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Dive Review of Odyssey in
Micronesia/Truk

Odyssey, Sep, 2003,

by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 737.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Palau, PNG, Australia, Fernando de Noronha, Bonaire, US & BVI, Caymans, Antigua, Roatan, Belize
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 83 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Matt is knowledgeable and helpful on digital and film photography. E-6 on board. Big photo table on dive deck, large light table in lounge. Two cameras-and-computers only fresh water tanks at stern.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Odyssey has two things which make it very different from other top-end liveaboards. First, it was planned, designed and is run day-to-day and dive-to-dive by the principals, Captains Lenny and Cara Kolczynski. Second, its spacious. The wood-paneled staterooms (forget cabins) are the largest we have enjoyed. Private bathrooms house the shower and toilet; the sink is in the stateroom itself. The dive deck and dining saloon are very large, and there is a separate lounge (large enough for all passengers) with charging station and elaborate electronic entertainment equipment. The extensive library covers marine life as well as the history of the Pacific War and Hailstorm, the February, 1944 bombing of Truk which sank the Japanese fleet on which we dive. Staterooms have 2 individual fan controls for air conditioning. We ran ours at a minimum because we were on the lower deck which is about 3/4ths below surface (large portholes at surface level) where the warm air and sun dont reach the hull.
There are four dive opportunities per day and a night dive after dinner. When a detour to the fringing reef (for a shark feed not our cup of tea) took longer than planned, they rearranged the schedule to ensure a dive wasnt missed.
There are 80 cu ft and 112 cu ft tanks available, and nitrox (for those certified) is 30% O2, putting the 1.6 atm pO2 depth at 143 ft. The big tanks made long dives possible for everyone ours averaged 50 min without pushing air or deco. Most of the wrecks have shallower structures like masts and kingposts, covered with sea life, which permit finishing the dive at shallower depths, not just hanging on the line. We made 27 dives (skipped one night dive) and on about 5 had to shorten the dive or ascend a little because of approaching decompression. San Francisco Maru is the only planned deco dive (200 ft max); we skipped it because of the recommendation to skip the night dive before and the next dive after, and made a simultaneous dive on a nearby wreck.
The dive briefings, by one of the captains or British divemaster Matt, are comprehensive and include excellent diagrams, which is important as each wreck has different features and hazards. All the wrecks are within the lagoon, some close to islands, so visibility is less than in the open ocean. Diving is from the wide fantail, 4 steps down from dive deck, with two big ladders for exit. Safety bar at 12 feet, freshwater shower on fantail. There were some relative rookies aboard (<50 dives), who took an advanced course and did fine the captains, Matt, and Chuukese Madison and Davy are all ready to help everyone.
The captains and crew have retained their enthusiasm for Truk diving. There is a real at-home feeling, since Odyssey is the Kolczynski home, complete with Shasta the ships (nondiving) cat. Getting there is long (26 hr for us) but Continental was reliable. If you like wreck diving, put Odyssey on your must-do list.
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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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