Photo gallery

Helen Reef and West Papua


South of the Philippines we visit Helen Reef and several islands in West Papua  before crossing the Arafura Sea to Darwin (Australia)
(May/June 2006)

Double-click on any picture in the gallery for an enlargement.

Helen island in the lagoon of Helen Reef is part of the Palau Republic

Walk on the beach with nature officers Jay, Paul and Peter

Many birds have a permanent or temporarily home on Helen island

Boobies come to mate and brood

Also in the trees a lot of birds make their nests

A colourful end of the day

Sitting and waiting near the nest the sand starts moving and the first turtles come crawling up

Three months ago their mother has dug a hole, laid her eggs and covered them with sand

The baby turtles leave the rests of their eggs behind and come crawling up one after the other

The nature officers have put a fence around the nest

to prevent the small turtles to be eaten straight away by the crabs

It seems there is no end to this 'birth'

By instinct the turtles know to which side the sea is

If we see no more movement in the sand Jay put the baby's in a bucket and is counting them (about 100)

The turtles follow their way to the sea and will continue swimming for the next 24 hours

In the open air kitchen I make a good soup

The boys have invited us voor a fish BBQ

From the eggs of the birds they also make a tastful omelette

By boat they patrol the lagoon for illegal fishermen from the Philippines or Indonesia

When leaving we receive a bucket with small turtles that have to be set out further away in the lagoon

They didn't swim away with their peers so they will get a second chance

At the west point of West Papua the Cri eco resort is situated

All staff is very friendly and helpful

The restaurant and sleeping units are build in traditional style

From the jetty we can take in diesel

A small crowd has come to see the modern and big sailing boat

Out of a 250 liter drum we siphon the fuel into our tank

Local carvery gives the resort extra atmosphere

The chef prepares every night a different Indonesian meal

In the kitchen there are always pans boiling and smelling deliciously

In the restaurant of the nearby luxurious Sorido resort

we attend a musical performance of the local staff

They accompany their songs with guitars, a bass and drums

Strange looking sweetlip (?)

Scuba diving around Cape Cri

Leopard thriggerfish

White tip shark

Harlequin sweetlips

Manta ray

Lots of rock islands in Kawoei bay

Traditional sailing canoe on 'Schildpad' island

On their way to the market on Aru island


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