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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Thailand/Phuket to Myanmar

Ocean Rover, Feb, 2005,

by Scott Sansenbach, CA, USA . Report 1600.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Hawaii, california, Baja, California, British Columboa, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Carribean, Florida Keys, Bahamas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surface with 500psi, They allowed solo diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Very good facilities. Large charging, slash setup area in salon with abundant storage below. 110 and 220 available and boat had a good selection of power strips and adapters. Outdoor camera tables for staging cameras before dives, two stage rinse tanks for cameras only. Seperate rinse buckets for dive gear and fresh water hoses.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Boat and crew were fantastic. Boat may be best
designed in the world! I have not dived Kararu but I have been on a lot of boats. Not beautiful but functional and comfortable.

Great facilities for photographers, very comfortable and spacious cabins with roomy ensuite bathrooms. Abundant fresh water supply due to R/O watermaker system. A/C that actually works, comfortable beds. Salon and dining area are comfortable. Upstairs lounging and dining area very spacious and comfortable.

Diving deck and whale deck very well designed and comfortable. Outdoor camera tables (three!) with two stage rinse tanks and separate buckets for rinsing masks and gear. Good 3000psi fills with 32% Nitrox available. Inflatable tenders actually have a usable dive ladder and are well maintained.

Best part of boat is an incredibly high level of service from Thai crew and very knowledgeable divemasters. The crew really may be the best in the world. I might be permanently spoiled! Divemasters (Mick and Hans) really knew the sites and were great at finding critters and were knowledgeable in their identification and natural history. Both also had an obvious passion for diving and enthusiasm for helping guests enjoy the dives. Briefings were accurate and not overly long. It was hard to do anything without assistance from the crew. They were always anticipating your needs and often there to help before you could even ask.

Weather was perfect. We hardly rocked at all, no rain, no rough weather.

Dives were great for critters (ornate ghost pipefish, frogfish, pinnapple fish, seahorses, nudibranchs, etc.) and we had a surprising number of Manta encounters in both Burma (Black Rock), and Thailand (Surin Islands, Ko Bon). No whale sharks. Good schooling fish and small pelagics at Richilieu rock. Large sharks are severely depleted in Burma and Thailand although Leopard sharks were still common. Burma Banks is no longer a shark encounter destination (they are all soup). A few baby silvertips and reef sharks were seen. No large pelagic sharks.

Tsunami Damage was visible in some spots, mostly Surin Islands and Similans. Damage we saw was mostly broken staghorn coral with and a few large coral heads that had broken loose and tumbled down the reef slope. None in Burma that we saw. Net damage to reefs, overfishing, and dynamite fishing are the major threats to reefs (especially in Burma). Tsunami damage was isolated. Guides told us reefs on a few dive sites were destroyed but majority of sites had little or no damage.

Phuket resort area and Patong Beach are up and running. You can see
rebuilding and reconstruction in many buildings near beach but most
businesses are open. Bars and nightclubs are busy but below their usual insane pace. Kata Thani Resort where I stayed was beautiful!There is no reason not to visit Phuket right now. Beaches were clean and nice and Locals were very happy that tourists are starting to return.

All in all Ocean Rover is a class act. I will make every effort to dive with them again. I highly reccomend them.

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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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