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Dive Review of Golden Dawn in
Papua New Guinea/Madang - Wewak

Golden Dawn, Aug, 2002,

by Jim Jenkins, CA, USA . Report 220.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Solomons, Sipadan, Cocos, Galapagos, Coral Sea, Hawaii, California, Carribean, other PNG
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 81 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions common sense; solo diving OK.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments E6 available; projector & screen; good charging space; work space limited.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments (Scale 1-10) Overall: 9. 14 nights out of Madang to the Manus, Hermit and Ninigo Islands south to Wewak. Visibility up to 200. 79F near Madang to 84F in the North. This was one of my best trips. EAN highly recommended.

Sea life pelagics and large fish: 9. Mobula, eagle, marble rays; white-tip, black-tip, grey reef silvertip sharks; huge napoleon wrasses, schools of bumphead parrots, jacks, barracuda, oceanic triggers, snappers, more.

Sea life reef: 9. Healthy, large variety and quantity of triggers, angels, bat fish, lion fish, flatheads, scorpion fish, octopus, etc.; huge sea fans, gorgonians, whips, etc.

Sea life critters: 5. Good variety of nudis and some critters on wreck dives. We really didnt spend time looking for critters.

Dive briefings/guides: 6. Craig (Craig de Wit, owner/operator) accompanied some divers on some dives. No other dive guides were available. Briefings were generally excellent. The boat does 4 or 5 different itineraries around PNG. The sites are pristine. No briefings like there are two leaf scorpion fish on the wall at 60.

Food: 10. Best Ive had on any boat and almost any resort. Divers are treated as responsible adults. A glass of wine with dinner does not mean no night diving.

Cabins: 8. Clean, comfortable, and sufficiently roomy for a relatively small boat. Cabins 4 & 5 are on the main deck with en suite heads. The crew cleaned the cabins and made beds daily. Each cabin has separate A/C.

Boat layout: 9. The lounge is spacious for 8 10 people. Meals are served at a large table above decks with a nice breeze. A wide-screen projection unit with surround sound for watching movies when there is no night dive.

Boat layout for diving and photography: 6. About 40% of diving is from the boat via side entries. Return is via a single set of steps up to the side. The steps flap and move wildly in the current and swell. I found this no problem. Others had some difficulty; Craig had them just surface for zodiac pickup. The crew was happy to take gear to the tender and help you put it on at the dive site. Only three photographers and they used up the table and floor space in the lounge. The suiting-up area and gear storage was adequate.

Crew and overall service: 10. Excellent! The whole crew did an outstanding job. Fills were perfect. Craig (owner/operator) ran the tour and dove with us: good stories, good dive guide, and very enthusiastic about the diving. Nice touches such as rinsing all the gear daily and doing the final gear clean up for you.
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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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