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Landscapes and Seascapes of Raja Ampat

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8 – 27 February 2010

S0 33.344 E130 41.075 – Sorido Bay Resort
S0 25.645 E130 33.704 – The Passage between Gam & Waigeo
S0 30.920 E130 27.736 – Yambraimuk blue water mangroves

While we were in North Raja Ampat, we were incredibly fortunate to have professional photographers and videographers Claudia & Leon Joubert document our stay and experience in what is arguably the epicenter of marine biodiversity. Claudia Pellarini-Joubert and Leon Joubert of the Bittenbysharks.com fame work with Max Ammer to manage and market Sorido Bay Resort.

Click and watch their video here of “Yogi and Stella in Raja Ampat“.

From the big picture all the way zooming in to the small critter, Raja Ampat keeps one riveted and awestruckFrom the big picture all the way zooming in to the small critter, Raja Ampat keeps one riveted and awestruck

Not a single day were we not blown away by the varied sceneries here in Raja Ampat. We were so greedy in seeing everything that even if three weeks with Papua Diving may seem like a lot of time, it was seriously not enough. The dinner table story telling by Max made Yogi rub his goatee thinking, hmmm, when can we come back here again? West Papua is such a massive area – a place with more secrets to tell and more wonders to be discovered – one of the last remaining frontiers still with remote unchartered territories. Sounds adventurous? You cannot begin to imagine!

Narrow base holding small island outcrops like this seem to defy gravity. What we're not showing is the wider side view :)Narrow base holding small island outcrops like this seem to defy gravity. What we're not showing is the wider side view 🙂 The Passage holds a magical place photographers love, a cave with topside illumination! The Passage holds a magical cavern photographers love - an underwater cave with topside illumination! The sun illuminating the topside foliage shows off this massive gorgonian fan in the shallows in a different lightThe sun illuminating the topside foliage shows off this massive gorgonian fan in the shallows in a different light

When not diving, much of our activities were spent snorkelling in shallow waters. The blue water mangroves were our favorite hangout place for many many days – blue water mangroves with coral reefs fighting for space in amongst the mangrove roots! It was like if we thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! Here are some samples of shallow (less than a meter) wonders:

This bright red dendronephthya soft coral is attached to a mangrove root and the water around us was indeed BLUE! Not your usual murky mangrove environment! This bright red dendronephthya soft coral is attached to a mangrove root and the water around us was indeed BLUE! Not your usual murky mangrove environment! Unbelievable corals of many different species grew in one meter depths beside the mangroves. Corals are very busy procreating here!Unbelievable corals of many different species grew in"coral tips touching the surface" depths right beside the mangroves. Corals are very busy procreating here! Rain or shine we were out there photographing. Here, on an extremely low tide, corals grow till the water surfaceRain or shine we were out there photographing. Here, on an extremely low tide, corals grow till the water surface Much like freshwater arowanas, these archerfish stay in the water surface, gulps in water to spit on an unknowing insects perched on a leaf or branch of mangrovesMuch like freshwater arowanas, these archerfish stay in the water surface, gulps in water to spit on unknowing insects perched on a leaf or branch of mangroves And these half beaks roam along the surface with the archerfishes And these half beaks roam along the surface with the archerfishes And in 10 meter depths in the mangrove area we found this massive porites hard coral that may be centuries old!!!And in 10 meter depths in the mangrove area, we found this massive porites hard coral that may be several centuries old!!! These are very slow growing corals perhaps around 9mm/year, scientists say

On the subject of rising water levels, I asked our boat guides if they remember how it was when they were young, living in the nearby village. Was the beach farther than it is now? They thought for a while and tried to remember. And their answer is yes – this beach was about 10 meters away.

Noticed a whole beach full of these coconut trees with almost all their roots exposedThe whole beach full of these coconut trees with half their roots exposed

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Comments


  • clau

    just amaizing. mother earth is so kind.

  • ingrid sanger

    Beautiful, hope Indonesian government will protect it’s island….

  • ingrid sanger

    Beautiful…. hope Indonesian government will protect it’s island.

  • Robert

    Hey, I thought you said you were getting tired of all the traveling and diving and hauling gear and the daily grind of having to keep a smile on Yogi’s face. . . Looks like you are living in something of a endless dreamstate of phantasmagorical coralline fantasyland and luxury resort living and your whole reason for doing this blog is just to make the rest of us feel like we live in drab little grayscale lives without meaning or even the slightest bit of joy. . . Okay, you win! You’re doing what everyone else would like to do. Enough already!! I think you should both get on a plane and go shoot an assignment in some less fabulous place, perhaps Haiti or Chile or some horribly poisonously drab place like Chernobyl. . .
    I think it was the cute little yellow toy plane and the goofy childlike look on Yogi’s face that tipped it over the edge. . . You guys are just having way too much fun and you should feel very guilty and spoiled.

    But seriously, well done, good work and keep the beautiful images coming.
    Robert

    • http://www.jurgenfreund.com Stella Chiu-Freund

      We miss you a LOT too Robert!

  • miranti

    I think, a blog like this can help beautiful Island like Papua.
    I guess, Some of you must tell Indonesian government why they must protect this island. Because, I think Indonesia like to build & to grow their(which also my country) country like any other high tech, modern, develop countries.
    & there where we – Indonesian sometimes forget that we also have what people from other high tech, modern, develop countries like to have too..
    Humans.. we always want what the other persons have, right?!? 🙂
    Glad that you like some part of my country, even though I know just how “panas” it is.

  • arie

    papua is nice island , i think this island can be a one destination in indonesia and around the world ……
    thanx ….

  • http://www.hightechlandscapes.com/ hightechlandscapes

    Really amazing photographs..love to see more…