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Published: April 24th 2011
Blog Two...Diving The FeBrina
Fantabulous!!! Where to begin - above or below water? We've done 26 dives and as the days progressed we asked ourselves..."how can this get any better?" And it kept surpassing the previous day's wonderment. First of all, The FeBrina is the only boat out in the PNG waters here. The serenity and solitude contributes to this magical experience. Rimmed in the distance is a trio of volcanoes that enhances the sunrises. In the evenings the lightning brightens the horizon. Mesmerized by the sunlight on the water, the deep blue abuts the turquoise-green pateches of coral reef.
On the boat, we are two of only twelve divers - a group of six from Sacramento, a professional underwater photographer from the Cannary islands (some of the attached pictures are his-bet you can tell which are his and which are ours) with his friend from Germany, and our friends Julie and Charlie, from Australia. Three girls run the kitchen, preparing breakfasts to order, lunches with 6-7 choices, and gourmet dinners. In between are homemade muffins, breads, and appetizers. To say the least, the food and wine has been phenomenal!
We begin each day with a 6:30am. dive, have
breakfast, dive twice more at 9am and 11:30, have lunch, siesta until our 3:30 dive, then choose to night dive or partake in cocktail hour (we seem to lean towards the latter), dinner at 8pm, view Arturo's photos and Charlie's videos for an incredible wrap up to our day, and then bedtime.
Come with us now as we deflate our BC's and slip slowly 100 feet into the depths of blue. Swimmming laterally we gradually approached the fringes of reef-sea mounts that arose from the bottom of the ocean floor as pinnacles poked into view. As we approached our dive destinations we are greeted by a myriad of life. Dropping down, sometimes to over 100 feet, swimming through arches and suspending ourselves above the bottomless below. The 86-88 degree water with 100+ foot visibility cradled us on each dive. The carpeted landscape teemed with healthy hard and soft corals and sponges of every color in the rainbow, mixed together in patterns and combinations that made the mind swirl.
Each dive site had it's own highllights: from one extreme of macro critters of crabs, shrimps, pipe fish, sea horses, and nudebranchs, to the other extreme of schooling barracuda, jacks,
trevalli and circling sharks. On two dives the dive guides lured the lurking sharks with a bait box. The ensueing frenzy was up close and personal - something we've never experienced before except on Nat Geo. Interesting, yet a bit intimidating, although our preference was to see them in their own graceful cruising posture.
The zone in between was a dense network of 100's of 1000's of reef fish-angels, butterfly, wrasses, surgeonfish, blemmies, parrots, triggerfish, sweetlips, batfish, and on and on and on. The color combination and patterns of the schools of fish filled our vision. No where else in the world have we seen such abundance of life underwater. On one dive a turtle made friends with June and swam up to her belly, then held onto her hand wanting to be petted under the chin. The experience and awe of it all is indescribable (although we've tried our best).
The trip ended with a BBQ and "sing-sing" performed by the local school children.
We want to express our sincere thanks to Charlie and Julie for bringing us into their world here in Papua New Guinea. The experience wouldn't have been the same without their companionship. We
hope to have his underwater video to share with you upon our return. Hope all is well with everyone, Cheers!
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