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Dive Review of CHERTAN in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

CHERTAN, Aug, 2004,

by Allan & Barbara Jones, ca, usa . Report 1307.

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

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 74 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions On your own.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 fish.

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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