Cold Water Images Logo

August 21, 2005

Shipwrecks, Divers
Clinton Bauder peers into the wheelhouse of the FS-172 Boston. Likely the
swift current is at least partly responsible for the beautiful soft corals
adorning this wreck. Perhaps this strong current, or the way it swirls through
the cavities in the ship also explains why the small fish in this image are
swimming upsidedown! While jumping in the water for a dive is often magical in
that one is instantly transported to an enticing and fantastic environment, the
experience of this dive seems to have been turned on its head. It is not the
start of the dive that sticks in my mind, but the end. At shallow depths, the
crystal blue water seen in this picture turned to a turbid white that concealed
even my own feet. On the surface, wind screamed and waves broke with fury on the
lava rocks not more than fifty feet away. Confusion seemed to abound and I
scrambled to doff equipment and climb into the inflatable, all while minding the
danger of the near by beach. In the midst of this, like some beam of sun in a
tempest, children from some local village, laughed and waved to me from the palm
trees behind the breakers. Despite my discomfort in my situation, I couldn't
suppress a return wave. During my entire time in New Guinea, local adults and
children alike trailed after divers, expressing deep fascination, perhaps even
awe. At no other time, however, was the barrier of the fishbowl in which we were
watched broken. Yet it seemed to have been broken by this simple wave.

    "Wewak and Madang", Papua New Guinea
    August 21, 2005

Lionfish, Pterois sp.
Lionfish, (Pterois sp.). Lionfish spines contain some really nasty venom.
The photographer had a pit in his stomach and fear in his heart as he took this
shot. It wasn't the fish pictured that was the cause for concern, but, rather,
its identical twin hovering disturbingly close to the photographer's bare cheek.
I suspect I would have let this shot go if Golden Dawn skipper Craig de
Wit had recited his account of being stung by a blue-spotted stingray before we
did this dive rather than after. It seems that pretty much everything underwater
in New Guinea is capable inflicting pain. It was weeks after I returned home to
San Francisco before my hands, swollen and raw from twelve days of incidental
contact with various stinging nasties, healed completely.

    "Wewak and Madang", Papua New Guinea
    August 21, 2005

Clark's anemonefish, Amphiprion clarkii
Clark's anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) and B-25 wreck

    "Wewak and Madang", Papua New Guinea
    August 21, 2005

Footer icon