Start your day with our spectacular DOLPHIN SWIM or come on an adventure with us and search for WILD DUGONGS in paradise.
The dolphin experience of a life time
A little about Spinner Dolphins
SPINNER DOLPHIN CHARACTERISTICS
The body size, shape, and colour patterns of the various forms of Spinner Dolphin differ according to geographical location. Spinner Dolphins in general all share common characteristics.
Spinner Dolphins have slender bodies and long, thin beaks (except for the Atlantic short-snouted spinner). Their flippers are small and pointed at the tips. Their colouring is in shades of dark grey, light grey and white. Most Spinner Dolphins have white bellies.
SPINNER DOLPHIN BEHAVIOR
Spinner Dolphins congregate in groups that vary from just a few dolphins to great schools numbering in the thousands. Spinner Dolphins are famous for their acrobatic displays in which they will spin longitudinally along their axis as they leap through the air. They are also keen bow-riders. The reason for the animals spinning is not known.
One suggestion is that the great cauldron of bubbles created on exit and re-entry may act as a target for echolocation by other individuals in the school. It may also be simply play-acting. Individuals have been spotted completing at least 14 spinning jumps in quick succession.
SPINNER DOLPHIN DIET
Spinner Dolphins tend to do most of their hunting at night as the ‘scattering layer’ of marine life, which has spent the day at depths of 3000 feet, rises toward the surface to feed on microscopic plant material. Their diet is composed of fish, jellyfish, euphausiids (or krill), squid, shell-less snails, as well as copepods (a group of small crustaceans found in the sea and nearly every freshwater habitat).
Before diving into the layer, the pod of dolphins gather together in a kind of rally as if they are about to embark on a dangerous journey. These dolphins are taking a great risk because other predators have gathered as well, such as sharks, which are natural predators of dolphins.
Spinner Dolphins form small subgroups and spread out across the sea. Many times, the dolphins will dive down into the dark oceans at 800 feet, or more. Even though Spinner Dolphins have more teeth than any other dolphin (between 45 to 65 sharp, pointed teeth in each side of both the upper and lower jaws), they do not use them to chew their prey but rather to grasp and immobilize their prey.
SPINNER DOLPHIN COMMUNICATION
Spinner Dolphin sounds appear to be in the form of click-whistles and pulse sounds which are a mix of echolocation and communication. Echolocation sounds enable dolphins to track objects in dim or dark water and to see much further than their eyes will allow. Their complex array of whistle sounds are the way that dolphins talk to one another. The spinners can even identify themselves with sounds they make while trailing bubbles from their blowholes.
Spinner Dolphins also communicate by slapping the water with various body parts. For instance, ‘nose-outs’ occur when beak is thrust from the surface. This action is commonly used when the pod is emerging from a rest period. ‘Tail slaps’ are often used to indicate impending danger or to signal a dive. Head slaps, side slaps and back slaps are most frequently seen as the school begins to pick up speed. Last, and most spectacular, are the spins themselves. Many animals spin repeatedly, with each spin tending to get smaller and smaller, finally finishing up with an emphatic side slap.
SPINNER DOLPHIN REPRODUCTION
Females reach sexual maturity at about 4 to 7 years, males at about 7 to 10 years. A newborn calf averages 32 inches (80 centimetres) in length. The gestation period is 10 and a half months and calving is between 2 to 3 years. Calves nurse from 1 to 2 years.
SPINNER DOLPHIN PREDATORS
Known predators of the Spinner Dolphins are sharks, killer whales and possibly false killer whales, pygmy killer whales and pilot whales.
SPINNER DOLPHIN CONSERVATION
(Spinner Dolphins are classed as an endangered species)
Whitebelly and eastern spinner dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific have suffered enormous population losses as a result of entanglement in the nets of tuna fishermen. It is not yet known why they swim in herds above schools of yellowfin tuna. Fishermen are aware of this behavior and instead of looking for the tuna, they seek out the spinner dolphins instead, knowing the yellowfin tuna will be beneath them. When they find them, they encircle the herd with large nets called ‘purse seine’ nets, capturing the dolphins along with the tuna. It is believed that the stock has declined by as much as 80% since the 1960s, when purse seining operations began.
Dive Site of the month: ATUN WRECKFormer Taiwanese tuna fishing vessel. Deliberately sunk on 1983 by the Rabaul Dive club, the wreck sits bolt upright on the ledge in about 21 m.
Very nice soft coral growth in the wheelhouse together with a very healthy black coral tree. Mast rises up to within 10 m of the surface to create a very photogenic foreground. The ATUN is also host of macro critters such as seahorses, mantis Shrimp, nudibranch and pipefish.
Its is truly magnificent to go loser to the edge of the wall and simply watch in the blue. You never know what might pass by. Sometimes sharks, tuna or trevalies seem to swim by.
Magical Kabakon island OvernightNo one lives on the island itself, it is used by the locals from the neighboring Kerawara Island for gardening.
You have a chance to stay on the island in a traditional styled house (simple 2 room building with floor to sleep on). There is no electricity on the island but we do provide lamps for lighting at night as well as matresses and mosquito nets.
The local people will come by and show you around the island and help you to prepare fire and meals. It is a unique experience that allows you to truly experience island life.
Also we have recently started a new tour that is Dugong search
-1 night Kabakon island Stay + Dugong search
- 1 Night Kabakon Island Stay + Dugong search + 1 night dive + 2 dives + equipment
Please email Diving@kbb.com.pg to find out more
Please keep in mind that Dugongs are wild animals and sightings are not guaranteed!
New Dive Site: YAMATO MARU
This month we dived a forgotten dive site and have added it to our dive site map! This freighter can be found inside the Simpson harbor and is known as the “steering wheel wreck” to the few divers who have ventured there.
According to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey Map it is identified as the "No.2 Yamato Maru". The “No 2“ probably refers to the fact that this was the second Yamato Maru to be built for Nippon Yusen Kaisha. It was apparently a cargo carrier of some 4,359 tons. There is little information on the attack and sinking of the Yamato Maru. History books are more interested in the air attack that resulted in the death of Admiral Yamatomo which occured on the same date, 18th April 1943.
It is obvious that the ship contained a cargo of trucks when it sunk. Information received on a nearby Japanese shipwreck , the Yamayuti Maru , states that it was loaded with about 50 trucks when attacked , however there are none on it now. Either the Yamayuri was unloaded before it sunk or perhaps the identity of the two ships have been mistaken. Both are similar old-fashioned design, built in the early part of the century according to the Japanese Ship Recognition Manual. For the sake of order the "Steering Wheel" wreck is still referred to as No 2 Yamato Maru.
It is important to note that while this is an incredible dive that can be done by minimum experienced Advanced Open Water divers , rescue diver or diver with similar level (you can experience the top of the wreck at 32m),
Information presented here was taken from a book titled Rabaul's Forgotten Fleet by Monica Foster and Peter Stone.