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Dive Review of Chertan in
Papua New Guinea/Milne Bay

Chertan, May, 2003,

by Bill and Ruth Maki, TX, USA . Report 1313.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments MV Chertan is a first-class dive operation run by Rob van Der Loos. He's authored a book on Milne bay creatures and is a wizard at finding them. The winds were a bit blusterous so most of our dives were on the north shore where we did quite a bit of muck diving (many dives at Lauadi). We photographed a large assortment of critters: many kinds of nudibranchs, ghost pipefish, popcorn shrimp, cuttle fish, lion fish, a coral head teeming with Mandarin fish, and Nautilus. We did get to one of the outer reefs where Rob found a pygmy seahorse for us. On the way back, we were intercepted by a pod of Orcas -- 6-7 adults and 2 calves. The rode the bow wave and cruised along under the dinghy, apparently playing in the prop cavitation, for half an hour. For one of our land excursions, one of the crew escorted us to a skull cave. We also visited the Tawali resort both during the day and during the evening. Tawali is an amazing venture put together by Rob, members of his family, and other partners. It was being finished while we were there and some fast boats were on order for day trips to outer reefs as well as muck dives. The resort is well-situated so that the more popular dive sites are minutes away. (See and believe it all!) The Chertan is quite comfortable. However, there were only 3 divers on board. We suspect it could get crowded with a full complement of 12 divers (the boat is on the small side with only 2 on-deck heads). The food prepared by Rob's family members, Peo and Malle, was very good. (If you have to overnight in Port Morseby, we recommend the Airways hotel and a visit to PNGarts.)

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Sipadan, Coral Sea, Palau, Truk, Yap, Pohnpei,
Papua New Guinea (Kimbe), Cocos, Cortez, Socorro, Galapagos, Solomons, Hawaii, California, and many Caribbean sites
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80-0°F / 27--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 15 ft safety stop
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Work area would be cramped with a full load of divers.
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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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