Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Mapia Atoll North of West Papua Island – Indonesia

Mapia Atoll in West Papua:

Mapia Atoll is actually north of the equator, the only destination on this voyage to be so. It is a classic atoll structure in the middle of nowhere, as remote as it gets. We will spend the day in clear waters, snorkelling and swimming or simply relaxing. There is a lighthouse on the atoll, which may or may not be manned during our visit.

This atoll surrounds a clear lagoon just north of the equator. Ships will anchor at the remote reef. Travelers are invited to swim in the secluded waters, snorkel in the lively reef, or explore the atoll’s only lighthouse. This area is one of the most remote in the world and is the perfect place for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Mapia Atoll, Kepulauan Mapia in Bahasa Indonesian, just north of the Equator, is about as remote as it gets. This tiny island group has also been named the Freewill Islands and St David’s Islands over the years. Indonesia’s “outermost” island group, sharing an ocean border with the independent nation-state of Palau in the Micronesian geographic region, the tiny islands of Pegun, Fanildo and Bras that make up the above-high-water-land of Mapia Atoll are very isolated. There’s not much information out there about these islands, there’s a Wikipedia page in Bahasa Indonesian for Pulau Bras, which has less words and info then I have given already, and not much else.

The particularly small Pulau Fanildo together with the only slightly more substantial Pulau Pegun and Pulau Bras, each have a lighthouse on them, marking the roughly triangular shape of the atoll. Fanildo in the North West, Bras in the North East and Pegun in the South. The lighthouses are apparently only occasionally manned by work parties from Indonesian Maritime authorities. All information points to these islands being uninhabited. There is a reference out there that I came across that the people who USED to live here spoke a Micronesian language similar to the language of Chuuk to the north in what is now the Federated States of Micronesia, but that was about that.

Filed in: Mapia Atoll, West Papua