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January 1998 Vol. 24, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Telita and PNG

The saga of Bob Halstead’s pioneer boat

from the January, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Some live-aboards are just that — a base to eat, sleep, and dive from. Other live-aboards take on a character above and beyond the basics, where the captain or crew become an integral part of the experience. Such a boat is Bob Halstead’s Telita, the first PNG dive boat. Opinionated and irascible as he is, Bob has a following of divers that equate him and the Telita with Papua New Guinea diving.

Says Halstead: “When we started in dive tourism, we had Scuba Safaris, where guests had the dubious pleasure of camping in villages at night, initially in tents and then in village houses that we had specially built for us, and wonderful, adventurous diving. One of the main problems with this village life was the high probability of catching malaria unless fanatical about precautions. Comfort was not the priority — adventure and virgin diving was.”

After seven years Halstead built the Telita. Now the Telita is up for sale; the intimate, 8- to 10-passenger craft faces stiff competition from larger, more luxurious boats. Recently it was operated by Mike Ball, but he’s now launching his own craft, the Paradise Sport.

For those of us who want to dive personally with Bob, here’s his itinerary:

Great White Shark Trip aboard the Falie: Departs Adelaide February 24, 1998, returns to Port Lincoln March 2. Trip organized by Rodney Fox. Bookings through Mike Ball Dive Expeditions (800-952-4319 or 011-61-7-772-3022, fax 011-61- 7-721-2152).

Milne Bay, PNG, aboard Paradise Sport with Dr. Genie Clark, March 21–31, 1998. University of Maryland research expedition (genuine ecotour!), inquiries to e-mail <>

Milne Bay, PNG, aboard Paradise Sport, March 31–April 8, 1998. Regular cruise itinerary. Bob Halstead marine life seminar with dive briefings, photo tips. Bookings through Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.

Exploratory voyage along Papuan Coast aboard the Golden Dawn, October 18–November 1, 1998 approximately. Contact Dolphin Enterprises: e-mail <> or fax PNG 675-325-0302.

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