Our 2nd day in Rabaul / Kokopo was devoted to snorkeling off Pigeon Island, and deserves an entire post to itself.
On the way to the island, we saw a pod of at least 20 dolphins. I have always thought dolphins were kind of terrible, what with the whole ‘lets murder a porpoise and play with its body’ thing, so I didn’t think I’d really care about seeing them in the wild.
(Check these out: 10 Reasons Dolphins are A-Holes & Dark Secrets of Dolphins)
But, I have to admit, it was truly a sight to behold – they were so majestic and the water was so clear, it was beautiful.
Dolphin fins with Mount Tavurvur & friends in the distance
Dolphins swimming in front of the boat
The water was so clear that you could see the dolphins coming up from extremely deep
We had Pigeon Island and the reef surrounding it completely to ourselves – just Bonnie & I, a husband & wife visiting from POM, our guide & boat operator. It was breath-takingly beautiful, but I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. Note: my underwater camera broke… underwater… so all the underwater photos are courtesy of Bonnie’s fancy underwater camera.
Top: Pigeon Island & the mountains of New Ireland in the distance Bottom: Bonnie & I as we come up to Pigeon Island
Clear waters & reef, with Mount Tavurvur & friends in the distance
Stunning beach, all for us
Starfish!! Also, a sea urchin in the top left
Our guide holds a sea cucumber… the reef is beautiful and largely unspoiled due to the lack of tourists, but there isn’t much conservation going on either
Clownfish & Anemones
I don’t remember what these are called, but if you snap your fingers they suck back into their little holes
At the edge of the reef there was a huge drop-off where the water became cold and a ton of fish were swimming deep below us
Top: Me with Mount Tavurvur & friends in the distance Bottom: Bonnie with another small island and New Ireland in the distance
Hermit crabs & more hermit crabs!
This is what we came home to, very sweet
Snorkeling off Pigeon Island will definitely go down as one of my favourite experiences of all time. Expect the last Rabaul post, ‘Part 3’, in the near future; featuring volcanic hot springs and war relics.