- Published: Sunday, 02 December 2007 11:43
Trip report written by Cleve Nicolle
Sea wolves members on trip:
Neil (Toes) Stokes, Gordon (Bypass) Penner, Rankin (Ranks) McCrone,
Steve (Chalky) Gordon, Graham (Gray-ham) Syme, Cleve (Muss) Nicolle In various groups and by 3 different airlines we left Adelaide and arrived in Brisbane on Friday 26th October. We all met up at the Airways Motel where we stayed overnight. Saturday 27th October we headed to the Brisbane international airport to catch the 10am Air Niugini flight to Port Moresby. The Flight had been delayed; this was a sign of things to come with this airline.
We departed on a 767 owned by Viva Macau Airlines and arrived Port Moresby about 2 pm. The airport is modern and the city quite large. After making our way through customs and getting some cheap duty free grog we were taken to our overnight stay at the Gateway Hotel. The hotel is good and we all had a cool dip in the pool followed by a beer or 3. Temperature was great and the humidity not to bad. We grabbed a bus that evening and headed to the yacht club for dinner. Good food and quite a lot of ex- pats there due to a bit of a boat /dive show happening. After the meal we went in our bus with fully black tinted windows and had a bit of a drive around the city. Parts are modern with high gates and barbed wire ,security guards and locals every where just wandering around. Bypass wanted to visit a local night club but was persuaded that one white guy in a very rough black night club was not the best idea for a long healthy life.
Sunday 28 October, 7am at the domestic airport, locals everywhere and used beetle nut everywhere. We exit the bus and are then locked into the terminal for security.
We go through security to find hundreds of people trying to check in to 2 people at the check in counter. The line has not moved in 1 hour, by 2nd hour we are still 4 people back from the counter and they are calling our names for our flight. Ranks had to push in and the check in chick takes our tickets and luggage and says we are a ticket short. A mix up with Steve and Gordon (both having Gordon in there name) with tickets causes her concern and she disappears with our tickets. She arrives back and tells us to go to the boarding gate where she has taken our tickets. We get to the gate and as they get to Steve they won’t let him on the plane or any of us back off to stay with him. The rest of us board the plane and we fly to Kavieng via another Island where I search the cargo holds for our luggage. Arrive Kavieng and met by Dive shop owners. Our luggage and Steve did not make it so we only have what we are wearing and our carry on bags.
We transferred to Nusa Island which is a fantastic spot about half a kilometre from the main town of Kavieng. The owner of Nusa lends us some shorts and gives us a T shirt each so we have a change of clothes. All the huts are traditional thatched huts raised off the ground and only have a power point and ceiling fan. Beds have good mosquito nets. Ranks and Bypas had an over water bungalow with ensuite. The bar /restaurant is a thatched open air building with a sand floor that served cold beers and good food. The resort is home to a collection of wildlife including different sorts of birds, a sea eagle and a whole collection of dogs that pick you as there new owner and move into your hut. Some of the birds are quite tame and drive you nuts at meal time trying to eat off your plate and wont take no for answer when told to go. We snorkelled a Japanese fighter float plane wreck and the wreck of a fishing trawler during the afternoon then settled down to a few quite beers on Ranks & Bypass’s balcony as the sun set. Monday morning we were met by the dive shop owners, Dorian and Kara who lent us full set of gear so we could do some dives. We did a dive outside the heads called the blow hole, fantastic visibility and 30 degree water. Second dive was a wreck called lion fish wreck in the harbour, which had lion fish and also some stone fish. Dives were done by lunch and Chalky finally arrives with a couple of other lads left behind in Port Moresby. Air Niugini had put him up in some Shit hole of a hotel with 2 Aussie lads left behind with him where they filled in the day drinking beers as not safe to wander around Port Moresby. Chalky had all our gear with him and as we unpacked Chalky found that the staff at Air Nuigini had unlocked his bag and pinched 2, two litre bottles of Jim Beam and then relocked bag. We did twelve dives during the week at sites all over the place, including ship Wrecks to WW2 aircraft wrecks to wall and reef dives. Albatross Bommie & Albatross passage was near the Bismarck sea about 1 ½ hour boat ride and these dives were fantastic, 60 metre plus Depth / visibility with heaps of marine life large and small and lots of colourful hard and soft corals. At Albatross passage we did a drift dive where the current gets very strong at the end of the dive and we were each given a reef anchor to do deco so you did not get swept away. You could hang on your reef anchor and fly in the current, was heaps of fun. On the way back to Kavieng we dived the wreck of a US B25 bomber which was quite intact with top guns still poking out of top turret complete with ammo still in them. Visibility here was quite dirty but well worth diving. Other dives done during the week was a Japanese float biplane, Mitsubishi F1M2 sitting miles out to sea in 40 metres of water on white sand. The visibility on this wreck again was awesome and attracted a lot of fish life. We dived the fishing trawler De Yang which lays on its side in about 35 metres and is in an area of strong current, ask Chalky who did not dive to plan because of this. We finished on the wreck and then up a reef to about 13 metres but the current took us for quite a ride. Our second last dive at Kaplaman reef was on a very overcast day and we were trying to dodge a major lighting storm that was moving into our location.
On this dive we saw quite a few sharks and a large school of barracuda which Ranks had to chase around to get that one great shot. On our last day before we were to head home we did a trip down the coast of the mainland and saw how the local Niugini people live. There villages are traditional with no power, sewerage and only some had rain water tanks but they are all house proud and each village was very clean and tidy. These people are very poor and the little kids run around naked, but it’s quite amusing to see a teenage kid with an IPod. We went to a village where a woman feeds eels in a creek and it was interesting to see these eels eating out a saucepan. They were quite large but quite friendly. We also had a swim in a swimming hole at a catholic school for boys which had quite cool water in comparison to the sea water we had been diving in. Sunday November 4 and we were taken to Kavieng airport nice and early so that we were all checked in for the flight on the Fokker 100 back to Moresby. We were a bit worried as this plane was again late and we only had 1 hour 20 between this and our flight back to Brisbane. We arrived at the Airport in Moresby and just made it on to our flight to Brisbane.
We settled in with a few beers for the flight when about hour and half into the flight the captain comes over on the intercom telling us that the air-conditioning has failed and we have to fly back to Port Moresby to make emergency repairs. They kept us all on the plane during the repairs and we all managed to knock back quite a few not so cold ones. Finally took off and made it back to Brisbane about 3 hours late and were glad that we were over-nighting before flying back to Adelaide the next morning. Good company, good diving and a much laid back Nusa resort made this a great dive trip which was well worth doing and would recommend to anyone wanting to see Niugini.
Membership can be renewed by direct debit to the following account. Please ensure you print out your transfer receipt and bring to the next meeting.
Name: Sea Wolves Dive Club BSB: 015208 Acc: 417913534
We meet every Tuesday evening, doors open from 7:30pm, meeting starts 8:30pm, 10 Bayford Rise, Morphett Vale, New Members Welcome!