Wow, what an incredible experience! we just returned from an amazing paddling trip to the Louisiade Archipelago. We had two weeks of bluebird weather and calm seas. It really is a water world out there, so many rich tones of blue. We even had a ‘blue out’ on a few occasions where you cannot discern the horizon line and it’s impossible to tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins :) It was truly an incredible adventure and has to be one of the world’s best tropical sea kayaking destinations. These islands (The Calvados chain) are situated between New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and are so off the radar. The islands are so remote that only a handful of westerners have visited the area and many of the islands we paddled to had never been visited by sea kayak. The local inhabitants who live on the atolls in small villages still live a traditional life, living in grass huts and subsistence farming and fishing and are some of the genuinely nicest people I have met travelling. At every island we landed on we were happily welcomed. The villages often going out of their way to assist and host us.
The Loiusiade Islands are so remote that the locals still predominantly rely on trade instead of currency so instead of cash we took fishing hooks, swimming goggles, lighters etc etc to trade for fresh food along the way. Most of the islands are only a few kilometres apart and are idyllic coral atolls which allow for quality camping. White sandy beaches and amazing fringing reef straight off the beach. The waters are teeming with life and we managed to catch fresh fish regularly whilst trolling behind the kayaks. The diving even at shallow depths is off the chart, a rich intact reef ecosystem still flourishes out among the Calvados Islands, healthy corals abounding with colourful fish. These Islands feel so remote but in fact are only a short 3-hour flight from Cairns to a remote airstrip on Misima Island.
If all this sounds too good to be true then come and see it to believe it. Coral Sea Kayaking thinks that these islands are such a potential paddling paradise that we intend to develop an Expedition trip out there. We believe that a small sustainable sea kayaking tourism development among these islands will bring much needed funds to help the local inhabitants acquire essential basics like water tanks / roofing for collecting fresh drinking water and rudimentary medical supplies and medical facilities that are otherwise unavailable in the islands.
It really is a true adventure exploring these islands by kayak, so if it sounds like your kind of adventure keep your eyes peeled to our website as we begin planning our first commercial venture out there. And a big thank you to the beautiful people of the Loiusiades and their warm hearts and beetle nutted smiles that happily welcomed us ashore at every island we landed on, we will see you again soon :)
Photo Credits to: Chris Jones, Guy Baker and David Tofler.