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Dive Review of Golden Dawn in
Papua New Guinea/Eastern Fields

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Janet & Bob Czapski, MI, USA
Contributor   (14 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3505
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Malaysia, Bali-Komodo, Raja Ampat, Lembeh Straits, Fiji, Thailand, Solomon
Islands, Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
75   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Safe diving because we were in the middle of "nowhere"!  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Cameras are stored in the salon when the boat is underway; on a small
camera table on the dive deck during the day.  This is an extremely small
boat so camera gear storage is at a premium!  We used the tables in the
salon to change lens, etc. and stored everything in cases under the tables
in the salon.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
Craig DeWit runs a fantastic operation.  This is the smallest liveaboard
we've done anywhere in the world but it is compact and extremely well-run. 
The food that comes out of that tiny kitchen is amazing!

The crew was friendly and very competent.  Craig is a consummate
"host"!  You don't feel like you're diving on a
"commercial" vessel; you feel like you're diving with a great
friend!  His sense of humour is wonderful and his dive briefings are the
"briefest" in the world!  This particular itinerary is NOT
suitable for beginning divers, and he's used to dealing with experienced
divers looking for a unique diving experience in a part of the world that's
only accessible for a few weeks a year.

To Craig' credit, he's extremely intent on preserving his underwater world.
 He only does trips to Eastern Fields when the weather is conducive to
traveling there, but he also only dives each site for a maximum of one matter how incredible the diving might be on each site.  Diver
impact is minimal....50 divers per year for each amazing dive site!  His
passion for sharks is world-renown and his enthusiasm is contagious!  He
knows "his" sharks personally and keeps detailed logs on
sightings, numbers, conditions, etc.  His concern for preservation is
evident in any conversation you have about his environment.  He guides all
dives himself; sometimes with some of the crew to help spot unique
critters, but the boat only holds 10 divers, so it's easy to follow him if
you're on a specific "critter quest"!

We dove sites that were breathtaking, to say the least.  You are in the
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!  We traveled approx. 120 km from Port Moresby and never
saw another boat, island, anything!  All we saw for the bulk of the trip
was sea birds!  He uses GPS coordinates for his favorite spots, lots of the
dives can be done directly from the Golden Dawn, some are done from the
inflatables.  His ladder system is a little tricky to get used to, but it
works for a boat that size and his crew is extremely helpful.

We saw sea fans that were 20' tall and in amazing colors.  The schools of
fish -- small, medium & large, were prolific.  It was tough to decide
whether to shoot fabulous wide angle or unique macro on any given dive.  He
does do a couple of "shark dives" that are quite interesting! 
The weather proved "unseasonably windy" towards the end of our
10-day charter so we had an uncomfortable crossing back towards Port
Moresby but got a chance to dive near the coast for a few days (much cooler
water!) and included Suzie's Bombie which was a fabulous end to our
adventure....a purple rhinopia was the highlight there.

The Golden Dawn's itineraries vary throughout the year based on diving
conditions all around PNG; he will do custom itineraries upon request.  We
can't wait to dive the Golden Dawn again!
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Other dive reports on MV Golden Dawn

All Papua New Guinea Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Papua New Guinea
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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