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Old 29-04-2003, 08:39 PM
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John searches for velvet shore bugs on a seep :
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Old 29-04-2003, 08:40 PM
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Dan cataloging his insects :
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Old 29-04-2003, 08:42 PM
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Thoroughly professional skipper who was always ready to explore new sites both on and offshore and more than willing to accommodate our special requests.

Wonderful meals were cooked thoughout out the trip also as an added bonus.

As a research charter vessel, it is indeed hard to beat."

Job completed!!






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Old 29-04-2003, 08:50 PM
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Collecting sea sponge samples, Milne Bay area

Recommendation :

Department of Defence - Salisbury - Australia

Hi there,

I said I'd provide some words for your visitors book so here they are.
Greg and I had a fabulous time as we travelled from Thursday Island to Port Douglas via the outer sections of the Reef. Greg and I work in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), part of the Dept of Defence at Salisbury, just north of Adelaide.

I helped develop at DSTO the Laser Airborne Depth Sounder which is currently installed in the RAN F27 (Fokker Friendship) which flies out of Cairns nearly every afternoon.

It's flights are 7.5 hours long with the survey areas including Torres St, Fairway Channel, around Lizard Island and others. It uses a pulsed green laser to sound the bottom down to a limit of 50 m, but in turbid water it can be much less than that.

The team :
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Old 29-04-2003, 08:51 PM
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While on charter we were conducting measurements of the optical properties of the waters of the Reef. The instrument we deployed at 2 hourly intervals whilst on transit was a Wet Labs AC-9 nine-wavelength combined absorption and transmission meter. We were making the measurements for two reasons.

The first is to see which wavelength (colour) would give the maximum laser depth penetration. (Currently a neodymium YAG laser is used which operates at 532 nm in the green-yellow. It is likely that a blue laser would give deeper penetration and the Nd:YAG laser can run at 473 nm which is a blue line).

The other reason is to obtain data about the water which we can use in simulations of the depth bias which occurs with a laser system - which measures deeper by about 3% and has to be corrected. There is a Depth Bias Model which provides an estimate of the correction and we are currently trying to improve that model.

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Old 29-04-2003, 08:54 PM
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The meals that were prepared were fabulous and we had no thought of going down the street to the nearest restaurant.

The afternoon drinks and snacks were very pleasant.

It was so enjoyable that I hope sometime to return. (Even if it's to convince Wayne that earth tides of 30 cm occur every day as the moon passes over) !

With best wishes

Ralph Abbot - 34 Brunswick St - WALKERVILLE SA 5081

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Old 29-04-2003, 08:55 PM
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The samples :
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Old 29-04-2003, 09:02 PM
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Milne Bay Scuba Diving Cruises - in Papua New Guinea !

Only US$1200 per day private charter for up to 6 passengers, the most affordable liveaboard dive boat to operate in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

(Only US$200 each with 6 sharing)

Specialising in Adventure Diving, Underwater Research and Film-making :

Experience the difference of diving the remote and beautiful areas of Milne Bay in style ! Offering the complete diving and wilderness experience, No crowds, No pressure, No schedule.

Catering for only 6 guests their cruises are intimate and the day is planned to suit your needs. No one does it better. Try them for your next dive trip. They will give you a wonderful time as they cruise the pristine and beautiful areas of Milne Bay.

Unlimited diving and shore excursions to rainforest, waterfalls, scull caves and village life. Your whole experience will be packed with beauty and adventure.
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Old 29-04-2003, 09:06 PM
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Sample Itinerary for a 10 day trip (subject to weather conditions and the groups requ

  • Day 1 -Dive the wreck of the Muscoota, Samarai Wharf and China Strait area.
  • Day 2 - Diving with the "Gentle Giants" at the Manta Ray cleaning station and other close reefs.
  • Day 3 - Last dive with the Mantas, Grant Island area and the P38 aircraft wreck at Basilaki Island.
  • Day 4 and 5 - Nuakata Island area including Black and Silver, Trish's Bommie, Bob's Bommie, Tunnel Reef,
    Jason's Reef, Peer's Reef and Boirama Reef.
  • Day 6 - Banana Bommie and Boia Boia Waga Island area including Cobb's Cliff.
  • Day 7 to 9 - Diving all the wonderful sites on the North Coast of Milne Bay. These include Dinah's Beach,
    Deacon's Reef, Basilisk Point, Sponge Heaven, Kathy's Corner and many more.
  • Day 10 - They dive our way back to Alotau and enjoy a farewell dinner at the Lodge in the evening.

The above is a general idea only and may vary considerably due to weather and also the wishes of the group.

The diving is unlimited and depends only on how much travelling you wish to do.

At some of the great dive sites where they stay for a full day you may dive as often as you like, within the safe limits of your computer.

Sea Fan :
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Old 29-04-2003, 09:14 PM
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Some of the well known Milne Bay Dive Sites that we visit :

WRECK of the MUSCOOTA :

Iron hulled clipper ship launched by Queen Victoria and originally named the Buckingham. It was converted to a coal-refueling barge for World War 2, and scuttled at the end of the war when it sprang a leak. The bow tip is exposed with the stern in mud at 24m. The Muscoota is covered with marine life, including clams, soft corals and sponges. The surrounding sea-grass and silt bottom is home to Seahorses, Ghost Pipefish, Flying Gurnard, Ribbon Gobies and many other interesting creatures. A WW2 dump site is located approx 50m from the Muscoota wreck.

P38 LIGHTNING AIRCRAFT :

This aircraft's call sign was 2-66869, but all flight details are lost. The pilot ditched the aircraft and came ashore in a liferaft. The wreck is upright and intact except for the propellers which broke off on impact and were recovered in 1994 and placed near the wreck. The maximium depth of the wreck is 27m (90ft). It has little marine growth and is home to Sweetlips and Crocodilefish. The aircraft nose points to the reef so dives usually end with an interesting ascent up the reef back to the boat.

BANANA BOMMIE :

A large coral mount coming from 43m (140ft) to just 2m (7ft) from the surface. Divers are able to dive around the full circumference of the reef with a single tank. The South side of the reef is littered with soft corals of all descriptions. Large schools of fish feed off this face. A large school of Bat Fish, Grey Reef Sharks, Red-lined Sea Cucumbers, nudibranchs and many reef fish are normally found where the current meets the reef.

SULLIVAN'S PATCHES :

There are two main reefs.At least two dives are required to explore these reefs. In the early 1980s Crown-of Thorns destroyed the reefs but an amazing rejuvenation has taken place since and the reefs now have vibrant corals and schools of fish. Large animals are sometimes seen, especially Manta Rays and the odd cheeky Hammerhead Shark.

COBB'S CLIFF :

A deep dive is possible along the steep drop off 50+m (165+ft) but most action is in the first 20m (65ft). The ridge top drops back in the center to a sandy lagoon to 20m (65ft). This site is frequently visited by large pelagics such as Manta Rays and Hammerhead Sharks. The reef also hosts a variety of macro subjects such as Leaf and Lacy scorpion fish, Rhinopias, Blue Ribbon Eels, Elegant Fire Gobys plus deep water Anthias and sand tilefish in the deep water.

WAHOO REEF :

A small point located on the North side of the mainland with a shelf at 8m (26ft) dropping with a sheer wall down to 60+m (200+ft). This site is sometimes visited by Hammerheads, Manta Rays. The site also hosts a variety of anenomies, a school of Barracuda and very large Elephant ear sponges. A great place for wide angle photography. Excellent snorkeling along the edge of the dropoff

DINAH'S BEACH :

You could spend a number of days diving and snorkeling this location. Straight off the boat, no deeper than 8m (26ft )of water, you have an incredible collection of cleaning stations. The site has a variety of octopus and on occasions, the Mimic has appeared. Other critters on this site are: Blue Ribbon Eels, cuttlefish fish, Lion fish, A huge variety of Nudibranchs, Manta Shrimps, Mandarin fish, Frog fish, Sea horses, Ghost pipe fish, Cockatoo wasp fish, etc. etc.

Ashore, a vigorous walk up the stream leads through tropical rainforest to two splendid waterfalls, and the bird life is rich and varied. Here we have the opportunity to visit the village and skull caves.

DEACON'S REEF :

A steep dropoff rises from beyond 300m (1000ft) to form a series of coral towers very close to a cliff with overhanging trees. Between towers and cliff is an area of sea fans and whips and exquisite coral growth. Often large animals including Hammerhead and other Sharks and Rays are seen here.

DOUBILET REEF :

This is one of the finest reefs in Milne Bay but unfortunately is not always accessible because of currents and weather. It has an incredible forest of pink sea fans with red sea whips, black corals and barrel sponges. The top has a beautiful coral garden with large plate corals in shallow water.

OBSERVATION POINT :

A true rubble dive. Sand slopes going down 30m (100ft) host snake eels, Star Gazers, Pipe fish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish fish, Mimic Octopus, Spanish Dancers, Cuttlefish fish, Fire urchins with Coleman shrimp and the Bugs Bunny Scorpion fish.

SPONGE HEAVEN :

A sheer wall starting at 1m (3ft) below the surface dropping to 60+m (200+ft) is honey-combed with small caves. Huge variety of sponges and home to a variety of Nudibranchs, including the large Spanish Dancer.

JASON'S REEF :

A small coral mound located in 45m (150ft) of water. This mound has large schools of Banner fish and Fusiliers as well as many pelagics. Also on this mound is the sought after Rhinopias or Weedy Scorpion fish.

LITTLE CHINA :

A coral mound coming out of 45m (150ft) of water. Typical of over 30 dive sites in close proximity. Large schools of fish over the front face, soft coral gardens where both macro and wide angle photographers can be more than satisfied.

PELAGIC POINT :

This dive site has relatively strong currents and because of these currents there are large schools of fish patrolling a steep wall dropping off to 40m (130 ft).

WATERMAN RIDGE ;
This is a reef ridge extending from Grant Island. It is stacked with fish life, hard and soft corals and gorgonians. Unfortunately it is not always possible to dive here in the South East season.

BLACK and SILVER REEF :

Coral mound in 35m (120ft) of water. This site plays host to a large variety of crinoids. The front slope of this reef is covered with a variety of black coral trees. The colours changing from black in the shallow water to a ghostly silver below 22m. Off the slope, huge schools of fusiliers, anthias and jacks circle. Excellent for wide angle.

GIANTS at HOME :

A recently discovered Manta Ray cleaning station in shallow water in Milne Bay.

See giant Manta Rays taking turns to approach a small coral bommie where they are cleaned by the small cleaner wrasses. While hovering over the bommie being cleaned the mantas allow divers to approach closely.

They recommend the books "The DIVE SITES of PAPUA NEW GUINEA" and the Lonely Planet guide "Diving and Snorkeling Papua New Guinea" both by Bob Halstead as a valuable source of information for divers considering a dive trip to this marvellous part of the world.
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