Friday, May 20, 2011

aerial survey

Right after the 9 hour boattrip (see previous entry!) from Kri to Misool I jumped into the bright yellow lightweight water airplane with Max Ammer - still soaked and shivering from the boat, but thrilled to have the chance to fly again in Raja Ampat. This flight was made possible by a generous donation of 2 hours flight time by Conservation International in order for us to survey the Misool area for lakes. We took off right in front of the TNC Misool station in Harapan Jaya village, flew north to the Selat Panah Panah (the Strait of Spears), then made a circle crossing east over the 100s of scattered islands that make up Panah Panah & Wagmab, south to the island of Warakaret, west over the islands of Kalig & Karawob, then back up again to the TNC office. It was a magnificent flight, what a spectacular view! The open airplane gives you a true feeling of being part of it all.

The jutting karst landscape so typical of this part of the world, never ceases to amaze. Every island is a different shape, some just specs of land shaped like mushroom heads appearing to float on the water. This kind of heterogeneous topography with many hills, bays and depressions inland is the ideal place to locate lakes. And indeed we couldn’t believe our luck, the lakes never stopped coming during the flight, Max was continuously pointing them out – it was hard to keep up with the recording. I record the lakes by marking the location on a GPS when we fly over one, then make as many pictures as possible of the lake and particularly of the surroundings, after which I make a picture of the GPS to facilitate the linking of the coordinates with the lakes. The pictures of the surroundings are important in order to figure out the best was to access the lakes by boat and subsequently by land. That will be the job for tomorrow. For now I’m still riding on the high of the flight, the trying boat ride from Kri almost a distant memory.

No comments:

Post a Comment