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Dive Review of Mike Ball Dive Expeditions/Paradise Sport in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Janet & Bob Czapski, MI, USA
Contributor   (14 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3504
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Bali-Komodo, Raja Ampat, Lembeh Straits, Malaysia, PNG, Solomon
Islands, Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions except on B-17 bomber dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Camera storage area is the top shelf behind the diver's station.  Secondary
shelves hold peripheral gear.  Charging area was separate and plentiful. 
Cameras were handled very well by the crew.  If you were looking for
specific "critters" you could ask one of the dive guides to take
you right to it!  They also placed sticks in the sand where unique critters
had been spotted....
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
This leg of our adventure didn't start out well because AirNuigini sold our
seats while we were clearing PNG Immigration!  Our connecting flight from
Port Moresby to Gurney Airport in Alotau left without ten of the 11 of us
and AG put us up in the Airport Hotel for the night!  We were on the 6:30
a.m. flight the next morning and arrived in Alotau the next morning to be
met & told that the boat had departed without us!

Mike Ball's ground rep made arrangements to "cart" us over to the
other side of was 2-1/2 hours of grueling roads with
spectacular scenery.  He was supposedly in communication with the boat and
they were going to pick us up at "Point A".  When we arrived
there, no boat.  After further communication, we were advised that we were
to be taken a beach area where the Tawali boat would pick us up and take us
to the resort where the Paradise Sport would meet us....after waiting on a
beautiful beach for over an hour, it was determined that the Tawali boat
had gone to "Point B" rather than this beach we were waiting at! 
We had to drive to that dock area to get a pick-up!  It was a 20 minute
boat ride from there to Tawali where we were served cool beverages while we
waited for the Paradise Sport to arrive.

Apparently, it's Mike Ball's company policy to NOT wait for guests to
arrive (although we found out that the NEXT week, they waited for several
guests whose flight from Brisbane to POM was delayed).  The boat had sailed
with one of my group members and five Polish guests...leaving behind TEN
group members!  It wasn't a great start to the week....

Diving commenced at Dinah's Beach which is one of the premier sites in
Milne Bay; we moved on to Kathy's Corner and other "muck" sites. 
We did a few open water bommie dives, one of which revealed a huge
green/black rhinopia!  The B-17 bomber dive was enjoyed by all those who
did it and the Boga Boga Village visit is always a high spot in a Milne Bay
trip.  Most of the diving is done directly from the back of the boat and
all you had to come up for was a refill of air/Nitrox and fresh camera

The Paradise Sport was doing its last few charters in Papua New Guinea
before the boat was sold.  It was apparent from the Captain & Cruise
Director's attitudes that they were just "biding their time". 
The chef was great, food was fantastic and the rest of the crew were
friendly & competent.  

Overall, Milne Bay was as good as we remembered it; next time we'll visit
it on a smaller, more intimate boat!
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