Nuakata Islands, East Cape, PNG, Dec 2016
Nuakata Island is about 14km of Northern tip of Milne Bay. It’s the biggest island at the centre of a group of smaller ones. All surrounded by a myriad of coral reefs kept incredibly healthy by overactive and irregular currents.
Nelson is the Counsellor ( chief ). He lives on the east side of the Island with Ellen and his five Children. A thorough gentleman who couldn’t do enough to welcome us and show us around. We saw skull caves that dated back to the Islands headhunting past and enjoyed walking up the mountains. We would recommend him as the first port of call to any other boats visiting the main Nuakata Island.
Nuakata passage Diving
The tides may be small here, but the strong undercurrents which flow between the Coral and Solomon seas rip through this passage. We found it difficult to predict the direction and strength of the currents, so dive planning went out the window, plus we needed to be doubly careful.
The Tawali Dive Resort dive boat visits here occasionally and has chained tyres to the top of many of the seamounts in 5-8m depth.
Very convenient but it was hard to spot them from our vessel. Fortunately, mermaid Syl found she could jump in with her scuba gear and be able to locate them.
Once we found a tyre, it was easy to attach, and we could breathe easy while diving.
The steady flow of nutrients made for a diverse range of dense corals and fish, although we never found any Pigmy Seahorses which this area is known for, nor were there many pelagic’s or sharks.
(Which all our charts show incorrectly as Boirama Island).
Simon is Nelson’s brother in law and together with his family are the islands, sole occupants.
It was easy to spend a couple of days here: his house is fronted by a beautiful beach, a well-protected anchorage, & Simon is a most likeable guy to hang out with. We took him to a favourite fishing reef and trolled lures besides it. Despite his insistence, we didn’t take any of the catch, so next morning he turned up at our stern with several crayfish—we never get tired of eating crays, plus it’s permissible to take them back to Australia in the freezer.
Simon is keen to attract more vessels to his Island and would certainly make an excellent host and guide for fishing, diving and cultural activities. There is no ph reception at Diawari but he can be contacted via a brother on # 675 70940897 or emailed firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for Warships
I was excited when told about an undiscovered large shipwreck, which could be a Japanese warship. It was enough to stir the small boy venturesome spirit within me. I recruited several villagers to help my quest. Its high point was supposedly only about 10-15 m from the surface, but unyielding currents and a jagged seascape made looking for it tough, and after much huffing and puffing we gave up. For the time being that is! But I am still excited about the possibilities and would like to return when we are better prepared.
Any boats interested in joining our search in November 2017? Email us.
*To see more of our images of the Milne Bay Province, which stretches 250nm through the Louisiade Archipelago click here.
* For a Vimeo video showing further images of Nuakata Islands click here
* For further information about Nuakata Island click here.
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