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Dive Review of Walindi Plantation Resort/M/V Febrina in
Papua New Guinea/North coast of New Briton

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Paula Bentley, CA, US (1 report)
Report Number 5963
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Red Sea, Fiji, Cook Is., Hawaii, California, Thailand, Bonaire, Bahamas, St
Lucia, Belize, Cocos, Australia, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Bora Bora
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Ultimate freedom - You are required to come back to the boat at the end of
each dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Two large tables for camera setup and storage. Separate area with 110VAC
for battery charging.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Trip report - PNG-6 - December. 2010

I recently returned from my sixth trip to Paupa New Guinea aboard the
live-aboard M/V FeBrina. As usual, it was an absolutely fabulous trip. To
get there is a struggle but it's better than it used to be and definitely
worth the effort. You have to fly from LAX to Brisbane, AU, then to Port
Moresby on the main island of Paupa New Guinea and then to Hoskins on the
North coast of the island of New Briton. On arrival in Hoskins, it's about
a 45 minute van ride to the Walindi resort where the boat is waiting.  The
return trip was similar except for the Australian leg. We went to Sydney
instead of Brisbane and had to over-night there. 

The diving starts before breakfast on most days and is usually three dives
before lunch and two after with the last one being a night dive. The
itinerary can vary depending on the trip. In this case, there were four
people with scheduling requirements that forced us to travel to Kavaieng on
the north tip of New Ireland. They left the boat there for a flight. It's a
long run but the diving there is usually excellent. Unfortunately, this
time the visibility was poor so we didn't stay as long as planed and
instead moved back to the area around the North side of New Briton. There
the water temperature was between 84 and 86 degrees F (29 C) and the
visibility was as good as it gets. In most cases you can see the bottom of
the boat well before you get back to the mooring. 

The sea life there is simply astounding. The place is so hard to get to
that it doesn't get the thousands of people that other popular dive sites
have to deal with. There are abundant hard and soft corals and some fans
that measure six to twelve feet (two to four meters) across. I found one
sponge that was over six feet (two meters) tall. There are the usual
tropical fish of endless varieties, sharks on several sites, barracuda and
turtles. On this trip, it was the turtles at one site and a four foot (1.25
meter) barracuda at another that wouldn't leave the divers alone. They
insisted on looking right into the camera lens!

The dive sites on the North coast of New Briton have to be some of the best
in the world. But, that isn't the only reason to go there. It's the boat
and especially the Australian captain (Alan Raabe) that make the place so
unique.  First, all diving is done from the boat. Simply walk from the
lounge to your tank, slip it on and fall into the water. There's no fooling
around with Zodiacs or Pongas. In a couple of spots there is a pretty good
current but there's a line from the mooring to the stern of the boat so you
can hand-over-hand to the top of the reef and then drop over the edge into
the protected water. Most areas are quite calm. Only once did we do a drift
dive and that was a cinch. When people popped up at the end of the dive,
the big boat came along and picked you up. What could be easier. 

The FeBrina is about 75 feet long (23 meters) and carries a maximum of 12
passengers. There are three double staterooms in the bow plus two double
and two single cabins in the rear. All have a bathroom and shower in-suite.
The boat is not as luxurious as one of the Dancer boats, but it is quite
comfortable and you're are not fighting for space with so many people.
Finally, the fact that Alan Raabe is running the operation is what makes it
so special. He pioneered live-aboard diving in the area about 25 years ago
and knows the area better than anyone alive. He is also responsible for
placing all the moorings so anchors are not taring up the bottom. It just
doesn't get any better than this.

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