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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Stardancer in
Papua New Guinea

Peter Hughes Stardancer, Feb, 2006,

by Donald Rowe, CA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 2420.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]Playa Blanca, Cancun, Cozumel, Sea of Cortez, SonoraBay, Mexico:BoraBora, Moorea, Raiatea,
Rangiroa, Tahiti: Turks and Caicos, Red Sea, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Maldives, Maui, Costa Rica, Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos, Revillagegedos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, Indonesia, Belize, Bahamas, California Islands.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]NOne, but most dives were in groups.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 1 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The Good: Though I'm not a macro diver, I was impressed with both the variety and number of small critters we saw. On the first dive..Sea Snakes, Cleaner Shrimp,Filefish,baby Lion Fish,Cushion Starfish, Squat Lobster,Frogfish,Nudibranchs,Banded Pipefish,Anglerfish,Stony Toadfish, and Pufferfish. More Seahorses on the next dive than I had seen cumutively in all my other dives. The dive guides (all native) were uncanny in their ability to find these critters many of which I would have passed by without seeing,such as Mantis Shrimp which had to patiently be coaxed out of their holes to put on a show for us.

Another dive: Frogfish,Snake Banner Eel,Juvenile Squat Lobster,Angel Fish,Octopus,Banded Shrimp, Crocodile Scorpion Fish,Decorated Shrimp,Electric Clam, Flying Gunard. And Mandarin Fish on one night dive.

And so it went. Visibility was good but not outstanding. Water was almost too warm. Skies were mostly cloudy with showers from time to time but weather never caused any dive interruption. Rooms are typical Peter Hughes with lots of room and ensuite toilet and shower.

Diving was on the East side of PNG because West side was enjoying the monsoon season.

Crew was friendly and helpful with typical Peter Hughes service.


Not so good.

We had a few mishaps which disturbed many of the other divers. First, the Skiff went down for motor ills the second day and never came back.
This meant that we either had to come back to the main boat, or when there was current, we had to be picked up by the Stardancer. Alan, the skipper did a fine job of this but is was somewhat of an ordeal. No skiff also meant no fresh fish.

On several occasions we tied up to either the shore or to a dive site and the tie line broke while we were underwater causing another pickup
by the Stardancer.

Lastly, this was the last dive trip before the boat was to go to drydock for refurbishing which meant it wasn't in "shiny penny" condition and wasn't as well stocked with varieties of food as might be expected. Without a skiff, fishing was not productive so that added to the lack of variety in the diet which also disturbed some of the passengers who, for the most part, were all veteran divers with many liveaboard trips to their credit.

We did get lots of dives. I had to forego 1/12 days of diving due to the flight schedule provided by my travel agent that I didn't read carefully enough before travelling, but still got 35 dives in 9 days and 29 hours of bottom time.

I sure did miss the Pelagics however.
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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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