Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Pig Point, Pig Island, Madang
On my trip to Madang in Papua New Guinea in October 1996, I did a total of 22 dives over a period of nine days (the other three days of our trip were spent travelling and sightseeing). While eight of the dives were on planes and shipwrecks, the remaining 14 dives were reef dives. These ranged from monster 60 metre dives down almost vertical walls to a shallow reef with a maximum depth of 12 metres. The one main thing that all these dives had in common was that they were drift dives.
As I have indicated in the other articles relating to this trip, I was staying at Jais Aben Resort which is about 16 kilometres north of Madang township. Most of the diving from here is done straight out, only five or ten minutes run from the resort. The quad harbours of Madang, Nagada, Mililat and Sek are created by a series of islands and a coral reef that connects these islands like a piece of string. The islands from the south near Madang are Kranket, Paeowai (Leper), Masses, Pig (Tab) and further to the north, Wangat (or Wangad). All the diving is on the outside of these reefs and islands or on the passages into the harbours.
There are a number of dive sites around Pig Island.
Pig Point is a drift dive that starts to the north-west of Pig Island on the reef that stretches all the way to Wangat Island (except for a couple of passes). This dive was done on an outgoing tide and you enter the water some 200 metres off the island and follow the reef back towards Barracuda Point. The reef is not a vertical wall but it drops down to about 40 metres or so at the start and while it gets deeper towards the end of the dive, you cannot go down deep there. There are a few smallish walls of five or ten metres which make for a nice introduction to PNG diving.
The fishlife here was quite good, with very large schools of wrasse, triggerfish and surgeonfish seen as well as a couple of very large octopii and some eels. In the shallower areas there were the usual prolific coral and sponge growth as well as all the normal small fish that live in and around coral.
The current on this dive was quite strong in parts and we really went a long way, ending up almost at Barracuda Point. This was a distance of more than 500 metres and we dived for more than 60 minutes. An excellent dive, especially for our first of the trip.
The water temperature was in the range of 28 to 29ÂșC. In the shallower sections the temperature was more than 30ÂșC. The sea conditions were always millpond, with no sign of a wave. The water conditions were quite good, although the visibility in the shallower sections was not as good as we might have liked or imagined. Nevertheless, it was still better than the average Sydney visibility (which is normally pretty good anyway).