Liapari Island

pos 7:56.41S 156:42.91E


2015-07-14 Leaving Doveli Cove we breakfast on the way. The wind is on the nose, so what’s new and the seas are flat with hardly any swell, chances of reef spotting are not good.

With little wind it’s blazing hot and the water looks more and more inviting so we start looking for a suitable reef to anchor off for a swim. About mid-day we spot a small, about the size of an average garden, unnamed island, so new it hasn’t had chance for any vegetation to take hold. Consisting of just a sandy hillock surrounded by reef we gingerly approach. We’re nearly on top of it before the bottom rises from 80metres to 20 and we drop anchor.

The current hold us off as we all jump into the warm water and start our circumnavigation along the coral wall. It’s like swimming in a crowded fish tank with the bigger fish patrolling the depth and the smaller hiding in and out of the corals. At the end of island it gets to be a bit of a hard struggle against a couple of knots of tide but conversely coming around the other end we have the current with us and we drift silently sneaking up with our cameras, catching the fish unawares.

Lunch and a well-earned beer as we continue on our way. Soon we enter the well protected lagoon of Liafari Island with its secondary reef across the middle affording passage through and narrow cut.

Unfortunately for us the “Spring” low tide is too shallow for us to enter at this time. The dinghy launched we set off to meet Noel and explore, with Lars as our guide having been here before when they celebrated Mid-Summer.

An interesting place, the place is full of heavy plant and machinery which apparently was brought here from Bourganville when the troubles began and is being put to good use in providing ship repair facilities and a marine railway for hauling our boats.

A walk around the island brings us to a rather dodgy looking bridge that links to another island. Its ancient crumbling buttresses and the last remaining rotting iron girder that spans the gap hardly inspire confidence. The bridge deck has been supplemented by the trunks of several coconut trees, but still this is no place for the faint hearted, and we decided to live to fight another day!

Noel has invited us to join the happy hour brigade in the “Roundhouse” by the beach at 5. It’s bring your own affair, with our friends from “Honeymoon” & “Wanadoo” in attendance as well as several other boat crews.

After a jolly hour or two its back to base and dinner followed by Mexican Train.

Bob the Blog.