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Dive Review of Loloata in
Papua New Guinea/Port Moresby

Loloata, Mar, 2007,

by Nannette & Bill Van Antwerp, CA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3475.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Caribbean, Cocos, Galapagos, Channel Islands, CA
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 15 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No decompression diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments There is no central place for charging batteries and working on cameras near the dive shop and the rooms werent set up for it either. We resorted to using the rooms ironing board for a work station. There was no rinse bucket for cameras on the boat, but after each dive one of the dive guides used a fresh water shower to rinse off the cameras. The staff handled the cameras with great care.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Loloata Resort on Bootless Bay in Papua New Guinea is located on a small island about 30 minutes by car then 15 minutes by boat from Port Moresby. The resort itself has about 21 rooms, 15 without air conditioning and 6 with. We had a deluxe queen bedroom that was a good 5-minute walk from the main lodge where we had breakfast and dinner. The grounds of the resort were very rustic with several dozen wallabies freely roaming the grounds, and a dozen or so large victoria crowned pigeons. One of the pigeons was nesting and quite aggressive rewarding us with a couple of welcoming pecks but nothing serious. The room we stayed in was very nice, with gorgeous hardwood floors and interesting woven tapestries on the walls. Our room had a large picture window looking out onto the bay and a very nice large porch with two comfortable chairs to sit in and watch the sunrise. The only blemish in the room was the shower, where the enamel had rusted through with large rust spots on the floor. Water was hot and the water pressure was impressive, much better than many US based hotels. Each room had a small daybed that was useful as a charging station and storage facility for camera gear, a small table and a refrigerator stocked with safe drinking water as well as gear for making coffee and tea.

Food was quite good, with cereal and toast available at 6 AM and hot breakfast at 7 AM. Lunch was buffet style and dinner included soup, a main course and dessert. Wine and beer were available at reasonable prices but the red wine by the glass was not very appealing; sweet and not very interesting. Overall the accommodations were very good and the staff was friendly and accommodating.

The diving in Bootless Bay was very good and quite varied. The dive boat was a 30-foot Reefmaster set up with 24 tank racks. The first dive of the day was done with Aluminum 80s and the second dive was done with Al 65s. We had only 3 divers on the boat so it felt spacious but with 12 divers it could be crowded. No head on the boat, but the ocean was close by. Dive entry was a giant stride off the back, then follow the mooring line to the dive site. All the sites we dove had permanent mooring buoys. After the dive you hand up your camera and fins, and climb what has to be the best dive boat ladder I have seen with broad steps, a platform at the bottom and a nice angle, not straight up. Between the two morning dives there was tea, fruit and cookies. After the second dive we headed back to a hot lunch, dove again at 2 PM and then a night dive for those interested. The dive guides, Francis, Archie and Sibo were helpful and always adept at finding the small critters that we were interested in filming. After our last dive, the dive team washed our gear and carried up to our room where they hung it out on the balcony to dry. Putting our gear together on the first day and putting it back in the bag for the flight to dive on the Febrina were the only times we had to even touch our gear. It was put together on the boat each morning and taken off and rinsed each evening.

We dove 3 wrecks and 6 other sites, all relatively close to the lodge since it was often quite windy. We saw both the biggest grouper either of has ever seen at more than 6-ft long and some very tiny pygmy seahorses. Diving conditions were varied as well, some sites had 80-foot visibility but one site we dove was green with 15-foot visibility but lots of small critters. The critter list included pygmy seahorses, a beautiful orange rhinopias, twin spot gobies, large groupers, two very big olive sea snakes, numerous nudibranchs, small red frogfish, pipefish, moray eels, white leaf scorpion fish, porcelain crabs, several types of anemone fish including true clowns, mantis shrimps, some very small (1 inch) octopus, a very large ugly stonefish, several crocodile fish, many lionfish on the wrecks, an interesting red dragonet that remains nameless, lots of tiny shrimps and crabs, particularly at night. At one pinnacle we swam with a large school of sweetlips, and a Napoleon wrasse came to visit and on our last dive we filmed a long nose filefish swimming in the Staghorn coral.

Overall, it was a very nice experience in a lovely spot and we would highly recommend both the lodge and the diving.
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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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