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Dive Review of Dive Walindi/Liamo Reef / Walindi in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Sherwood & Judith Smith, WA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 4367
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
all over the Indo-Pacific, and much of the Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, cloudy  
Seas
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
82   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
controlled by your own computer  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
N/A  
Large Pelagics
  N/A
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
large photo table on the dive deck. Separate rinse tank for cameras. Crew
very helpful in passing down and retrieving cameras before/after the dive.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
4 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
The SPUMS meeting was held at the Liamo Reef  Resort, rather than Walindi,
because the conference room was the only one large enough for the meeting,
and both it and the guest rooms are air conditioned, whereas only a few
areas of Walindi have A/C. 

Liamo Reef is located on the beach at Kimbe Town, but we were advised to
stay on the (fenced) resort grounds, because the town is full of transients
working in the oil plantations, and it is deemed not safe for foreigners to
walk around unaccompanied. We complied.  Accommodations were very nice,
with large, spacious rooms, sizeable bathrooms with showers, and meticulous
housekeeping. Breakfast and dinner were served buffet style, with food
quality very good to excellent. Service was on island time, but the staff
couldnt have been more friendly.

Every morning we had a 20-minute bus ride to Walindi, where we boarded the
boats for a two-tank dive in Kimbe Bay. Both the Star Dancer and the
FeBrina were used as day boats, along with two smaller boats from the Dive
Walindi operation, to handle a total of  about 70 divers. We were on the
Star Dancer. The larger boats motored at a more  sedate pace, so that when
we went further out in Kimbe Bay to the more open sites, we were frequently
doing the second dive later in the afternoon, with the light too flat to
really enjoy the topography. Lunch was served on the boat, choices of
sandwiches, or plates, and were not expensive.

Dive Walindis staff proved friendly and efficient at registering this
large group of guests, even coming over to Liamo Reef to check C-cards, and
organize boat assignments. At the end of the week, they did the same to
settle accounts. Air fills were generous, and much of their equipment
appeared quite new.

Kimbe Bay is a relatively protected environment, receiving neither heavy
wind, nor open ocean surge. As a result, the fans and soft corals on the
seamounts are huge, and spectacular. Most of the dive site are old 
volcanic seamounts, usually with one steeper side, allowing for a good
wall dive experience every day. On several dive sites, small seamounts or
ridges in 25-40 ft. of water, we encountered rows and clusters of
absolutely unbroken fans, up to 15 feet across, covered with a plethora of
crinoids, and containing critters of all kinds. Soft corals of all types
and colors made for esthetically rich color. These site looked as though we
were the first ever to dive them. 

Pygmy Seahorses were pointed out by the guides on almost every site, until
we got used to finding them ourselves. The guides were eager to find tiny
critters for those of us shooting macro. Pinnacle tops were frequented by
shoals of jacks and barracuda, and we took pictures of a multitude of
nudibranchs we had not seen before. At Inglis Shoal, a plastic box of fish
parts was used to attract a number of white tip, grey reef, and silvertip
sharks, which swam with us for the rest of the dive. Other outstanding
sites included Ottos reef, Joys Reef, and Joelles Reef. 

On several occasions, pods of dolphins accompanied the boat, surfing on the
bow wave. Otherwise, we saw no pelagics, though whales are often seen in
Kimbe Bay, but, perhaps at other times of the year.

All in all, excellent tropical diving, with very rich sea life, biased to
the small side.
[None]
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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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