October 12, 2010 Leave a comment
September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
June 12, 2010 3 Comments
At first it looked as if the whale shark was going to have Mike as a small morning snack but it turned out they became really good friends. We had the privilege of witnessing something very special on a two hour meet and greet with some very friendly whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay Papua where we stayed in the Ahe dive resort. All is going really well on this scubasigns project and we receive more and more guests that like us are amazed with the whale sharks and their behaviour.
Note… at the Ahe Dive Resort we follow a strict no touch, chase or in any other way harm a whale shark policy .. so far the divers/snorklers comply but the whale sharks just won’t listen.
April 23, 2010 3 Comments
When diving with the whale sharks at Ahe, you don’t just see one swimming by but they stay at the same location for hours. Sometimes we encounter a few (2-3) but if you are lucky it is teaming with whale sharks.. record stands at 10 individuals during one dive. The reason for them staying at one spot is because they like to suck on the nets of the soft net fishing boats. These boats go out fishing at night using bright lights to attract the bigger fish. They use smaller fish to attract even more. The smaller fish are kept in a big net under the boat and the whale sharks swim up to these nets and start sucking on them. We don’t yet know why. .is it because they can suck the small fish through the maze, is it because the plankton concentration is higher? We have yet got to find out. Here are some pictures of the whale sharks in action…. Ps.. we have found out that the two days after full moon we don’t encounter whale sharks / reason is very simple, because then there is another big ‘light’ in the sky and the boats don’t go out fishing using their lamps. The days after full moon also the visibility gets worse (see the difference in water color in the pictures). Normally we do get up to 50 meters!! We have now set up a partnership with various organisations to find out more about the behaviour of these magnificent animals. Mike and I will stay on one of these fishing boats for a couple of days to see if we can find out more and the dive team will start a whale shark identifying project to see if we can understand how large the whale shark population is and if some of them have been seen in other parts of the world before. More will follow in the course of June. What is also very interesting to see is their behaviour when we are diving with them. It is a policy around the world that snorkling with whale sharks is prefered above diving because the whale sharks are afraid of the bubbles. We see that around here it is completely different. They swim into the bubbles on purpose because they somehow like the feeling, they will even try to ‘gulp’ the bubbles with their mouths. The whale sharks come up to you very close as long as you stay very calm and relaxed and don’t chase them as some torpedo. We see that when we don’t interfere with their behaviour and keep our cool they come up to us. They check us out to around one meter in front of us and then gently choose direction.
March 5, 2010 Leave a comment
One of the local Dive guides on Ahe Michael Wabes was unfortunate enough to step on a stingray. Not for the first time…. for the 5th time. There are a lot of stingrays of varying sorts around Ahe, but none of us or the other divers ever got stung. Michael appears to be a magnet to these animals. The pain inflicted is of the category … ‘ really ouch ”’ in the first hour to hour and a half after the sting / it went straight through the shoe of his fin by the way. Fortunate enough the medical post at Mambor (15 minutes by boat) offered quick assistence so Michael was back on his feet and diving again within a day. Want to know how to best treat a stingray sting? visit this link.
February 12, 2010 4 Comments
Ahe is fully owned by the local community and is developed with the help of the government and kind donations from people & organizations that want to preserve the beauty of these waters for future generations. The people of the Harlem Islands (of which Ahe is part) are committed to make this work and believe that eco dive tourism will generate a more sustainable income from their ‘living treasure’ than practices such as shark finning and dynamite fishing. Everyone visiting Ahe as a dive tourist will prove them right.
Your visit to the island is a big support and we can assure you we will do everything possible to give you an unforgettable holiday. Don’t expect any luxury. TV’s, airco’s, swimming pools and that kind of stuff isn’t available on Ahe (nor will be). If however warm and friendly people, pristine diving, encounters with whale sharks, dolphins, sharks, rays, turtles and living Robinson style is your cup of tea and you are an experienced diver… then don’t hesitate.
The accomodation (private wooden bungalows) is basic and in traditional Papuan style. They are clean and (speaking from experience) sleep very well. The food is good and all diving facilities are in excellent condition. Staff is still being trained on the several tasks of running a dive resort. At this stage we welcome experienced divers that are also keen on helping them in their efforts to learn more about what is required to service tourists. Skills and knowledge on resort management, eco system, diving, dive gear etc.. are all much appreciated!
So how do you get there?
You will need to find your way to the city of Nabire. Nabire can be reached with a short flight from Biak. Biak can be reached from Makassar. Garuda Indonesia services flights straight from Jakarta with a short stop in Makassar to Biak, so does Merpati. From Nabire it is 45 minutes in a traditional boat to Ahe Island. The flight from Biak to Nabire can not be booked via the internet or regular travel agents / we are more than happy to arrange this locally for you.
Costs… Jakarta – Biak (roundtrip around 400 euro) Biak-Nabire (roundtrip around 150 euro)
So what are you waiting for??
Explore the surrounding waters together with the dive team, drink fresh coconut during your surface interval, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and watch the sun go down as hundreds of frigate birds return to the island. Unwinding adventure! Want to come? Please send me an e-mail at email@example.com I will answer all your questions and have your trip fully arranged.
January 25, 2010 2 Comments
It has been a while since our last post… even in paradise a lot of work has to be done The dive team has found many new unique dive locations with beautiful corals and reef fish and are encountering sharks, rays, tuna, dolphins, barracuda turtles etc. on a daily basis. We can also confirm that the spot for whale sharks is definitely something special. They are always there! On average there are three and sometimes more. So if you have dreams of some private time with whale sharks and don’t want to be surrounded by 20 other divers…. this is the place to be.
We will work closely together with the village close to the whale shark site. Some of the whale sharks are very used to people and they will bump against the local fishing boats and sometimes ruin their nets.. the villagers are fed up with this and have tried to catch two of them last week. Luckily unsuccessfully, but the whale sharks did suffer some injuries. The village will be asked to join in on our project and we will start a program to protect the local whale shark population (there is no sign of migration, they like it there!). Next week Dave will visit the village to talk with the kapale desa and try to accomplish a situation that is good news for both fisherman and whale sharks.
The local government is being very co-operative with our efforts on Ahe. In the course of this month we will receive two new boats to replace the current traditional boat (prauw). This way we can offer our guests more comfort.. and most importantly… save on fuel!. The boats will be used as well to support in regional marine protection activities
All staff on the island is working very hard to get things ready for the first group of divers that will visit Ahe at the end of March. Among the 10 divers that will have the joy of seeing the island and surrounding pristine dive waters are Rene Lipmann (editor in Chief of Duiken Magazine – Holland’s top dive magazine) and Arjan Gunnink (director of eigen wijze duikreizen – the leading dive holiday organization in the Netherlands). Everyone on the Island is thrilled by the interest in our project and very motivated to give visitors coming to Ahe a once in a lifetime experience. As part of the adventure package that we want to offer our guest, we will also visit a traditional tribe in the mountains that would like to welcome some of the first tourists visiting there. Are you also interested to come and visit us!? Please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 10, 2009 2 Comments
We are very happy to let you all know we have employed four great guys that will make up the Ahe dive resort dive team. They have been trained to the level of advanced diver, got good gear en will receive further training from us in the coming months. It is their goal to become Divemaster and guide visiting Divers to the most wonderful locations around the Harlem Islands.
They like their fathers and many generations before them where bound to become fishermen. They however persisted going into a different route and we are very happy that we can assist them in realising their dream.
It is a great joy to see how quick they are developping and what a sharp eye they have for everything under water. Despite growing up in a marine environment a new world has opened up for them. Before they where only focussing on the sea while (spear) fishing and they knew two types of fish.. eatable and non eatable. Now with training and more information on marine life, behaviour and knowledge about the reef and eco system they are amazed with the beauty and are keen to share it with the rest of the world.
In the next few months the task of Yulian, Michael, Kaleb and Mario will be to explore the vast area for dive sites and marine life. .. these waters are virgin dive grounds and every dive holds a new adventure and findings. Furthermore they will clean up and protect the reefs surrounding Ahe from anything (besides the wrecks) that doesn’t belong there.
On weekly basis we receive a dive report from them and we are looking forward to share their adventures and findings with you.