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Dive Review of Atlantis Azores in
Philippines/Tubbataha

Atlantis Azores, Apr, 2013,

by Jeanne Reeder, MO, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 7138.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Raja Ampat, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Solomon Islands, Palau, Sudan, Turkey, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Turks & Caicos, Saba, St. Kitts, Statia, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Maximum time 60 minutes; all dives were as a group including surfacing; all ascend when anyone got 750 psi; if lost from group search for 1 minute, then surface; dont dive below 110, probably because of the many nitrox divers on board and our long distance to a chamber.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments On the dive deck there was a large area for cameras, an air-hose, and lint-free towels. ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Organization ruled as late afternoon we headed toward the liveaboard trip to Tubbataha Marine Park. Atlantis resort staff facilitated our airport check-in in Manila. We were met after the one hour flight to Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan, and escorted to an air conditioned VIP room with bottled water and packaged chocolate chip cookies. Upon arrival at the Azores via their two hard-rubber tenders, we were served our beverage of choice in the comfortable lounge adjacent to the dining room. For the next hour we were informed about the Tubbataha Marine Park by park staff. Azores Captain Randy Wright provided an introduction to the boat, diving, and the staff. DVDs helped make the presentations interesting, but I was getting mighty hungry!

We got underway immediately after the briefings for the overnight 10-12 hour, 92 mile motor to Tubbataha, in the Sulu Sea, near the heart of the coral triangle. Trips are only made March to early June because of the typhoons, high seas, strong currents and surges the rest of the year. Azores is a 107 foot vessel, very stable, and the crossing was smooth. There are 8 stateroom accommodations for 16 passengers. Two of the rooms are above decks and more spacious. I shared my tiny room which allowed my new acquaintance and I to pass only in one spot. A slightly larger room across the hall only held one person who also paid for a single willing to share. We eyed it with increasing envy as the days passed. Our room was scrupulously clean, carpeted even on the walls, mattress firm and sheets and towels soft. There was an abundance of fresh potable water and no warnings to conserve, which is unusual on liveaboards. Most of us made use of the lounge area to watch movies or Capt. Randys streaming undersea life photos or to make use of the excellent array of Identification sources.

Five dives per day and plenty of food were offered, at a typical schedule for liveaboards: 06:00 continental breakfast available, 07:00 dive 1, full breakfast, 09:30 dive 2, snack, 11:30 dive 3, lunch, 15:30 dive 4, snack, 18:00 dive 5-dusk, dinner. There was not a night dive because of the strong variable currents and safety issues being so far from land. Azores used to provide EPIRBS, but they were deemed unreliable due to frequent flooding. They are on the tenders and the mothe ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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Subscriber's Comments

By Robert S Kuhn in IL, US at Sep 16, 2013 23:04 EST  
Great report - Thanks much !!
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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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