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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Burma

 
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Ocean Rover, Mar, 2007,

by James Jenkins, CA, United States ( 1 report). Report 3265.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, California, Cocos, Galapagos, Hawaii, Fiji, Truk, Palau, Solomons, PNG, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 75 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 10 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions The dive masters did not enforce any hard rules; they did, however, work with individual passengers to ensure safety. A couple divers had physical problems and were restricted from diving in Burma waters due to the complexity of leaving and evacuation.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Very good. We had only about six amateur photographers and didnt use up half the space. A full boat of photographers and videographers with full-sized rigs might get a bit crowded.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was one of the best liveaboards, and possibly the best crew ever - certainly we were more pampered than anywhere else. The diving was very good in general, but poor visibility significantly detracted from making this a really great trip.

The weather was generally sunny the entire trip (only one, brief shower); the seas were calm; however, there was a 1 meter swell which rolled the boat significantly the one time we moored in open water on a pinnacle. Underway, the boat was as steady as a cruise liner.

Visibility ranged from 15 to 45 in Thai waters to 10 to 30 in Burma waters. In addition to the expected plankton (which, after all, brings the big stuff!), there was an algae bloom or red tide of some sort that took vis down to almost nothing in some areas. Never did we see any real blue water, even in open ocean.

That said, nearly every sort of marine life was present except for sharks such as grey reef, white- and black-tip, etc. Some of the big stuff we saw: mantas, leopard (or zebra) sharks, eagle rays, marble rays, fan-tail rays, schooling jacks, barracuda, tuna and lots of schooling reef fish. Macro subjects were plentiful including ghost pipefish, a comet fish (that actually posed!), harlequin shrimp, tiger tail seahorses, nudibranchs, huge Spanish dancers and more.

Cuttlefish, scorpion fish, octopus, sea snakes, and other photogenic reef dwellers were plentiful. There was one whale shark sighting, but we didnt see it.

The topography varied from typical coral reefs, to rock walls and boulders. In Thai waters, we often anchored among four to six other boats! However, the crew timed things well: only on a few dives out of 35 did we find ourselves among other groups. Once in Burma, we saw the Mermaid on one site then were alone.

The service was the best ever. How about having the dive crew put your fins on? The crew the entire crew (except the captain who watched the boat) -- helped out on suiting up, boarding the inflatables, and at the end of dives. They were observant and watched for opportunities to help. E.g.: the Engineer noticed that I needed help with my wetsuit and was there every time to help; after two mornings, the Steward noticed that I fixed myself a bowl of muesli and thereafter had it ready for me!

I would love to dive with this crew and on this boat again; however, I would not want to experience the same visibility issues again.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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