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

Mike Ball, Dec, 2006,

by Ron & Cyndi Ablazey, Florida, USA . Report 2700.

Reporter and Travel

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
Closest Airport Getting There

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
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
UW Photo 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
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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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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