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Dive Review of Peter Hughes in
Papua New Guinea

Peter Hughes, Jun, 2004,

by Darren Denyer, CA, USA . Report 1115.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Baja, Bonaire, Cayman Brac, Channel Islands, Palau, Solomon Islands, Yap, Phonpei, Chuuk, Papua New Guinea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas surge
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 165 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Having an air compressor aboard for cleaning video and photo equipment on the dive deck was very helpful and efficient. Plenty of space and a helpful staff made using photo and video units easy and effortless

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Let's get the bad out of the way first and fast. Getting to PNG is not easy, patience is the name of the game. If your willing to pay premium the flights can be fairly direct. On the other hand if your not willing as most of our fellow guests were not, it'll take you some time. Getting there constituted six flights for myself and my father from San Diego. If you take any artifacts from PNG back with you be prepared to deal with some very inefficient Australian customs agents. Anything packaged up will get torn apart and you'll be left to put it all back together best you can. Other than the traveling ailments our trip to PNG and diving aboard Star Dancer was an extraordinary experience.
We met Star Dancer at Walindi Resort in West New Britain and were aboard for eight days. The weather for our trip was not as we would have liked, but that was not a problem...we were too busy diving. It was warm, but primarily cloudy and occasionally raining. The accomodations aboard Star Dancer were very nice it was a comfortable atmosphere and the crew was extraordinary. A note on the crew, everyone on the boat was above expectations. They took every opportunity to make our stay an enjoyable one. They were all very fun and very professional above and below the water. Captain Bradley Davies was a funny chap and a good ship handler. Also on board was owner Alan Raabes, this man took funny to a whole new level. He is also owner/captain of the Febrina based out of PNG as well. Everyone on board was very friendly and accomodating. Jayne the chef...she gave new meaning to staying alive. This was not our first live aboard and the food did not dissapoint, tasty, filling, and left everyone with a smile.
With the logistics out of the way we can get to the diving. It was spectacular. We unfortunately hit a rough patch of weather. A super typhoon of the south east of Okinawa played nasty games of the weather above and below the water. Normally in June the currents are easy, visibility, and water clarity are quite good. Although, for us visibility ranged from great to a lot of surge and >50 foot visibilty. The sea life though made up for all of this from large to miniscule, the life was fantastic. From pygmy sea horses, small nudi's, and squat lobsters to large schools of jacks and barracudas the life made it all worth the trip. There seemed to be something for everyone shark dives to dives where the skill of the guides unlocked a world normally not seen by our drifting eyes. As all you divers out there know, the diving sort of speaks for itself. I could groan on for more space than is allowed. I will thus close with the mere fact that the diving was worth the money, the flights, and the hassles of getting to and from. For reefs that are rich and vibrant you would not be at a loss traveling to the exotic country of PNG. The diving, the people, and the culture were all a privilege to come into contact with. On that note, do yourself a favor if you travel that far, take some time after your diving to see the country, meet the people, and take in this still developing country. We went to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands and could have not been more pleased with our decision.
Never stop diving.
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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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