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Dive Review of Star Dancer in
Papua New Guinea/New Britain

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Jill Rain, WA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 4 Helpful votes)
Report Number 1845
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
86   to 88    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
Kimbe Bay itinerary.
This was a smoothly run and mostly very comfortable week with plenty of
excellent diving.  The boat is spacious and luxurious, staffed by crew who
go out of their way to accomodate you and make it a memorable experience. 
There was one problem during this week: excessive diesel fumes in the aft
cabins which were suffocating at night - I had to spend some nights on deck
or with my door open to be able to sleep.  However, in every other way it
was exceptionally good.  My fellow guests (mostly American, as is generally
true of SD I heard) were amiable, the staff (mostly PNG, the rest Aussie
ex-pats) genuinely liked and had fun with each other, all of which made for
a great atmosphere on the boat. The food was abundant, varied and included
lots of fresh local fruits, vegetables and fish.  Desserts and in-between
dive snacks were noteworthy. 
   The dive schedule was perfect: an early sunrise dive (watching the day
fish coming to work), then breakfast.  Two more dives before lunch, then
some lounging/offgassing time before the afternoon and night dives. I liked
having the night dive before dinner - this was possible because the suns
sets at 6:30 there on the equator every day.
After showering for the day, you can then relax at dinner with a glass of
wine and conversation. 
   I was very impressed by how the dive staff operated.  They knew the dive
sites and sea life which is to be expected, and there were at least 3,
sometimes 4, divemasters on every dive, for at most 12 divers.  But more
than that, they early on evaluated each diver's skills and "diving
personality" and somehow monitored everyone under water at all stages
of a dive without ever being heavy-handed or intrusive, so we were all able
to enjoy our own experiences, guided or not as we chose.  I never felt
anyone hovering over me, but there was always a DM nearby to point out
unusual things or be helpful when conditions were rough.  Ensuring safety
without being controlling is an admirable skill, especially in strong
currents, surge or low viz, which came up now and then. (Just as a sidebar:
Any diver who travels so far should understand the connection between
currents and tidal range, open ocean and most importantly, abundance of
marine life.  Current is a good thing!  Expect it - please, no complaints!)
   What we saw, on bommies, ridges, walls and beautiful submerged caldera
rims densely covered with corals and sponges:  the full range of animals
from macro to pelagics, too numerous to list.  My 8 lbs of ID books were
essential.  Huge schools; lots of behavior to watch; the common and the
rare; fabulous colors and patterns; adults and juveniles; dawn, day and
night populations.  As good as it gets.
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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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