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Dive Review of Fish n Fins, Ocean Hunter III/Palau Pacific Resort in

November, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Max Weinmann, MA, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4556
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
PNG, GBR, FIJI, Sea of Cortez
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
85   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limit 120'  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Every effort made to assist the needs of the photographer.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
I just returned from 3 weeks away in Palau which I must admit was the trip
of a lifetime thanks to the Fish n Fins team . 


a) Land Based

We were picked up after breakfast and transported gently to the dive shop
which is a bussle of activity from around 7am. The store is the nerve
center of FNF, and is reflected by the the clanging of tanks, the excited
chatter of new and old arrivals and the sad faces of those ending their
trip. Tovah and Navot Bornovski were there to greet us. Relaxed and
friendly, they are welcoming and warm to all who enter their
"home". A cup of iced tea is offered and accepted gladly, stories
and expectations exchanged and divers buddied up with similar experience
and expectations. This is a multi national experience ; Aussies, Swiss,
Germans, Americans...all brought together by a desire for adventure. FNF
really shines here. Our dive gear was whisked away and organized on one of
about 6 boat while we were being introduced to our new companions. 
The divemasters worked relentlessly to ensure that all the predive
requirements were taken care of while we relaxed, filled out the requisite
paperwork and graduallly overcame the incredulity of having actually made
it to Palau.
Once on board, the divemasters cajoled, joked and introduced themselves to
us explaining what would take place over the coming days. Jet lag had yet
to surrender it's grip upon us when we were already at the dive site with
the dive master, and boat attendants already hoisting our tanks etc upon
the seats and beckoning us to finish getting dressed. The pre dive briefing
was concise and clear. Safety was the bottom line : period. There would be
2 dive masters and while we could dive according to level of comfort, they
would be keeping a close eye on us. We were to discover that this was
indeed the case, and it was never intrusive.
The dive boat was fast, clean and very well maintained. Tanks were
efficiently stacked behind the seats and unobtrusive. Fist aid kit ,oxygen
,radio etc were all present and accounted for should any unpredicted
emergency be encountered. Diving with inflatable safety devices was a must.
Cold water was available for thirsty travellers as well as a water bottle
which was provided for us from the dive store, filled with tea, water etc.
All care was made when tying up to buoys which marked the dive sites. This
was about eco awareness, not exploitation, which we were reminded of
constantly. This was in contrast to the behaviour evident on some of the
other dive boats. Palau has an assortment of dive operators, and it became
clear very quickly who are the professionals and who are in it for the
"quick buck". Some boats were indifferent to any sort of
ecological needs or etiquette, where divers were literally dumped at the
site in the absence of any type of order or control wreaking havoc with the
reef and any other divers present. We were to discover later, that this had
culminated in the disappearance of some divers ; not all of whom were
ultimately recovered. While the tropical waters are welcoming, they are not
equally forgiving, with currents changing quickly and unpredictably at
times. FNF is committed to being proactive in terms of safety.
As the divemasters became familiar with us, our levels of expertise, goals
etc ( manta, sharks, wrecks , for example), they endeavoured over the
ensuing days to fulfill them promptly and safely. The time we were there,
mantas seemed to be extremely active and hence German Channel was a
frequent destination. Divers seeking wrecks, were quickly matched up with
other "wreckophiles" . None were disappointed.
For photographers, a rinsing tank was provided as well as life preservers
to be placed deep within the seat tanks to allow "soft" storage
for the photogs "babies".
Upon return, gear was rinsed off, a quick shower and videos reviewed.
Chattering, "ooing" and "ahhing" replaced the mornings
banter as divers reviewed the events of the day.

b) Live Aboard : Ocean Hunter III

Ocean Hunter III is a reincarnated research vessel, 96 ft in length and
able to accomodate 16 divers in sheer comfort.
We were taken to FNF from our resort and shortly shuttled by boat to the
Ocaen Hunter. Upon arrival, the crew again rapidly disappears into the
background organizing cabins and luggage.
The design is purely "nouvea diver plush". Native timbers,
comfortable furnishings, air conditioning, wide screen TV's, DVD players,
music system (ipod compatible) greeted us. This is definitely not your gut
wrenching, diesel stinking, bilge grinding, ex fishing boat, dive vessel.
This has been built with tremendous attention to detail and pride in
workmanship. Did I mention the upper deck twin jacuzzi's? 
The crew is devoted to the divers. We had planned to dive hard and lose
weight, returning home svelte and tanned. Well these guys certainly
undermined that plan completely ! The food was simply gourmet ; and
The days were basically wake, dive, eat, dive, eat dive ,eat dive etc.
The guides could not have been more open to suggestions, desires and goals
of one and all. Shark dive...sure, mantas...German Channel it
is....wrecks...why not, night dive perhaps? Of course the photogs would
review their pics or vids obsessively via the big screen TV. FNF also
offers a personal DVD service to document your vacation. We opted for this
and it has been a source of tremendous satisfaction and wonderful
reminiscences for us since returning.
During the 7 day tour most of Palau's prime dive sites were explored and
experienced from Blue Corner through to Pelilieu. The trip was
extraordinary, leaving most of us wanting to call home with a mysterious
illness so we could extend our stay.


Fish n Fins demonstrated remarkable professionalism and a sense of spirit
little seen in todays competitive chaotic world. The Bornovski's
committment to their staff, Palau and their guests verges on the familial.
There is no question that we shall be returning. 
Thanks Tovah and Navot !
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