October 12, 2010 Leave a comment
September 2, 2010 1 Comment
Due to overwhelming demand the editor in chief of Scubadiver Diego Garcia decided for the first time during a running issue to put the article online so everyone can read it for free!
August 18, 2010 Leave a comment
Scubadiver Australasia just hit the shops with the whalesharks of Ahe on the cover and a story on the whalesharks by ‘yours truly’ Get your copy or have a peak at the digital version here
February 18, 2010 Leave a comment
One of the big attractions in the Ahe Dive resort are the residential whale sharks. They are always there / 365 days a year. So if you want a private session with our big neighbours, please let us know and we will welcome you on our island! On the picture you can see one of the bigger Whale Sharks we call Wim together with Diveguide Michael. We named him Wim after Mr. Drs Wim CH Rumbino (minister of tourism & culture Papua Province). His continuos help means a lot to the development of Ahe!
Click on the picture to see a full size view:
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 email@example.com
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.
November 25, 2009 6 Comments
We just got back from Ahe Island in Papua and have a lot to share with you. We were delighted to see that the local people see the need to develop more sustainable sources of income instead of fishing which currently is their sole income source. We believe that with a joint effort step by step a situation can be achieved from which both people and marine life can benefit.
Let’s start by telling you a little bit more about Ahe and the Harlem Islands.
The Harlem Island are situated in the Geelvinkbaai in Papua. Many moons ago they where ‘discovered’ by the Dutch vessel the Harlem and thus got their name. These 7 islands are situated amongst crystal clear water and pristine reefs. Virtually no one has dived here and we are just touching first base when it comes to discover the diving possibilities of this unique place. We have dived many places around the world but even for us this is diving adventure ‘pur sang’.
Ahe is one of the smaller of the 7 islands. It measures 690 by 450 ft and if you are looking for the true bounty or Robinson experience… this is it. Ahe has a unique feeling to it and is inhabited by many special animals such as the mambruk, the goudvink (which is endemic to the islands) and the cuscus… an animal with a high cuddle factor and if I have to describe it I would say it is a sort of mix between a monkey a small bear and a koala. Sea eagles have their nests on the island and every evening hundreds of fregat birds return to Ahe to sleep in its lush vegetation. Turtles visit the islands to lay their eggs and you may get lucky to see the baby turtles running into the sea. Where ever you look there is white sand and the deep kobalt blue of the calm sea. Doesn’t sound bad huh
When you set foot on the island you can get rid of your shoes or flip flops for the rest of your stay. The first thing you see are two large airplane engines that where taken of the WWII plane wreck that sunk on top of one of Ahe’s reefs and that you can see snorkeling. On my first visit before entering the modest bungalow that was going to be my home for the week I immediately jumped into the water to check out the reef and besides the reef fish you would expect I saw bumphead parrot fish, mantis shrimp, several species of snake eels, many blue spotted rays, spade fish, a group of razor fish, a turtle and even three cockatoo waspfish….this was at just 20 meters in front of the beach!
Ahe is run by a group of enthusiastic young people from the surrounding islands. They choose not to follow the path of their parents that have been fishermen for many generations, but to develop small scale tourism on Ahe with a focus on the adventurous diver. Ahe at the moment offers basic accommodation that will be developed further without loosing it’s charm or harm the wonderful nature and characteristic of the island. Ahe is truly of the beaten track and has been visited by only 20 tourists this year.
There are no specific diving sites at the moment. You can literally plunge in everywhere and have a great dive on beautiful reefs. In the next months the group that got training by us last week will further ‘recon’ the area to map the best dive sites and spot a top 25 of things divers are keen to see. Some good dive news… one of the site offers year round guaranteed private encounters with whale sharks that literally swim up to the boat and Ahe has a residential group of dolphins.
Scubasigns is truly committed to help the people of Ahe to make their plans become reality and to let both people and marine life benefit from ecologic dive tourism. We will take the following steps:
1. Further dive training of local people to increase dive safety.
2. Set up a team of paid dive guides who will explore dive sites and clean and protect the reefs.
3. Enlarge the protected area and create no fishing zone’s… this has been achieved already for the waters directly surrounding ahe.
4. Together with knowledgeable NGO’s and the local community we will write a masterplan for the future of Ahe and the Harlem Islands.
5. Increase the knowledge of the eco system and marine life within the local community.
6. Improve the dive gear and dive facilities as well as knowledge on maintenance.
7. PR activities to put the Harlem Island on the map of exciting dive destinations.
8. Set up a protocol and ‘rules’ for diving in the Harlem Islands.
9. Appoint an island manager to locally help in the development of the island and implement the necessary action points.
Anyone with good ideas or the desire to help please let us know! If you are keen to protect marine life and want to assure that the beauty of coral reefs and marine life should be safeguarded for future generations then this is your chance to actually do something. Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be one of the first divers to visit Ahe then please let us know as well and we will make sure you will have the trip of your live.
October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
From the 16th of November Dave will be on the remote island of Ahe, part of the Harlem Islands in Papua. We will further assist the local community in their efforts to set up a dive centre on the currently inhabited Ahe Island. So far 20 teenagers have been trained to open water level and they will now pursuit further training in their dive master programme. Together with the local community we will assess what is needed to take steps forward in creating proper facilities to receive dive tourists. For those keen on ultimate diving adventures / as soon as we return from Papua we will write a full report on the diving and possibilities to visit Ahe on short notice.
With thanks to the local government there is already an inventory of dive gear and a compressor… there are however more things on the wishlist and we hope that there are divers and dive centres out there that would like to help to warmly support the Papuans in their efforts. Currently on top of our wish list are: (NOTE… THANKS TO Lucas divestore we were able to fulfil this wishlist!)
- Dive computers
- Wet suits (5mm long in all sizes)
- Wet suits (5mm shorty in all sizes)
We are also looking for the help of a diving education organisation with the translation of their training books into Indonesian and malay. We will personally contact these organisations, but if there is anyone out there that has already some dive theory.. (preferably advanced and up) in indonesian or malay available that would be great.