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Dive Review of Expedition Fleet/Oceanic Explorer in
Philippines/Tubbataha Reef

May, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Gayle & Bob Bringas, OR, USA
Contributor   (13 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3416
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
North Sulawesi, Raja Ampat, Bali, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Red Sea, Papua New
Guinea, Australia, Plau, Truk, Tahiti, Costa Rica, Belize, Honduras
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
84   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
guided dives  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
We were in Cabin A1.  A1 and A2 have more space than A3 and A4, because A1
and A2 do not have the storage that A3 and A4 have.  A3 and A4 are next to
the dining area.  The dive deck is B deck.  A Deck is split fore and aft. 
So, to get to the dining area from A1 or A2, you go down a set of atairs to
B Deck, cross B Deck and climb a set of stairs to the aft A Deck.  Between
Cabins A1 and A2 is the generator, so it was like having Magic Fingers in
the bunk, without the quarters!  But we got used to it by the end of the
trip.  Oceanic Explorer is a faster boat than the Stella Maris, another
Expedition Fleet boat that made the same trip at the same time.

Food was served buffet style, typically Asian/Filipino cuisine, rarely any
western dishes.  Dessert was usually fresh mangos.  Snacks were usually
store-bought cookies and crackers.

Diving was done off of two skiffs.  Crew always ready to give you a hand on
and off.  Dive guide gave briefings on the skiff, but it was generally
limited to which way the current was running.  Crew transferred gear on and
off the skiffs, set up tanks, etc.  A crew member analyzed Nitrox tanks
while the diver observed, then the diver filled out the percentage and MOD
in a notebook, with date and signature.  Gear was left on the skiffs during
the day, and taken aboard at night or during crossings.  We had calm seas
for the entire trip.

The diving was good.  Some rubble areas.  Never had more than slight
current on any dive site.  Routinely saw turtles, white-tip and reef
sharks, lots of garden eels, big schools of big fish:  jacks, banner fish,
spade fish, humphead wrasse.  Divemaster Danny led the dives, but wasn't
inclined to point out much.  The few photographers in our group seemed
happy enough to find their own subjects.  Visibility varied from 50 to 75
feet.  Encountered some thermo clines, but water temperatures ranged from
84 to 87 degrees.  Bob did 18 dives in the four dive days (with two night
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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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