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Dive Review of Ocean Rover in
Thailand/Similans, Mergui

Ocean Rover, May, 2003,

by Wayne Batzer, HI, USA . Report 463.

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 This was an absolutely fantastic trip. I had positive expectations, given previous reader reports, but absolutely everything was superb. The boat has 12 Thai crew, and two dive guides (for 10 divers). Company policy is to do the cruise whether full, with 16 divers, or with just one. Food was great, with a wide range of Thai dishes, plus standard western fare at each meal. The diving was wonderful, and quite varied. There were nice coral formations, large sea fans, areas with interesting topography and swim throughs. The sea life was also quite varied, with enough to please everyone, including sea horses, nudibranchs, many varieties of morays, longsnout filefish, napoleon wrasse, cuttlefish, squid, nurse sharks, leopard sharks, decorator and anemone crabs, fire urchins, frogfish, large schools of goatfish, jacks, barracuda, scorpionfish everywhere, bluespotted stingrays, lionfish, manta rays and whale sharks (I was able to swim with one for many minutes, and 36 photos, quite an experience!).
The boat is beautifully maintained, with comfortable, airconditioned cabins, sundeck, large lounge, and very spacious dive area. Diving is sometimes directly from the boat, more often on short Zodiac rides. A Zodiac was always nearby upon surfacing. The guides are very helpful in pointing out whatever you want to see, and excellent briefings, with dive area maps, are given before each dive. The schedule was announced in advance, varied only to provide the best diving, with as many as 4 dives per day and a night dive. I did 37 dives on this trip. This was the last trip of the season, leaving from Phuket, and covered a lot of territory, including the Similan Islands, Burma Banks, and Mergui Archipelago (diving in both Thai and Myanmar waters).
This is an attentive, safety conscious, topnotch outfit, which I recommend without reservation.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Micronesia, Bali, Midway, New Zealand, British Virgin Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 84-88°F / 29-31°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-150 Ft/ 12-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No planned deco dives.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks 1 or 2
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 Two large freshwater tanks, large wet and dry work areas, plenty of AC outlets (110 and 220) for recharging, plenty of room for computers for digital photography. The staff is very muched used to photographers (frequent professionals on board) and very attentive. E-6 processing is available, but was not used by any divers on this trip.
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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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