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Old 11-28-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Paisley!!
Loving your report and photos, A!
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Old 11-28-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys. Let's continue....

The next day it was time to say goodbye to my new australian friends as their week was over and they had to leave. Monday I went diving with two southafrican women and we expected the new guests monday evening. They didn't arrive though. In the night we had an earthquake. My bungalow shook for about 10 seconds. Not a big deal... when I came to breakfeast the next morning I asked whether the other guests had felt the earthquake and I laughed when I heard that one of the southafricans hadn't known what it was and she had taken a lamp and checked under the bed if somebody was lying there shaking the bungalow. Her friend had known what it was but didn't tell her because she knew that her friend would have freaked out...

When the new guests arrived early on tuesday morning we heard that the motor of the boat had exploded when fortunately nobody of them was on board. So nobody was hurt except the motor... I had been told that a new dive guide from Manado (Sulawesi) would arrive with them and when I saw somebody walking over the jetty I thought 'Is that possible???' I went over to check and when I was close I said ''Handry???' He turned around and it was 'Aaaaaandreaa....' I knew him from my vacation in Sulawesi last year. If you check my the report from last year you will find a guide with dreadlocks. That was Handry. It was so much fun to see him again since I thought I wouldn't see him during my vacation.... small world.

I have only dive pics from two days and I finally spent some time in my hammock in the afternoons... Started to play around with my macro lense for my camera too...



























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Old 11-28-2011   #18 (permalink)
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You promised this report to be spectacular. You kept your word.
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Old 11-28-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Don't have a lot of pics from the next day as I didn't take the cam in the water for the first dive as there was a strong current. When we came up after 30 minutes we could barely see our boat any more. I think it was that day that I had two situations that were not easy and without the experience I easily could have panicked. The first situation was during the first dive. Towards the end we wanted to go up to our safety stop. We were at 16 metres (45 ft). Suddenly I saw only bubbles around me and couldn't see the other divers any more. When I checked my computer I was going down instead of up. I put air in my jacket so I would go up but my computer was beeping like crazy because I went up too fast. I didn't care in that moment because I needed to go up... Once the current didn't take me down anymore I stopped the fast ascent and went up slower. When I thought back afterwards it was somehow scary (but I had known that something like that could happen).

After the first dive we went (as most of the times) on a deserted island to spend the surface break there. Next year I will bring my big camera for these breaks more often....





The flabellina-picture reminded me of the second not fun situation on that day. The southafrican had seen something at about 28 metres (82 ft) and I went down to see what it was. When everyone else was already going up I checked but couldn't see anything... so I tried to go up after them but couldn't. Tried again but was stuck. It was a 'what the heck???'-moment but then I looked down and saw that my reefhook had fallen out of my pocket and was stuck in the reef. I got it out and was able to go up. Since I didn't want to go up too fast I stopped for a moment and that was when I saw the flabellina. Working on this pic for the report I just discovered that there were probably two of them....




Pregnant shrimp...
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Old 11-28-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Uno, I never promise anything I can't keep...
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Old 11-28-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Btw. here is one of my companions that I saw from my deck very often... the lagoon is a kindergarden for all kinds of fish. This is a baby blacktip shark.


One evening I heard a noise on one wall in my bungalow and what I found was this little guy. That's what you get when you stay in an eco-resort...


Let's continue. The next day we went back to the passage. That day the ocean was so calm that the sky was mirrored in it. Haven't seen anything like that before....


Checked on manta point again but for the 3rd time no manta...
The pearl farm


Then it was hidden bay again. The entry to the canal...




This looks like a half and half but I was not in the water when I took this pic...


I didn't take the cam in the water this time and just snorkelled without it. After everyone was back on the boat we went over to the passage and were happy to have only a slow current. Went in the water and geeeez did we have a strong current after about 5 minutes. So it was plan B again and I was glad I had brought the reefhook. Not easy to take pics when the current is so strong....


Small beautiful flatworm




After the dive we went back to our 'lunch place'. My companion had a shower first.


This is the shower. One person can stand under it.






Then we went to the mushroom islands again. They looked nicer in the sun but still not as nice as I would have liked...


After this pic the batteries of my 'big' cam died. Little did I know that it had problems with the akkus afterwards and that I would have to send it in for repairs after my vacation *sigh*


Then we went over to dive on Mioskon Island but Dex decided to check out the current on Sardine's (one of his favourite dives) and he came out of the water smiling all over his face. Then we did one of the best dives I have had in Raja Ampat. Normally you have lots of fish only with strong current. But that day we had lots of fish without current. It was perfect for photographers....

Buffalo parrothead - LOVE those guys...






We swam by those barracudas and they didn't move - it was amazing...




Beautiful fans as well...














Even when we had to finish the dive there were still lots of fish...


That dive was just AMAZING.
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Old 11-28-2011   #22 (permalink)
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It is easy to tell the tale of the next day because I spent it entirely in my hammock... I think Mel, the german manager, came over in the afternoon and we had a chat but I had a headache and didn't really feel like diving. In the evening though we had one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen. The sky seemed to explode in colours....





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Old 12-03-2011   #23 (permalink)
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I was getting sadder the more days passed. I think I fell in love with the Papua Paradise Resort and my time there was coming to an end. Three more days to go....

We went to dive the P47-dive site where you can see a P47-plane.


Reef life if beautiful on that dive


Spent the surface break on Wai Island. It is inhabited and the little boy (maybe 2 years old) was a real cutie. There were lots of dogs who always came to find food when we arrived. Dex mostly fed them but a few of them were very thin.


I am amazed at how this nudi could hold up on things that just look like hair... guess there is no gravity under water.


Love these worms...


Transparent shrimp


Nudi


Crocodile fish


I LOVE the dark red clownfish....


Another nudi...


I found it funny how the seastar was sprawled out under the feather star...


Small pipefish


My home is my castle...
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Old 12-03-2011   #24 (permalink)
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That evening we went for the dragonet-dive. The dragonets in Raja Ampat are very silimilar to mandarin fish. Unfortunately we didn't see any... that's nature...

What we found instead (although I really saw them only afterwards on the pics) were the transparent shrimp


The next day was my last full dive day in Raja Ampat. We went on an all day excursion again and it was a day full of surprises. I think I took the camera in the water only for 2 out of 4 dives that day. Let's start with the overwater stops. We went back to the 'honeymoon suite' (which is how we called the house on that deserted island).
Handry playing Sumo-wrestler (yeah, he knows he needs to eat more )


Love the colour of the water


And this is the honeymoon suite...


We made up the most creative breefing board that I have ever seen... For non-divers: before the dive you get an explanation of where you will go under water and what to expect. This here was for Cape Kri, a wonderful drift dive that I enjoyed a lot (no cam though).


After Cape Kri we went to Mioskon Island which is not inhabited either. It was saturday and indonesian families had come over to spend the day on the island too. When we arrived we saw something very impressing: thousands of flying foxes came out of the trees...




Our boat




After lunch we relaxed some and then we went back to Sardine's. Again not a lot of current so I took the cam in the water. I LOVE napoleon wrasses... (but the mackerels look spooky ).




Please - hold the line...


Lots of fish again


Although trigger fish are beautiful I go away when I see them. I know that they attack divers when they are breeding (and you never know if they are...)


Beautiful corals...




And then the swarm was all around me




When Mel and I came up we saw 4 blacktip reefsharks. This is the only one I got on a pic as they were too far away (not that I complain when sharks stay away from me... )


We went back to the resort afterwards. Since we hadn't found the dragonet the evening before and it was my last chance Dex and I went for the sunset dive. Found interesting things but again no dragonet. Well, one more reason to return next october...


Flatworms


Do you see the transparent shrimp?


This here is a very rare creature and when Dex found it he was obviously so happy that I thought he had found the dragonet. But no, this is a mushroom anemone pipefish. Actually there were two of them in that anemone but they are a bitch to take pics of...
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Old 12-03-2011   #25 (permalink)
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The next morning I was able to do one last dive as my flight was only at 10 AM the next day.

Green Starfish


Nudi traffic


Shrimp with eggs


Not sure the nudi knew where it was going...






When everyone else went for the second dive I went into my hammock again. LOVED the hammock on the deck. After lunch I went to take some more pics of the resort. My home for two weeks..


The area behind... there is a stand from which you can watch birds.


They are planting a lof flowers right now...


The numbers on the boat indicate the number of the bungalow so if you see your number you know that you have to leave the main 'road'.




The jetty


The beach


The jetty again (and you can already see that the weather was changing)


So I wasn't really surprised when it started to rain. Happens when you are in the tropics.


Another beautiful sunset...


And now probably think I am drunk... nooooo. I was just not able to catch the fluorescence of the fish better. For next year I will have to find out how I can do that. This is the only pic I have that is not completely black. There was something in the water that reminded me of fireflies: it was glowing and then the glow disappeared. And I DID have a firefly outside of my moscito net one evening. I doubt it went in the water though. It was amazing to watch the glowing lights in the water, hadn't seen anything like that before....


Had to say my goodbyes to everyone after dinner as we had to leave at 5 AM the next morning. I went to my bungalow to pack my stuff. When I turned to go into my bathroom at some point I saw something green and big in the door staggering around. It was the size of a praying mantis but I don't think it was one. Since that insect was too big for my comfort zone I checked on my neighbour and he still had the light on. And he saved me by removing the 'beast'. Thanks again, Jim.

Went to bed happy that I had just spent two wonderful weeks in a beautiful and peaceful spot but sad that I had to leave....

Last edited by Andiline; 12-07-2011 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 12-03-2011   #26 (permalink)
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The next morning at 5 Joe had prepared breakfast but I am not really a breakfeast person. I drank a coffe but didn't want to exagerate since I knew that I wouldn't have a restroom for a couple of hours.

We left at 6 AM while it was still pitch dark and a thunderstorm was going over us. This is the boat and I can tell you that I didn't feel very confident in it... it got better when the sun came out but still... I was glad when we arrived in Sorong after nearly 3 hours...


At the airport Rome negotiated a little bit for me as my luggage was (again) too heavy. But I knew that in advance and the surcharge wasn't really that much. Went into the gate area and waited for my flight to Manado/Sulawesi.

For some reason I had gotten a window seat (normally I prefer aisle) but in this case I was happy about it. While we were still at the airport.


Here you can see the Papua Paradise Resort


This is the entire Birie Island so you can see that I was really in the middle of nowhere...


Once again reflections on the water...


Who would have guessed that this is a volcano?


A driver from TwoFish Divers was already waiting for me at the airport and we were on our way to the harbour. Along the way I saw this sign and thought that this sounded more swiss than indonesian.


When we arrived at the island of Bunaken (took some time since the motor was overheated) it was low tide and we had to walk through the water. I hadn't known that and had put on jeans for the flight. I tried to move the jeans up as high as possible but still had to wash it afterwards...

The manager waited for me and after the formalities I was shown to my room. When I saw it I had the feeling like someone had thrown a bucket of icewater on me. It was broom closet with shared bathroom. My shock must have shown on my face because I was immediately asked if something was wrong and I told the manager that I had thought that I had a bungalow (with my OWN bathroom!). She sent me to lunch and when I came back the problem was solved for the next 4 days as they had a bungalow available that I could have.

I will continue with the overwater adventures and do underwater afterwards. I stayed in Bunaken 4 nights and stayed out of the water for one entire day since my ears started to hurt. In addition to that I had problems with my sinuses. Earlier this year it looks like I got hayfever but I have never had any problems with it before and didn't think about having problems with it while travelling. I know better now and in the future I will have allergy meds with me whenever I am travelling.

When I started diving the next day I was put into a buddy team with the 'cajuns' Jackie and Hank. We were a good team. Since Jackei and Hank were interested in the island as well we decided to walk over to 'Bunaken-city' one afternoon. Which is what we did.

The bar at Two Fish Divers


Jackie and Hand at the entrance to the resort


Mangroves


The 'highway' into the city.


I have no idea what this is supposed to mean but I can read the work 'klakson' which is why I think that this tells people that they are not allowed to use the signal-horn.


Children playing in front of a house


This is something I always find funny in Indonesia: they sell gas in cola bottles...


Washing mashine Bunaken-style


Pets...


This looked like 'main street'


This is inside a beautiful church which was rather big.


Not sure what these signs are supposed to say...


And this is the big church. I think it was catholic. There was a writing on it. I think it was 'Jesus loves you'


This is the old entrance to the city that welcomed guests


A B&B


I think this gate was prepared by a school


This is the new pier. The strange thing about it was.... once it was on the beach there was no connection whatsoever... no street leading into the village... it doesn't look like anyone uses it but I think it is in use


Playing around in the sand (of the dirty beach)


Nice house, huh?


And I admired the creativity they used for the flower pots.


On the road back we came by the cemetery as well. This grave was astounding..

Last edited by Andiline; 12-07-2011 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 12-03-2011   #27 (permalink)
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Those were already the overwater highlights... Like I said I wasn't there long. When I wasn't diving I spent my time again in my hammock (can you tell I love hammocks? ).

While I was in Bunaken I did 6 dives. Part were walls which could have been nice but when you want to take pictures and someone is below you the bubbles are a pain in the a§$%. We did have some strong currents too but fortunately I left out the worst ones (Jackie told me about them afterwards).


One thing I loved in Bunaken were the giant sponges.


Guess this is a pole dancing nudi...


Always on the watch-out


Beautiful fish


Don't get spooked it is just an oyster....


Small white scorpion fish


Goby on a whip coral


Whenever I saw these I thought about footballs (soccer balls).


The pufferfish looked comfortable...


Love clownfish...


And again giant clams


And giant sponges


Lots of fish




Not exactly sure what this was but it was something that has been put there to create an artificial reef


Sand eels


This murray eel seems to have been hurt on the head


Turtle


Beautiful fan here as well


Tis sponge looked like a heart to me


I was fascinated by the different sizes of the clown fish...


Swarm of catfish babies


Aaaaaaand at last: the PONTOHI pygmy seahorse. It was really, really tiny and I was happy that somehow I found it on my pics.
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Old 12-03-2011   #28 (permalink)
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Andrea! Fantastic as usual!! My sister was just in Papua New Guinea for a birding trip and she experienced something similar to your closet & shared bathroom story. She was equally as unpleased.
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Old 12-04-2011   #29 (permalink)
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Your pictures are fantastic.
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Old 12-05-2011   #30 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys. I will continue later this week. Still have troubles with my arms and can't spend too much time on the computer these days.
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