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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Dive/Star Dance in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

June, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Bill and Connie Ehler, TX, USA
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 4425
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Socorro Island, Malpelo, Cocas Islands, Fiji, Australia, PNG, New
Caledonia, Rangiroa, Mozambique, Niue, Red Sea, Galapagos, Turks/Caicos,
Cozumel, Honduras, Colombia, St. Martin, Cayman, Bimini, Bahamas, Saba,
Bonaire, Vanuatu, Solomons, Palau, Yap, Kosrae, Marshall Islands, Truk, PI
and more
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
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
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was a dedicated camera table that was large enough for the five
photographers on our trip. We did have one person with multiple cameras and
videos that overwhelmed this table. There were not enought charging outlets
The crew did an excellent job handling the photo gear.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
The following is a list of safety and equipment failure we encountered:
1. Radar not functioning.
2. Depth finder not functioning
3. Tanks scale resulting in obstructing of tank valves. Gauge measured no
pressure when tank full. This could be fatal at depth.
4. The steel cable holding back steps frayed and snapped. Three people were
standing next to it and escaped being hurt. 
5. Two desalinators failed. No potable water. 
6. A previous salt water pump failure was incorrectly patched by rerouting
fresh water into the toilet system. The rerouting of the fresh water pump
for sewage resulted with a diminished amount of potable water. The fresh
water PVC pipe to the toilet system broke. 
This resulted in NO drinkable water. The toilets were switched to the salt
water pump and it also failed. Fortunately one passenger had extensive
experience with plumbing and water supply to recognize and corrected the
jury rigged sewage and fresh water supply.
The captain did tank up at a local village well. Coincidentally several
passengers developed gastro-intestinal malaise after consuming this water.
7. Due to pump failure there was a sewage spill in bilge. The nauseating,
repulsive, obnoxious sewage smell permeated the interior of boat,
especially the crew quarters. This methane gas produced from the sewage has
a potential to explode.
8. No pressure relief valves were installed on the high pressure line. This
resulted in over-pressurization on the line and it burst. Those present
when it exploded had a temporary hearing deficit for nearly an hour.
9. The Nitrox membrane was not functioning properly. Nitrox contents rarely
exceeded 30%. Some were as low as 26%.
10. The mooring line on boat broke loose at night causing the boat to crash
into reef. The swing line was inadequate in size for the boat. It also had
many repair knots from previous breaks.
11. It was quite obvious that this boat has not been in dry dock for a very
long time. The condition of the boat is deplorable. It suffers from extreme
12. There is no redundant equipment of any kind. In fact everything has
been cannibalized. If any other system had failed while out in the Bismarck
Sea we would have been SOL.
13. We sailed out to Witu Island with no engineer on board and were forced
to return to Walindi Resort for repairs, parts and an engineer.
14. There is no rental equipment available i.e. regulators, SPG and BCs. It
is imperative that your gear is in top notch condition and/or you bring

Upon our return we immediately contacted PHD. The response to our letter
and phone conversations with the Executive Vice President of PHD was
"concerns that in the end and in our collective belief were and are
unfounded and false.....  This implies that we lied or at least concocted
What was sent in good faith to PHD seems now to be turning into a pissing
contest with a veiled or not so veiled threat of possible litigation.

We were informed that none of these issues were noted in the Dancer's log
or that a "Charter Report" did not record or document these
problems. Reports that were NOT received or filed concern us. This is a
corporate/management problem. PHD said they received 27 problems from us
and other guests. We did not count them but if this is so what is the
statistical probability this would occur during a 9 day voyage on a
properly maintained boat?
The above list is a list of physical equipment failures, neglect, and lack
of oversight of the Sea Dancer's overall condition and sea worthiness. 
There were NO problems with the crew; they were outstanding, with one
caveat--NO ENGINEER when the failures occurred.
Our communications with PHD were a constructive criticism and a complaint
of a regrettable and shoddy experience on a Peter Hughes, 5 star live
aboard. Instead the initial correspondences from PHD infer that we are
lying, making false accusations and warn us of possible litigation.

We recently received a communiqué from Peter Hughes after his
personal inspection of the Star Dancer. He acknowledged many of the
problems of the Star Dance. Corrections of many of the problems have been
completed and others will be completed when the boat goes to dry dock for
maintenance and recertification in Feb/Mar 2009. 
His closing remarks in his communiqué are, What more can I say,
except to sincerely apologize for our failure in.but there are some things
that can & will slip through the cracks, no matter how thorough we try
to be.

We want to sincerely thank Peter Hughes for his personal on site follow-up
and for his professionalism.
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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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