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November 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Maldives, Hawaii, Indonesia . . .

some dive operators who need to change their rules

from the November, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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This is our last regular issue for 2013. The next thing you'll receive is our 2014 Travelin' Divers Chapbook which can be downloaded, read online, printed out or even ordered as a book for $19.95 (go to www.undercurrent.org for more details). However, there are a few items from the lastest batch of reader reports about their dive trips that we wanted to draw your attention to.

MV Maldives Princess. This 147-footer is surely a luxury yacht, but David Bader (Norwood, NC), onboard in September, says she is not a dive boat. Keeping with traditional Maldivian diving, diving was conducted from a second 65-foot craft, but still all did not go well. "All dives were guided but I use that term loosely. We generally lost the guides within the first 10 minutes of the dive. One day, the dive guide told us it would be a 40-minute boat ride to the dive site, which defeats the purpose of a liveaboard. Once a site was located, the dive boat would circle two or three times to get in position for the drop. However, each time, we would be in the blue and 100 to 150 feet from the reef. On one wreck dive, the dive boat captain couldn't find the wreck, and we wasted a dive looking for it. Dive time was generally 45 minutes, including safety stop, and depth was limited to 100 feet. The elaborate dive briefings never seemed to match the dive site, so we requested that dive briefings be held after they checked the dive site and conditions. We wasted numerous dives in deep water looking for whale sharks, hammerheads, and mantas, but had only two encounters with mantas. We asked to stop wasting time looking for something that isn't there and to be taken to shallower reefs for corals and macro stuff. Due to the strong currents, the reefs below 30 feet are nothing but dead coral." The Maldives Princess's website ( www.arkroyalmaldives.com ) is offering "huge discounts" at $375 per, per person, with only six people required for departure, but that's still a long way to travel for such spotty diving....


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