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Dive Review of Fish N Fins/West Plaza Desekel Hotel in

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Lucius Foster, MN, USA
Report Number 1684
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
California, Lake Superior Minnesota, Hawaii, Jamaica, Cozumel Mexico,
Anguilla B.W.I., Southern Florida East Coast, Florida Keys, Bahamas, Roatan
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Back on boat with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
POSITIVE: Fish N Fins has a wonderful photo and video shop with profesional
staff that ranges from rental, repairs, film and processing, computer use
for digital corrections and then download to disk with Adobe Photoshop (I
believe), PADI photo courses, cameras only huge fresh water cleaning tank,
and plenty of table space. NEGETIVE: The dive boats have no rinse bucket or
place for camera or video equipment.  You must store on floor or under
seat.  However, the divemasters and boat captains are great with handing
off equipment before and after the dives.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
Palau was a wonderful place and the locals were always very polite.  I put
together my two week trip by calling Fish N Fins and
asked for a package deal to include two tank dive per day and lodging. 
They put me up at the West Plaza Desekel Hotel that is a five min. walk to
there dive shop and dock.  I was given a room in the middle of the second
floor without windows (kinda wierd but I got use to it), a small living
room with television (the cable had four channels only) couch and a closet,
hallway kitchen, full bathroom, and bedroom with television.  The hotel was
above a grocery store that supplied most things I needed for the kitchen
(Twinkies and Yoohoos)during my stay and was walking distance to all kinds
of resturants from Sushi to American BLT.  The room was very clean and the
staff always smiled and went out of there way to make sure I had everything
I needed, including doing my personal laundry.  So, if you are like me and
bring two bags, one for dive gear and one for profesional camera gear, you
will be just fine bringing a few t-shirts trunks and shorts in your
carry-on backpack because they will clean your clothes for a couple bucks. 
As far as Fish N Fins, Tova Bornovski (owner)was a fantastic host and she
was there most every day to make sure you were enjoying yourself and the
diving.  Her husband and partner Navot was away on business during may stay
so I did not get the pleasure on meeting him.  I must say I am an easy to
please person and do not find myself picking at all the little things that
I read so many others do.  I also own a business and know exactly the
things that make or break you.  This dive operation was top knotch from the
first person I talked to when booking to the divemasters who showed me
there ocean home with genuine enthusiasm.  The dive sites on the walls and
reefs had great visibility while most of the wrecks (that are closer to
land) had enough visibility to make them great wreck dives.  While I was
there we did not have much in the "no kick drift diving" I read
so much about before my adventure.  However, one day we took a trip to
Peleliu and dove the famous Peleliu Express.  We were cruising on a wall
dive with a slight current, as we came up to the area were the divemaster
signaled to get ready to set your reef hook, it was to late.  The current
was ripping so hard in the channel that all anyone could do was hold on for
dear life to the floor bottom and look straight so that your mask did not
get ripped off.  Everyone on the dive was a rescue diver or better and we
all managed to hold on and wait for the divemaster to let go so that all of
us would release at the same time and stay together. Now that was exciting
and I guess it was OK to piss all over myself since I was in a wetsuit.  We
all followed the 20 to 30 mile an hour current and made our safty stop
before our final asent.  When we came up you could barly see land and our
boat captain was nowere to be seen.  But within 2 minutes he came and
picked all of us up.  We were all a little shaken and with the story of a
lifetime to tell others of the Peleliu Express!.  Palau is known for large
fish and great drift dives.  It delivered on both ends, however, the drift
dives, with the exception of Peleliu Express, were very mild and easy.  I
saw sharks on every dive except one wreck, lots of huge manta rays and sea
turtles, schools of dolphins, and many pelagics.  The coral seemed to be
starting to rebound after the bleaching from El Nino and the small fish
were everywere.  The only thing I did not seem to find alot of was
nudibranches and small stuff for the macro lens, however, I belive it was
because of two things, one, I was so busy looking at all the huge stuff and
two, I am over fourty and the reading glasses were not on the dive with me.
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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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