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Dive Review of Kimberley Escape in
Australia/West Australia, Rowley Shoals

Kimberley Escape, Nov, 2005,

by Michael Joest, DC, Germany . Report 2370.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving South East Asia, Micronesia, Melanesia, PNG, Solomons etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 26 to 29 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 15 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 40 m max.!
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Three small atoll islands 17o sea miles off Broome, West Australia were my this years dive destination. These are Clerke, Imperieuse and Mermaid, the Rowley Shoals, which we cruised around on board of the Kimberley Escape.
Healthy reefs, lots of fish life like on the Maldives many years ago. Untouched by El Ninjo or diver crowds a really pristine area. A good mixture of hard and soft coral, some walls pinkish or yellow with an abundance of them. Often drift dives in more or less strong current, mostly wall dives, some coral garden, bomies, crevices, gutters, swim throughs some caves. Vis can be everything between 3o to 15o feet, water temp. 27 degrees Celsius. Highlights for me : Fuesseliers, hundreds of them dancing a ballet to a music you can´t hear, changing directions all together to some unseen signal. A bunch of sailfish snapper, a beautiful painted fish, on a strong current channel drift dive. In 45 m a dark shadow turned out to be my first sunfish on cleaning station, got close, an exhilarating experience. On a blue water dive down to 3o m with plastic drinking bottles to attract sharks with by squeezing them, a noise which makes them curious. Sure enough a 3 m tiger shark came close circled us but something scared him away soon. The other group had 3 hammers. One dive site Cod Hole you find huge potatoe cods = groupers in size of 1,5 2 m coming close to touch, must be used to divers feeding them.
This area is fantastic and I always keep asking myself, better to keep quiet about it or tell others ?
But I guess with the Rowleys the distance and the costs will keep it a seldom visited place and surely will not turn into an divers nightmare with too much folk coming.
The boat is good but still not up to live aboard standards. Only 3 share heads and showers, don´t expect towels after each dive or made beds. Dive platform is great giving easy entry and exit. I would have liked to see a bit more space for everything. Meals are superb and certainly meet live aboard standards. Next year they plan to introduce a bigger boat the Great Escape and are thinking of longer trips to the Rowleys and some northern islands.
ne]
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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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