Tuesday, 2 June 2015

2nd June - Equator - Pulau Pef - Waisai (Raja Ampat)

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

In my excitement at getting to Waisai, and finding connection to the internet, I forgot to write a bit more about crossing the equator.  I had taken some very spectacular photos.  This is what it looks like:

And here are some equatorial birds, on their improvised raft.

I also didn’t mention going to Pulau Pef.  This is an absolutely beautiful little island, with what seems like a very nifty little resort, run by an Austrian couple. 

We arrived just before dark and pulled up close to the jetty, where we discovered – sigh – that the resort was closed for renovations, as from…yesterday…We had been so looking forward to a restaurant meal, and the use of the resort internet.  But all was well; we were directed around the back of the island, through some very imposing rocks which looked as if they were off the set of Lord of the Rings, 

and into a peaceful sheltered backwater.

MANY birds - not visible!
We were supposed to go and register, and pay for the mooring but…we were just…well there is no word for it other than BUGGERED.  We did not have the energy to lower the dinghy and go and fill in forms.  I have written an apologetic, even possibly groveling, letter to the resort people; I hope they let us come back – we will pay then! 

There were hundreds of birds, twittering, singing, trilling.  We couldn’t really see them at all, but they were entrancing to hear.  And Captain Pete spotted a huge great nest

which impressed us mightily.  We didn’t see anything near big enough to warrant such a nest; maybe the eagles had flown off for their own holiday, along with the resort owners.

0 degrees 26.585S
130degrees 26.636E
Pula Pef mooring – 20m depth; very sheltered

It is quite a long way from our big fat yellow mooring to the town of Waisai.  We decided to hail a water taxi to get us there rather than risking it in the little dinghy.

“Hailing a water taxi” sounds very grand… What we did was wave at a passing dug-out. 

Matias was very happy to take us into town, and to wait to bring us back, for 200,000 rupiyah ($20.  For this amount I think he would have driven us to Pulau Pef and Wayag and back…) 

So we had a few hours in Waisai.  Pete and I have found ourselves more often than you could imagine stuck in a place where everything is closed because it is a public holiday.  For no discernible reason.  Today is a Tuesday and – yes – a public holiday in Waisai!  I think South East Asia has a great many public holidays.  Not sure if the workers get paid, but everything certainly shuts down!

Many boats stuck in the mud
Fortunately the market didn’t shut down and we were able to replenish our supplies of onions, tomatoes, potatoes etc.  We had used every single bit of fresh fruit and veg and we were very happy to get a new lot.

Waisai seemd to me like a Wild West town.  Big wide streets, a certain emptiness.  No tumbleweeds…

But some very interesting shops.  I just loved the Randi Salon and Brydal.  It was full of gorgeous glittery items of clothing, and in the adjoining room (salon) there were women sitting under big old-fashioned hairdryers. 

We got some pulsa (top-up) for our phones.  This transaction was handled with care by a serious young chap

with the most amazingly impractical fingernails.

Most of the children in the street were happily playing marbles in the dust.  Pete stopped to have a go but…he is out of practice.

I think that the Waisai City Council has ideas of grandeur. 

Not quite sure what they are aiming at…

But on the waterfront there is an enormous expanse of parkland under construction.

With an avenue leading to…

Waisai’s very own Eiffel Tower!

Matias was ready and waiting to take us back to 2XS.

As soon as we got back, I leapt into the water.  From his little dugout we had been able to see beautiful clear water and gorgeous coral – I was going for a look!  Yesterday the tide had been very strong and there was no way of swimming in any direction other than – whoosh THAT way!  But today it was all gentle and easy and I had a wonderful swim.

Unfortunately my underwater camera refused to take more than one (rather pathetic…) photo

of a lovely fish which has  taken up residence near the propeller. 

Tomorrow we are going to stay here on the mooring before we go to Sorong to pick up our faithful friend John Miedecke on the 5th.  He is going to LOVE Raja Ampat!!

Today's BirthdayBoy:

Gavin Wakefield!

Gav in the air!

1 comment:

  1. It is so interesting to see glimpses of such different lives to what we accept as normal here.