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

December, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Ron & Cyndi Ablazey, Florida, USA (1 report)
Report Number 2700

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Reporter
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Florida - coast and gulf areas, cave diving in the central Florida springs.
 
Caribbean, central and south 
Cozumel

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
80   to 84    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Be back on the boat with 500psi in your tank otherwise if you had a
computer dive your computer profile  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
None 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Set up was great! Outlets for recharging batteries and large work areas
with dedicated rinse tanks for photographic equipment.  There are also TVs
in the lounge area to view your pics on between dives.  The staff also
knows how to handle and care for photographic equipment which is something
I've occasionally seen lacking in other operations.
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Upon arrival at the local airport we were met by the dive staff and all of
our gear (seems everyone else came in on the same flight also)was accounted
for and transferred to the boat for us- we never lifted a thing!  There was
adequate transportation for the divers and their gear and we made the
transfer to the boat in one easy trip! 

On my first dive my camera housing flooded and the staff of Paradise sport
went way above and beyond in their efforts to try to fix the situation. I
think they were more upset it than I was, and were amazing about the
situation.   Even though I thought it was hopeless (it was a digital camera
EOS-20D ) they kept trying everything they could think of to get the camera
back in operation. The engineer  even put it down in the engine room to try
to dry it off in the hopes that it would come back to life.  The camera pro
had a Sea anbd Sea film camera they made available to rent to make sure
that I would have a least some pictures of the trip. 
 
The divemasters/guides pointed out everything you could think of to shoot
pics of and were extremely helpful during the entire trip. I still don't
know how he spotted the pygmy seahorse on that fan but he did ! My wife and
I even found a hairy frog-fish on one of our night dives in the muck.  The
boat staff were wonderful especially in assisting my wife in getting in and
out of the water as she has a chronic back aliment and they helped her
throughout the entire trip.

The only thing I got a little tired of was muck diving, after 2 1/2 days of
it I was ready for the reefs again and we did eventually make our way back
to several world class diving areas.  

If you're ever out in the Milne Bay area the B-17 bomber wreck at 155' is
definitely worth the dive as well as visiting a village or two for the
local sing-sing's and meeting with the local islanders.  It's not often
that you get to meet people whose laughter is so real and unhibited that I
swear that it starts in their toes and works it way up !

All in all it was definitely traveling 1/2 way around the world and we plan
to do it again in several years maybe dining in Kimbe the next time.
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Other dive reports on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

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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