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Dive Review of Neco Marine/Sea Passion in

Neco Marine/Sea Passion, Apr, 2013,

by Renee Ross, OR, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 6954.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 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 We spent 12 nights in Palau for land-based diving with Neco Marine. The dive shop was very clean and organized. The boat was comfortable with padded front-facing seats which made the 45 minute to 1 hour boat rides to dive sites nice. Capacity of the boat was about 18 divers but our group had only 7 to 9 each day, with one guide and one boat driver. Our guide, Fabio, did all the work setting up our gear each day and rinsing everything at the end of the day. He did a great job judging the tides to get us to the dive sites at the best times without large crowds. We often had sites all to ourselves which in German Channel to view Manta Rays is important so other divers aren't stirring up the sand and silt on the bottom of the channel. We saw 5 mantas on the first dive there and none the 2nd dive and 1 the third dive. These encounters stay in your mind long after the dive. The mantas are huge and graceful and they circle around you while cleaner fish swim in and around their bodies. We saw a large spotted eagle ray up close there too. Most other dives were over 100 feet for a short time doing many holes and tunnels coming out onto beautiful walls with amazingly healthy coral. The visibility on the walls was often excellent. On other dives, the reef was covered in so many soft corals with many big turtles. Sharks on every dive, many large schools of fish and so many tropical fish everywhere. The variety of fish here beats any dive destination we have ever been to so far. I remember thinking after the first 2 days of diving that this is the most incredible place on earth for variety of fish life! The currents were not strong the whole 9 days and we only used reef hooks 2 times at Blue Corner. The sharks there were everywhere as well as big schools of barracuda and other large fish. The coral at Blue Corner has been beat up from the years of reef hooks and too many people though. But, the fish life was still amazing on the half-dead reef. Our favorite dive site was Ulong Channel. We hit the time just right to be the only divers there and the tide drifted us gently into the most amazing assortment of sharks,healthy fields of hard coral, large schools of trevally, tuna and huge potato groupers, giant clams and just so many fish everywhere. The visibility was only about 50 feet in the channel that day though. The boat rides through the Rock Islands were so beautiful each day. One day it rained on the boat ride back to land and I was glad I listened to past reviewer who recommended taking a rain jacket each day. I probably used that jacket half of the rides back since the boats really go fast and a wet body needs that extra warmth. The Chandelier Cave dive was creepy to have 7 of us in a small cavern breathing that stale air. I opted out of going into the 2nd and 3rd chambers and instead found 2 small mandarin fish outside the cave entrance. Jellyfish lake was amazing to see but I warn you, the hike is very steep up, then down, only about 15 minutes but a bit strenuous for a short woman to make the steps easily. I wouldn't go again but it was nice to see once. The location of Neco Marine was a short 4 minute walk from Sea Passion Resort so we would stay there again . You can see my review of Sea Passion on Trip Advisor as well as one I wrote for Neco Marine. Beware of the mountain view rooms at Sea Passion. Many of those rooms are horrible smelling and we finally changed rooms to the honeymoon suite and it was much better. We will be back to dive Palau someday. And we will do the land-based with Neco Marine again. We liked the boat rides each day and loved being able to walk around town each evening and have dinners at the variety of nice places like the Drop-Off Bar and Kraemers. I am happy to answer any questions about our trip, just drop me a line. So many folks on Undercurrent and Scubaboard helped me in planning this trip and I will pay that back to you!
Websites Neco Marine   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Gangga Island/Bunaken Island/Lembeh Straits in Sulawesi Indonesia, Puerta Galera Philippines, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Nitrox depth limit 120'
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 1 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]
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