27 February 2010
After days of grumbling about the weather, Yogi finally found his smile again. Max Ammer was bringing him along as co-pilot to his truly photogenic yellow aircraft.
Conservation International needed to do regular surveys to Raja Ampat by land, sea and air. They were fortunate enough to have Max Ammer firmly situated in the area and is a trained pilot but with no aircraft. They asked Max what was best to do aerial surveys with and like a good soldier, he researched and found them this aircraft. He was given this yellow bird in exchange for airtime within the areas of the Four Kings. Three major conservation organizations share the all important conservation work in West Papua. The Nature Conservancy has project sites in Misool, South Raja Ampat, Conservation International has project sites in North Raja Ampat and the World Wide Fund for Nature has project sites in mainland Bird’s Head Peninsula.
Watch this classic Dick Dastardly & Muttly in Their Flying Machines
We have been diving and snorkeling these northern waters of Raja Ampat with Papua Diving for 3 weeks now, rain or shine. Legs and fins can only take you so far to see marine animals and their habitats. Up in the air, with a speed of about 50 to 65 knots, Yogi & Max saw everything. They saw a mother and calf dugong swimming in the blue and of course, the manta rays. They flew above the nearby divesites and islands in the periphery of where the resort boats took us during our day trips. It was a large area and still there were much more they couldn’t reach because of fuel limitations. But here are some amazing photographs of this magnificent kingdom of Raja Ampat.