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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Stardancer in
Papua New Guinea

February, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Donald Rowe, CA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (10 reports)
Report Number 2420
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
[Unspecified]Playa Blanca,Cancun,Cozumel,Sea of
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

windy, rainy  
Water Temp
84   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
[Unspecified]NOne, but most dives were in groups.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
1 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
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

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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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

All Papua New Guinea Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Papua New Guinea
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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