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Dive Review of MV Coral Star in

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Tracy Johnson, CA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (9 reports)
Report Number 3016
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
California, Florida, St. Lucia, Martinique, Turks & Caicos, Curacao,
Aruba, Bonaire, San Salvador, Cozumel, Hawaii, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
74   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130 feet max, most diving was on pinacles with a dive master  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Had to ask for fresh water cameera tub but wasn't a problem
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
This was my sixth trip on a Panamanian live-aboard.   I love watching the
big animals.  Lots of white tip sharks resting in caves and on the bottom. 
In addition to the large animals we saw frog fish, lots of lobsters and
eels, plus sea horses.  On one previous trip I spent my safety stop in the
middle of a school of dolphin.  The trip starts with the first night at the
Caesar Park Hotel Panama City.  Early the next morning we fly to David and
it's a short ride to the boat dock.  We board pursuits for a two hour ride
down river to the mother ship.  The ship has 8 cabins and each have baths
and air conditioning.  There is also a small personal fan in each cabin
also which worked well for me since I like a cool cabin.  

On this trip we had 3 fishermen (2 ladies, 1 man) and 9 divers.  The
fishermen leave early in the morning on 28 foot Pursuits.  Coral Star has a
fleet of  of ocean fishing/diving boats to take us to dive sites quickly. 
Fishing is an option during intervals.  The size of their fleet provides
the Coral Star with more than adequate backup should there be mechanical
failure on any of the support boats.  They even have a 56 foot LCM support
boat to bring fuel to the mother ship.  Most dive trips were on the 34 foot
Delta.  I used a 1.5mm wet suit with a vest.  One of the nice things about
diving in Panama is the opportunity to do exploration diving.  We tried a
site that had not been explored to date, unfortunately visibility was bad
but there was still the excitement of exploring new sites in addition to
the tried and true sites which don't see divers more than 10 times a year. 
This is a great trip for experienced divers due to the huge tidal changes
creating strong currents.
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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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