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Dive Review of Chertan in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

September, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Jim Jenkins, C, USA
Report Number 221
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Other PNG, Fiji, Solomons, Sipadan, Palau, Truk, Galapagos, Cocos, Hawaii,
California, Carribean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
75   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
 Common sense.  Divers treated like adults; e.g., OK to dive after a single
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
(Scale 1-10)  Overall 10 for muck lovers; 7 for big fish lovers.   75F to
77 F.  Visibility good to very good.  Muck dives had 40 or better.  

Go for the macro critters and the smaller, more intimate boat.  There is
plenty of large fish life, this trip is for muck divers who also want some

Sea life  pelagics and large fish 7.  About 50% of our diving was muck
diving or on reef tops looking for critters.  Dives on reefs in open-ocean
produced a few sharks, schools of barracuda, eagle rays, turtles, schools
of bump-head parrots, and healthy fish life.  From the boat, we saw
dolphins, a whale shark, a dugong, a swordfish, and mola molas. 

Sea life  reef corals, fish 8.  Some coral bleaching; the reefs are
recovering nicely with large fans, sea whips, abundant black corals, soft
corals, etc.  Reef-fish are healthy and diverse.

Sea life  critters 10.   Perhaps Indonesia is better (I havent been
there).  While we didnt see everything (no leaf scorpion or lacy scorpion
fish), we saw a great variety of exotic nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, snake
eels, crocodile fish, scorpion fish, lion fish, blue-ribbon eels, numerous
small shrimps and crabs, etc.  Surprises like the Wondrous Melibe
nudibranchs (3 of them feeding, one nearly 12 long) occurred on nearly
every muck dive.  If you love macro stuff, this is the place.

Dive briefings and guides 9.  Rob knows the sites intimately and excels at
finding things.  He dives most dives and is happy to guide you.  The
briefings were good.

Food 8.  Generally good food with some delicious meals.

Cabins 6.  Cabin space was adequate and similar to most, smaller boats. 
Two heads (with showers) on the main deck, shared by all guests.  A/C is a
single unit under the stairs for all 6 units.  

Boat layout 8.  Nice lounge area, adequate space for sunning and shade
above decks.  The boat is very wide for its size.

Boat layout for diving and photography 9.   80% of the diving is from the
stern with side and up two sets of steps in the rear.  No crowding and easy
entries and exits.  This is the most relaxed type of unlimited diving
since you go in when you want, and come back to the boat when you want
(although the crew keeps watch and will pick you up in the tender if you
want.  A few current dives on reefs were from the zodiac.  No EAN.  There
is a very large table above decks for cameras.  The crew carries cameras up
to the table after rinsing, and will fetch them back down for you if youre

Crew and service 8.  Rob makes the trip fun and very productive.  Rooms
are not made up daily.  

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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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