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Dive Review of Spirit of New Guinea in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Ann McGrath, va, usa
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports, with 6 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4754
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
most of the Caribbean, Belize, Cozumel, Thailand, Komodo, Fiji, Solomons,
Truk, Yap, Galapagos
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
85   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Occasionally time limits.  Nitrox depth limits.  
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
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
They had large rinse tanks on the boat for camera equipment.  Although the
crew never figured out which camera belonged to who, even with labels, they
handed our equipment to us in the water and put it in the rinse tank.  They
also collected the camera equipment before each dive.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
2 stars   
3 stars    
Good:  Some of the crew, Angie, Junior, Bali, the cook and housekeeping
staff were outstanding.  Angie was on loan, however, so he is not usually
on the boat.  The cook did an excellent job of accommodating my request for
fruit and vegetables only.  Our cabin was straightened up every day.  The
bathrooms are good sized, especially in the upper cabins.  The downside of
that is that the cabin size is tiny upstairs.

They took roll after each dive, and kept our depths and times.

Night dives - good stuff!  Surprising amount of stuff, actually, including
star gazers, harlequin pipefish and robust pipefish, other pipefish,
beautiful snake eels and mandarin fish!

Bad:  The new boat managers arrived the same day we did, and they had never
run an operation like this before, nor had they ever been to that part of
the world.  They are young and inexperienced, and it shows.  

One day the compressor failed, so they needed equipment to be delivered. 
This meant that there was no a/c in the boat, and a limited number of tanks
for the second dive.  The problem was fixed promptly, however.

The inside of the boat was either freezing cold or burning hot, literally. 
The lower level, where our cabin was, always smelled of diesel fumes, mold
and mildew.  The engine is on the same level, right next to two cabins, so
when the engine is running, it is LOUD down there.  Take sleep aids!

Maybe because of the new manager, but they didn't seem to have a system for
getting divers into the water.  I'm not sure how many of the crew were new,
but Angie, Junior and Bali knew the dive sites, and found TONS of stuff for
us to look at, especially on dusk and night dives.

The interior of the cabins needs a retrofit.  The boat is old and shows her
age.  With different managers and a retrofit, this would be a good trip. 
But there is more to see in Komodo, the Solomons and Fiji.  For the amount
of travel time to get to this destination, I wouldn't do it again.
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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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