GillF

GillF

My Dive Map

Reviews (8)

Truk Blue Lagoon Resort

4
4
3
4

This is the only resort option for divers in Chuuck, and while it could never be classed as a high-end resort it does offer an escape from the slightly chaotic vibe on the rest of the island. The reception and restaurant area is very clean and in good condition, although this is the only area that WiFi is available. Rooms are chalet-style huts spread around the grounds.
There is an indoor restaurant and a bar down by the waterfront. I didn’t dive here, but the dive operation seems well-organized at first glance. This resort is a long way from luxury, but it is one of the only acceptable options on this very poor island.

Visited on 01/2023 - Submitted on 01/27/2023
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Truk Lagoon

5
4
3
3

Diving in Chuuk is a very unique experience. I wasn’t prepared for just how many wrecks there are and how huge they all are. Every wreck is different and has its own ecosystem of soft and hard corals and a great selection of macro. There is something for everyone here, and dives can easily be tailored to individual diver depth limits and wreck penetration experience. However, this is a very wreck-centric location, so don’t expect any big marine life and only a few medium-sized reef species. I would recommend buying a guidebook that gives a basic history of each wreck before you travel. There are guidebooks available in Truk but they are really expensive - around $90!! Having a book makes it really interesting to read about the wreck you are diving either before or after the dive, and to understand some of the histories of the area. Water temperatures are generally around 27-30C year round, with little current and generally great visibility. The weather can be unpredictable - there was a lot of rain when I visited, accompanied by windy squalls that chopped up the surface quite a lot. However, there are some very sheltered sites that can be utilized if the exposed wrecks are weathered out. I would recommend diving Truk from a liveaboard rather than a shore resort. The diving facilities are far superior and the accommodation and food is also better.

Visited on 01/2023 - Submitted on 01/27/2023
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Pacific Master

5
5
3
3

I spent 11 nights on Pacific Master in January 2023 and felt like I got to know the boat, the crew, and the diving operation really well. The boat is more spacious than a lot of liveaboards I’ve been on. It sleeps up to 20 guests, although I imagine this would be a squeeze. We were 16 and it felt comfortable. The saloon area has plenty of space for everyone to dine together, as well as half a dozen sofas for relaxing. Guest cabins are either one deck below the saloon or one deck above on the upper deck. The upper deck cabins are larger, with a window and en suite bathroom. They have independent air conditioning units and a good amount of storage on shelves and under the beds. The lower cabins are smaller and they share toilet/shower facilities on the main dive deck. The cabins were very clean and comfortable and were serviced and cleaned daily. We had fresh towels several times during the trip and there was also a laundry service. The dive deck is excellent, one of the largest I’ve dived from. I was on a technical trip so there was a lot of equipment and extra cylinders, however, there was a place for everything and good storage facilities for all our extra kit. Diving was staggered to make sure the dive deck never got too busy, and there was a very slick process for getting us in and out of the water. I thought the crew onboard was excellent. The dive team consisted of 2 local guides and 2 western guides, however, the captain also guided some dives. The level of knowledge and experience was evident amongst the team. Help was always immediately at hand when kitting up and entering and exiting the water, and I felt that safety was a top priority. The only downside to the boat was the food. It is a challenge to get fresh vegetables in Chuck, however, the meals were very repetitive - basic salad, some kind of meat stew, canned vegetables, and ice cream for dessert. There was a lack of imagination and after 10 days of this, I was tempted to offer my services to the chef and cook up something myself!

Visited on 01/2023 - Submitted on 01/27/2023
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Galapagos Islands

5
4
5
4

Where to start! The Galapagos has been at the top of my bucket list for years, so this trip was highly anticipated. From a marine-life perspective, it didn't disappoint, and we saw far more than I was expecting. However, visibility wasn't great so some sightings felt fleeting at best. At Wolf and Darwin, we saw plenty of individual hammerheads and a few small groups, however, they were shy and didn't come closer than 15m. The poor vis meant we didn't get to experience the huge schools that this area is famous for, however, I'm sure they were there just out of sight. We also saw a good number of big Galapagos sharks, and a couple of whitetip reef sharks.

One of the highlights was spotting a huge whale shark. It spent some time doubling back and did a big figure of 8 loop so that we got a really great view. On another dive we saw 3 Mola mola at a cleaning station and then a single Mola mola during our safety stop, but , again, visibility wasn't great so we only watched them for less than a minute before they disappeared.

I was really blown away by the abundance of life here. The reefs are alive and bustling, and the fish don't seem scared of divers. I've never seen so many turtles and moray eels!

Diving can be challenging, especially for inexperienced divers. Expect STRONG currents at some sites, where you duck behind a rock and hold on. There is also quite a bit of bluewater diving and safety stops, choppy surface conditions, and it can get cold. In December the lowest temperatures we recorded were 13C at Fernandina! But it's worth it to see the marine iguanas and Mola mola.

Galapagos is reasonably undeveloped but definitely caters to tourists. There are countless t-shirt and souvenir shops, and the tortoise reserve is interesting. If you have some extra time, I would suggest visiting some of the more outlying areas where the wildlife is exceptional.

Visited on 12/2022 - Submitted on 12/20/2022
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Calipso

5
5
5
5

The Calipso is one of the better boats in the Galapagos, and while I wouldn't class it as luxury, it is very well-appointed and excellent value for money. The boat has a spacious and airy feel, with modern decor, panoramic windows throughout, a large dive deck, and loads of room on the upper deck. The salon has plenty of space to sit 16 guests for meals in one sitting, as well as a comfortable lounge area and a bar. The upper deck has a full-length dining area, jacuzzi, and sun loungers. Cabins can accommodate a Queen or two single beds, with space to walk around. There is a hanging closet and shelves, with storage under the bed. The ensuite bathrooms have a good-sized shower with complimentary toiletries. There is also air con!

The food was delicious and plentiful - we didn't have a bad meal the whole trip. Breakfast is a buffet with eggs to order and fresh juice, and lunch was a choice of meat/fish or vegetarian with a salad, vegetables, and rice or potatoes. Dinner was similar, with cheese and desert. There wasn't as much choice of dishes as I've had on other boats, however, it was much healthier and tastier than I've experienced before.

The dive deck really impressed me - there are 16 numbered stations, each with an 80 and 100 cu ft nitrox tank. The seat of the dive station lifts to provide a storage locker underneath. Guests are given a numbered weight belt and hangar for wetsuits so that kit doesn't get mixed up. Diving is from pangas that comfortably fit 8 divers. We normally drove only a couple of minutes to each dive site and then rolled in as a group. The pangas only have 1 ladder which made it a bit crowded getting back in the boat after a dive, especially in choppy water.

Finally, I would class the staff service onboard as exceptional. Every crew member took the time to say 'Good Morning' or to assist with kitting up on the dive deck. The cabins were serviced twice or three times each day, and although meals were self-service, the barman was always on hand to fetch drinks, second portions, dessert, etc. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

Overall, this is an excellent choice for a Galapagos trip and you won't be disappointed,

Visited on 12/2022 - Submitted on 12/20/2022
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Red Sea Blue Force 2

4
4
4
4

I spent 7 nights on the Blue Force 2 in November 2021 and had a fantastic trip. The pre-trip service from their office was helpful and efficient and everything was arranged as planned.

The boat is slightly tired but has everything required for a comfortable trip. The dive deck is spacious and has a large central camera table, there is plenty of deck space on the upper decks to relax, and everything was very clean and tidy.

The food was excellent, very varied, and fresh. The chef made an extra effort for those with dietary requirements and even made a birthday cake for one of our group. The staff was exceptional, especially the local guides who were knowledgeable, professional, and very friendly.

Overall, this boat offers excellent value for money, it may not be luxury but we more than go what we paid for.

Visited on 02/2022 - Submitted on 02/10/2022
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Diving in the Red Sea

5
4
4
3

Living in the Eastern Med, the Red Sea is on my doorstep and so I've visited quite a few times. While I've dived from day boats out of Sharm, it can get very busy and the reefs do suffer. So, in my opinion, the best way to explore the Red Sea is by liveaboard. I've done the northern reefs and wrecks route several times, and also the B, D, E route (Brothers, Daedelus, Elphinstone) once. Even though the diving at BDE is exciting, big ocean stuff with a good chance of spotting sharks, the conditions can be challenging so it's better left to experienced divers.

Although it's less exclusive, diving the northern reefs is by far my favorite area, and I will go back again and again. There is so much variety that every dive is completely different - huge walls, drift dives, gorgeous reefs, coral gardens, fields of anemones, big and small wrecks. The range of different dive sites is fantastic! And it can be enjoyed by all levels of diver making it a great option for groups of friends or club trips.

The marine life is quite unique in the Red Sea and there are species here that you won't find elsewhere. We saw a lot of triggerfish, parrotfish, huge Napoleon wrasse, and even got buzzed by a pod of dolphins once. I will never forget seeing 3 huge moray eels free-swimming up the reef on a late afternoon dive.

I cannot recommend the Red Sea enough as a dive destination. It really is exceptional.

Visited on 11/2020 - Submitted on 06/04/2021
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Lombok

4
5
3
4

We did several days scuba diving on Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, and each dive was fascinating and unique. Frogfish point was like a Disney ride, with so much marine life just waiting for you to swim past. We saw loads of garden eels, rays, morays, and some mantis shrimp and partner shrimp. At Bounty dive site we saw 2 turtles, loads of nudibranchs, octopus, cuttlefish, and quite a few batfish hanging around.

Dive conditions here are really easy, with flat calm, warm water and virtually no current. The sites were quiet too, we had the guide to ourselves on one day. I will definitely be diving here again in the future if I get the chance!

Visited on 09/2011 - Submitted on 04/17/2020
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