8 – 28 February 2010
S0 33.344 E130 41.075 – Sorido Bay Resort
All too soon, it was time to say our farewells to everyone from this lovely resort. We spent quality working time here often leaving the resort at eight in the morning and coming back, still dripping wet, at seven in the evening when everybody had started with their dinner.
Yogi met the legendary Max Ammer for the first time in the Duesseldorf dive show BOOT in January 2009. As serendipity would have it, Max saw Yogi loitering around the show one early evening, eyeballed Yogi’s name tag, grabbed him and talked about Papua Diving’s Raja Ampat. His opening line was “I saw 10 mantas upon leaving the jetty to start my long journey to come here!” When Yogi explained our WWF Coral Triangle photo expedition to him, Max said to come during the low season and to stay at least two weeks!
Our 3 week stay in Sorido Bay Resort culminated our whooping 8 month activity in Indonesia for this expedition. What a way to say goodbye to Indonesia!
We were well cared for by the energetic Leon Joubert and Claudia Pellarini-Joubert. Too well in fact as we’ve gained so much weight and seriously have to stop eating.
Claudia and Leon manage the resort, simultaneously operating the only full service Underwater Imaging center in the Raja Ampat, using their professional expertise in underwater imaging to educate and inspire their dive guests. If they have the time to spare, they also do international marketing trips to encourage divers to come to Raja Ampat.
It is a great challenge to run a remote luxury dive resort. Dive guests come and go but what they don’t seem to realize is what great difficulties lie behind having an efficient, well oiled machinery that services a descerning dive industry in a far flung area. Electricity have to be powered and water has to be made. Local people are trained from scratch in housekeeping all the way to diving. English lessons to the Papuan staff were even ongoing while we were there!
And of course, the diving. That was after all why we all come here. The dive sites around the resort went on and on, we were spoilt for choice. We had two superb dive guides – Otto and Dolvinus. Otto is a man of few words. One time, Yogi asked him if there would be a wobbegong shark in Pulau Lima. His cryptic answer was “wobbegong is not a giant clam”. Oh we rolled in laughter! Serves Yogi right for asking silly questions.
And finally, this resort loved our WWF flag. Here we had the most use of this adorable WWF logo in every way possible.
And our next destination??? Apo Reef, Philippines.
Indonesia! So long & thanks for all the fish!
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