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Dive Review of Atmosphere in

April, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Laura Todd, CA, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5533
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Malaysia, various South Pacific, Baja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Reasonable size dry are plus Camera only small tank on boat.  Excellent
camera room with everything you could need at resort
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
This is a wonderful destination and a great resort that is doing almost
everything right.  Atmosphere has an almost perfect location with fabulous
muck diving right out the door, the brilliant corals of Apo an hour away in
one direction and the walls of Siqiuor an hour in the other.  There is a
reasonable fuel charge to go to each of these more distant sites and I am
glad I went, but have to say the local sites around Dauin were MUCH more
fishy and interesting.  The big local style boat is comfortable.  The
guides are excellent, always keeping groups between 3-6 divers.  They
seemed as excited as we were by all our finds.  Nobody hassled us when we
stayed down 70 minutes or till the air was gone. The density and variety of
muck critters is giving Indonesia a pretty good run for its money.  A
sampling: flambouyant cuttle fish, ambon scorpionfish, hairy octopus,
variety of frog fish, ornate ghost pipefish, pegasus sea moths, including
juveniles, common and estuary seahorses, loads of nudis, flatworms and
sluggy things (most of them mating), several jawfish with eggs in thier
mouths, beautiful alled cowries and soft coral crabs, rock mover wrasse,
reef octopus.  The animals that are small elsewhere are huge here and vice
versa.  For example the cutttlefish are tiny at about 6-8 inches average,
but there is a nudibrach (Jorunna rubescens) as big as my forearm.  There
is quite a bit of variety in the sites, from old cars to sand slopes to
patch coral.  "Sahara Reef" may be the perfect dive site: half
sand with exotic critters, then patch coral, then you turn a corner into a
garden of pristine 6 foot high barrel sponges with enormous turtles resting
between them.The night diving is not to be missed.  We saw a polycerid
nudibranch (clear with multi-colored spots), mating diaphanous pink sea
hares, huge velvety looking pleurobranchs with gold markings, the biggest
sleeping parrot fish ever and a Melibe type nudi (clear with the large
round feeding hood) which I had thought were a cold water species.  The
facilities were clearly designed by divers with storage, rinse and briefing
areas just right.  Things on the hotel side are just as good with cool
tiled duplex rooms, each with large shaded porch and outdoor shower and
tub. The grounds are all lawn, so you can go around barefoot if you want. 
The chef is an artist and there are always several good to great choices
for dinner.  Their breakfast "buffet"actually had 2-3 different
cook to order choices daily.  Nice pool and bar area.  They have an ongoing
staff training program - the management is clearly interested in you having
a good experience.  Desk operations smooth,curteous and organized.  They
are environmentally conscious and encourage customers to be the same.  The
only minor irritations here were the walk to the boat (per the local govt
boats are not allowed to park in the many marine protection areas) and the
small extra charges for bringing cameras on each dive, using Nitrox, etc. 
Somewhat more expensive that the average resort in the Philippines and
worth every bit.  Handy tip: Even though April/May is the "high
season" here, go in June, when the sea flattens out and the rain has
not yet started.
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