep. The drop off area was from 2 to 25 meters deep. It was a site that was good for freediving.
New Zealander girl was freediving in Mansinam island of West Papua
New Zealander girl was freediving in Mansinam island
To take pictures I had to freedive to a depth of around 5 meters so that I could be closer to the fish. One of girls, Leyla, practiced her freediving skill too. She descended to a depth of 5 meters. When she was going down to deeper waters, I took some pictures of her. This snorkeling and freediving trip were special experience for them.
Coral reef and fish at sea
Marine Life in Mansinam island
Black-backed Butterflyfish
After exploring the coral reef, we did some hiking tour to Jesus statue located at the top of Mansinam island. We met some pilgrims who were walking up the slopes to see it too.
In the previous day, we went hiking to a hill forest in the north of Manokwari ciry. We saw a lot of millipede, spiders, butterflies, lizard and bats. I saw a terrestrial snake New Guinea Ground Boa - also called Viper Boa (Candoia aspera).
Hiking tour in Manokwari hill forest with two British and New Zealander girls.
Rainforest Tour in Manokwari hill
Direct flight route to Manokwari
Flying route to Manokwari city from Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
How to fly to Manokwari city
The adventure tour that I describe above is concentrated in Manokwari - the capital of Papua Barat province in the Republic of Indonesia. You could also take the tour here. What you need is flying to Manokwari city.

  • First, fly from your state to Jakarta, the capital of the Republic of Indonesia.
  • Second, take a domestic flight from Jakarta to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air provide regular flights to Manokwari. 
  • There are hotels such as Aston Niu, Swissbel, Oriestom Hotel that you could choose to stay.
  • Tickets for your flights and rooms in the hotel can be ordered through traveloka.com
  • I will be happy to meet you at the airport or at the hotel where you stay in Manokwari and then organize your trip both to the forest and to the coral reef areas.

If you are interested in visiting Manokwari to see its coral reef and rainforest, and want me to organise your tour, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Natural Attractions in West Papua

West Papua is a very important destination for anyone who is interested in everything about coral reef and rainforest. Every year, before th...