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

Golden Dawn, Dec, 2006,

by Janet & Bob Czapski, MI, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3505.

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

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 75 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Safe diving because we were in the middle of "nowhere"!
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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 day....no 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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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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