Dinah’s Beach… On the Solomon Sea side of the peninsular that forms the north coast of Milne Bay is a small village called Lauadi. It’s a pretty place, with lush vegetation and a black sand beach. But very little else to distinguish it from many other similar villages in Milne Bay Province.
What makes Lauadi so special though, is not what’s on the land… It’s what is under the water just off the beach in front of the village. And at the nearby headland, that brings divers from far and wide.
For Lauadi is host to two of the best dive sites in Milne Bay – Dinah’s Beach & Deacon’s Reef.
The contrast between the two sites is really quite remarkable because Dinah’s is very much a muck and critter dive. While nearby Deacon’s offers superb coral gardens that are simply quite spectacular!
Its quite amazing that two such excellent, but completely different, dive sites should be located so close to each other. Yet another example of the amazing biodiversity of Milne Bay Province!
Dinah’s Beach – The Birth of Muck Diving…
Bob Halstead, the well-known pioneer of Milne Bay diving, is credited with discovering the two sites and making them so well known. Dinah’s Beach, which is named after Halstead’s first wife (whose family are from Lauadi), was where he coined the phrase “muck diving”.
Halstead’s boat the MV Telita had been chartered by the US dive travel pioneer Carl Roessler.
And the guests consisted of well-heeled Americans and “Carl Wannabees” who had come all the way to Papua New Guinea to experience the pristine reefs they had seen in Bob’s many articles.
But instead of those reefs, Halstead was attempting to convince them to embrace diving where there is no beautiful scenery…
According to Halstead, Roessler and his guests apparently assumed that this was simply a way to save on fuel.
But they eventually agreed to try the site for a few minute, provided that Bob would move the boat elsewhere if they did not like it!
So it was that muck diving was born. Because the guests did not come back – apart from when they needed more air and film…
Diving Dinah’s Beach
Diving Dinah’s could not be easier, but you will need a boat to get there! If you are diving from one of the smaller boats from Tawali, you will tie off one of the trees near Lauadi village and put your kit on in the shallow water.
Alternatively larger boats and liveaboards drop anchor in the deeper water. Then tie their sterns to one of the trees near the village, so entry is a giant stride off the back.
The beach slopes off at an angle of about 30 degrees into the depths. However it’s rare to go any deeper than about 12-15m because all the critters are usually found in less than 10m.
With so much to see and such shallow water you can spend hours in the water. Dives of 90 minutes or so are quite normal. There is always something different to see and visiting the same spot at different times of the day often produces a nice surprise!
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