Story of a Different Kind

The Mytinger Project/Headhunt Revisited always focuses on stories of Caroline, Margaret, art and history. You may wonder why this one is so different but don’t stop reading! You’ll discover the connection for me and a topic so vital in addition to being so personal. Many of you already know how much I love the ocean environment and underwater photography. It was almost thirty years ago I first stepped onto the ground and dived into the waters of Papua New Guinea. It was love at first sight!

South Emma Reef in Kimbe Bay with MV FeBrina at the surface.

Ulawun (The Father’s) Volcano at a spectacular sunrise.

Walindi Plantation Resort is located in West New Britain and Kimbe Bay. Straight from the website for Mission Blue and the announcement that I’m celebrating.

“Kimbe Bay’s marine conservation history dates back to 1983 when couple Max and Cecilie Benjamin first opened Walindi Plantation Resort along its shore. The resort quickly established itself as a premier dive spot– the area possesses one of the highest biodiversity in tropical fish and coral in the world. The Benjamins noticed, however, that the state of the world’s reefs had begun to decline. In 1997, they opened Mahonia Na Dari, or ‘Guardians of the Sea’, right next door. Today, Mahonia Na Dari along with James Cook University run the Marine Environment Education Program (MEEP) in which local students of all ages are equipped with the training, tools and knowledge to conserve the Bay’s marine environment for their community and the world.”

To read the full announcement just follow this link: Mission Blue – Kimbe Bay Hope Spot.

2016 – The Walindi-Benjamin Family

It was the friendships I established, and the lessons learned that my journey to Headhunt Revisited began.That was almost twenty years ago when I first read Caroline Mytinger’s books. It it weren’t for the people I now consider family, the project, expedition on board the MV FeBrina, and continued support would never have resulted in the completed documentary film.

Mentioned above is Mahonia Na Dari, means Guardian of the Sea, in the local Bakovi language. I’ve had the pleasure to visit the research center on many occasions and speak about it in magazine articles. The work done is inclusive of the communities that depend on the health of the bay and teaches the younger generation the value of the sea. As we speak, the local efforts in mangrove restoration is admirable.  

In 2006, a magazine story was produced about the power of Mahonia Na Dari to teach the next generation.
Program Director, Peter Mille,r and the students conducting a reef survey.
Recent mangrove restoration project – November, 2019

Caroline and Margaret spent some time not far away in Rabaul, East New Britain. I know they would both be celebrating the diversity and the beauty of Kimbe Bay!  I’d also like to thank International League of Conservation Photographers for the letter of support in the application process to Mission Blue to make Kimbe Bay a Hope Spot.

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