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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Thailand/Phuket to Myanmar

February, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Sansenbach, CA, USA
Report Number 1600
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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Other dive reports on Ocean Rover

All Thailand Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Thailand
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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