End of our first season in Triton Bay

We certainly had our hands full when our first guests arrived on Aiduma island, with our building contractors still hard at work and the restaurant not yet finished, but we got lucky with two fabulous and chilled out guests from Spain – Maria & Guillem and some lovely weather!

All meals were served on the beach in front of the guest bungalows under the sun and stars, with only one night of rain which was the night we finally had half the roofing on the restaurant, so luckily manged to stay dry. During their visit we also managed to go and experience an event  which only takes place once every 2 years – the collecting of Conch or at least the Indonesian equivalent. And Maria and Guillen jumped in to give a helping hand.

Maria   Collecting Conch Conch season

 

 

 

 

This was followed by guests: Martin from Switzerland, Theresa & Joe from USA, my parents from the UK, Gordon & Ian from USA, Katherine, Lilly, Steve, Anthony and Telly from Hong Kong, Charlie from UK, Connie from Germany, Aurelio from Spain and finally Paul and Jenny from the USA…. Not a bad start and I’m pleased to say everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves with some great photos and video to show for it!!

We even managed to find some time to check out some new dive sites and had some great finds, including Harlequin Shrimp, the endemic Flasher wrasse to this region, Mandarin fish, hairy shrimp and Pontohi and Bargibanty Pygmy seahorse. We even spotted the blue ringed octopus on a couple of occasions.

Pontohi Pygmy Seahorse 3 mating mandarin Flasher wrasse by Lilly

 

 

 

 

 

Harlequin Shrimp

Bargibanti6

Hairy shrimp

 

 

 

 

 

But we should not forget our larger encounters. Our guest Charlie was the luckiest of all and spent several hours hanging out with 5 whale sharks at the local bagans in our area. One extremely lucky lady! We have also had close encounters with mantas, devil rays, eagle rays, mobular rays as well as lazy wobbegong sharks! On top of this the soft coral and marine life here still blows my mind even after all this time!

Coral Reef in Triton Bay by Gordon TillenWobbegong

 

 

 

 

 

Charlies Whale shark encounterCoral Reef by Ian Kerr

 

 

 

 

 

We are now closed for the East Monsoon season, carrying out some general maintenance and doing some landscaping etc  and will be opening again in September. We are looking forward to calmer weather and warmer waters, so we can get out diving again and find some more new sites and great critters. And of course to welcoming our new guests to this little piece of paradise.

Thank you to everyone involved for making the first half of this year fabulous!  And thank you to our guests for some great photos!

 

Pygmy Paradise?

Over the past few months we have been diving in Triton Bay, we have been fortunate to see our fair share of pygmy seahorses.  They have been found on almost every site we dive – though not on every dive as they sometimes are just not there, having moved on or for whatever reason.  Most common by far are the Bargibanti, both pink and yellow, but we have also seen Denise, Pontohi (in various colors), and Severns.  On one sea fan in Bo’s Rainbow we counted more than 20 Bargibanti, and it is common for us to find sea fans with families of 5~8 individuals.  Below are a few pics taken over two dives last week.  Enjoy!

Diving the House Reef

Here’s a gallery of the animals we’ve found on our house reef so far.  Still missing pictures of the LSD Mandarin Fish (or Picturesque Dragonette).  Photos of the Flasher Wrasse and Harlequin Shrimp by Lily Cheng.  We do have Flasher Wrasse on the house reef, but her picture was taken at another location.  Only three pictures of the Saron (Marble) Shrimp so far, but we know there are at least 5 different species here.  This blog entry will be updated as we get more pictures!

Update June 2:  Two pictures of the Flasher Wrasses found on our house reef by recent guest Connie Thieme.  One is the standard P. Nursalim and the other is a hybrid (part P. Nursalim, part Blue Flasher).  The other addition is a Saron Shrimp (Marble Shrimp) taken under black light – very cool!  To see more of Connie’s pics from her stay with us, please see the Guest Galleries page.

Update June 21: picture of mating Mandarin fish added!

Building Triton Bay Divers

Come my friends, tis not too late to seek a newer world” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Perhaps we do not need, like Tennyson’s Ulysses and his mariners, to look for a new world but rather renew the one we live in now. We are a global community, connected like never before, and with an inter-continental flight we can go from our ultra-modern cities to the most remote lands. The mistakes made by first world countries in our rush to economic development are being made everywhere around the planet, and sadly there are few places like Triton Bay now. Such places need to be accessible to all but they also need to be preserved, and it was in this spirit that this project was conceived.

Building this resort was an act of faith, a daily test of patience, a compromise between different visions. Speaking strictly for myself, there were many times I thought it was not supposed to be this hard. Before construction even began I had almost given up a dozen times. But I believe the Universe doesn’t give us more than we can handle, and somehow this project that has taken the last two and a half years is finally almost complete.

To nature lovers everywhere, we humbly present Triton Bay Divers. If all who come here can escape from their busy lives and find peace and tranquility, our purpose will be achieved.

Jimmy

Our First Visitors

Triton Bay Divers had the pleasure of welcoming our very first “official” visitors at the end of February, Maria & Guillem, a very kind and understanding couple from Barcelona, Spain.  Maria and Guillem, you will always be welcome back here if you wish to return.

Unofficially, our first visitors were Susan & Dana, a couple who first sailed here in October aboard their yacht, the Villa G.  Susan & Dana then traveled Raja Ampat, met several people aboard other yachts, and brought everyone to Triton Bay in February. So we met some new friends: Jon & Sue aboard the luxury catamaran Ocelot, Peter, Melya & family aboard Per Ardua, and Patrick & Rebecca aboard Brickhouse.  Unfortunately, Brickhouse had to leave early as their visa was ending so we could not get a proper photo, but below are some pictures of Maria & Guillem, Dana & Susan, and the yachts Villa G, Ocelot, and Per Ardua moored in front of the resort.

 

Update on Construction

Having been at the construction site for most of the past few months, we have not had much of an opportunity to properly update the website.  However, it is time for a little update on the progress of the resort. The good news is that the workers are on schedule to complete the resort by mid-to-late Feb and we should be ready to accept our very first guests at that time! Apologies to those of you who wanted to come for Christmas – we tried but unfortunately we can’t get it done by then.

Each building is at a different stage of completion, with the kitchen and staff rooms mostly done, but only the foundations have been built for the restaurant. Below are a few pictures taken in the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, as the holidays approach, Triton Bay Divers would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015!

Jimmy

Breaking Ground

After a quiet summer finishing up much of the required paperwork & permits and negotiating with contractors, we finally began construction of the resort in early September. Construction is scheduled to be completed some time in February if everything goes smoothly. This is later than what we had hoped for, but this is Papua and there are no strict timetables for anything so you take what you can get.

At the moment, workers are focused on completing the concrete buildings (kitchen, dive center, storage area) and the staff quarters as we wait for the wood that will be used for the restaurant and guest bungalows to dry. The pond, which will be essential in draining the land, is only partially complete as we await building materials to be delivered.

Rain has hampered construction somewhat, but the strong winds that were constant throughout August and September have died down and the weather warms. Water temperature, which drops down to as low as 24 degrees in the summer, is also slowly increasing and will soon top out to a very comfortable 28~29 degrees.

One of the things that we wanted for the resort was that it faced the west (there is an Indonesian song about Kaimana’s sunset), however that just wasn’t to be. However, as the winter months approach (for those in the northern hemisphere), the sun moves south and we are pleasantly surprised to find that we actually have a very nice sunrise every morning around 6:00 am!

Camping with the Papuans

In four days last week, myself and eight Papuans prepped most of the land on Waala Beach, the site of our resort, for the builders who hopefully will be arriving in July.  I was amazed by the Papuans’ ability to live off the land and fashion what they need from what they have on hand.  Camping out with them over those few days was like a wilderness survival course.  They cut up a large log that had washed up the on the beach to make picnic tables, and built tents using tarp and some driftwood. They can build a fire in the middle of the jungle in minutes using old coconut shells for kindling, and can keep it going for hours.  Using a strip of bamboo to divert the natural flow of water over the rocks, they made a shower for washing.  I brought enough food for me from Kaimana, however they brought only rice, relying on local fishermen to come by with their daily catch.  And if the fishermen didn’t come on a particular day, they ate plain rice cooked in a kettle over a fire.

For us divers, the focus is on the coral and fish in these reefs, but I would like to say that the diversity of life underwater here is matched or surpassed by the diversity in the jungle.  It is estimated that there are thousands of species yet to be discovered by scientists in the interior of New Guinea, and during those few days I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of that on our little piece of land.

Jimmy

Slow Process… But worth it!

I can’t believe its been a year now since my first trip over to Kaimana Regency and Triton Bay, to check out what there was on offer above and below the waves and to meet with the local land owners to discuss the opportunity for us to work together in building the first ever dive resort in the region…..

Having lived and worked in Indonesia for some years I know things take time, but I think it takes even longer in West Papua!

That said I am excited to be heading back to Triton Bay next week to finalize all the paperwork and start to prepare the land.  And of course to do some amazing diving and find some new dive sites which we will be more than happy to share with you once Triton Bay Divers is up and running next year!

Whale Shark Triton Bay

Looking forward to blowing bubbles again…

Leeza 

 

 

Polar Vortex, Rain in Indonesia Consistent with Climate Change

Polar VortexThe severe winter storms of 2013-2014 in North America and the UK, and increased rainfall in Indonesia and the western Pacific Ocean are both consistent with global warming, according to a joint report issued by the UK Meterological Office and the UK Office of Ecology and Hydrology.  The report suggested that both events were the result of changes to the jet stream (fast flowing currents of air high in the Earth’s atmosphere) over North America and the Pacific.  Higher than normal ocean temperatures in the Pacific resulted in increased rainfall there and increased the flow of the Pacific jet stream, deflecting it northward.  This in turn lead to the creation of a much stronger North Atlantic jet stream that brought polar air down to Canada and the United States and storms to the UK.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/2014/uk-storms-and-floods

Ultimately, all weather on this planet is related and the causes of these increasingly intense weather phenomenon are often found half a world away.  As can be seen by the intensity of this year’s winter weather in North America, global warming is too complex to be described by generalizations such as “winters should be warmer and summers should be hotter”.  Deniers of climate change say that the Earth’s climate has been constantly changing for billions of years, however what they fail to realize is that the changes over the past 100 years have in the past taken millions of years to play out.  Sadly, it is likely we will have to deal with more frequent and extreme weather phenomenon before we, as a global community, acknowledge our role in their creation.