13 – 25 May 2010

Walindi Plantation Resort

Restorff Island is our lunch place and one of our most favorite dive sites. it is muck heaven as well as having awesome underwater landscapes

Restorf Island is our lunch place and one of our most favorite dive sites. it is muck heaven as well as having awesome underwater landscapes

This is Yogi’s fourth and my third time in Walindi Plantation Resort. Needless to say, we simply adore it here. After diving many great spots in Asia during this expedition, we ask ourselves, do we still love it here? The answer is a resounding YES! And now that we can put all our images in perspective, we know why Kimbe Bay holds a special place in our hearts. This place is just stunning. Here we find time and again fine art in nature.

Walindi Plantation Dive Resort sits smack inside a rainforest!

Walindi Plantation Dive Resort sits smack inside a rainforest!

Just a daily scene underwater. Beautiful red fan corals, crystal clear and hardly any current waters and of course, our dive boat patiently waiting for us to end our dives

Just a daily scene underwater. Beautiful red fan corals, crystal clear and hardly any current waters and of course, our dive boat patiently waiting for us to end our dives

New Britain is a mountainous volcanic island located NE of mainland New Guinea.   The famous Kimbe Bay is a large and deep wide bay located on the north coast of Western New Britain.  The mountains protect Kimbe Bay from the strong southeast trade winds and south and west monsoons.  The result is a wonderfully sheltered environment with steep reef slopes, walls, overhangs and caves altogether creating a spectacular underwater landscape.

Bathymetry showing Kimbe Bay's narrow coastal shelf (max depth 200m) plunging to deep ocean depth of >2000m. Data based on best available Bathymetric data from Navigational Charts and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans) overlaid with IMaRS 2004 geomorphology for the coastline and reefs. Bathymetric - measure of depth of water in oceans, seas or lakes. Geomorphology - Landscape and other natural features of the earth's surface

Bathymetry showing Kimbe Bay’s narrow coastal shelf (max depth 200m) plunging to deep ocean depth of >2000m. This interpolated data is based on best available Bathymetric information from Navigational Charts and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans overlaid with IMaRS 2004 geomorphology for the coastline and reefs. Bathymetry is the measure of depth of water in oceans, seas or lakes. Geomorphology is landscape and other natural features of the earth’s surface

IMaRS 2004 is The Institute for Remote Sensing and data above comes from The Millennium Coral Reef Mapping project.

Many out patch reefs and mid-bay reefs rise directly from the deep sea floor where volcanic pinnacles rise from 2,000m depths with sensational drop-offs. Visibility can be extremely good with currents coming from the deep open waters of the Bismarck Sea.  It is, for many serious divers and underwater photographers, the supreme diving mecca.

We photograph gorgonian fan after fan after fan and never seem to tire of these beauties

We photograph gorgonian fan after fan after fan and never seem to tire of these beauties

The deep 35 meter swim through at South Emma looking out to the clear waters of the Bismarck Sea

The deep 35 meter swim through at South Ema looking out to the clear waters of the Bismarck Sea

Like the topside forest of West New Britain, the underwater world of Kimbe Bay seems to have a mad rush for life and all things living

Like the topside forest of West New Britain, the underwater world of Kimbe Bay seems to have a mad rush for life and all things living

Walindi Plantation Resort was our 10 day diving haven.

We would get evening dive briefings from Cat and Dan the resident dive managers what to expect the next day.

We would get evening dive briefings from Cat and Dan the resident dive managers what to expect the next day.

We dived famous spots like South Ema, Vanessa, Susan, Kirsty Jane, Restorf Island, Joelle’s, Inglis Shoal to an almost manic pace – fearing it would all be over too soon.

Red is the first color that disappears once we hit the deeper waters of the ocean. With the help of strong underwater strobes, what seems dull in our eyes comes out a brilliant red like these sea whips!

Red is the first color that disappears once we hit the deeper waters of the ocean. With the help of strong underwater strobes, what seems dull in our eyes comes out a brilliant red like these sea whips!

Interesting caves and outcrops in the deep with 50 meter visibility!

Interesting caves and outcrops in the deep with 50 meter visibility!

In Inglis Shoal, schooling jacks or trevallies mix with schooling barracudas!

At dive site called Bradford, schooling jacks mix with schooling barracudas!

Many critters live here too! A tiny egg cowrie sits in hiding on a soft coral very much looking like it!

Many critters live here too! A tiny egg cowrie sits in hiding on a soft coral very much looking like it!

Oscar our expert dive guide shares his colors and a laugh with Yogi

Oscar our expert dive guide shares his colors and a laugh with Yogi

Diving here is all year round with the best season starting from mid August to end December and again from February to June. Strong southeast trade winds can still be felt in early August.  Visibility ranges from 20-50 meters (50- 80 ft.), with water temperatures ranging from 27-30° C (85- 90 F). Weather is tropical, with only little seasonal variation. The whole time we were there, visibility went from very good to excellent with one dive’s visibility at 50 meters!

Every evening, Max Benjamin – Walindi’s soft-spoken owner, would ask how our dives went. Our answers were always quite simple really. It was all too breathtaking! He must be so immune to seeing drool come out of each guest’s mouth when they gush at Kimbe Bay’s underwater magnificence!

Dendronephthya crab or soft coral crab with small soft coral polyps growing on its back

Dendronephthya crab or soft coral crab with small soft coral polyps growing on its back

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