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Dive Review of Chertan in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Chertan, Sep, 2002,

by Jim Jenkins, C, USA . Report 222.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 75 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Common sense. Divers treated like adults; e.g., OK to dive after a single beer.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments (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 variety.

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 lazy.

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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