13 – 25 May 2010
S5 26.191 E150 05.263 – Walindi Plantation Resort
This is Yogi’s fourth and my third time in Walindi Plantation Resort. Needless to say, we simply adore it here. After diving many great spots in Asia during this expedition, we ask ourselves, do we still love it here? The answer is a resounding YES! And now that we can put all our images in perspective, we know why Kimbe Bay holds a special place in our hearts. This place is just stunning. Here we find time and again fine art in nature.
New Britain is a mountainous volcanic island located NE of mainland New Guinea. The famous Kimbe Bay is a large and deep wide bay located on the north coast of Western New Britain. The mountains protect Kimbe Bay from the strong southeast trade winds and south and west monsoons. The result is a wonderfully sheltered environment with steep reef slopes, walls, overhangs and caves altogether creating a spectacular underwater landscape.
IMaRS 2004 is The Institute for Remote Sensing and data above comes from The Millennium Coral Reef Mapping project.
Many out patch reefs and mid-bay reefs rise directly from the deep sea floor where volcanic pinnacles rise from 2,000m depths with sensational drop-offs. Visibility can be extremely good with currents coming from the deep open waters of the Bismarck Sea. It is, for many serious divers and underwater photographers, the supreme diving mecca.
Walindi Plantation Resort was our 10 day diving haven.
We dived famous spots like South Ema, Vanessa, Susan, Kirsty Jane, Restorf Island, Joelle’s, Inglis Shoal to an almost manic pace – fearing it would all be over too soon.
Diving here is all year round with the best season starting from mid August to end December and again from February to June. Strong southeast trade winds can still be felt in early August. Visibility ranges from 20-50 meters (50- 80 ft.), with water temperatures ranging from 27-30° C (85- 90 F). Weather is tropical, with only little seasonal variation. The whole time we were there, visibility went from very good to excellent with one dive’s visibility at 50 meters!
Every evening, Max Benjamin – Walindi’s soft-spoken owner, would ask how our dives went. Our answers were always quite simple really. It was all too breathtaking! He must be so immune to seeing drool come out of each guest’s mouth when they gush at Kimbe Bay’s underwater magnificence!