Mangrove Pikinini, Kevieng

Rick and I went for a wander around a small surf resort island near Kevieng which is where we do our swap out whilst the crew does the turn around on True North in readiness for the next set of guests, when we came across this little tacker playing in the mangroves.

The little fella was very content with just playing in the shallows in the shade of the mangroves and was oblivious to our arrival for a while whilst I took these initial shots.

The structure of the mangroves and the soft light coming into the area made for a sweet little capture…hope you like it!

Cyclone battered old Queenslander

Whilst cruising around the Cairns area near Tully, I came across this old QLDer that was obviously belted around by recent cyclones in the area. It will take years for the rainforest down that way to recover and you can very much see just how bad it must have been in these parts.

I particularly like the stained glass windows left in this old house and the overall character it still has.

Rhapsody Seas leaving Cairns!

On returning to Cairns off the True North we caught up with an old Skydiving buddy of mine, Paul Osbourne, who has been looking after us very well and showing us all round.

We discussed an idea over dinner last night to see if we could do a night pano from one of the leader lights coming into Cairns and just as luck would have it, the large Cruise Ship, the Rhapsody Seas was jut leaving just as we were setting up! The timing couldn’t have been better and we captured these shots.

After that we went back to Paul’s 48 ft sailing cat, the Margarita, and had a wonderful dinner overlooking Cairns and reminisced over old times. A very enjoyable day for sure!

Slow boat to the Duke of Yorks!

We passed this boat on the way to Rabaul for the volcano shoot early in the morning. We were there for a good couple of hours and then on the return we passed it again going back to True North and she was still chugging away at a very slow speed and as it turns out enroot to near where we were anchored on a weekly sortie to trade with a local village.

Man that was a slow boat…probably only doing 3 knots or so, but even though it was in one way a dog ugly boat, it also had a strange beauty to it as well!

I think what attracted my eye to it the most is that it was nothing like any other vessel i have ever seen and very unique in the slab sided way it was put together.

It certainly made for a good pic on the return journey home!

Who’s got it right?

After watching the PNG people going about their business over the last week, I am seriously starting to wonder who has it right for sure!

The photos above typify the mornings excursions for a PNG family. Running a net out can fish, spearing fish, gathering food and all by way of paddling themselves around in their dug out canoes.

On the previous post you can see the way they trade on a daily basis. So, if one tribe has an excess in bananas then they paddle up the way a bit to the tribe that has veges and they do the swap.

There is no stress about landing the next deal or GFC issues or anything like that…what is GFC they say when I asked a few if anything had changed for them!

The reality is that life goes on in PNG as it has for hundreds if not thousands of years and those who accept the simple way of life within the PNG culture, they are very happy.

Of course you do meet the more adventurous younger ones who want to see what is over the horizon and to get a job and earn money etc…but I seriously wonder why!

Banana Boat!

Here are a few more tropical vistas from the Luscernque Islands and also the Duke of York Islands.

We are in New Hanover now and had an interesting dive on the ‘Amphitheatre’ this morning. It is an amphitheatre shaped pinnacle that comes up from black water topping at 17m. We saw a heap of sea life including a 3m Bronze Whaler, GT’s Tuna and various tropical fish.

The start of the dive was cool as we had a very strong current pushing as along the northern face of it. The speed of the current was not unlike a waterslide ride, but of course when we turned the corner, we had to push against it!

A few of the newbies on board were struggling with that a bit so we ended up calling it a day at 25 minutes, but all in all good fun!

Slide shows and party night tonight after a visit to Noipus Village near Kevieng which is always pretty special and very beatiful.

Rabaul Airport keeper

Another very special day on True North in PNG.

A few of us set out early for the Rabaul volcano excursion and found it to be quite different from last year. There is now a lot of evidence of regrowth whereas last year there was almost none.

The top image is of the Airport keeper. Not sure how old he was but if I could look a fraction like what he does at his age I would be very happy! How is the definition.

After that we went for a dive on a bommy in the middle of the ocean and the vis was exceptional. We saw a 2m silver tip, a large eel, a big school of Red Emperor, and a heap of really cool coral.

We finished the day of capturing some classic tropical vistas.

All in all, a very cool day and once again…feeling a little puffed!

Luscernque Island and Jacquinot Bay waterfalls

Another action day in PNG today on True North. We arrived in Jacquinot Bay and were welcomed into a fantastic sing sing and show by the local school here.

Then over to a great waterfall just down the way for a very refreshing swim and interaction with some of the local elders and kids.

The elders and some of the kids were the best porters I have ever had. They insisted on carrying all of my kit and we went to both sides of the waterfall through some intense jungle. They were really interested in the process of compositions and keen to see the result and I must say that they were onto the various angles that worked!

The hunter in the second image was one of 2 brothers living on the beautiful and very remote Luscernque Islands. We dropped of a few fish for them and left them some rice.

If you look closely on the left hand side of the Luscernque Pano you can see the thatched hut that they were calling home for a few weeks. The fishing out there is very good which is the attraction to paddle over there from their home island which is a few islands further east.

We finished the day with another cracker dive and managed to play with a big turtle and had a 2.5 metre Bronze Whaler come into play as well.

Off to Rabaul tomorrow for some volcano action…whoohoo!

I love my Zacuto View Finder!

We were out shooting at one of my favorite spots in PNG today, the Luscernque Islands. After lunch we set out to the island and pretty much spent the whole afternoon there with a new photo opportunity around every corner.

The only way to get the colours out of these sort of seascapes is to shoot close to the middle of the day when the sunlight is highlighting the corals and colours below the surface.

I have found when shooting in such light it is just about impossible to see the live view screen in any detail and it is certainly impossible to manually focus where you want to without something like the Zacuto view finder. I have had mine now for about 12 months and I just love it to bits.

Certainly one of the best bits of kit I have bought as it not only makes it easy to shoot in these sort of conditions, it also allows others to view the photo in the back of the screen as shown when I was showing one of the natives the shot I had just taken.

You can see the expression of joy on his face at being able to see the clarity through the viewfinder.

The other shot shows where I was to get the shot in the first place and thanks to Rick for getting it for me!