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Dive Review of Dive Walindi/Liamo Reef / Walindi in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

Dive Walindi/Liamo Reef / Walindi, May, 2008,

by Sherwood & Judith Smith, WA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 4367.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving all over the Indo-Pacific, and much of the Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions controlled by your own computer
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments large photo table on the dive deck. Separate rinse tank for cameras. Crew very helpful in passing down and retrieving cameras before/after the dive.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The SPUMS meeting was held at the Liamo Reef Resort, rather than Walindi, because the conference room was the only one large enough for the meeting, and both it and the guest rooms are air conditioned, whereas only a few areas of Walindi have A/C.

Liamo Reef is located on the beach at Kimbe Town, but we were advised to stay on the (fenced) resort grounds, because the town is full of transients working in the oil plantations, and it is deemed not safe for foreigners to walk around unaccompanied. We complied. Accommodations were very nice, with large, spacious rooms, sizeable bathrooms with showers, and meticulous housekeeping. Breakfast and dinner were served buffet style, with food quality very good to excellent. Service was on island time, but the staff couldnt have been more friendly.

Every morning we had a 20-minute bus ride to Walindi, where we boarded the boats for a two-tank dive in Kimbe Bay. Both the Star Dancer and the FeBrina were used as day boats, along with two smaller boats from the Dive Walindi operation, to handle a total of about 70 divers. We were on the Star Dancer. The larger boats motored at a more sedate pace, so that when we went further out in Kimbe Bay to the more open sites, we were frequently doing the second dive later in the afternoon, with the light too flat to really enjoy the topography. Lunch was served on the boat, choices of sandwiches, or plates, and were not expensive.

Dive Walindis staff proved friendly and efficient at registering this large group of guests, even coming over to Liamo Reef to check C-cards, and organize boat assignments. At the end of the week, they did the same to settle accounts. Air fills were generous, and much of their equipment appeared quite new.

Kimbe Bay is a relatively protected environment, receiving neither heavy wind, nor open ocean surge. As a result, the fans and soft corals on the seamounts are huge, and spectacular. Most of the dive site are old volcanic seamounts, usually with one steeper side, allowing for a good wall dive experience every day. On several dive sites, small seamounts or ridges in 25-40 ft. of water, we encountered rows and clusters of absolutely unbroken fans, up to 15 feet across, covered with a plethora of crinoids, and containing critters of all kinds. Soft corals of all types and colors made for esthetically rich color. These site looked as though we were the first ever to dive them.

Pygmy Seahorses were pointed out by the guides on almost every site, until we got used to finding them ourselves. The guides were eager to find tiny critters for those of us shooting macro. Pinnacle tops were frequented by shoals of jacks and barracuda, and we took pictures of a multitude of nudibranchs we had not seen before. At Inglis Shoal, a plastic box of fish parts was used to attract a number of white tip, grey reef, and silvertip sharks, which swam with us for the rest of the dive. Other outstanding sites included Ottos reef, Joys Reef, and Joelles Reef.

On several occasions, pods of dolphins accompanied the boat, surfing on the bow wave. Otherwise, we saw no pelagics, though whales are often seen in Kimbe Bay, but, perhaps at other times of the year.

All in all, excellent tropical diving, with very rich sea life, biased to the small side.
[None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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