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Dive Review of Walindi Plantation Resort/Febrina in
Papua New Guinea/witu and fathers

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by gloria freund, VA, US (2 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6585 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia (Raja Ampat, Lembeh, Bangka, Ambon), Solomon Islands, Fiji, Red
Sea, Thailand/Similans, Palau, Oman, Carribbean (various)
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
85   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
60 min for first dive  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
yes 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 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  
4 stars  
Comments
Boat: space accommodated several with large kits; exposure to outside
elements and to exterior showers was generally manageable but when windy
required being mindful when housing and strobes were opened. Separate
camera rinse tank changed frequently.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
     In the nutshell, I wished I'd not waited so long to try diving in PNG.
First, enjoyed a couple of days at Walindi then 10 nights aboard Febrina
which handily leaves from Walindi's dock. At Walindi, diving was well
organized; my plantation room was quite a haul from the dive shop in terms
of gear lugging...but staff accommodated and managed the big stuff for me.
3-tank dives/lunch each day, with nitrox $200 for each day out on the
boat...not cheap, but its remote and nothing there is cheap. Just budget
for it. Dive shop was also very accommodating about lending me gear w/o
charge while my baggage took its time arriving. Would reiterate what others
have warned about being prepared for mosquitos; also, do not miss the hot
river and the firefly experiences. Food at Walindi was not exotic,  but
generally good quality and certainly ample.
   My experience on Febrina the next 10 days was overall terrific - good
enough to already be thinking on how and when might I make a return visit.
I felt the boat, Captain and crew went out of their way in trying to please
and entertain everyone. Getting immersed was a simple giant stride off the
platform...I worried how I'd manage without the pick up pangas, but the
very manageable currents and conditions quickly erased those concerns...the
boat and its darby line was always easy enough to find. Throughout our
itinerary, we encountered no other dive boats... the sea and reefs were all
ours.
      My one frustration was having a couple of serious/pro shooters -
contest winners -  whose underwater etiquette towards creatures and towards
other divers left a lot to be desired; crew efforts to diplomatically
manage it were less than 100% successful.  I'm a photog too and it was
disheartening to have that. Why take only 50 exposures on a single wilting
sea horse, when the card has room for twice or 3 times that, seemed to be
the philosophy.
        Aside from that, Febrina offers five dives on most days (3 before
lunch), on my cruise all ranged from good to fabulous and solid on variety.
Many shoals of barracuda, jacks, snappers, trevally; sharks; tuna;  turtles
some of which were clearly accustomed to humans; great variety of anemone
fish, and the usual reef suspects. A couple nice schools of bumphead
parrotfish. Huge fans, expanses of lettuce coral, fields of sea whips.
Plenty of scenic and CFWA for wide angle which I had trouble resisting; I
know the macro enthusiasts were kept quite busy with the number of nudis,
soft coral and criniod crabs, pipefish, cowries, etc that Josie and Digger
pointed out.
    I would highly recommend availing of the village visit on offer; come
prepared with some goodies, esp school supplies, as these are much
appreciated. The village folk do not appear to get all that many visitors -
this is not a commercial tourist trap - they are gracious and seem to enjoy
the interaction. If you are really lucky Dicky Doyle will spend some time
aboard...spare time for this as well to get a unique glimpse of life in the
Witus.
     The Febrina is a small boat; yet stateroom with ensuite was
comfortable enough, everything in it including the AC worked for the little
time I spent there; albeit with a tiny kitchen the food aboard was
carefully prepared, tasty and plentiful. Mantra was dive, dry off, eat,
dive, dry off, eat...    
     Febrina also offers daily laundry service, which lets you save those
precious baggage allowances for your dive and photo gear.
     So, do take this journey. CAPT Raabe is a howl - make time for his
stories - but he also has known and cared for these waters, lands and its
human and marine inhabitants as no other in our time. If you haven't, take
this journey while this very able captain, boat and crew are there to show
you all that it can be.
     
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Subscriber's Comments

By irenedabania at Apr 19, 2014 11:59 EST  
Have you been back?
By gfandac at Apr 19, 2014 12:05 EST  
Not yet ...life and work intercede...but its at the top of my 'return to'
list, very much hope to within next 12 months.
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