Madang to Moresby – A Few Favourite Images

Posted in At Sea on December 25th, 2008 by MadDog
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My recent eight-day sea voyage from Madang to Port Moresby on Miss Rankin yielded many memories that will last me for the rest of my life and not a few images that I will add to my slide show folders.

Today, we’ll take a break from Vietnam and I’ll show you just a few of the shots that made me feel lucky to be in a certain spot at a certain time – you know the kind that I mean.

As we left Madang, I was shooting like a crazy person to get images of the Coastwatchers Monument. Fortuitously, a big cargo ship came along just as I was getting out of telephoto range of the monument:

A cargo ship passes the Coastwatchers Monument in Madang

I’m going to try to contact the ship owners and see if I can peddle this image to them. It would look nice on the wall of the boss’s office.

This is the biggest school of feeding tuna that I have ever personally seen. I know that it is small by ocean standards. If you click to enlarge, you can see many birds and a few fish out of the water:

Tuna and birds in a feeding frenzy

Along the north coast, in several places, you can see what appear to be steps going up the sides of the mountains. These are ancient beaches. As the sea level rises and falls it apparently pauses for long periods of time. It’s not continuous; it’s a jerky process. So, each time there is a pause, a new beach and corresponding cliff forms. When the sea level changes again up or down, these fossil beaches are preserved:

Fossil beaches along the north coast of Papua New Guinea

If there are any doubters out there about the actual age of the earth, you might want to have a close look and think about it. I haven’t been ashore here, but I’d like to do so someday. I’m told that the fossils that you find at each lever are different.

As sunsets go, this one is not particularly pretty, but we very seldom get a chance to see the sun actually slipping below the horizon. Clouds usually block the view. On this evening, however, there was a slot of clear air between the base of the clouds and the ocean surface:

Sunset with sunspot?

If you click to enlarge you can see a little dark spot on the sun. (Oooh . . . King of Pain by Sting just started playing in my head! “There’s a little dark spot on the sun today; it’s the same ol’ thin’ as yesterday”) I think that it might be a sunspot. I’ve seen photos of sunsets in which sunspots were clearly visible. Maybe I got lucky here. Or maybe it was only a small cloud.

We saw a spectacular rain shower along the coast one evening. I spent about twenty minutes shooting it. There was a very dense column of rain under a single cloud. It looked to me to be only a few hundred metres wide. I suppose this is a visible explanation of why we often get short intense rainstorms around Madang:

A fierce little rainshower along the north coast of Papua New Guinea

After I get my web host problems sorted out, I’ll be able to show you some spectacular panoramas that are zoomable. For now, I’ll just have to show you the clickable thumbnail of this beauty:

Reef panorama - Milne Bay - Papua New Guinea

We were anchored off the edge of a reef down around Milne Bay. There are thousands of reefs in the area. You could probably dive there for a lifetime and never do the same dive twice. The shot above is a blend of six separate frames. If you click to enlarge, you can see a guy in a canoe. People travel incredible distances here in small canoes.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be jumping around from place to place on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi. I have more from Vietnam and the Moresby trip. I’ll slip in some odds and ends also.

Oh, by the way – If you’re into it – Merry Christmas.

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