This is the second day of our trip.
The sun was still sleeping when I went up to the upper deck of Temukira. But a ray of light from the east was enough to glare the magnificent silhouette of the towering karst islands surrounding us.
I am at Wayag!
My camera was ready at my hand. I did not want to spend any time in this place without capturing & immortalizing the beauty of the scenery. When the bright morning light gradually replaced the red light of dawn, views of the towering green hills surrounded by turquoise water immediately catching everybody’s eyes. Small karst islands here and there added the beauty of the scenery. Franky, Hadi, Reza & Koh Aliong joined on the upper deck to capture the natural beauty of Wayag with their cameras. At seven, two boats took us all to a small clean white sandy beach of the karst island. Our goal is to climb one of the tallest hilltop in this island cluster.
We may call it a hill, but climbing up the hill in Wayag is not easy at all. Wayag is actually a cluster of karst islands built from & by hard corals over the years. Although it has been covered by various types of trees and other plants over the time, sharp reef is still the main menu on the islands. Steep hills coupled with the sharp reef really made it a difficult climb, but it did not dampen our spirit to reach the hilltop.
After a while , I started regretting my decision to bring the tripod that was felt increasingly heavy on my back.
And finally, after 30 minutes of climbing, we finally reached it’s highest peak in the cluster. All fifteen of us drenched in sweat. But all exhaustion immediately vanished, replaced with the awe feeling when we looked at the amazing landscape view from the top of the hill. The view of group of islands surrounded by turquoise sea, combined with the bright blue sky, no words can really describe the beauty of the landscape. After a moment of stun, everyone started getting busy with their cameras and captured the breathtaking scenery. Weka, Joni and Noak, our guides, were suddenly busy being photographers for the twelve narcissist city boys & girls. And quietly, I cursed my decision to bring the heavy tripod up the hill, as I found out that there was no way to use the tripod on top of this hill due to the narrow & craggy location…
After climbing our way down – which was also not easy and took Ricky’s trekking shoes as the victim – and another photo session on the beach, we went back to Temukira for breakfast and a short break before making the first dive of the day, located on pulau Delapan. And after a short briefing, each group began to move to the dive spot accompanied by the guides. Depth target was 25-30 meters. Just like the previous day, Kasim focused on macro shooting. This time Nia and Koh Aliong also put a macro lens on their cameras. I kept myself busy enjoying the view of the soft corals – hard corals, while observing the three photographers busy taking pictures of the tiny creatures discovered by Noak, our group’s guide who was proven to have a very keen eye on the water and seemed to always know where to find the tiny creatures in the midst of the corals…
The second dive of the day, after lunch, at a dive spot called the Batu Wayag. We went straight to 25 meters depth. The theme was still macro. This time, Noak managed to find some pigmy seahorses and nudibranches. We also found orangutan crab and a transparent shrimp, and a school of Sweetlips that seemingly almost always appeared on every our dive and Clownfishes that were always there in every anemone that we observed. After nearly an hour of diving and photographing, everybody surfaced back to Temukira. Satisfied faces and cheerful chatter, each group compared their findings from the latest dive. After another brief rest, Weka and Joni took us all around the beautiful island cluster using two boats, which of course was an opportunity too good to pass…
Third dive is a night dive. Only Ricky, Vita and Erika decided to dive guided by Weka. I chose to wait for the sunset, and by the time the sun starting to set I decided to go down by boat to shoot the sunset with Temukira silhouettes. Franky and Reza joined in and suddenly we were busy jockeying for position in the narrow boat space instead of shooting photos, each of us tried to get the best position to photograph the sunset. Satisfied with shot we made, the three of us back to the ship and joined the others, this time for another narcissistic photo session with sunset background, waiting for the night-dive group to return before having dinner. Butter fried shrimp, calamari and sauteed vegetables served by Ryan, the chef of the ship on this trip, marked the perfect end of another enjoyable day…
To be continued…
* Photos from this Wayag trip are stored at http://www.ismawanismail.com/gallery/index.php?/category/raja-ampat
Hahaha, tripod was definitely not a grand idea! It was a good trip with the right crowd. You should write our no-flying time activity i.e. karaoke at Happy Puppies Sorong.
yeah, you should’ve told me before the climb, not after it, hahaha..
Don’t worry, I still get the sequel of the story. It’s still just the second day of the trip, the rest is coming soon, just haven’t got a chance to translate it yet..
Really Amazing Site You Built Here!!!