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Dive Review of CHERTAN in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Allan & Barbara Jones, ca, usa
Report Number 1307
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Carribean, Mexico, Hawaii, South Pacific, Indian Ocean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
74   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
On your own.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Crew is experienced camera handlers; never had any problems.  You can
service your camera in the dining area or up stairs on a large camera
table.  If asked, the crew will move your camera up stairs for you.  Two
fresh water rinse tanks are available for cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
This was our 59th foreign dive trip, 7th trip to PNG and our 6th on the
CHERTAN.  We like this boat, the crew and Captian Rob van der Loos.  The
ship carries up to 12; there were 6 on our trip.  CHERTAN is about 70' long
and is extra wide for it's length giving it more stability and less
rolling. Food was up to usual excellant standards with fresh baked
cookies/banana bread in mid-morning and hors deuvers in the afternoon. On
special request, we had chili mud crab and many nights of fried bananas
with ice cream and golden sauce!

We were fore warned by telephone that the water was abnormally cold for
this time of year, so 3 mil wet suits were required.

Our trip was 14 days long and started with the area to the east of Milne
Bay. The diving in this area, (Wahoo, Michelles, Jasons, Bunama, etc.) was
not up to usual standards, so we moved to the west side of Milne Bay near
the old port of Samuri.  Here the diving was excellant with lots of
subjects.  Best sighting were a rare green and also a red 2 winged pipe

Diving on this ship is when ever you want to, just let the crew know your
going in.  Normally, the Captian and also cook (Bionic Eyes Molly)dove with
you and some times other members of the crew also went in to spot. On this
trip we only did 40 dives, some what down due to cool waters.

For those who have dove this area before, there has been a change in the
native control of a site known as Luardi.  Normally a 2 Kina charge/diver
is given to the local native chief for diving in his back yard.  This has
recently been raised to 50/dingy/day by the new land loard, and with the
exception of the ship Telita, most other dive boats have quit this site due
to the exorbitant charge and the significant fall off of the dive quality
of the site over the past 3-4 years. In addition, the site adjacent to it,
Decons reef with the huge sea fan, has suffered unknown damage when the
full sea cliff collapsed recently down into the sea.

Captian van der Loos has published a book that is now going into it's
second printing: "Living Reefs of the Indio-Pacific, A Photographers
Guide". This book is a good identification for macro critters,
classifying them by family, location and with specific photographing
recommenddations.  Published by Reed New Holland.

Several of our trip members stayed at the new land based lodge TAWALI. Set
into the jungle, over looking a smooth bay, it will be formally opened in
Sept., 04.  This lodge has 10 rooms, full dining, diving and land based
tours.  It has two day boats and will also set up trips in conjunction with
CHERTAN.  Contact the CHERTAN or OCEANIC web sites for more details.
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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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