|Elevation:||282 m (925 ft)||Prominence:||282 m|
|Ribu category:||Spesial||Province:||Maluku (Moluccas)|
|Google Earth:||kml||Other names:|
The small steep-sided island of Manuk is the easternmost volcano in the arcuate Banda volcanic arc. The 282-m-high truncated andesitic cone rises 3000 m from the sea floor. No confirmed historical eruptions are known from this uninhabited island, although there was an uncertain report that a member of the 1874 Challenger Expedition saw smoke rising from the crater of Manuk. Highly altered fumarolic areas are located within the crater and on its western rim and were once the source of sulfur extraction by Chinese traders (Smithsonian).
Being an oceanic volcano, Manuk can only be approached by sea. The island is uninhabited but fishermen do frequent the waters around the island although, it seems, they do not land on the island (no water and no beaches for camping). Manuk means ‘bird’ in Javanese and is most appropriately named; the island is the nesting place of tens of thousands of sea birds. The other main inhabitant seems to be rats that survive on the tons of bird droppings.
I visited Manuk on the Ombak Putih, a Bugis prahu, in November 2007. While the rest of our group was snorkelling, I attempted to climb to the crater rim. One can scramble ashore from a small boat without much trouble in several places preferably on the lee side of the island to avoid the waves. Trees, in which the birds nest, cover the lower reaches of the island. Underfoot, the soil is light and friable making scrambling up the slope a bit difficult. The whole place reeks of bird droppings and rats.
I reached to about 50 metres below the crater rim but was blocked by a wall of crumbling rock. Certainly, it would be possible to find a way around this and to reach the rim. However, as I was by myself on the island, I could not risk injury thereby putting our whole cruise in jeopardy and incurring the wrath of my fellow passengers. Another attempt another time, maybe!
Report by Nicholas Hughes (July 2013)