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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Paradise Dancer in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

January, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Jeffrey F Tonn, WA, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5909
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Solomon Islands, Palau, Galapagos, Hawaii, Belize, Caymans, Bonaire,
Roatan, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Mexico, Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 minutes or so  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Camera room with good camera space, adequate power, towels, shelf for
storage. Great dunk tank always filled with clean water. Divers very
respectful of camera tank. Crew was fantastic in handling cameras and
always carried them to dive tender. Crew took cameras first at end of dive,
put protective covers on lenses, turned off modeling lights. It couldn't
have been better!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
This was our second trip on Paradise Dancer. Many of the crew were still
there from two years before. Wendy, Yan and Acho were the dive masters -
the dream team! They are absolutely the best. We like to go off on our own,
but when they spotted something good, they looked for us. We really liked
this trip even better than our first trip to Raja Ampat because we knew
where the places we wanted to return. Many Mantas, Wobegon sharks and great
fish life. The marine reserves are fantastic and the fish are easier to
approach than outside the reserves. The corals are amazing. We saw some
bleaching, and there seemed to be more toward the end of the trip in the

On this boat you don't need to handle your gear at all, other than to check
it over, put it on and roll off the tender. At the end of the dive you hand
it up to crew members who are always there to take it from you. The
shoulder massages and warm towels are there for you after each dive. 

You can't find a better boat - a three masted schooner. It has a wide beam,
so it is stable as can be. It is roomy and the cabins are great. There had
been several improvements since our first trip, including installation of a
non-skid surface on the deck. It was beautiful wood before, but just too
slippery. For people who experienced issues when the boat was new, those
are now gone. 

Breakfasts are cooked to order - people were creative in their requests. I
ate Indonesian - mei goreng or nasi goreng or rice porridge. Lunches were
tilted toward Indonesian/Asian - and were fantastic. Dinners were Western,
and were fine. The first night we had a huge Indonesian dinner - in my
opinion the best dinner of the trip.

My only complaint is the travel to get there. That, of course, is why the
diving is still so great. From Bali you must overnight in Makassar then fly
on to Sorong, where you catch the boat. Dancer staff help at every step of
the way, though, for as much as you need them. Expect to pay overweight
charges for each domestic flight. You need rupiah in Sorong, but we find
you can use plastic in Bali and Makassar. With all our camera gear, we paid
about $300 getting from Bali to Sorong, and a bit less on the return. Yan
was extremely helpful in negotiating overweight payment in Sorong. 

So, would I go back? How about tomorrow.....
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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

All Indonesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Indonesia
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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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