In november/december 2009 Julie and I visited the Eastern Fields area in Papua New Guinea, joining a Wetpixel.com expedition with Eric Cheng and Tony Wu. We did two back to back trips on the Golden Dawn, the only liveaboard that visits the area. The Eastern Fields is a pretty remote atoll between Papua New Guinea and Australia, 450 nautical miles wide, consisting solely of submerged reefs. Nearest land is half a day’s travel away.
We knew before we went that this was going to be mostly a wide angle trip. That was going to make it a bit different from our usual trips, as Julie and I both like macro. The area was visually stunning, and Carl’s Ultimate was probably the most beautiful dive site I’ve ever seen. When the current picks up, the amount of life on that reef is so overwhelming you don’t know where to start. But a lot of this lushness was hard to photograph, and more suited to video. At some point I just stopped taking photo’s and watched the splendor in action.
Nevertheless we did take a lot of images, and even managed to take some macro shots.
read on to view our gallery
As if we didn’t have enough hobbies, Julie and I have started to do geo caching. It’s actually a great way to get some exercise and see areas you otherwise probably wouldn’t visit. The object is to find a treasure that’s been hidden. You find it by following GPS coordinates towards a location. Sometimes the caches are easy to find, somethings quite difficult. You then take something out of the cache, and put something back in yourself.
You can do geocaching all over the world. Probably within a few miles of everyone reading this post there is at least 1 cache. Here on St Croix there are about 10 caches, and we’ve found 5 so far. One turned out to be unreachable as the area it’s in was flooded after the last hurricane. Maybe if I take my dive gear out!
Finding the caches turned out to be a lot of fun. One was right near our dive shop. Literally a few steps from it. We never knew it was there. Another was on the highest peak of St. Croix and was pretty hard to reach as there was no real path. We had to hike through dense forest. The photo was taken during our last hike. We had to walk about 2 miles over hills, past deserted beaches, through dense grass, and finally we found it near a beautiful little lagoon with several pelicans flying around. Just perfect.
In may Julie went on a trip by herself. She claims it’s to see the Oceanic Whitetip sharks, but by now we all know it’s because of the pigs. It’s quite difficult to find these sharks. As the name suggests they are usually found in the open ocean, so basically you have to use a lot of bait and hope for the best. Last year this trip got skunked (one of the reasons I didn’t feel like going) but this year they got some good action.
Read on for some Oceanic Whitetip images
We had a great day on the beach today taking some horses into the ocean. The horses seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. Click on “More” for some more pictures.