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

January, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Jim Melton, UT, USA
Report Number 1604
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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

sunny, cloudy  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Solo divers required to have separate redundant air source. Nitrox divers
required to test, record O2 % and max allowed depth.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
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

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

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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Other dive reports on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

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Diving Guide to Papua New Guinea
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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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