tritonbaydivers

tritonbaydivers

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.

Endangered Sharks Used for Fish Liver Oil

IMG_4258WildLifeRisk, a Hong Kong based conservation group, recently investigated a shark processing plant in China’s ZheJiang province. Article below from the South China Morning Post:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1415351/inside-worlds-biggest-shark-abattoir-shocking-pictures-show-scale

As divers, we’re all aware of the threat to shark populations from shark-fining, but do you know that endangered species such as basking sharks, whale sharks, and great whites are being processed for fish oil and other non-essentials such as lipstick, face cream, and other health supplements? The oil wouldn’t be called “shark liver oil” but rather “fish liver oil”. In addition, whale shark skins are sold to Chinese restaurants in Europe as fish skins or fish gelatin.

This plant produced over 20 tons of oil from basking sharks, 100 tons of oil from blue sharks, and went through over 600 whale sharks last year…please spread the word as education and awareness will help stop the killing.

The Road Less Traveled

Sunset over Triton Bay

It is now going on three years this path that I have taken, and though ahead lies a lot of hard work, the destination is finally in sight .  I don’t presume that, like Robert  Frost, this road will make “all the difference” but in many ways it already has.  I guess I could call this first blog entry “The Road Never Traveled” as it is a more apt description of what we are attempting to build here in Triton Bay, but then I wouldn’t be able to quote Robert Frost…

At the moment, I can’t help but recall all the possibilities I explored: partners, locations, liveaboard vs. resort, and I think I can say I’m happy with my choices. There was never any doubt of Triton Bay as a suitable location for diving, the issue was (and still is) whether I could marshal enough resources to overcome the cultural, language, regulatory, and numerous other obstacles. But along the way I managed to find a business partner who was willing to invest and help build the resort. And I have to credit Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock, whose work I relied heavily upon in my initial survey of the area. Finally, a word must be said for Conservation International – if they were not committed to the area, I would not have looked to come.

So here we are, half done and hopeful that you will visit us in Kaimana Regency to see for yourself what the earth and oceans were like before the arrival of modern civilization. See you soon!

Jimmy