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Dive Review of Eco Explorer in

Eco Explorer, May, 2008,

by Ralph Baker, NV, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 4177.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments The weather in Palau in May was horrible so my experience on the trip was impacted by that. If the diving is great, I will have a great time, regardless of the boat or crew. But, if the weather is bad, then a boat's crew can make or break the trip.

The wind came up and forced all the dive boats back to Koror. When that happens it takes a really good crew to make the most of a bad situation. The Eco Explorer's crew didn't have the experience to meet that demand. The regular dive master was absent, and the crew that was left was inexperienced, and didn't know the dive sites. They couldn't time the tides, and we were almost always diving when the tide was coming out of the lagoon. This caused very bad visibility. When we had to go into Koror after only a few days of poor visibility, we dove the same two wrecks in even worse visibility for three days. We did four dives a day, but we alternated the same two wrecks for each dive. I stopped diving altogether the last day because I got tired of going to the same places with extremely poor visibilty. The dive masters really did try, but they were just were not familiar enough with the dive sites. When they couldn't find the electric clam at Blue Hole, it was clear they hadn't been to the dive site much. After all, clams usually don't move. Oh well, better weather next time.

The boat was not clean. It was infested with roaches. Evidently, it is fumagated once a year when it goes back to the Philippines. This was the boat's last month before returning to the Philippines. Turn on the air conditioner and watch the little critters run! In the bathroom, there was a rinse cup that still had a toothpaste cap from the previous occupant floating in it. By the end of the week the water in that cup appeared to be evolving into a living thing. There was a sign stating that you should not drink the water from the tap.

The highlights on the trip were Blue Corner and Blue Hole. I was told that Blue Corner is best when the moon is full. This is when we hit it, and the dive was fun. The sharks were about 5 ft long and plentiful. I also saw mantas, but they were about 30 feet above us. I also saw one leopard shark.

Palau is worth the trip, but as in any dive location where there are weather challenges, you need an experienced crew to know where to go to still get some good diving. This crew wasn't experienced, and as a result, this was a bad trip.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Komodo, Solomons, Coco Isl., British Columbia, Australia, California, Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 84-0°F / 29--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions must have a buddy, must dive with the group
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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