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Dive Review of Fish 'n Fins Ocean Hunter III in
Micronesia/Palau

Fish 'n Fins Ocean Hunter III, Nov, 2010,

by Harvey S. Cohen, NJ, US (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 5794.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Coral Sea, Caribbean, Red Sea, New Jersey, Florida.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 86 to 87 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions, but on most dives the tender chases instead of mooring, so a diver who loses sight of the divemasters had to shoot his/her own SMB to get picked up. The crew doesn't seem to mind if you do this on a few dives.
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 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 Since dive gear stays on the tender, there is lots of dry room for photo gear. Nicely laid out tables, lots of charging sockets. Big separate rinse tank kept full of clean water. Compressed air.
2 PCs in lounge.

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 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Palau diving is awesome, and Ocean Hunter III / Fish'N'Fins provided wonderful service and accommodations. The boat is very thoughtfully designed and in pristine condition. Everything works well, and with a full load of 16 divers plus crew it never feels crowded.
I've been on 7 other liveaboards, but this was my first with all tender diving. Surprisingly, it was more convenient than diving directly from the mothership. One easy, level step took me from the dive deck to the tender, which was quite spacious with a full load. BC/reg/tank was kept assembled on the tender all week, along with fins and mask. For each dive, I donned my suit and stepped onto the tender. A crew member put the Nitrox analyzer on my tank while I recorded the reading. After a 5-10 minute ride, we moored. A crew member lifted my gear to my seat; I slipped it on and backrolled off the side. For recovery, the tender came close and let me grab a granny line. At the ladder, I passed up my fins and climbed an easy three steps. A crew member took my gear and handed me a fresh face towel. Back on the boat, two warm showers, two warm hoses and a dunk tank on the dive deck allowed me to rinse body and suit immediately. Also on the dive deck was a big dry towel for me after each dive. It was all so easy that I almost felt guilty.
All dives had leader and chaser divemasters. The leader often pointed out interesting critters and wrote the name on his magnetic slate. More than half the dives were walls, with current from very mild to very strong. On several dives we hooked in with reefhooks and watched an astonishing quantity and variety of big and small creatures. On one reefhook dive, a beautiful spotted eagle ray hung in the current right next to me for ten minutes, while schools of fish, cruising sharks, giant napolean wrasses, etc., swam in front of us.
Another highlight was the manta cleaning station, where one manta after another soared in and hovered for cleaning while we watched from arm's-length.
Food was excellent in variety, quality, and attractiveness.
The entire operation is incredibly skilled, efficient, and friendly. They just couldn't seem to do enough for us.
Finally, I must note that the admirable owners of Fish'N'Fins contribute a great deal of their own expertise, time, and money to conservation of ocean resources.
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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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