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Dive Review of Fish n' Fins-Ocean Hunter 3/Fish 'n Fins/Landmark Marina hotel in
Micronesia/Palau

Fish n' Fins-Ocean Hunter 3/Fish 'n Fins/Landmark Marina hotel, Dec, 2008,

by Scott Katz, AZ, USA ( 1 report). Report 4618.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cocos Island, Belize, PNG, Mexico, Florida, Red Sea, Galapagos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 30 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Depth,No deco diving, Buddy system enforced
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 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 I have been to Palau six times over the years (first visit in 1986!). I love Palau; it is by far the most diverse dive destination I have been to. This trip, in between new jobs, we took our time and booked 2 weeks in Palau, a week of land based diving with Fish n Fins dive center packaged with accommodation at next door Landmark Marina hotel, followed by a 7 days dive cruise aboard Ocean Hunter 3 liveaboard.
In the past we have used different dive operators in Palau but in 2001 we dove with Fish n Fins and stayed with them ever since. When I sent Fish n Fins an email years ago asking about the difference between them and the other dive shops in town, owner Tova Harel answered my email that when you arrive at our dive shop you will see my husband Navot or me greeting you to make sure that everything is OK, same when you return from diving. That was true! On every single day, owners greeted and talked with each of us making sure we had a good day or asking if we need anything else.
Before we boarded Ocean Hunter 3, owners asked us to contact them directly if anyone needed anything special. They even gave us their private cell phone numbers in any case. In todays commercialized mass tourism, it was heartwarming to be in a place where you have a genuine feeling that staff and owners want you to feel at home.
Landmark Marina hotel: For years it was a rundown hotel next door to Fish n Fins. Couple of years ago it was renovated into Palaus first boutique hotel. Nice rooms, clean and friendly service. Restaurant is OK but we have preferred to dine out at Dragon Tei (Japanese), Taj (Indian), Elilai (Thai) and the Barracuda (seafood) next door. Good food selection for a small island!
Fish n Fins dive center- We felt at home the minute we stepped into the shop, Fish n Fins train their own guides and they stay with them for many years. It was a great feeling to be greeted by Silas, Tim and other familiar faces from previous visits. Palauan dive guides are the best we have ever had, knowledgeable and friendly (that goes beyond diving: taxi drivers, post office, stores and basically everyone we met). We did 2 dives per day only because we were going on Ocean Hunter 3, some of the divers on our boat did an extra dive each day. Boats are comfortable (according to dive guides they are designed and built by Fish n Fins); best feature on Fish n Fins boats compare to our previous experience in Palau, is that divers sit facing forward and not sideways. Gear-room is very well ventilated and allows gear to dry completely overnight.
Ocean Hunter 3- We have done 4 liveaboard trips in other destinations but this one is our first liveaboard experience in Palau. This was a re-discovery of diving in Palau for us after years of land based diving. Boat is new and spacious. Our accommodation was in a deluxe cabin at lower deck. Cabin has 2 beds (double on bottom and single on top). Toilet and shower are bigger than any liveaboard we have been on. Dining Room sits 16 divers comfortably with all meals served on a center buffet table. Spacious Lounge with soft sofas and entertainment facilities attracted many of us after dives.
I cannot write good enough reviews about the crew aboard Ocean Hunter 3! Captain Ken is a 12 years veteran with Ocean Hunter boats and knows his way around; Arlee the chef pampered us with great food through our journey, just too much good food. A nice addition is a professional espresso machine onboard, what a treat for coffer lovers like us.
Dive masters Six and Ed run tight and safe operation with usually 4 dives per day and a night dive if you are into such activity. Our friends loved the hot Jacuzzi on sun deck after night diving but we stayed dry with a glass of wine
And by the way how was the diving? Great and diverse, we dove in December which is the month of Manta Rays in Palau, we were not disappointed. Make a wish list of what you want to see underwater while diving, you will probably check mark every single entry on your page.
Divers, who return to this underwater paradise, can only admire the extensive environmental protection work that Palau governments have done there over the years.
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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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