Albatross Passage is probably the best site on the Bismarck Sea side and is often described as Kavieng’s “signature dive” – if you catch it in the right conditions, it is hard to imagine a better coastal dive site.
Albatross Passage is named after the German gunship that helped subdue the local population and establish colonial rule in New Ireland in the late 1800’s,
Physically the channel is located between the tip of New Ireland and Baudisson Island – one of several large islands that partially fill the 22km gap between New Ireland and New Hanover.
Albatross, together with the nearby main shipping channel Steffen Strait, are the main passageways through the gap.
Which means they feel the full force of the tidal and current flows that are the reason why the diving can be so prolific in Kavieng and it has such a reputation for “big currents”.
The upper terrace is where most of the action is and descends to a sandy plateau at 30m and there always seems to be something happening whichever direction you look.
The terrace wall is richly coated in a superb mixture of hard and soft corals, black coral trees and huge gorgonian fans which host a tremendous variety of reef fish and creatures.
In the central area there is a large school of very photogenic yellow-tailed snappers, which if you approach slowly and very carefully will let you get close and take a group photo!
Cruising in the blue water you will see numerous reef sharks on almost every dive and very often there will be large dog-tooth tuna, schooling barracuda plus mobula and eagle rays.
You would literally need dozens of dives to fully explore and appreciate Albatross and it truly is a very special site!