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Dive Review of Fish 'n Fins Ocean Hunter III in
Micronesia/Palau

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Kayla Koeber, UT, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6801
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cocos 3 times, Galapagos, PNG - Eastern Fields, Belize, Turks and Caicos,
Little Cayman, Honduras, Cozumel, Channel Islands CA,
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, rainy, cloudy  
Seas
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
  to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
25   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
2 stars    
Comments  
We are liveaboard divers primarily.  The upshot on Palau is we traveled
8,000 miles hoping to be amazed by the diving and were disappointed.  While
the accommodations on Ocean Hunter III, crew and food are truly 5 star, the
diving is 2 star.  We prefer the opposite... 5 star diving, 2 star
accommodations.  We are not too fussy topside - just need clean and
comfortable. 
We were shocked at the lack of reef life in Palau which all reports say is
incredible.  IT'S NOT TRUE.  For smaller fish/critters we see more in our
annual trek to Cozumel.  The reefs are beautiful, yes, but water viz is
better in the Caribbean.  In fact Palau reminded us a lot of Little
Cayman... beautiful reefs but where are all the fish and critters?  We dove
all the usual suspects, saw many reef sharks at Blue Corner, Ulong Channel
but after numerous trips to Cocos were underwhelmed by the pelagic life.
What truly disappointed us was that on the liveaboard we dove all the same
sites and WITH all the day boat operations including Fish n' Fins, the
shore operation of the Ocean Hunter group.  They have a "normal"
liveaboard itinerary that works for the average diver we guess and they
don't deviate from it.  The crew was great but it is clear they must adhere
to the management policy  no exploration is encouraged or probably
allowed.   Day 1 and Day 7 are for the convenience of the boat and right
around the corner from the dock... okay dives but when you can see the
traffic on shore from the liveaboard as we did on Day 7, you know the trip
is over.  Due to weather conditions (choppy seas) the big boat couldn't go
to Peleliu although a good effort was made by crew and we loaded into the
tender for the one hour journey.  The day in Peleliu was the only day we
didn't dive at sites with numerous day boat operations.  We get the
standard itinerary formula but it's why we quit diving with Peter Hughes
years ago.  There are 70 plus KNOWN dive sites in Palau and yet we kept
repeat diving the same sites.  We would have far preferred more
exploration, effort and diversity of dive location.    
In summary, the diving was adequate... it was not "bad"... but
it's not worth the long trip if you live in the USA.  What we realized is
that Palau is to Asia what Cozumel is for those of us in the US.  Nice
diving in fairly close proximity to big urban centers, nice reefs, but not
the spectacular experience we traveled halfway around the world for.  
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Subscriber's Comments

By renee97038 at Nov 26, 2012 11:46 EST  
Thanks for the review.  Your experience sounds very honest.  We are going
in April and will report our experience as well.  I'm disappointed to hear
you enjoy Cozumel more than Palau.  Makes me wonder if it's worth the long
trip to Palau.
By lyndad2 at Nov 26, 2012 12:31 EST  
I went aboard Aggressor in Sept 2010 and thought the diving was great.  I
had booked two weeks back to back for Dancer next March/April (because
Aggressor had only an upper bunk left for the 2-week special trip), but
cancelled last week because I decided to go to Maldives or Cocos first. 
Sorry to hear you were disappointed. Aggressor dove the top sites, but also
varied the schedule so we were never at a site at the same time as the day
boats.  Got to Pelelieu.
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Other dive reports on Fish 'n Fins

All Micronesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Micronesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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