5 – 15 June 2010

We have been on idyllic Lissenung Island Resort since June 5 and have spent wonderful time catching up with our friends Dietmar and Ange Amon, the owners and operators of this lovely little dive resort in the Pacific. In the past, Dietmar and Ange have house sat for us while we were away on a job and they were in Cairns for some much needed R&R away from their island paradise. It is work for them to live this modern day Robinson Crusoe existence in Kavieng, PNG – having a rustic island with diving at their beach step. And this era being the 21st century, the island is hooked to wifi to keep internet junkies online when they have had enough of nature!

A few steps away from our bungalow in Lissenung Island is this shallow reef!

A few steps away from our bungalow in Lissenung Island is this shallow reef!

Two degrees south of the equator, this New Ireland archipelago abounds with beautiful islands fringed with stunning white sand beaches and beautiful palm trees. This narrow island group has a labyrinth of reefs, that with the season, make for great surfing, fishing and diving. These sites are well known for strong drifts and pelagic fish life at every tide change with incoming tides flushing in clear water from the deep Bismarck Sea.

Fusiliers were raining everywhere and Yogi caught them in motion in the blue

Fusiliers were raining everywhere and Yogi caught them in motion in the blue

In the famed dive site Albatross Passage, there was pelagic action happening in the blue with grey reef sharks, dogtooth tuna and spanish mackerel making close passes, but Yogi kept his nose close to the reef photographing small critters. The walls of the passage had so much life – gorgonian fans and black coral trees hosted macro life after macro life.  We asked all our other dive mates if we could dive it again and again. There is wisdom in repeating dive sites and it was great our new diver friends thought the same way! And other than our penchant for repeating dive sites (quality over quantity as we often say), Yogi likes repeating photographing subjects for that slim chance of a cool behaviour.

A unique totally white soft coral at 27 meters cuddled a sleeping basketstar

A unique totally white soft coral at 27 meters cuddled a sleeping basketstar

Another soft coral with another sleeping basketstar and a visiting hawkfish

Another soft coral with another sleeping basketstar and a visiting hawkfish. We have not seen sleeping basktestars in all our 15 months on the road and reef that seeing two in one dive was just overwhelming! Basketstars are my all time favorite echinoderm on earth!

A Longnose hawkfish yawns while he swims around his black coral tree kingdom

A Longnose hawkfish yawns while he swims around his black coral tree kingdom

We found a cleaning station towards the end of our dive and boy, did we stay there!

We found a cleaning station towards the end of our dive and boy, did we stay there!

These cleaner wrasses were choosy who they cleaned. We saw many fusiliers with open mouths but getting the cleaning snub and the wrasse going for another customer!

These cleaner wrasses were choosy who they cleaned. We saw many fusiliers with open mouths but getting the cleaning snub and the wrasse going for another customer!

We didn’t go far to get to our favorite dive site – the Lissenung house reef shallows. Our first dive in the seagrass bed at 3 meters was for 120 minutes with 100 bars left! Our succeeding dives were always as long and the results were just amazing. The critters and shallow reef were so photogenic!  We only surfaced when our stomachs growled.

Two yellow "watchmen" gobies gives Yogi their fiercest look while their shrimp housekeepers keep their home tidy

Two yellow “watchmen” gobies gave Yogi their fiercest look while their shrimp housekeepers keep their duplex tidy

Chocolate chip starfish hosts a shrimp well camouflaged among its deep colors

Chocolate chip starfish hosts a shrimp well camouflaged among its deep colors

Imagine our excitement when we saw juvenile batfish in the Lissenung house reef shallows. What beauties!

Imagine our excitement when we saw juvenile batfish in the Lissenung house reef shallows one late afternoon. What beauties!

The tube worms were huge in the house reef. Here's one showing off . . .

The tube worms were huge in the house reef. Here’s one showing off . . .

And of course, the finale are these two blue starfish embracing the reef!

And of course, the finale are these two blue starfish embracing the reef!

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