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m.eppoliti

Where to go?

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My buddy and I are thinking about a planning a trip for later this year and are looking for some suggestions.

 

We're thinking about the South Pacific/Indonesia area. I've been to Palau, Truk, Solomons, Fiji, French Polynesia.

 

We are both into WW2 history and are not really concerned about travel distance. Remoteness is not a problem either.

 

Some of the considerations are:

 

PNG

N. Sulawesi

Raja Ampat

Pheonix Islands

 

Please let me know your suggestions.

 

Thanks,

 

Michael

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I spent 10 days at TAWALI resort, Milne Bay, PNG in March 2007.

Great macro and muck diving. An occasional manta and reef shark.

A very nice and remote resort. I would return to Tawali.

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I have been checking out Kavieng in PNG. It apparently has aircraft and a few wrecks from WW2 in the harbour. It also ghas great ripping drift dives with big pelagics. :D

 

Only problem is the cost as I'll be travelling from Thailand and the cheapest flights will still cost me about $1500 USD ?? :excl:

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Michael

PNG has a multitude of plane wrecks strewn all over the islands. Kavieng has the quite cool Taisho Maru which has a minisub (which apparently still has a video rig in there) and of course plenty of Judy and Kate aircraft. There is a blackjack (B25) as well and a newer Korean boat which is boring if there weren't any dogtooth tuna flying around.

Rabaul lost quite a few wrecks during the eruption but the biplane and tankers are still there.

One place that is underrated for plane wrecks is Port Moresby. I saw a P47 thunderbolt, Judy, P38 Lightning and a few other planes. You have to contact John at the Dive Center in Port Moresby. Those wrecks are out in the muck and getting the right viz and tide is important.

The Kokoda trail is about to be history(well 400m of it anyhow) due to mining and there were some security issues going through it a few years back. I've done it without incident.

For Indonesia, the wrecks are spread out and quite deep. PM me for the contact for the guy who specializes in wreck diving in Indo ( he even has his own DC chamber onboard).

The best accessible wrecks around Papua Barat are situated Manokawari bay, and not in Raja Empat. Off the top of my head, I remember 2 wrecks, the Shinwa Maru and the Cross Wreck (which reminds me to find out what the japanese name of the boat is). 'Mad' Max Ammer from Papua diving conducts occasional trips there and there is a liveaboard that covers this area from Biak.

 

It also ghas great ripping drift dives with big pelagics.

I spent quite a bit of time in Kavieng and the pelagic dives aren't all that good all the time. It's very dependent on the moon phase and time of year. You can get some good stuff occasionally but the pelagic paradise of Kavieng is to be taken in context to the rest of PNG. Reef hooks are not an optional accessory in many of the channels too.

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I spent quite a bit of time in Kavieng and the pelagic dives aren't all that good all the time. It's very dependent on the moon phase and time of year. You can get some good stuff occasionally but the pelagic paradise of Kavieng is to be taken in context to the rest of PNG. Reef hooks are not an optional accessory in many of the channels too.

 

OK so where is a good place for pelagics in PNG and what 'context' do you mean?

 

Thanks.

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If history is your main interest I would second the PNG recommendations. Check some of the itineraries of the Golden Dawn.

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OK so where is a good place for pelagics in PNG and what 'context' do you mean?

The context is to compare with the rest of PNG and not the Indopacific area. In PNG, Kavieng has the most consistent pelagics but it's not all that wonderful compared to some sites in Palau or even the islands around Papua Barat just up north.

Unfortunately one of the best areas for pelagics has reported to be sharkless now. The Eastern Fields is one of the fishiest areas in PNG but I guess long liners have made it to the area and wiped out the sharks.

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Ok. I have over 300 dives in Palau over the past 3 years and was looking for something new.

 

It is a big problem now with all these long liners.

 

Thanks for the help.

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If you are looking for nice and diverse pelagics, one of the best Indopacific areas is still Raja Empat's Misool Island. Misool Eco Resort's Andy Miners negotiated a no take zone around the Batbitim area and in my visits there, I've seen huge biomass of fry that bring in other stuff like schools of tuna, mackerel, 5-6 different species of trevally, mobulas, mantas and even the odd shark (which are also almost gone in the area thanks to long liners and local fishermen out for a quick buck). Then throw in some wonderful coral coverage and a lot of current and it becomes one of the best pelagic areas (again in context to the rest of Indonesia). The only areas that have the same biomass are military areas where fishing is not allowed. I've seen video from Diego Garcia and the biomass is phenomenal... but apparently they allow local fishing there now.

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Thanks Drew.

I hear Layang layang is still good?

Anyone been there lately?

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Layang Layang is a man made atoll. Other than the schooling hammers which are usually deep, there's not a lot of fish life there. Then you have the birds on the island!

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I was in LL last May and while the setup and everything was nice, the diving wasnt exactly my cuppa tea. Didnt see any hammerheads and the rest of the dives were a bit "blah", especially compared to places like Sipadan or my local diving, the Andamans. My reaction would have been the same even if I *had* seen the hammers.

 

A lot of it is dependent on what you want, though - I'd rather have a dive where there is stuff to see the entire time, rather than 45 minutes of nothingness and a (possible) fleeting encounter with a pelagic.

 

Vandit

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My last 40 dives have been for macro stuff at Lembeh and Thailand.

I need my big beastie fix.........Oh well back to Palau and Yap then.

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Thanks for the help. I think we have settled on PNG. Any suggestions regarding best time to go and which itinerary is best?

 

Michael

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Hi Michael,

 

I don't know if you are interested in topside, but if you are, you may want to visit the

Huli Wigman in the Southern Highlands of PNG. These folks are OUT THERE! I mean

if you want to step into another paradigm, this is the place to go. When I choose dive destinations

I often choose locations based on great diving and also interesting topside culture.

PNG definitely fits the bill!

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;)

 

New Britain Island, in PNG, has plenty of pelagic action. You will have more sharks than you can shake a stick at on Killibob's Knob near Kimbe bay. Rabaul has plenty of WWII goodies including a couple of tanks that look like they are ready to roll along the bottom.

 

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