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Dive Review of Chertan in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

May, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Bill and Ruth Maki, TX, USA
Report Number 1313
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Sipadan, Coral Sea, Palau, Truk, Yap, Pohnpei,
Papua New Guinea (Kimbe), Cocos, Cortez, Socorro, Galapagos, Solomons,
Hawaii, California, and many Caribbean sites
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
15 ft safety stop  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Work area would be cramped with a full load of divers. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
MV Chertan is a first-class dive operation run by Rob van Der Loos.  He's
authored a book on Milne bay creatures and is a wizard at finding them. The
winds were a bit blusterous so most of our dives were on the north shore 
where we did quite a bit of muck diving (many dives at Lauadi).  We
photographed  a large assortment of critters: many kinds of nudibranchs,
ghost pipefish, popcorn shrimp, cuttle fish, lion fish, a coral head
teeming with Mandarin fish, and Nautilus.   We did get to one of the outer
reefs where Rob found a pygmy seahorse for us.  On the way back, we were
intercepted by a pod of Orcas -- 6-7 adults and 2 calves.  The rode the bow
wave and cruised along under the dinghy, apparently playing in  the prop
cavitation, for half an hour.  For one of our land excursions, one of  the
crew escorted us to a skull cave.  We also visited the Tawali resort both 
during the day and during the evening.  Tawali is an amazing venture put
together by Rob, members of his family, and other partners.  It was being
finished while we were there and some fast boats were on order for day
trips to outer reefs as well as muck  dives.  The resort is well-situated
so that the more popular dive sites are minutes  away.  (See and believe it all!)  The Chertan is quite comfortable.  
However, there were only 3 divers on board.  We suspect it could get
crowded with a full complement of 12 divers (the boat is on the small side
with only 2 on-deck heads).   The food prepared by Rob's family members,
Peo and Malle, was very good.  (If you have to overnight in Port Morseby,
we recommend the Airways hotel and a visit to PNGarts.)
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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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