Michelle Scamahorn

Michelle Scamahorn

My Dive Map

Reviews (3)

Truk Lagoon

5
5
5
2

I have been to Chuuk several times and I intend to keep going back. It is that good. If you love soft corals, GO. If you love wreck diving, GO. If you love war history, GO. If you are a tech diver, GO. If you have a camera, GO.

I have dived the wrecks from shore based dive shop and also from the Truk Aggressor, now gone but there are other liveaboards in the lagoon.

The island has changed dramatically in the 20 some years I have been going. The days of letting your gear dry on the lanai of the Truk Continental Hotel are over, at least if you ever want to see your gear again they are. When I was on the Aggressor, we had a night security guard who kept people from paddling up in the night to steal our gear. That being said, if one just uses caution all should be well.

The diving is sublime. The visibility in the lagoon can be a bit murky but since the dives are all on wrecks it never seems to matter. I found the diving to be very doable for most divers. Although some were deeper, it was very easy to dive in the 60 to 100 foot range. The wrecks, aside from being amazing pieces of history, are covered with stunning soft corals and anemones with their resident skunk clown fish and microscopic shrimps. Tiny reef fish such as damsels and anthias sweep over the wrecks in unison like some sort of fishy ballet. Angel fishes, butterflies also swim in and out of the structures and looking closely one can find lion fishes as well. If one takes the time to look up from this stunning display pupio can be seen swimming by and occasionally a reef shark. Ammunition also also covers some of the decks along with gas masks, jeeps, tanks, bottles and even bicycles.

When I was there in 1994, a group from Japan had just been there to remove remains from the wrecks and take them home to Japan. It was the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Chuuk. Although since then, I have seen bones that were found within the wrecks and then left on display and photographed by divers. It is in poor taste and usually the remains are placed back inside the wreck by a divemaster.

Making night dives on the wrecks is something especially not to be missed as the place just comes more alive. It's difficult to believe this place could become more spectacular but it does.
Seeing this bit of history is an incredible opportunity one should not pass up if at all possible.

Visited on - Submitted on 02/13/2014
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Kona Aggressor II

5
5
5
4

Kona, known for it's flat water, is a great destination. The Aggressor is super easy because they meet at the pier next to the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. I actually walked to meet the boat with my giant Pelican camera case and gear bag.
Once on board the Kona Aggressor II is spacious. My cabin was plenty roomy with a double bed and a twin bunk. The cabins also have a large window, which can be rare on a liveaboard. The hot water for the showers was always plentiful, something that is important to me.
The food was tasty, we even had fresh fish some nights . A special meal was presented on deck the night of the manta ray dive. (more on that later) We dined alfresco while watching the other dive boats come to see the mantas. There were plenty of snacks to be had but dessert was sometimes a bit Costco-ish.

The dive deck was well organized with two fresh water showers on the swim deck and large camera freshwater rinse bins. We all had personal gear storage under our seats. Big hot towels always awaited our return! The camera area was spacious with plenty of power outlets and air hoses for drying camera equipment.

The diving was wonderful. Kona's water is known for being clean and flat. During my week on board we had excellent visibility everyday. The dive briefs were well done with maps and critter briefs. We had divemasters in the water on every dive but were allowed to take a leisurely pace. The max number of guests on the boat being 14 made for uncrowded dives.
We dove lava formations and saw tons of marine life. I was looking for small stuff to shoot with my new macro lens and was not disappointed. I saw Wire Coral Gobys a plenty and even wire coral crabs (very small!), flat worms, nudi's, sea roses, christmas tree worms and even the worlds smallest peacock flounder. I found a huge Commerson's Frog Fish, octopus and plenty of other critters.
The Manta Night Dive is a must do. We ate dinner on the upper deck and watched as all the other dive and snorkel boats came in for the Manta's. After we ate and prepared to dive, the other boats were ready to leave so we went out armed with our lights and cameras. The crowds left and we had the Manta's to ourselves. Well played Aggressor!

Visited on 08/2012 - Submitted on 02/13/2014
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Mike Ball Dive Expeditions

5
4
5
4

I absolutely love, love, loved my week on the Spoilsport! I was not ready to depart when the time came.

The crew was amazing- with the exception of one of their "volunteer" crew members, they were all attentive and friendly. (perhaps they could screen those volunteers better) The Captain, "Pirate Pete" was quite the entertainer and played the guitar and sang! Our Divemasters, Ash, Shona, Kirin (also our cruise director)... I'm sorry I can't remember all of their names but they were all wonderful and fun.

My cabin was clean and compact with plenty of storage space. The AC was a bit though to control and kept hedging a bit toward Arctic but after a word to the crew it was quickly fixed. We always had plenty of hot water for our showers which is not always the case on a liveaboard.

The food was very good, they catered to all the funky habits and needs of the divers without so much as a raised eyebrow. There was plenty of variety, I loved the soups that were served with most of the lunches. And there was always something to nibble on.

Now, about that diving...
The dive deck is well run. The dive deck towels could have been a bit bigger. I'm a small person and thought they were itty bitty but they were always clean and dry and waiting for us. The briefs were thorough with maps drawn and full explanations of currents and possible dangers. After the brief we were allowed to dive when we wanted, with or without a guide, divers choice. I particularly loved that because I have a camera and would prefer not to be with a crowd or moving too fast. My buddy and I were first in and last out on most of the dives. On the first day when we came back way later than everyone else we apologized only to be told that the crew was there to cater to us and it was fine! Sweet.
We saw so much... The Giant Potato Cod were so much fun, gentile giants, they swam right up to check us out and just stayed around to have their portraits taken. We saw Giant Clams, beautiful corals and tons of little stuff as well, nudies, sea squirts, anemones, christmas tree worms... I enjoyed the game of, Stump the PhotoPro, in which we were to take photos of things we thought he couldn't identify. He actually did very well.
For me the hardest thing about the diving was deciding weather to take the fish eye or the macro lens. We did a fantastic drift dive that I think was called, Vertical Gardens. The drift dive was followed up with a shark dive. Living in Hawaii, I get to see lots of sharks and expected the shark dive to be tacky but it was a ton of fun! A great time was had by all I think even the sharks enjoyed it. And the photo ops on that dive were stellar.
Of note to some- The 100 mile overnight to Osprey Reef was quite rough and a number of people were sick, although most came around in a day or so, I would be sure to bring your patches if you have a tendency toward seasickness.

Would I do this trip again? Yes, in a heartbeat.

Visited on 10/2013 - Submitted on 02/12/2014
Read all Mike Ball Dive Expeditions Dive Liveaboard reviews

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