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Dive Review of Tufi in
Papua New Guinea/Oro Province

Tufi, Jul, 2006,

by Lori Brown, Chris Green, WA, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports). Report 2864.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving California, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington, Bonaire, Cozumel, Fiji, Indonesia (Irian Jaya, Sulawesi), Jamaica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 75 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions: the guides told us that everyone should just go to the depth they prefered.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Because of high currents, we didn't take cameras. There was really no accomodation for cameras on the boat.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Flying into Tufi is half the fun. The view of the area from the air is awesome- especially if youve been pining away for the fjords. The fifty minute flight is on a sixteen seat plane from Port Moresby. The plane lands within walking distance of the resort, on a grassy area next to the sea. We were in Tufi during the PNG winter and unfortunately, according to the dive crew, the weather was cooler and windier than usual. The water was pretty cold, about 75-78°F. I regretted that I only had my 3 mm wetsuit - I would have been more comfortable in a 5 mm.
Our first dives were at Cyclone Bomie and Cyclone Wall. This site is about an hour boat ride from the resort. The water was very choppy and getting in and out of the boat was a bit tricky. We saw a gray shark and an immense Mayori wrasse which was guided by two pilot fish. On Cyclone Wall, we saw numerous nudibranchs. We ended both dives early since we were cold but the dive guides were even colder. They left the water after a few minutes because they were so cold. We went for a twilight dive on the Tufi Jetty. The problem on this dive was that I kept hoping that I would see something memorable but I never did. There was a considerable amount of trash dumped and I was a bit concerned about broken glass. We did see several banded pipe fish, an anemone with two tiny black percula-like clown fish, and a juvenile sweetlips. The water was cold again and my son and I ended up leaving the water after just 50 minutes. The best dives during our trip was at Bevs Bomie. There was very high current and I used a reef hook to stabilize myself. The top of the bomie, at the mooring line, is scrubbed clean by the current. We saw two gray sharks together with two trailing remora. There were also 2 small white tip sharks. There was a large, probably gray shark, that skittered away when it spotted us. The wall was swarming with fish. Of note was a beautiful scorpion fish resting on a sponge on the wall. We also saw many nudibranchs including several large funeral joruna. During the safety stop on the top of the bomie, I spotted a tiny (maybe quarter to half inch) rockmover wrasse.
The dive guides, JT (short for John Thomas) and Evelyn were enthusiastic and helpful. JT prided himself on calling sharks for us (though I have to admit to being skeptical about how effective this is) and finding unusual nudibranchs. He was the one dive guide that stuck with us even when the others had left because of the cold. JT was also an experienced captain on the boat. The boat itself was a bit shabby with torn upholstery and there was difficulty starting the motor a few times. The cars for getting a lift to and from diving were in pretty shabby shape as well. The dive shop is a at the bottom of a cliff and there is only a narrow road on the side of the cliff. The ride to and from the dive shop was so uncomfortable that we took to walking up and down the steep road.
The resort itself is a bit of a fortress. Every effort is made to keep local people off the property. Gates open and shut rapidly to let the resorts cars in. There are guards posted at the gate and patrolling the grounds. We visited a nearby village and were warmly welcomed but heard from other guests that there were other nearby villages that were not as friendly with the resort or guests. The rooms were adequate and air conditioned - important not so much because it was hot but because the mosquitos were out in droves. Our room had a deck overlooking the fjords and the view was spectacular.
The dining/reception area is comfortable and beautifully maintained. The dinner was consistently delicious and beautifully presented. On Sunday night, they prepared a barbeque out on the large deck overlooking the fjord. This feast included lobster, spicy crab, fish, spicy noodles, fried rice, and local vegetables (I couldnt even tell what they were, but they were good).

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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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