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Dive Review of Ocean Hunter in
Micronesia

Ocean Hunter, Mar, 2005,

by Lisa Vignerot, VA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 1666.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving NC, Saba, St. Maartin, Cyprus
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 76 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was a designated dry table for the camera's and a fresh water tank designated for cameras

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Do 10 Days!

We used 180k Delta FF miles to go from DCA-JFK-NRT (w/3day stopoff)-GUM-ROR. We spent a night at the Carolines resort before checking onto the Ocean Hunter. At the airport when we arrived, we were greeted by Zenia from the Carolines Resort with a lei and a smile and were whisked off in their van to the resort. In the morning, we were brought breakfast to our bungalow and I had the Spanish omelet, fruit, and juice. It was honestly the best omelet I had in my life. After breakfast, Fish n Fins came and picked us up to take us to Ocean Hunter. We got to the boat, got unloaded, and met the other folks that were on our cruise.

There were a total of 5 guests: One couple was from France (300+ dives), one gentleman who was from Germany with a camera named Susan (500+ dives), and us (Americans with about 40 dives). We started off with a 5-minute motor to our check out dive to the Helmet Wreck. The wreck had a lot to see, but had low visibility and sat at about 60+ feet. After we got out, Lunch was served and we went to our next dive site. Total dives: 27. Number of dives directly off the boat: 25 (both night dives were done off the skiff). I dove in a 2.5mm full wetsuit, but by the 3rd dive in, had to put on the 2.5 shorty vest. I was still a tiny bit cold most of my late day dives, so next trip- I am bringing the 5mm full. Crew was awesome- they help you on and off the boat, handed you a warm towel, and all you have to do is back up to the load platform to take off/put on your gear and jump in the water- not having to do skiffs like the other liveaboards were a big time bonus! Hot showers were provided on the rear deck to rinse off between dives. We dove Nitrox and the mix ranged from 31.8 to 32.1- over 28 dives, that is pretty darn good. After every dive, we had something to eat and drink. Arlies cooking was fabulous- it was like eating in a different restaurant each day- one day Italian, next day Indian. They claim its low fat, but Im not sure about that- I gained five pounds on the trip- darn you Arlie! The boat was in good shape- its an older sailboat, so dont expect it to be a spanking new Carnival cruise line boat- it is functional, clean, plenty of hot water, air conditioning was good, and space was adequate for 8 people and their gear. There were three cabins- two up front that shared a bathroom, and a stateroom in the back with its own bathroom and shower. Crew had their own area. We opted for the stateroom and were quite happy with our decision. My only negative comment is that they could update the mattresses or add another layer of foam- they were boat mattresses and not the best- a good memory foam pad would have solved the problem. Our guide was Gabby and he was fabulous- he let us do our own thing, yet kept an eye on us when we wanted. We dove all the primo sites including Blue Corner, Pelilue Express, and Big Drop off, and managed to get New Drop Off and Blue Corner in a few times. My biggest gripe was I didnt sign up for the 10-day cruise- big mistake! The crew went above and beyond the call of duty the entire cruise, and even taking the skiff into town when we needed Sudafed for our ears. At the end of the cruise, they even hosed off and cleaned all our gear- they did a great job and took extra time rinsing out the BCs to make sure all the salt was off of them. I feel like we couldnt have done a better job cleaning our stuff as they did. I cant wait to go back, and I will go with Ocean Hunter without a thought. We did visit Ocean Hunter II and boy what a boat that is- very good setup, brand new, but it carries 12 divers, and I like the small number of the Ocean Hunter I, so I will stay with Ocean Hunter 1 for our next cruise. We got into the port at 5pm on Tuesday, and had dinner and hung out on the dock. The next day, we got up, had breakfast, and got our stuff packed up and left about 9:30am.

After 8 million hours in the air, I was glad to be home. Even as jetlagged as I am writing this, I cant wait to go back. I cant wait to see the big Napoleon at Blue Corner again, and say hello to the sharks at Pelilue Cut while riding rip your mask off current.

Will I go through the trouble to use my miles? Absolutely
Will I do Carolines Resort again- Absolutely- no better place on the island to stay, including PPR!
Will I do Ocean Hunter again- you bet your buns I will!
Will I spend more time tooling around Palau- yes- I feel I should have spent AT LEAST 4 days on land so I could have done the waterfalls, jungle exploration, yap money quarry, and the WWII sites. But hey, got to leave something to do the next time I come!
Final summary- Stay at the Carolines, and do the Ocean Hunter or Ocean Hunter 2. All the other live-aboards make you use the skiff for all the dives and it eats time from diving. Bigger boats means more people on the dive site too. And above all- go business class- it is the ONLY way to fly when you are dealing with that many hours in the air
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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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