We returned from a trip to Papua Nw Guinea about a week ago. One of the highlights was sailing past the erupting Manam Volcano, near Madang, Papua New Guinea. It started erupting just 2 weeks before our visit. In this photo you can see the spouting lava erupting at the crest of the volcano, and the lava flow down the mountain.
When we arrived at a village near the mouth of the Sepik River, the natives greeted us with a traditional Dragon Dance. The people of Papua New Guinea were the friendliest we have encountered anywhere. They were pleased to pose for photos, did not expect anything in return, smiled, and spoke English.
This is the smoldering ash spouting from the Tavurvur Volcano located next to Rabaul in New Britain, Papua New Guinea. It has destroyed the town of Rabaul several times, including a catastrophic eruption in 1937. It also erupted from 1994 until just two years ago. The ash is a major problem, as it hardens like cement when it rains. Several feet of ash covered the town and crushed the roofs of most buildings. Rabaul is one of the major towns of Papua New Guinea because the large caldera at sea level makes an excellent harbor, but the surrounding volcanos threaten the towns.
We hiked on the ash covered slopes of Tavurvur volcano. It is amazing that in the two years since it stopped erupting vegetation has already started to return, as reflected by these vines and flowers growing in the ash.
This is another view of the erupting Manam Volcano. It was tricky to get these photos because we were on a moving ship, and obviously I had to have a slow shutter sped to take photos at night. The red glow in this photo is the illumination of the cloud of ash reflecting the lava flowing down from the crater.
We went snorkeling 3 times in Papua New Guina during our cruise on the Orion Expedition ship. We saw amazing marine life, including this and many other blue starfish.