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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Diving/ Walindi Plantation in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

Peter Hughes Diving/ Walindi Plantation, Jul, 2004,

by Alisa Kling, CA, USA . Report 1180.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Truk Lagoon, Australia Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Cocos & Malpelo, Yap, Pohnpei, Palau, many Carribean destinations etc.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 81 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dives were limited to approximately one hour.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat was adequate for underwater video photography. There were only five divers on our trip so the camera table was not crowded and the rinse tank was all right was were the charging stations for the batteries. If the boat were full it would be pretty tight. The underwater sea life was interesting but not spectacular.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments If I had known what I know now I never would have gone on this trip. We gone on many Peter Hughes liveaboards before and this trip was definitely not up to previous standards. The Star Dancer is rundown and in need of a refit. More than one stateroom had water leaking from the ceiling. The food being served was adequate but lacked variety and was too fatty for my taste. Almost all of the dives took place from the Star Dancer's dive deck since there is no adequate tender or ponga. The boat has a small fiberglass skiff that is a pain to ride in and get back into. Because of this, when diving in strong currents you had to make sure that you could get back to the main boat or they would have to tow you back with the skiff.

The crew was generally nice but not very well trained, and, at times a bit on the lazy side. The dive master was not very experienced and handled everything on the reef. Even though we were told not to touch anything every one of the dive guides handled whatever they were interested in. At times, after completing a dive, there would be no one around the dive deck nor would they have put the dive ladders down. The dive master did not like constructive comments about her diving or the dive schedule, and, at times, adopted a poor attitude. The first dive was at 6:30 am followed by dives at 9:00 am and 11:30 am. There was a break for lunch with an afternoon dive around 3:30 pm and then a night dive at 6:30 pm. Why the morning was so crowded with only one dive in the afternoon was never really explained to me. I have never been on a liveaboard before that had a dive schedule like this. Also, the crew was rough on the gear when allowed to handle it. I had to replace the o-ring on my tank numerous times because of damage caused during the tank filling process. The second stage on my backup air source (Air Mic) was broken, and my backup dive computer's face was scratched when my BCD was loaded onto the skiff and then on to the boat.

Air Niugini is a real piece of work. Before I left on the trip, I called their local office here in California to check on the baggage weight restrictions. I was informed that there was a restriction of 32 kilos per person (70 pounds) for internal flights but that if you were carrying dive equipment they would waive it. Obviously if you are going on a ten day dive trip with camera equipment and clothing it is impossible to live with this limit. THEY WILL CHARGE YOU FOR THE EXCESS WEIGHT!!! My husband and I were subject to $50-$75 per flight in excess baggage charges even though the locals were taking anything they wanted including large coolers. Also, they take only cash (Kina) for these payments.

As a recap, the diving was not good enough to warrant the aggravation. There are other dive destinations in the Pacific that are easier to get to, have better diving, and do not have these onerous weight restrictions. Palau, Truk, Cocos, Galapagos etc. are all better values and have better liveaboards.
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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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