After some pretty shitty diving conditions over the weekend and on Monday, the weather finally started to improve yesterday. A large stingray, a devil ray and a school of big-eye jacks as well as the usual array of sharks at Peter's Patch was a good start to yesterday's dive day. The second dive at Matrix was a nice drift dive, with a bunch of titan triggerfish, a large crocodile fish and some smaller stuff. 
Last but not least, the group stopped at the "Stubborn Hellion", a B25 plane wreck for a quick look. As the plane lies in only 12m of water, we do this as a residual air dive, i.e. keep 70 bar in your tank on dive 2 and use it here. After about 20 minutes, you've seen it all anyway, and there isn't much else around to look at. 
Today, the sun is out, hurray, and the Der Yang shipwreck and a Catalina floatplane are on the menu for the morning dives, with our special Mandarinfish dive to follow this afternoon. 

Tiny, but oh so colourful fish!

A bunch of very happy divers returned from Albatross & Kavin II yesterday! With the current still coming in for the first dive, Albatross was the obvious choice. A blue-spotted stingray, several white tip and grey reef sharks, as well as a big school of batfish and some Spanish mackerel kept the divers entertained. Unfortunately, the current changed towards the end of the dive and after an hour surface interval, the second chosen spot Danny's Bommie was so murky that vis had dropped to only 15m. Not good enough, so the divers went over to Kavin II instead. The trusty Pygmy seahorse still sits on his fan in 17m of water, but no photographers in this group, so after a quick look, they went on along the wall. Photographers can't seem to be torn away from the Pygmy, missing everything else around them. They would have missed the turtle and a school of 7 bumphead parrot fish!! That's not a big number for a school of those parrot fish, but apparently what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in size. Sandy reckons they were HUGE!! 

Hundreds of massive bumphead parrotfish in the shallows of Barracuda Point
Bumphead parrot fish at Sipadan. Photo courtesy of our good friends Stella
and Yogi Freund, who came across this large school during their WWF Coral
Triangle Photo Expedition in 2009/2010. Check out their amazing journey on You can also see more of the
brilliant photos that Yogi takes on 

More photos from our donation run: 

Enuk Island Community School now has new desks
and chairs, thanks to our friends Andrew Bowes and
his wife, who were the instigators in all this! 

These three nurses are so happy that all they have to
do now to sit a patient up in bed is to pump the back-
rest up by food. No more bending over, good-bye back-
aches!! Thanks to our friends at the Calvary Hospital
in Cairns!

Uncle Pete (Peter McEwan) and the boys, busy off-loading
the beds at Kavieng hospital. Uncle Pete is the president
of the Kavieng Rotary Club.

Finally, photos from the hospital delivery! :) 

Busy unpacking in the hospital mess. Not all the stuff
in this picture came through us, but we helped with the
unpacking anyway!

Hot and sweaty, but happy! Matron, Dr Kuk, me and
Meryenne (left to right)

Our driver Benson, or rather his wife Margreth, got to benefit from some of the above goods just recently, when she had her first baby boy. Ten years in the making (they just loved the practice so much, I guess), Elijah Benson was born after 6 hours of labour and weighed in at 2.7kg. Sandy, our relief manageress, almost became a midwife on the boat to town as contractions came in quickly. 
Benson is now learning to change nappies, and came to work real proud the other day after his first "nappy change experience". Lets see how long that lasts, before he hands the dirty work to Margreth.....

Happy Families!
Benson, Margreth, the new addition
to the family, and proud Mama
Margreth, who is happy with her first
grandchild! Congratulations!!!