We relish our nature photography most when we find new places, and get to interpret them our way.
Kana kopi bay is a picturesque anchorage tucked in-between tall mountains at the entrance to Milne Bay, a peaceful stopover on the way to Alotau the capital of the Western province of Papua New Guinea.
Here the sea is usually flat and like most places in PNG hard corals and seagrass grow to where the mangroves dip their toes in the clear water.
Beautiful reflections lay over the glassy surface.
I loved it when a banana boat travelled across the entrance sending repeating ripple patterns scurrying down the Bay to my awaiting camera lens.
There is no need to mess with scuba gear here at Kana Kopi.
We like the free feeling of just a snorkel and fins, and being able to play around in the shallows for hours on end.
I fitted my camera with a 16mm fisheye lens and what a magical perspective it was seeing the sky smiling down through the mangrove roots. A 170mm dome was fitted over my Nexus housing and Nikon 750 DSLR camera. It worked but a broader 200mm plus dome would have made it easier.
While taking in the seascape, what appeared to be a flying carpet almost bumped into me. It was the biggest Polyclad flatworm I had ever seen—230 mm (9 inches) long. We hung around together for quite some time; it would swim, crawl across the bottom, and occasionally attach itself to a mangrove root. It had a small tear through the centre of its body but was in good spirits, and we got to be friends although I never did get its name. I could have discovered a new species, that would be cool.
Snorkelling along the edge with the 60mm macro lens was equally rewarding.
There was quite a few unusual species of little fish, slugs, and shrimp. I never saw my humongous flatworm again but the smaller Maiazoon orsaki were plentiful, and it was fascinating watching them swimming between mangroves and clinging to branches.
Coming from tropical Australia, it was different to be able to snorkel around mangroves without having to worry about crocodiles
. Visibility was also much better, although I needed to be careful not to touch down to prevent a dirt cloud erupting.
We had a relaxing time here. Sheltered bays like this usually have the demands of a village community, but here it’s just a couple of family’s, and they seldom visit.
*For more information about Milne Bay proper and details of Kana kopi click here to see my last year’s story.
if you would like to see more of our stories of the Milne Bay province PNG go to destinations and scroll thru to:
Louisiades Sept 2016
Tawali resort refuge Nov 2016
Nuakata Islands Dec 2016
Conflict Islands Dec 2016
Milne bay South 2017
Inside Milne bay Nov 2016
*If you would like to read further about Marine Flatworms click here
*For a good site if you wish to learn more on underwater photography including over-unders click here