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Dive Review of Bikini Atoll Divers in
Micronesia/Marshall Islands

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Ronald Varley, HI, USA
Report Number 2606
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
All Hawaiian Islands, Marshall Islands, Wakatobi Indonesia, Truk Lagoon and
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Everyone had to follow a set minimum ascent protocol.Standard was 2 minute
stop at 80 feet, 2 minutes at 40 feet, 2 minutes at 30 feet, 5 minutes at
20 feet and 10 minutes at 10 feet then a slow ascent to the surface.If you
needed longer ok.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
No rinse tank on skiff. Just carried camera to from quarters for each dive
and rinsed in room.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
Trip originally planned for 8 days in Kwajalien aboard Oleanda followed by
7 days at Bikini. Ten days before departure received email from Rongelap
Expeditions saying Kwajalien operations being suspended for rest of 2006. 
They offered full refund or credit for future booking.  After a few emails
decided to take the refund.  Now had to work filling time scheduled for
Kwajalein or make a complete change to air travel. Considered diving a week
with Bako Divers in Majuro run by Jerry Ross, which I had done in 2002.
Thought about another week at Bikini, contacted Lani Kramer at Bikini Atoll
Divers for availability week prior to scheduled reservation. Had immediate
reply Absolutely.  Lani did great job re-coordinating tickets with Air
Marshall Island Air and booking me a room for one night in Majuro.  I then
only had to change the itinerary of my ticket. I had booked HNL-KWA, which
has a stop in Majuro. Dropping the MAJ-KWA-MAJ legs required no change of
dates for departure and return to HNL.

	Lani met me on arrival in Majuro and took me to the hotel she had booked
for me, Marshall Islands Resort.  The hotel used to be managed by Outrigger
and was very comfortable. Next morning hotel bus took me to Airport where I
met up with Lani and other divers going to Bikini.  Since I had a short
notice change in my booking with Bikini Atoll Divers there was not enough
time to wire funds for the extra week, they accepted a personal check from
me for the extra week. 

	Flight to Bikini was on Dash 8 operated my Air Marshall Island.  Had stop
in Kwajalien on the way.  This is where I would have boarded following 8
days of diving aboard Oleanda so you see these two locations would make a
very good package and I hope Rongelap Expeditions is able to get this
operation at Kwajalien going again.  Arrived in Bikini just before lunch
and were met by departing divers, who had been there two weeks and staff. 
Bags and gear were loaded on two skiffs for trip across the Lagoon.  You
land on Eneu, small island just south east of Bikini Island, only has
runway and couple buildings for flight operations.  There are about 23
small islands that outline the lagoon. Flight from Majuro via Kwajalein and
trip across the lagoon was beautiful.  On arrival, our gear was transferred
to quarters and we gathered for lunch.  After lunch we were asked to put
all our dive gear in one bag for pickup and it would be delivered to dive
boat while we had a dive briefing.
Our first dive was a checkout dive to about 105 feet to the deck of the
Sarratoga. The rest of the week we did two dives everyday, one in morning
and one in afternoon, about 4 hours apart. Every dive is a planned
decompression dive using surface supplied mix of 74% Oxygen at a fixed deco
bar suspended to 30 feet with 10 foot increments.  The dive schedule the
rest of the week was as follows with my max depth and time in the water.

Day/Dive	Dive Site		Depth	Time
2/1		Lamson			142     0:50
2/2		Saratoga-Hangar		132     1:01
3/1		Arkansas		176	1:01
3/2		Nagato-Stern		166	0:57
4/1		Carlisle		173	1:00
4/2		Saratoga-Bow		168	0:59
5/1		Nagato-Bow		171	0:58
5/2		Saratoga-Penetration	143	0:55
6/1		Anderson		172	0:51
6/2		Apogon		 	163     0:52
7/1		Saratoga-Stern		168	0:57

The second week I was there I was the only customer and received absolutely
outstanding service!  Jim was completely flexible with my desires and
offered me the opportunity to do some penetration dives on the Saratoga. 
This was a real treat for me as I am not a Technical Diver only a
recreational diver with about 170 dives at the time with some previous
wreck experience on two previous trips to Truk Lagoon.

	The one thing that really hit home to me was that this place is setup for
experienced recreational divers.  That is those who have at least 50 dives
with a few between 100-130 feet and have good buoyancy control.  If you are
an experienced recreational diver and like wrecks you will love this place.
Just come use the configuration you are used to using be it singles or
doubles.  But you really need a computer, preferably two, capable of
monitoring at least two different gas mixtures on a single dive.  They have
Dive-Rite HEs available for rent and they are easy to use.  I brought a
Dive-Rite Nitek 3 and Uwatec Smart Tec. Tank used was single HP Steel
119CuFt., with 3500-3600 PSI.  If you would rather have doubles then get
the training and experience before going.  By experience I mean going out
and diving 15-20 dives after training so you are totally comfortable with
the set-up.
Food and accommodations are good, especially for a place so remote. Good
solid bed, adequate space, air-conditioned, and decent bathroom with plenty
of hot water. Outside at end of each building is rinse tank and place to
hang gear for drying. There is no rinse tank on the skiff for camera so
just carried back and forth and rinsed off in room. Mini home theater with
some DVD movies but recommend you bring some of your new stuff. Besides
diving, eating and sleeping not much to do. Snorkeling not recommended
early morning or evening, due to abundance of sharks at that time. You can
walk around the island and one afternoon we went to another island where a
large concrete bunker was built for the A-Bomb tests.

	This was definitely the best dive trip I have ever had. My Mahalo to
everyone at Bikini Atoll Divers. Highly recommend! When you go be sure and
take some goodies for the staff. They like getting current newspapers and
magazines, latest movies on DVD and Dark Chocolate. I will to go back in a
year or two. Highly Recommend!
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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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