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Dive Review of Katerina Maha in
Red Sea/Yemen

May, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Kaz Kotlow, VA, USA
Report Number 494
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Australia, The Red Sea (off Jeddah), and Key Largo.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We used our computers to ensure that we stayed within the no decompression
limits.  Max depth for any of the dives was 115 feet  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Yemen provides little to no support for underwater photography.  The
Katerina M. has a basic underwater camera for use.  The clear water and
variety of sea life make for unforgettable photos.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
  The diving was just fabulous.  The water was extremely clear on most
dives and temperatures very comfortable.  Captain Maurizio Pazelli is the
owner/operator of the Katerina Maha.  You can contact him directly on his
website or call at Country Code 967- 7159-7054.  
  This is the only live-aboard opportunity out of Yemen, and the Yemeni
islands in the Red Sea offer a unique and unparalleled dive opportunity. 
Captain Maurizio is highly knowledgable of the various dive spots, having
spent the last four years focusing on this area.  With limited tourism, the
Yemen islands provide pristine conditions with no other divers to distract
from the experience.  We saw magnificent coral formations, and wide
varieties of fish.  Dolphins appeared on several occasions.  At the last
spot we saw a huge grouper that was approximately 7 feet long and perhaps
three feet wide.  We also did some lobster hunting. 
  Captain Maurizio has a professional crew that will courteously attend to
the needs of the visitor.  Conditions on the boat are comfortable but not
luxurious.  Food quality is generally excellent, with fresh seafood often
provided via the hunting skills of the first mate.  The overall atmosphere
is relaxed and enjoyable.  The boat can accomodate about 12 but there is
only enough SCUBA gear for 5.  The equipment provided is servicable but not
fancy.  I suggest arriving with as much of your own gear as possible as
there are no shops to buy last minute dive items.  
  According to the captain, the only bad times for diving in this area are
late November thru January.  My previous trip in February, we were not able
to get to the best dive sites due to wind conditions.  Late September into
October provides an opportunity to see whale sharks.  
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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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