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Dive Review of The Junk in

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Thomas Lippert, AG, Switzerland
Report Number 1654
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Egypt, Sudan, Palau, Yap, Truuk, Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Cuba,
Bahamas, Galapagos, Yucatan, British Columbia, Maledives, Bali, Sulawesi,
Tioman, California, Florida, Tenerife, Malta
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
28   to 29    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 30    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
5 min safety stop, try not to go into decompression, tell in advance if you
plan to stay longer than 60 min, come back with 20 bar in tank  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
rinse tank, DVD player, TL, computer (dive guide has one) is there.
Professional videographer on board, dive guides very very knowledgeable
about UWP and very helpful
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
Diving on The JUNK ( is something very special. It is an
old Chinese junk (1962) which has even been used in a James Bond movie (the
man with the golden colt) and was redesigned several times. We were in
cabin with 3 beds (but used it for 2), but there are 2 double 2 triple and
4 bed cabins. All cabins have an air condition and private toilet shower.
The space is limited but worked for two in the 3 bed cabin perfect. The
food is always very plentiful and on average very good. Water, tea and
coffee are for free, while other drinks (including beer and wine) have to
be purchased (mark your drinks and pay at the end-in cash or credit card).
The crew is extreme friendly and helpful, and I almost never touched my
equipment. The dive guides are very guide and quite relaxed (if you have
experience...the check also on the fist dive). You can follow the guides or
also do your stuff with your buddy (just follow the general rules-see
above). The dive briefings very very good and detailed, including what to
look for, and the guides are extreme good in finding small critters (and
also larger). We were 15 people on board (Thai, German, Swiss, South
African, Dutch, Japanese) and used 3 dinghies for diving (each dingy with
one guide). It was never really crowded when we suited up, and the BCDs
stayed with the tanks which were filled immediately after each dive. There
is also some spare equipment on board, but bring your own except weight
belts, lead, and tanks.
The diving was always done from the dinghies, with a backroll into the
water, and coming back with the help of the driver (if needed) over the
side (after handing up all equipment).
I did 18 dives (out of 19) in 5 diving days (including 2 night dives). The
dive sites are all quite well and it was very difficult to say whether we
saw damage from the Tsunami 9at Surin). We dove the Similan islands (6
dives on the ay up and 3 on the way back), Koh Bon, Richelieu Rock, and
Surin Islands. We saw in principle everything which I hoped for, i.e.
Harlequin Ghost Pipe Fish (Similan and Richelieu), seahorses (Tigertail in
yellow or black at Richelieu Rock), frog fish (Richelieu), harlequin crab,
mantis shrimp, blue and black ribbon eels (Similan and RR), Jans Pipefish
an Schultzes Pipefish (Surin), porcupine ray (Surin), leopard sharks
(Similan at sharkfin reef), mantas (at Koh Bon, staying for almost 50 min
with us), only 2 reef sharks (one white and one blacktip), and a lot of
small crabs (ghost and some which were one a few mm), many types of
scorpion fish and lion fish, morays (white eye and ..), octopus, turtles
(green and hawksbill) cuttle fish laying eggs, and many types of
nudibranches (the specialty of Kay and Jay, Thai-Swiss diveguide couple).
Overall many things to only complain is that at almost each place
there were many other live-aboards (up to 10 and I heard that this is now a
low number because of the Tsunami), and sometimes too many divers were in
the water for my expectation on a live-aboard.
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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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