Australia and Papua New Guinea July 2001

Dive 234-283

From Cairns the motorvessel "SuperSport" travels northeast on a 3 day journey to a channel in The Great Barrier Reef called Cod Hole. It's a very beautiful site, but mostly known as the place, where you feed Potato Cods. It's a Grouper species the size of a human being. Impressive creatures! The pictures gives an idea of how close they come, they obviously fear nothing.
The temperatures in July were 24° C. inside the reef and 25° C. out in The Coral Sea.


Flowery Cod

Potato Cod

Longfin Batfish

Red Bass

Minke Whale.

Whitetip Reef Shark.
Before we reached Cod Hole on the barrier reef, a little pod of Minke Whales visited us, and stayed for more than an hour. They are a little timid and kept a distance about 25 m. I was lucky to meet them on my way up from a normal SCUBA dive, and could hang on 10 m depth and photograph them.

The famous wreck of "SS Yongala" is lying on a sand bottom 20-30 m deep. It's more a coral reef than a wreck, it sank in 1911 and is now a paradise of diverse lifeforms.

Olive Seasnake.

Loggerhead Seaturtle.

A comment on the coralgrowth:
In The Coral Sea, on The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) as well as in Papua New Guinea (PNG) the corals are abundantly growing everywhere, the reefs seem to be healthy and with only few and small dead patches.

Abundant life.

Stone Corals.

Staghorn Coral.

Leather Coral.

Softcoral.

Softcoral.

Nightdives are a little special. You see the nightactive animals while the dayactive are sleeping. This Splendid Reef Crab sat dining on his pray, and the Basket Star, a relative of the Sea Star, is only seen at night, displaying its lacy beauty.
Another crustacean on the prowl was the odd Slipper Lobster, and the moray eels also hunts at night.

Splendid Reef Crab.

Basket Star.

Slipper Lobster.

Fimbriated Morayeel.

On south Flinders Reef they do shark feeding, and it is absolutely awesome. About 25 great Silvertips and Grey Reef Sharks were circling around us.
Such beautiful animals!

Silvertip Reef Shark.

Silvertip and Grey Reef Shark.

Papua New Guinea.
From Cairns to Port Moresby and further up to Kavieng on the nothern tip of New Ireland.
There we boarded the motorvessel "ParadiseSport" which circumnavigated the island New Hannover.
The locals came out in their little boats, and we visited their village later.

Details.
The underwater world is so varied and new to us, that careful attention to the details is worth while.
Seacucumbers are mostly quite tedious to look at - but not allways.

Redlined Seacucumber.

Detail of a Gorgonia.

Camouflage.
Some are masters in the art of disguise. The Stonefish at daytime really looks like a stone, but this nightphoto shows it a little reddish, thus making it easyer to distinguish.
The little Leaf Scorpionfish is really thin as a leaf, and its only movement is a gentle swaying in the swell.

Stonefish.

Leaf Scorpionfish.

Harlequin Ghostpipefish.


Crocodilefish.
The little Ghostpipefish is easy to see on this photo because we made it move a little away from the red Softcoral, in which it was hiding. It's not really swimming, again just gently swaying and moving with the corals where it lives its entire life, and allways head down.
The Crocodilefish is a meter long and still not easyly detected.

Scools of fish.

Barracudas.

Bluelined Snappers.

Indo-Pacific Seargents.

Red Soldierfish and Yellowspot Emperors.

Shrimps.
It's fun to look for shrimps, but you'll have to know a little about where to find them. The left one is one of the commensal shrimps, living in a sea anemone. It's only 2 cm long and allmost transparent, so if you are not looking specifically for it, you'll never discover it.
The cleaner shrimp is much more conspicuous, the long constantly moving white antennae will easyly give it away. The body is about 5 cm long.

Periclimenes Venustus.

Stenopus Hispidus.

Flywreck.

The very last dive on PNG was a nice little japanese flywreck from WorldWar 2, it's a 2 seater torpedo bomber, unharmed, sitting upside up on 10 m of water.

Good Bye Papua New Guinea.


Special Pages:

Anemonefishes.

Butterflyfishes (Sommerfuglefisk).

Flatworms & Nudibranchs (Fladorme & Nøgensnegle).

=> Emergency Exit...hvis du er faret vild ;-)

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