It’s no secret that I didn’t really love my time living in Papua New Guinea, for a variety of reasons. However the one thing that did make the place special were the weekends. Saturday mornings we would jump onto Jan’s dive-boat and head out into Madang Harbour, easily one of the prettiest pieces of tropical real-estate in the Pacific. A large natural harbour surrounded by an outer reef wall many miles long, the harbour’s shallow waters are home to a diversity of marine life, not to mention interesting dive sites and historic wrecks. A smattering of islands can be reached within ten minutes of the jetty, among the prettiest, Wongat Island, a tiny little blob of rock, sand and palm-trees that would fit well inside a football stadium.
I liked Wongat because it had perhaps the nicest sand beach in the harbour, and a lovely shallow run-out into the warm sea. The water stayed a balmy 29 degrees centigrade through most of the year, while shoals of colourful fish played among rock outcrops, which snorkellers could explore leisurely beneath a hot sun.
I found this little outrigger (yeah, I know, it’s kind of familiar) bobbing around the corner from the main beach, tucked behind a few rocks. The shot itself was taken with my little Canon Powershot G9 (the same camera used for my underwater photography- Jan used the G9, and now has the G10, for his underwater shots as well), and to take the photo I held a pair of polarized sunglasses over the lens (as I couldn’t fit a polarizing filter over the front) to capture the clarity of water and contrast in the sky. The result was one of my favourite photographs from the year, and made my list of favourite photos. Coupled with the beauty of the environment it was taken in, this one’s a keeper for me.