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Dive Review of UW Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo/Crystal Blue Resort in

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Rene Umberger, HI, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 6686
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Palau, Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Lembeh, No.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Some guides restricted bottom times - others did not.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
2 stars
Dive Operation
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
The value just can't be beat. 4 divers per guide and wildlife everywhere.
Of course, you have to get past the plastic floating by and lying on the
bottom, but it's no worse than Indonesia's rivers of plastic. We were a
group of 8 friends traveling from Hawaii, West coast and mid West. For
Hawaii and West coast - it's much easier to get to Manila and then on to
Anilao (3 hours by van) than to/from Indonesia. Just 10.5 hour flight from
HNL. Our last trip to No. Sulawesi took us 48 hours to get home, door to
door. The diving is comparable, and yes, Indo is better, but for the
time/$$, we're headed back to Anilao again next year. Hotel staff at
Crystal Blue was so friendly, helpful and professional. Food was very good
and they had no problem accommodating vegetarian requests. Several in the
group came down with digestive problems, but no more than usual for these
types of adventures. Mike, Scott and Matt gave very informative photo
presentations and everyone learned something. The dive guides are excellent
critter finders, but do mishandle the marine life. Most in our group were
instructors and divemasters and it was just too much animal wrangling for
us, but guides toned it down upon request. Of course, most of the guides
and "boatmen" as they're called are former aquarium collectors,
so at least they've switched professions to one that doesn't strip mine the
reefs. They definitely need moorings, with anchors thrown into the coral
regularly. But again, nearly all of us are headed back next year - so
that's the bottom line.
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