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Dive Review of Peter Hughes in
Papua New Guinea

June, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Darren Denyer, CA, USA
Report Number 1115
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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

Water Temp
82   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 165    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
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
    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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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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