If ever you wanted to re-enact your own version of Lost, Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea would be the place to do it. Heading out early with the dive boat, we found ourselves lumped on a small unnamed island laid thick with vines, caves and wooded trees, while those bearing shiny certificates went deep underwater. The lazy sun beat down on us, and once we realised those diving bastards had taken all the food and water, we quickly began spinning hypotheticals.
Clearly, if this was a real episode, somebody had to die. My photographer sidekick swiftly nominated Toby, a six-foot-two dive instructor with a labret piercing and a catchphrase (‘no wuckin’ furries, mate’). As the day wore on and the dive boat failed to reappear, a seeping realisation crept up on us: the only deaths would be ours. We’d die with the tormented fade of the thirsty and abandoned. Our only consolation was that it would be slow. Nothing would eat us, and seedlings scattered by previous visitors promised a feed of green coconuts and luscious pawpaws.
We snorkled like it was our last day on earth. Nemo-like clown fish, electric blue starfish, elephant ear coral and a conveyor-belt of Trevally: the underwater life of Kimbe Bay is nothing short of spectacular. We surfaced to find the dive boat anchoring over our heads. After resigning ourselves to life on the island, it was very hard to leave.
Kimbe Bay is less than an hour’s flight from Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. For those unimpressed by colourful underwater menageries, steaming volcanoes, a freshwater crocodile lake and beautiful birdlife are all equally worthwhile pursuits.