We enjoyed returning to Milne bay’s East Cape in 2017. This time we had an additional crew member, Al a native PNG diving guide. Our mission was to: find some new diving locations, locate and photograph the iconic Pygmy Seahorse, and could we find that undiscovered shipwreck near Nuakata?.
Well, the first two items were no trouble, Al new where there were truck tire moorings on top of two superb diving locations that we had missed in 2016.
Firstly we visited the deep bommie named Tania’s. Like everywhere we traveled in PNG the coral was lush–no toasted coral here–as yet. We had been told the many big Gorgonian coral fans here were perfect for finding Pygmy Seahorses, and sure enough within 5 minutes, Al had shown us four different species. I was staggered! I had been looking for these little macro critters for years without any success! In my defense, they are minuscule, and you do need to know the where and how to succeed in spotting them, and Al was a genius at finding and identifying all types of macro life. !!
Our next dive was at Cobbs, a fascinating dive. The two things that stand out in my memory are how Al was able to find such a diverse range of critters amongst the dense jungle of coral. He was so good that we never really looked around much ourselves, it was fantastic just drifting about and letting Al find critters for us to marvel at. There was also a couple of nice walls here, and it was one of a few places in New Guinea with a population of Grey Whaler sharks. Unusual to find a place that hadn’t been fished out for shark fins.
Then it was time to pay our respects to our friend councilor Nelson from the island of Nuakata. It was gratifying to see the family photos we had given to him from our last years visit pinned up inside his house. We asked his assistance to help locate the supposed undiscovered shipwreck. So the four of us went searching. We found an isolated bommie at the place where it should have been. It rose to about 20m over pure sand in 38m depth. From a distance, it did look like a possible shipwreck. I could easily see how the native hookah diver being swept across it by a strong current thought he had made an exciting discovery, but alas it was just coral. “Shipwreck Bommie” is only 5 km from Nuakata and this whole area has excellent diving and hospitable villagers. We had a good time.
To read more of this area check out our last year’s story of Nuakata by clicking here
I’ve added a few more pics we took of the East Cape below if you would like to see more of our images of the Milne Bay province of PNG click here.