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Baie de Jinek - Lifou - Loyalty Islands - New Caledonia - February 2010

Author: toobstar

Baie de Jinek

Country: New Caledonia
Camera: Canon D10

Baie de Jinek is on the north western side of Lifou island which is located on the Loyalty Island group off New Caledonia.  To get there you need to take a short flight from Noumea Magenta airport or it's reachable by boat too.  It's the most populous of the Loyalty Islands but it still feels pretty quiet.  There are good roads to get around and due to the lack of public transport and the reasonable distance between sights you'll need to use them.  Pretty must everyone hires a car which is easy to do, but pricey.  Once done, you won't look back as there's plenty to see. 

Snorkelling wise Baie de Jinek was my pick of the easy to reach spots.  It's a short walk from the car park, there's good access to the water and you can swim as far as you like to explore.  The days we went were pretty quiet too and we had the whole bay to ourselves on a couple of occasions.  To find the bay follow the directions to 'Chapelle Notre Dame de Lourdes' which isn't far away.  Before you get there there's a car park off to the right and you can walk down to the bay from there. 

It's possibly busier in the high season as there looked to be an abandoned shop close by.  February is the hot/rainy which is probably considered "shoulder" season and although there had been a bit of rain, the water had mostly excellent visibility and this side of the island was sheltered from the prevailing winds which made it comfortable too.  

They've even built wooden steps down to the water so the whole setup is pretty easy. Not something I'm complaining about at all.  :)

So on to the snorkelling.. first up when you get in the water you're challenged by a few Picasso Triggers who live close to the shore in holes that they burrow into the sandy rock.  These guys as you'd expect are pretty defensive and will 'have a go at you' if try and get too close.  The water was also really warm in near the shore and had particularly lagoon-like conditions.

Things change pretty quickly as you head out though.  There's an array of coral and fish throughout the lagoon and this continues for a good 60m or so before you get to the reef crest.  

Here's a few more pics from around this area (with my best guess IDs):

Pearlscale Angelfish

Butterfly fish

Large bubble tip anemone (with hidden skunk clowns)

Cinnaman Clown Fish

Blackspot Angelfish

Blue Tang

Brilliant purple Acropora

Pair of Bicolour Angels

Pair of large brain corals

Leather corals

Brain close up

Christmas tree worms:
Some of these were 3 colours which I haven't seen before. 

Here's a few more from out on the reef crest:


Parrot fish


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