2 – 12 November 2009
The hour we arrived in Wanci, we immediately had a meeting with WWF Indonesia Wakatobi Project Leader Veda Santiadji in their Wangi Wangi office. He offered us different travel scenarios and we got really excited when the first option was to do initial diving on 2 snapper Spawning Aggregation Sites (Spags) then proceed to far away Moromaho for a bird survey, then to continue on to Runduma & Anano Islands, slowly coming back to Wangi Wangi visiting the different islands of WA KA TO BI.
We were going with several boats to get to the islands. The super fast 500 hp National Park speedboat Baracuda was our first vessel for the Spags survey.
TNC/WWF liveaboard and floating research station Menami (meaning Napoleon wrasse), WWF speedboat Simba (meaning trevalley) and a dingy with no name were our vessels for our far trip to Moromaho. Great. Our first dive with the rangers was near Hoga Channel in Kaledupa. Viz was BAD. About 5 meters and no use taking any photos here. We had better luck on our second dive in Tomia the next day and the rangers counted about 50+ black snappers Macolor niger aggregating.
When in very remote Moromaho, we were awakened by Sugi at 5am one morning to say there were two turtles making their way back to sea. The two mothers were working very hard, but the low tide was upon them. They had to crawl their way to the deep water and it was far far away as the beach just went on and on like a sandy desert!
In uninhabited Anano Island, the adjacent island to Runduma where the fishing village was, Sugi released seven baby green turtles handed to us by the villagers from Runduma. We wished them survival and hope they can grow up to come back to this island one day.
We returned to Wanci after many days hopping from island to island. It was good to be back on land again and having enough water to take a real shower. At night, Yogi and I were cleaning ourselves, when we were on remote islands Moromaho and Anano, with moist baby wipes and trickles of drinking water! Rationed and very limited water made us realize how much we took running water for granted, how our location plans changed the minute we were low on water!
Here’s us in and around Wakatobi.
We were told a true story when we were in Jamursbamedi, West Papua. Some NGOs brought laundry detergent called Rinso to a West Papuan village one day. The chief was so happy by how clean his clothes got that he named his newborn son RINSO! Well, because of this story, I always bought Rinso for our laundry.