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

Paradise Sport, Jan, 2005,

by Jim Melton, UT, USA . Report 1604.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Florida, USVI, Great Barrier Reef, Red Sea, Mediterranean, Fiji, Palau, California, Baja California, etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Solo divers required to have separate redundant air source. Nitrox divers required to test, record O2 % and max allowed depth.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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
UW Photo Comments Dive deck has high shelf to keep equipment dry. Lounge great for O-ring work, etc. Computer provided for downloading and editing digital photos. Photo contest judged by photo pro and divers.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Good: First, PNG is everything that it is rumored to be, especially the diving. The reefs around Milne Bay are in excellent condition (no signs of bleaching, over-fishing, or dynamite/cyanide use). The life on some reefs was almost overwhelming, and we saw more new species than anywhere else we've been. Great wall dives, fabulous bommies, but best of all was the muck diving! Fantastic for macro photography, excellent for reef photography, wrong season for "big animal" photography.

Second, the Paradise Sport (back in Mike Ball's control) and its crew were outstanding. We've dived several premium liveaboards and believe this is the best we've done. We dived with almost every crew member and they were all great guides, helping us find the most obscure and hard-to-spot critters. The boat was very comfortable and roomy, there was always hot water and towels (both of them on the dive deck, too!), and the food was of high quality with plenty of quantity. My only critique of the food is that the variety did not suit my personal taste, but everybody else was very pleased.

Oh, yes, when we were arranging the trip, Mike Ball's staff (thanks, Tania!) was very helpful and arranged our flights from Australia to PNG, as well as a couple of days diving at Loloata Island Resort (near Port Moresby)!

Bad: Nothing. Well, OK, the Nitrox system wasn't functioning quite right and the mixes were anywhere from 26% to 31%. What was the company's response? No charge at all for Nitrox because of the "inconvenience"! What's not to love about that?

This was our first muck diving experience, and I wish I'd known a bit more about what to expect. As it happened, the experience far exceeded my expectations. One problem: my particular digital camera turned out not to be a good choice for low-light or night photography (even with strobe), especially macro. Also, we've struggled for years to suss out the expectations for tipping on liveaboards, sometimes badly under-tipping and sometimes badly over-tipping. On this trip, we over-tipped rather a lot, but we felt that the service was so great that we don't regret it.

We WILL go back, and it will be with the Paradise Sport.
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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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