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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Star Dancer in
Papua New Guinea/New Britain (kimbe to Rabaul)

July, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Jody and Elissa Thompson, ca, usa
Report Number 180
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
California Channel Islands, Bimini and Freeport, Bahamas, Cozumel, Akumal,
Jamaica, Palau 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
86   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Common sense  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
Pristine, healthy reefs, a backdrop of active and innactive volcanos,
jungle, WWII history, amazing people... a glimpse of PNG.

We planned 11 days in PNG: 7 days aboard on Peter Hughes Star Dancer, 4
days at Walindi Plantation, 1 day rest stops in both directions at the
Cairns Colonial Club in Australia.  This report covers the Star Dancer
portion of our trip.  A seperate report will be submitted for our stay at

....Not only was our dive gear lost once but twice! (dive bags and cameras
short tagged to Guam at LAX.  Laptop missed flight from Cairns to Port
Moresby).  This is the kind of thing that will tell you what kind of travel
agent you have and we are convinced we had the BEST.  We booked directly
through Peter Hughes Dive Easy Travel and after some worrying a sleepless
night and phone calls, Jeff and Terri were able to get our dive bags to us
(via Tokyo!) in time to make the boat.  The laptop took another week, but
Jock, Star Dancer's Captain, and all around great guy offered us the use of
his if needed.   

Star Dancer's accomodations are first class. We had cabin 2. It has a
tub!,queen bed, roomy storage, large picture window, air conditioning,
plenty hot water and perfectly working toilets.  Every morning beverages
are brought to your room and laundry is collected an done.  If you're not
spoiled yet, wait until Andrew... "6 star Chef of the Pacific"
starts to work his magic with local food.  As vegetarians we are always at
the whim of the chef and whatever they can "leave meat out of". 
Andrew made fresh from scratch soups, muffins, main courses, snacks and his
incredible chocolate cake...alone worth the plane ticket to PNG!  An
elegant sit down dinner was served every night.  

Star Dancer carries an extensive collecton of reference books and Between
dives we spent time identifying the creatures we had seen.

Diving was of two types: submerged bommies encrusted with corals, sponges
and surrounded by an ever busy ecosystem of invertebrates and fishes of
every color and description.(depth 60-120 ft)and shallower "Muck
diving" (0-40 ft) where we found the strangest creatures ever! Week
one we encounted very strong currents and clouds, week two brought sunshine
and little current. See our trip photos and additional info at

After reluctantly disembarking, we checked into Walindi.  On August 5
dormant volcano Mount Pago erupted and closed the airport stranding
everyone.  Again, Peter Hughes Diving came through for us: Star Dancer came
back to Walindi to help. We and other guests became stowaways!  Via ship's
phone and email they helped us arrange new flights out of Rabaul.

Must haves in PNG: trip insurance, phone/email addresses of family at home
and most importantly a desire for unexpected adventure. 

Thank you Jock, Jonah, Patrick, Andrew (and girls), Tim, Caroline, Keiko,
Terri and Jeff for making this the trip of a lifetime.
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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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