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Dive Review of Peter Hughes /Paradise Dancer in
Indonesia/North Sulawesi

Peter Hughes /Paradise Dancer, May, 2009,

by Rick Troberman, WA, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 5161.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 trip in every way: the boat, the weather, the people, and most of all the diving. The Paradise Dancer is a newly built 150 foot all wood three masted motor-schooner, and is everything that it has been hyped up to be. In fact, it exceeded my expectations, which were quite high. The individual rooms are huge (almost twice the size of a typical liveaboard), and the bathrooms are comfortable and border on luxurious (not something you typically hear said about a dive boat)! The food was varied, plentiful, and good, even for the several Vegans on board. Blessed by the good weather, all meals on this trip were served outside on the main deck. Although the boat can accomodate up to 18 divers, we had only 10, including an English couple, a German couple, and six Americans. It was the best and most fun group of divers I have had the privilege of diving with, and we all had a marvelous time.

Diving is done from two comfortable fiberglass skiffs, each with a 200 HP Yamaha outboard. Once set up, your gear remains on the skiffs. Entry is by backroll; exit up a dive ladder. Back on the boat, the crew is waiting with a snack and a short massage. We typically did four dives a day (including a night dive for anyone who wanted to go).

The diving was varied (muck, walls, drifts, and even a wreck), as we travelled through the Lembeh Strait and Bangka Strait up into the Sangihe Islands, and back down through Bunaken National Marine Park, Lembeh, and back to the Port of Bitung. Of course, the muck diving is what people come to this area for, and we weren't disappointed. It is like no other place on the planet. Highlights of the trip included mimic octopus and wonderpus, flamboyant cuttlefish, stargazers, incredible varities of nudibranchs and other exotic bottom-dwellers not seen anywhere else, mating mandarin fish, and frogfish of all varities, including several giant frogfish the size of basketballs.

My thanks to Wendy, Yan, and Acho (the dive guides), the rest of the crew of the Paradise Dancer, and to all of the other divers aboard who made this trip such a memorable experience.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bali-Komodo, Tahiti, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Galapagos, Australia, Belize, Cayman Islands, St. Vincent, Grand Turk, Bahamas, Hawaii.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-86°F / 27-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Bottom time of 60 minutes, but not strictly enforced.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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
UW Photo Comments Separate dedicated camera room with lots of power outlets (110 and 220). Separate rinse tank for cameras only. The crew carried the cameras to the skiffs, and handed them to the divers once in the water.
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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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