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Dive Review of Walindi Plantation Resort/FeBrina in
Papua New Guinea/Kimbe Bay

Walindi Plantation Resort/FeBrina, Jul, 2014,

by Jennifer Widom, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 7698 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments (Note: We posted the same review on Tripadvisor)

Like many other reviewers, we found the FeBrina to be an extremely well-run boat, and the Kimbe Bay area to provide pristine, high-quality diving. FeBrina should be on the list of any serious liveaboard diver!

The longer version:

The FeBrina has been in operation as a liveaboard dive boat since 1991, with a single owner & skipper Alan Raabe; Alan has rarely missed a trip in 23 years. While quite a few reviews describe Alan as a salty character, perhaps he's mellowed lately -- we found him to be humble, pleasant, and interesting to talk with. The excellent crew are all PNG locals, and some have been on the boat almost as long as Alan. Clearly, Alan is doing something right, and it shows across the entire enterprise: The schedule runs like clockwork; the dive guides are experienced, competent, and knowledgeable; the cooks turn out delicious meals and snacks (including thoughtful catering to the vegetarian in our family); the engineer and "cabin girls" keep the boat ship-shape. The boat's not large or luxurious, but the cabins are spacious enough and very comfortable, and the salon and dive deck are set up so people almost never seem to be in each other's way. We did miss a sundeck area and lounge chairs; a couple of platforms on the front of the boat and a dive-deck picnic table were modest substitutes. (We would have missed an outdoor lounge area far more had we not spent so much time underwater!) Most importantly, Alan is fastidious about maintenance, so everything works -- hardly a given on any liveaboard. This boat is for divers who prefer flawless operation and lots of diving over luxury.

We're seasoned divers, including many trips to various destinations in the "coral triangle," so we didn't see much underwater we hadn't seen somewhere before. The closest we came was a lucky underwater encounter with dolphins, our second. But the combination of 82-degree water, excellent visibility, generally easy diving (just a few currents here and there), and consistently pristine reefs is hard to beat. Although bait boxes were brought down a couple of times there were quite a few sharks even without them, a few turtles, some macro critters to keep the photographers happy, and most importantly the reefs were lush and teeming with fish everywhere, not just here and there like some other destinations.

We were offered five dives on days the boat didn't move a great distance, four dives on transit days, and two dives on the final day. Although dives were scheduled, with dive guides in the water at all times, there was no pressure to stay in a group. All of the divers on our boat were experienced and given plenty of independence. We were lucky to have only four serious photographers aboard, since they competed for some of the smaller critters, as well as for attention from dive guide Digger, whose decades on the FeBrina have turned him into quite a remarkable underwater photo coach. Also worth mentioning is long-time dive guide and "cruise director" Josie, who combined a sunny personality with a tight operation.
Websites Walindi Plantation Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions few restrictions
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 quite a bit of camera space on deck
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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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