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Dive Review of Mermaid 1 in

October, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Bart Mertens, CA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 6277
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
California, Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
70   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive time 60-70 minutes max  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was plenty of room on the dive deck laid out for photographers
including a large camera table and plenty of dedicated rinse tanks.
Although there were no power outlets for charging on
deck, there were more than enough outlets provided in the cabins. There
were also compressed air facilities.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This was a fantastic live-aboard experience. The air-conditioned cabin was
large and comfortable with an en-suite bathroom, and each cabin had its own
TV plus DVD player. 
The vessel had a large sun deck with lounge chairs, plus comfortable inside
and outside lounges. The inside lounge and eating area also provided a
large selection of books, magazines and fish and critter identification
guides. Towels were changed every other day and the bed linens too were
changed at least once during the trip. Warm towels were provided after
every dive, and hot chocolate after the night dives, while the crew rinsed
your gear. 
The service by the entire crew was excellent from helping you gear up,
getting the gear in and out of the zodiacs to helping you with getting your
wetsuit off and washing and hanging it up after every dive. At the end of
the trip the crew washed all our gear and hung it out to dry. 
Most of the time the day was organized as follows: wake-up call and small
breakfast around 6:30, dive 1 at 7:30, hot breakfast (eggs, etc) around 9,
dive 2 around 10:30, lunch, dive 3 around 15:30, night dive at 18:30,
dinner at 20:00.
The whole crew was great, always friendly and smiling and willing to help
out. A maximum of five divers were with each guide who were very
knowledgeable and helpful and excellent at spotting critters; they paid
attention but in the end everybody was free to do their own thing and dive
their own profile. Dive times were limited to 60-70 minutes; nitrox is
available and was used by many.
The diving was amazing from tiny Bargibanti and Denise pygmy seahorses and
many critters like stone and scorpion fishes,
stargazers, ghost pipe fishes, frog fishes, numerous nudibranches and other
amazing critters to large aggregations of sharks, manta and eagle rays,
tunas and giant trevallies. 
The diversity of the dive sites and the critters to be found there was
amazing; dive site topography varied from beautiful coral reef formations
to muck dives and black sand with hot volcanic thermal bubbles emerging
from the soil.
The diving could be challenging at times and currents ranged from mild to
very strong (the fact that we were diving a few days after the full moon
had probably something to do with this; something to keep in mind when
planning this trip) where reef hooks
were a necessity to watch the action at some ease. Water temps varied
between 70 degrees at the Southern sites closer to the Indian ocean (and
most people switching to a 5 mil or 3 mil plus 2/3 mil shorty in order to
stay warm) to 
78-80 degrees at most other sites. I'd do this trip again in a heartbeat. 
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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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