Fathers Reefs & Lolobau Island are a series of off shore reefs, volcanic in origin. The underwater topography is startlingly different with dramatic reefscapes, arches and swim throughs. Being offshore, these reefs also attract pelagic activity such as sharks, rays, turtles, schools of barracuda, jacks etc.
Normans is one of the areas many coral covered sea mounts. Expect to see silver tip sharks, friendly lone barracuda, Papuan scorpion fish, beautiful balled up anemones, shrimps, hermit crabs, squat lobsters hidden in feather stars, big-eye trevalley and blue-spotted groupers. The list goes on and on!
Alice’s reef top sits at about 12m, with a sloping plateau that leads to a overhang at 40m, then dropping off further into the depths. Divers can expect stone fish, schooling pinjalo snappers, colourful reef fishes, soft corals, sea fans and hard corals.
Jayne’s features some great wall diving - divers can expect pygmy seahorse, spider crabs, orangutan crabs, hairy squat lobster, crinoid shrimps, clingfish, elegant squat lobster. Also large schools of barracuda and jacks, red sea whips and soft corals on the reef top, along with the friendly turtle who always comes to say hello.
This famous site is a bommie with an arch formation draped in soft corals. Long and narrow, the topography is startlingly beautiful with the odd cave and swim through to explore during the dive. On the reef top see octopus, red spotted blennies unique to this reef, juvenile wrasses and gobies.
Kilibobs is a double headed sea mount - a great spot for reef sharks, and there are usually plenty around. On the smaller side of things you’ll find decorator crabs, octopus, sea hares, nudibranch (including large Bonella type), boxer crab, and sleeping Parrotfish.
Shaggy’s is another great spot to see sharks, with silver tips, white tips and grey reefs all mingling together in the area. Along the reef top find black coral tree crabs, stonefish, turtles, blennie gobies, plate corals and staghorn corals in beautiful formations.
Another favourite, find schools of barracuda and jacks, Papuan scorpian fish, elephant ear sponges, soft corals, barrel sponges, octopus, emperor shrimps, crabs, masked moray eels, gobies, brittle stars and lone barracuda.
Jackies is a sea mount on the smaller side, but is still bursting with life. Find friendly batfish, crinoid lobsters, shrimps, elegant squat lobster, chromodoris nudibranch (white and yellow), schools of jacks and surgeonfish.
ITINERARIES & WEATHER PATTERNS
MV Oceania will run a few different kinds of itineraries during the year to suit the weather patterns of each season.
Our "Signature Itinerary" covers our three most popular diving areas of Kimbe Bay, Witu Islands and Fathers Reefs. MV Oceania will operate 10 and 9 night Signature itineraries in our ‘peak' weather months, from mid September, October and November along with April, May and June. Water temperatures are slightly lower in September, October and November and that means there are usually more of the smaller and unusual critters about.
Water temperatures are usually 29/30 degrees celsius in the later months, and up to 31 degrees in April and May. There is usually very little rain in October & November (there is a possibility of a couple of evening showers here and there), light breezes and plenty of sunshine.
Our "Mid Year" itineraries usually operate through June, July and August and are shorter in duration with each trip being around 8 days. This itinerary visits 2 dive areas including Kimbe Bay Reefs and either Fathers Reefs or Witu Islands. During late November and early December we offer a Witu Islands Itinerary, visiting Kimbe Bay Reefs and the pretty coral reefs and black sand bays of the Witu Islands.
Throughout the year MV Oceania will offer occasional specialist itineraries within the Bismarck sea and further afield. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reservations staff to find an itinerary that suits you.