Our last full day in Waisai began with a very early start so that we could do some bird watching. The birds here in Raja Ampat are incredible and it is so lovely listening to wild birds calling and see birds flying in the sky, a very rare sight through most of Indonesia. I woke up at 4am to have a mandi and be ready to leave by 4:30am. Ega arrived soon afterwards and suddenly Ichal realised that we would need another motorbike to take us. He & Ega immediately set off and about half an hour later turned up with a very generous friend of Ega’s. Together we headed back out to Vaast’s home stay. Even though I was on the friends bike, the trip was no more comfortable than my last trip. I hung on tightly through all the jerky gear changes and steep hills for what seemed like hours. When I finally got off the bike, I discovered that in pushing down so firmly on the pedal for so long, I had pulled a muscle in my quadricep. So when we were greeted by the owner of the home stay that we had arrived too late to go bird watching I was quite relieved. Instead I asked if I could put my head down and before i knew it I was fast asleep and slept for ages. While I was sleeping, Ichal went for a walk anyway and was delighted that he saw a hornbill.
As soon as I woke, Ichal & I went straight out onto the reef to snorkel.
There we saw an amazing variety of fish, some I have never seen before. Beautiful yellow and blue stripped fish, a yellow and black stripped fish and a black and white one were my out and out favourites. The last one because the fish had a black body but it’s white tail looked an unusual shape and I couldn’t work out if it actually was shaped that way or if some of it was transparent. One interesting thing we did see was a huge black sausage shape about 20cm wide and maybe 30cm long. No idea what it was but it was certainly impressive.
Afterwards we went for a walk along the coastline exploring. The tide was right in and so we mostly walked in the shallows enjoying the lovely warm water. Such a lovely change from being hot! It was incredibly scenic with aquamarine clear water and white sand and coconut trees growing right on the waters edge.
We also found the fresh water spring that the owners of the homestay had told us about. Right in the ocean, the spring was gurgling fresh water out into the ocean! Apparently before the put their well in, that was where the family here used to get their water.
After the walk, we went back in the water to snorkel again and thankfully Ichal pointed them out, otherwise I would have totally missed them; 2 cuttlefish. The first one was impressive enough in size but the second one was absolutely enormous maybe up to about 40cm long. It was a mottled brown and yellow colour and perfectly blended in with the coral is was hovering over. The frills along the side were absolutely gorgeous and amazing to watch them propelling the cuttlefish along.
photo by Dave Fleetham (Unfortunaely not my photo!)
Then to top it all off, just as we got out of the water, I looked back and discovered a pod of dolphins frolicking and feeding just where we had been snorkeling. We grabbed our cameras and the fisherman who had recently beached his boat in front of the homestay, offered to take us out closer to watch them. Thankfully he didn’t get too close. The highlight was when a couple of them swan towards us and then vanished at the last minute! A wonderful way to finish my last time snorkeling on Raja Ampat.
I desperately wanted to stay at the homestay for our last few days on Raja Ampat and spend our final day out exploring and snorkeling around some of the local nearby islands, but unfortunately our money ran out and the one and only bank on Waisai only accepts bankcard not visa. A lesson to remember for next time; Visit the ATM in Sorong before heading to Raja Ampat!