Looking back on my Maratua Trip, many interesting things happened. On my 2nd day, early in the morning I jumped on to the boat with my guide Alex and we went to Kakaban Island. The island is around 1 hour ride from Maratua. I then arrived in this green island with a small jetty that somehow looks like a deserted island. OK by deserted I mean that no one is living there. The jetty is on the outskirts of the island and I have to walk & climb a series of bamboo path and stairs. Almost forgot, be ready with your swim wear and gadgets. Bringing a small water proof bag is also essentials (for your gadgets & wallet) and a bottle of water or two (just in case).
Some of you are probably curious about what’s there. To begin with, the walk itself took around 15 minutes. You can wear flip flops just like I did, and it will be perfectly safe. After the walk, I arrived at what looks like a lake in the middle of an island. The water is a bit turbid but it’s just because of the sand. And like everybody else, I just jumped in. Instantly after I was in the water, I was surprised. So many things bumped into me and it has this weird texture. As I looked inside the water, there were so many JELLY FISH. I instantly swam back to safety and I realized that these cute fellas does not sting at all. Little did I know, that Kakaban is one of the haven for these lovely creatures in the world (the other one would be Palau in Micronesia). In this lake in particular, is filled with the golden jelly fish. Well, it’s not like that they don’t have sting cells what so ever but they are just not powerful enough to cause harm. But if you are allergic to jellyfish, it is still best to wear a protective gear. A downside of this visit was my phone was fried when I put it on the ledge while I was swimming (so., no picture there on forth). I guess it would be best to keep your phone intact with you while you are in the water. The phone actually got its power back after I immersed it in the water for quite some time. Afterwards I spent my time enjoying my lunch prepared by the hotel that they have packed, which consists of grilled fish, fried breaded prawns, and some rice. The lunch was fit for a queen and I was ready for the next island.
Back to the boat and I’m off to Sangalaki island which is only 20 minutes away. The boat must anchored itself far from land because it was very very very low tide (like 5 cm of water only). I jumped off the boat and walk to the beach. Do follow your guide because the sea bed are often inhabited by baby sting ray that can be harmful. But if you follow the path that your guide showed you, everything will be fine. The beach was amazing, white sand & coconut trees as far as the eye can see. On the other side there’s a few wood lodge & restaurant owned by Sangalaki Dive Lodge. The dive lodge is not busy because they want to keep the area as calm as possible. It is also because it is a conservation area for sea turtle. Just behind those lodges, I find my way to the turtle caring ground. There were loads of them and they are ready to be freed to the sea. After playing with the turtles and explore a bit of the island, I took a rest at the lodge’s restaurant and grab myself a coconut to drink.
Since the tide is getting high, I have to continue my journey back at sea. We were chasing the time to be able to meet with the Manta. Manta is a large eagle rays and commonly known in Indonesia as Pari Hantu. The manta can reach 2 meters wide and looks like they can fly. I went to the Manta Parade spot and unfortunately encounter nothing after floating for almost 1 hour in the strong current. I had to jump back on board and keep on looking. At one point, I saw a few boats and they were shouting to the boat I was in. They gave out weird signs and we soon realized that Mantas were there. I jump straight from the boat with my trusted snorkeling gear and was surrounded by them. It was such an amazing feeling to be swimming with the mantas. Fortunately, the sea was very clean in this part of Indonesia. Making it easy for manta to live & breed there. This must have been the highlight of my trip. And after some splish splash with them, I have to call it a day because it’s getting dark and I need to get back to the resort.