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Dive Review of Mermaid 1 in

Mermaid 1, Oct, 2011,

by Bart Mertens, CA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 6277.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was a fantastic live-aboard experience. The air-conditioned cabin was large and comfortable with an en-suite bathroom, and each cabin had its own TV plus DVD player.
The vessel had a large sun deck with lounge chairs, plus comfortable inside and outside lounges. The inside lounge and eating area also provided a large selection of books, magazines and fish and critter identification guides. Towels were changed every other day and the bed linens too were changed at least once during the trip. Warm towels were provided after every dive, and hot chocolate after the night dives, while the crew rinsed your gear.
The service by the entire crew was excellent from helping you gear up, getting the gear in and out of the zodiacs to helping you with getting your wetsuit off and washing and hanging it up after every dive. At the end of the trip the crew washed all our gear and hung it out to dry.
Most of the time the day was organized as follows: wake-up call and small breakfast around 6:30, dive 1 at 7:30, hot breakfast (eggs, etc) around 9, dive 2 around 10:30, lunch, dive 3 around 15:30, night dive at 18:30, dinner at 20:00.
The whole crew was great, always friendly and smiling and willing to help out. A maximum of five divers were with each guide who were very knowledgeable and helpful and excellent at spotting critters; they paid attention but in the end everybody was free to do their own thing and dive their own profile. Dive times were limited to 60-70 minutes; nitrox is available and was used by many.
The diving was amazing from tiny Bargibanti and Denise pygmy seahorses and many critters like stone and scorpion fishes,
stargazers, ghost pipe fishes, frog fishes, numerous nudibranches and other amazing critters to large aggregations of sharks, manta and eagle rays, tunas and giant trevallies.
The diversity of the dive sites and the critters to be found there was amazing; dive site topography varied from beautiful coral reef formations to muck dives and black sand with hot volcanic thermal bubbles emerging from the soil.
The diving could be challenging at times and currents ranged from mild to very strong (the fact that we were diving a few days after the full moon had probably something to do with this; something to keep in mind when planning this trip) where reef hooks
were a necessity to watch the action at some ease. Water temps varied between 70 degrees at the Southern sites closer to the Indian ocean (and most people switching to a 5 mil or 3 mil plus 2/3 mil shorty in order to stay warm) to
78-80 degrees at most other sites. I'd do this trip again in a heartbeat.
Websites Mermaid 1   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving California, Hawaii, Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 70-80°F / 21-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive time 60-70 minutes max
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was plenty of room on the dive deck laid out for photographers including a large camera table and plenty of dedicated rinse tanks. Although there were no power outlets for charging on
deck, there were more than enough outlets provided in the cabins. There were also compressed air facilities.
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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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