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

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Clinton Bauder, CA, USA
Report Number 1902
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
California, British Columbia, Alaska, Baja, Revillagigedos, Cocos,
Galapagos, Belize, Bonaire, Palau, Chuuk, PNG (Milne Bay)
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
Seas
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
4
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
None other than to use common sense  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Camera table is a bit small but otherwise fine. Plenty of room for chargers
both in the salon and the cabins. TVs that worked with both NTSC and PAL
and even a digital projector.
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  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Excellent trip, worth the expense and travel hassle to go to PNG (and
that's saying quite a bit). Besides the 3 in my group there were only 2
other divers. Evidently this part of PNG doesn't yet have the reputation of
some of the other areas. Not sure why this is as the diving was flat out
fantastic. Amazing hard corals, by far the best and healthiest I've ever
seen. Lots of sharks (Grey Reef, Whitetip Reef, Blacktip, Java, Silvertip,
Bull and Scalloped Hammerheads) though usually just far enough away that we
had trouble getting good pictures. Several turtles including one dive where
a large green spent the whold dive with us. Maybe not so many of the weird
muck diving kind of critters but we did see a leaf scorpionfish, a demon
stinger and quite a few crocodile flatheads. Cuttlefish and lionfish on
most dives. We dove quite a few wrecks, mostly from WWII including several
Japanese Marus and a B25.

The Golden Dawn in a very nice boat and Captain Crag de Wit is an excellent
and enthusiatic host. Food was good enough that I gained about 5 pounds
even doing 5 long dives a day, often in strong currents. Nitrox is now
filled via a membrane system and helium is availabe via prior request.

Weather was bit rough by tropical standards though this didn't really
affect the diving much. Visibility wasn't incredible but was usually a
perfectly reasonable 80 feet or so. Dives tended to be relatively advanced
so this might not be an itinerary for a rank beginner but is fine for a
competent diver. Travel to PNG is not for the faint of heart or light of
wallet. Leave time at the beginning of your itineary in case your baggage
doesn't make the same flights as you do. Highly recommended.
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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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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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