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Snorkeling at the beach of Mansinam island

Updated on February 28, 2015

What is snorkeling?

Snorkeling is a kind of sport where we swim on the surface of the water wearing a goggle or snorkeling mask and a snorkel (a short piece of pipe used to help us breath in the water). Snorkeling is different from Scuba Diving. In scuba diving, we breath completely under water with the help of air tank (at the back of our body) that is connected to our mouth with an apparatus called regulator and octopus. To come up to the surface again, we just adjust the regulator to direct the air from the tank to the BCD - Buoyancy Control Device. In general, diving is more expensive than snorkeling. I like snorkeling very much particularly when swimming over coral reef of Mansinam island. Last October, I went to Mansinam with some tourists from the Netherlands. Mansinam is a tropical island located in the middle of the Dorey bay. Manokwari city - the capital of West Papua province - in the Republic of Indonesia - stretches along this bay. We went to see coral reef fish in the island

Snorkeling tour to tropical island

From Ketapang water taxi station at the outskirt of the city, we went to the island with a rented boat. The boat driver who took us there was Papuan, the indigenous people of New Guinea. He was a young man who knows the Mansinam island very well. He drove his motorized outrigger boat to the south west of this small tropical island. Rows upon rows of coconut trees were seen growing along the white sandy beach. We landed on the beach where no one was around. Only the sounds of the ripples and the singing from morning birds that we heard that morning. It was 9 a.m. when we entered the sea water. The sun was still in the east making it the perfect time to enjoy snorkeling and to see the coral reef and the fish. I wore my TUSA snorkeling gear. It was manufactured by a company named Tabata - an American company that set up its factory in Taiwan. I like the mask very much because its material that comes in contact with my face is made of hypoallergenic silicone - soft and does not cause itching on my skin. I only wore the snorkeling mask and the snorkel while exploring over the beautiful coral reef of the Mansinam island. I didn't use fins.

Coral reef and Zebra fish off the Mansinam island
Coral reef and Zebra fish off the Mansinam island | Source

Taking underwater pictures

To take underwater photographs, I brought my new digital still photo camera, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W310. Because it could not be used directly under the sea water, I had to put it into a waterproof camera case - a digipac WP-410. I really like this protective case because it could be used up to 10 meters below the sea level. In addition, its UV multicoated high transparency lens filters are able to support the conventional camera in creating clearer underwater photographs.
Only Menno Schepers, one of the Dutch tourists who brought an underwater camera. Fortunately my underwater camera case was compatible with the camera which Wally Schepers had. So, we could produce high quality underwater pictures using this dicapac case.
I and the Dutch tourists snorkeled for around two hours until the water level began to decrease due to its periodic time for changing to low tide. In the afternoon we went to the village of Mansinam which was located in the north west area of the island. After drinking coconut juice there, we returned to the city by the same boat. we really liked it very much. I was thinking of coming back again to experience the beauty of the underwater world of the Mansinam island.
A lot of species and corals live along the coast of Mansinam island. They looked so beautiful that morning.

Coral reef is very important for marine environment

Snorkeling is a kind of water sport that has educational value. When we move over the coral reef, we can feel how beautiful and how rich it is with marine life. Snorkelers know that the reef has to be preserved. Snorkelers and scuba divers are the ones who see the underwater world of coral reef with their own eyes. They should become agents of change. The ones who will tell their friends and colleagues not to throw wastes to the streets which finally be swept by rainwater and end at sea destroying the coral reef. Snorkelers and scuba divers can show the pictures of coral reef which they have taken to their friends to raise awareness about how important it is to preserve this fragile marine environment. Coral reef is similar to tropical rainforest in its functions. During the day, single cell algae that lives in the corals perform photosynthesis. The coral reef is the source of food for various species of coral fish. At the same time, the algae absorbs dissolved CO2 and releases oxygen. The number of species of fish, corals, and other marine animals in coral reef region is higher than in a deep open sea. Villagers living near the coral reef often come to catch fish. Now coral reef is increasingly seen as an attractive tourist destination who love snorkeling and scuba diving.

The tropical island of Mansinam

White sandy beach of Mansinam island near Manokwari city of Indonesia
White sandy beach of Mansinam island near Manokwari city of Indonesia | Source

Let's preserve coral reef

Coral reef has to be preserved because of its multi-dimensional functions. It is the source of food, the absorber of CO2 oxygen and the home for thousands of species of marine animals and plants. Although we don't live near coral reef, we can help preserve this marine environment by living more friendly with our surrounding nature. The easiest way is by not throwing plastic wastes into the city streets because during the rainy season, the wastes that city dwellers throw irresponsibly end up at sea. We can also bike to work to reduce our CO2 emissions. If we live near the beach, the direct contribution which we can make to help protect the sea is through our participation in beach clean up activities.
I personally have been promoting eco-tourism for Mansinam island and Manokwari city since 2008. I see it as an opportunity to help the local villagers and fishermen to get additional income from tourism instead of depending too much of their lives on the exploitation of tropical rainforest and coral reef.

Accommodation in Mansinam Island

There is a guesthouse in Mansinam island. Its name is DORERI. Visitors who stay at the guesthouse can enjoy nature walk, jogging, snorkeling, scuba diving, cycling, birdwatching or insect watching as much as they like. The Doreri Guesthouse is just a stone throw away from the beach.

Standard Rates:

Overnight stay 500,000 rupiahs (or approximately 40 US dollars) per room per night.

Car rent 500,000 rupiahs per day (or approx. 40 US dollars)

Diving 800,000 rupiahs per day (or approx. 64 US dollars)

Bicycle rent 75,000 rupiahs per day (approx. 6 US dollars)

Snorkeling mask 50,000 rupiahs per day (approx. 4 US dollars)

Pick-up service from the airport 150,000 per trip (approx. 12 US dollars)

To book a room in the Doreri Guesthouse, please, contact Salo Rumadas +6281284333345. You could also contact Charles Roring by e-mail to:


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    • charlesroring profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      It's around 30 minutes by car. You need to bring your own snorkeling gear. There some coastal areas in Manokwari that are covered with coral reef. If you are in Manokwari, you can contact me via my cell phone at +6281332245180

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      how far is arfai beach from manokwari city, in minutes?

      and is it possible to rent snorkeling gear for the day?

    • charlesroring profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Hi, Paradise7, I have added two Youtube videos which I made about the tropical island. The first is "Snorkeling over the Coral Reef," and the second one is "Hiking in Mansinam island. I believe these videos can give you more description about how beautiful the nature and the underwater world of the area.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      I was hoping for more pics, thank you for a pretty good hub.


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