Biak – Pulau yang terlupakan

Matahari belum sepenuhnya menampakan diri, ketika pesawat Garuda yang membawa kami mendarat pukul 6 pagi di Bandara udara Frans Kasiepo, Biak, Papua. Rasa lelah setelah 7 jam terbang dari Jakarta terobati melihat hamparan biru laut dan pulau pulau indah yang terlihat terhampar dari udara. Dengan berjalan kaki kami tiba di hotel Irian yang hanya berjarak 50 meter dari gerbang Bandar udara, sementara barang barang bagasi dibawa oleh petugas dari Biak Diving yang menjemput kami. Hari ini kami bertujuh akan memulai petualangan selam di sekitar pulau Biak.

Hotel Irian, sebuah hotel bekas peninggalan jaman Belanda terlihat unik dengan arsitektur kayu ala era kolonial. Ruang Lobby, serta deretan kamar kamar di sayap kiri dan kanan, masih menggunakan konstruksi kayu yang tak berubah sejak tahun 50 an. Sementara kami menempati deretan kamar di area tanah bawah yang di tepi pantai.
Kota ini memang unik, karena pernah menjadi kota perdagangan di garis depan Pulau Papua. Berbagai macam etnik ditemu disini. Bugis, Buton, Jawa, Manado, Makasar, Ambon, Madura dan tentu saja penduduk asli Papua.

Ketika Garuda Indonesia masih mempunyai penerbangan Jakarta – Los Angeles, mereka transit di Biak. Tak heran Biak ramai dan selalu sibuk. Bandara Frans Kasiepo meruupakan salah satu bandara di Indonesia yang dapat didarati pesawat besar sejenis Boeing 747. Kini semuanya mendadak sepi, sejak Garuda menghentikan penerbangan jarak jauhnya ke Amerika. Juga sebuah bekas hotel bintang 5 yang kini menjadi sarang belukar dan menyeramkan.

Sesekali turis Jepang datang untuk mengunjungi Memorial Park – taman kenangan prajurit Jepang masa PD II – yang terlihat sangat indah. Tentu saja dengan dana perawatan rutin dari Pemerintah Jepang.
Sisa sisa peninggalan bekas pendudukan tentara Jepang masih bisa dilihat seperti gua gua perlindungan dan beberapa ongokan mesin perang seperti meriam dan tank.
Salah satu yang menjadi sasaran penyelaman kami adalah wreck bekas Pesawat terbang pembom Catalina yang tenggelam di kedalaman 30 meter lepas pantai timur Biak.
Ini adalah penyelaman pertama kami di Biak. Hujan deras tak menghalangi visibility yang sangat bagus. Kurang lebih 30 – 40 meter kejernihan pandang dalam air.

Beberapa hari selanjutnya ekspedisi kami menuju ke utara, arah kepulauan Padaido. Mengagumkan bahwa visibility sangat jernih. Superb visibility. Terlebih disekitar Atol Mansoor Babu. Kami sampai kembali lagi ke tempat yang sama pada hari ketiga.
Disini kehidupan terumbu karang masih sangat sehat. Sea fans raksasa maupun hard coral dalam susunan dinding – wall – di sekitar atoll.

Ada beberapa ceruk – gua – didekat sini, membuat penyelaman seperti memasuki labirin labirin yang menyeramkan. Kami melakukan surface interfal , sambil makan siang di Pulau owi . Seperti biasa rekan saya, Chris – wartawan Majalah Intisari – selalu menyempatkan membagi bagikan buku bacaan untuk anak anak di pulau yang kami kunjungi.

Setelah makan siang, kami menuju ke Mark Point sebuah titik dimana arus mulai kencang. Sebagaimana prinsip prinsip yang kami yakini. No Current No Life. Jika ada arus berarti akan banyak ditemui ikan.
Ini tidak salah. Dikejauhan tampak school of Baracuda, kerumunan ikan Baracuda dengan elegannya meliuk liuk di tengah arus yang deras.
Adrenalin saya bergejolak. Sesegera mengayuhkan kaki mendekatkan rombongan ikan ikan Baracuda tersebut. Berbahaya ? Tidak juga. Yang jelas saya begitu asyik memotret ikan ikan ini sampai tak terasa terbawa menuju laut lepas.
Begitu menyadari posisi saya yang sudah terlalu jauh, secepatnya pula saya kembali menuju dinding wall dimana buddy dive saya menunggu dengan sabar. Sekaligus cemas.

Pada umumnya keadaan terumbu karang di kepulauan Padaido relatif masih baik dibanding keadaan tempat lain sekitar Teluk Cendrawasih, yang banyak yang rusak karena pemboman ikan.
Didekat Mike Point, selain atraksi Baracuda, kami juga menemukan rombongan ikan lainnya. School of Jack. Ikan ikan kuwe hampir dikedalaman 30 meter. Tak sia sia kami menempuh perjalanan panjang dari Jakarta untuk melihat dunia bawah laut Biak yang mengagumkan.

Konon diperbatasan dengan Laut Pacific sana, di utara Biak, terletak kepulauan Mapia yang pemandangan bawah lautnya lebih dasyat. Sayang sangat tidak dimungkin karena harus menempuh perjalanan 1 hari penuh dengan kapal. Waktu kami tidak banyak karena harus kembali ke Jakarta esok lusa. Mungkin suatu hari kami kesana.
Laut biru.Visibility 40 meter, Pelagics, terumbu karang indah. Siapa bisa menolak ?

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