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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Diving/ Walindi Plantation in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Alisa Kling, CA, USA
Report Number 1180
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Truk Lagoon, Australia Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Cocos &
Malpelo, Yap, Pohnpei, Palau, many Carribean destinations etc.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
calm, choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dives were limited to approximately one hour.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 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
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The boat was adequate for underwater video photography.  There were only
five divers on our trip so the camera table was not crowded and the rinse
tank was all right was were the charging stations for the batteries.  If
the boat were full it would be pretty tight.  The underwater sea life was
interesting but not spectacular.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
3 stars    
If I had known what I know now I never would have gone on this trip.  We
gone on many Peter Hughes liveaboards before and this trip was definitely
not up to previous standards.  The Star Dancer is rundown and in need of a
refit.  More than one stateroom had water leaking from the ceiling.  The
food being served was adequate but lacked variety and was too fatty for my
taste.  Almost all of the dives took place from the Star Dancer's dive deck
since there is no adequate tender or ponga.  The boat has a small
fiberglass skiff that is a pain to ride in and get back into.  Because of
this, when diving in strong currents you had to make sure that you could
get back to the main boat or they would have to tow you back with the

The crew was generally nice but not very well trained, and, at times a bit
on the lazy side.  The dive master was not very experienced and handled
everything on the reef.  Even though we were told not to touch anything
every one of the dive guides handled whatever they were interested in.  At
times, after completing a dive, there would be no one around the dive deck
nor would they have put the dive ladders down.  The dive master did not
like constructive comments about her diving or the dive schedule, and, at
times, adopted a poor attitude.  The first dive was at 6:30 am followed by
dives at 9:00 am and 11:30 am.  There was a break for lunch with an
afternoon dive around 3:30 pm and then a night dive at 6:30 pm.  Why the
morning was so crowded with only one dive in the afternoon was never really
explained to me.  I have never been on a liveaboard before that had a dive
schedule like this.  Also, the crew was rough on the gear when allowed to
handle it.  I had to replace the o-ring on my tank numerous times because
of damage caused during the tank filling process.  The second stage on my
backup air source (Air Mic) was broken, and my backup dive computer's face
was scratched when my BCD was loaded onto the skiff and then on to the

Air Niugini is a real piece of work.  Before I left on the trip, I called
their local office here in California to check on the baggage weight
restrictions.  I was informed that there was a restriction of 32 kilos per
person (70 pounds) for internal flights but that if you were carrying dive
equipment they would waive it.  Obviously if you are going on a ten day
dive trip with camera equipment and clothing it is impossible to live with
this limit.  THEY WILL CHARGE YOU FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT!!!  My husband and
I were subject to $50-$75 per flight in excess baggage charges even though
the locals were taking anything they wanted including large coolers.  Also,
they take only cash (Kina) for these payments.

As a recap, the diving was not good enough to warrant the aggravation. 
There are other dive destinations in the Pacific that are easier to get to,
have better diving, and do not have these onerous weight restrictions. 
Palau, Truk, Cocos, Galapagos etc. are all better values and have better
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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

All Papua New Guinea Dive Reviews and Reports
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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