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Dive Review of Ocean Explorer II in

Ocean Explorer II, Oct, 2007,

by Larry & Judy Walters, OHio, U.S.A. (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 3715.

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 N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Place the Ocean Hunter II on the top of your list for liveaboards! Just got off October 2007!

Our pre-arranged transfer took us from our hotel to Fish & Fins where we were welcomed by owner Tova Bornovski upon our arrival and Navot (his wife) welcomed us back a week later when the Ocean Hunter II returned and docked. This was the fourth liveaboard we had experienced and the best in so many ways.

The flight from Los Angeles was 14 hours, but once you got there, checked in, met the crew and got into the 85 degree water, you were hooked and forgot all about the long trip because it proved to be worth it during the check out dive.

The crew was fantastic in every way imaginable and became part of our group immediately. All of them were friendly and happy with safety being their first priority. We had 10 divers in our group and were fortunate to have another couple that blended in well with our group. After being on the Nimrod in Australia, and two Peter Hughes' liveaboards, I can tell you the crew can make a huge different in the outcome of your diving vacation. We both find if the captain has the respect of his crew and he treats them with respect it makes for a win, win trip. When you are spending the amount of money you do for liveaboard, you want to get the most for your buck and this crew goes beyond what you can possibly imagine.

There was a nice variety of food. One of our divers did not eat fish and the chef made sure there was meat for him. They asked if anyone had any special requests for food preparation, (I did not speak up) but Arlee noticed right away I was picking sesame seeds off what they had prepared. After the first day, I had my food without seeds. There were always snacks or candy after dives and it showed up on the scale when we got home with us each gaining 5 pounds. The variety of fresh fruit in the morning was fantastic and with every dinner you were served homemade soup and a special dessert. Arlee and Chetra were truly amazing in the small kitchen.
Our captain was Kenneth, sometimes doubling as one of the dive masters. Our dive masters Eddie and Saikei were awesome by being a step above the usual. If they weren’t showing us something, I was finding Silkei taking my BC off in the water as he was reaching for my fins I have had four back surgeries and it was necessary to float my BC in and out of the water. But Silkei was unbelievably close by when I was ready to get out of the water cleverly removing my fins and BC.
I was totally blown away when Kenneth said he was going to bring some nautilus from 600 feet down for us to see close up and personal! I figured he was joking until the next morning there was a large cage filled with about 15 nautilus and a few other critters. On our first dive the cage was put into about 20 feet of water where we were able to get a nautilus out of the cage and see exactly how they swim. After 250 dives, this experience ranked right up there with the time I was able to hold on to a 25 foot whale shark in Roatan.

Other highlights of our scuba trip were a 6 foot tiger shark at the boat’s platform one night; not to mention a pair of mantas. One day on the way back in the chase boat they spotted a manta ray in the German Channel and stopped to let us off the boat to snorkel with it. Our last dive was really interesting; a cave dive (saw light at the entrance continuously). We found out just how satisfying it was to use a reef hook for our 1st time, too.

Most of the rooms are small, but the crew, food and diving made you quickly forget about their size. After all; who stays in their rooms except to sleep! We had the only master suite with a private balcony and it was great for an additional cost. The only minus is that one week is not enough time on the boat. Like most, our entire group was not ready to get off the boat; you really need 10 days.

I guess I will be remembered as the lady that lost her flashlight to an octopus, so if you book the Ocean Hunter II soon and see a lighted hole rest assured it is the octopus with my flashlight. The crew promised to take it a bag of batteries to the hole upon their return to that wreck site.

This liveaboard is one NOT TO BE MISSED!

Judy & Larry Walters

West Chester, Ohio

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Great Barrier Reef, Tahiti, Fiji, Bonaire, Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, Trinidad, Philippines and Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 85-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions time & depth but all were well seasoned divers and they allowed longer dives if within your computer
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 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 Nice large tables and compressed air hose for drying camera. We all had a picked a color of towel and used it the entire week and they were dryed for reuse. Nice large clean tank for putting camera's in before dives. Nice hot shower which the girls got to use first and hoses for the men to rinse.
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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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