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Dive Review of Walindi Plantation Resort/M/V Febrina in
Papua New Guinea/North coast of New Briton

Walindi Plantation Resort/M/V Febrina, Dec, 2010,

by Paula Bentley, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 5963.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Trip report - PNG-6 - December. 2010

I recently returned from my sixth trip to Paupa New Guinea aboard the live-aboard M/V FeBrina. As usual, it was an absolutely fabulous trip. To get there is a struggle but it's better than it used to be and definitely worth the effort. You have to fly from LAX to Brisbane, AU, then to Port Moresby on the main island of Paupa New Guinea and then to Hoskins on the North coast of the island of New Briton. On arrival in Hoskins, it's about a 45 minute van ride to the Walindi resort where the boat is waiting. The return trip was similar except for the Australian leg. We went to Sydney instead of Brisbane and had to over-night there.

The diving starts before breakfast on most days and is usually three dives before lunch and two after with the last one being a night dive. The itinerary can vary depending on the trip. In this case, there were four people with scheduling requirements that forced us to travel to Kavaieng on the north tip of New Ireland. They left the boat there for a flight. It's a long run but the diving there is usually excellent. Unfortunately, this time the visibility was poor so we didn't stay as long as planed and instead moved back to the area around the North side of New Briton. There the water temperature was between 84 and 86 degrees F (29 C) and the visibility was as good as it gets. In most cases you can see the bottom of the boat well before you get back to the mooring.

The sea life there is simply astounding. The place is so hard to get to that it doesn't get the thousands of people that other popular dive sites have to deal with. There are abundant hard and soft corals and some fans that measure six to twelve feet (two to four meters) across. I found one sponge that was over six feet (two meters) tall. There are the usual tropical fish of endless varieties, sharks on several sites, barracuda and turtles. On this trip, it was the turtles at one site and a four foot (1.25 meter) barracuda at another that wouldn't leave the divers alone. They insisted on looking right into the camera lens!

The dive sites on the North coast of New Briton have to be some of the best in the world. But, that isn't the only reason to go there. It's the boat and especially the Australian captain (Alan Raabe) that make the place so unique. First, all diving is done from the boat. Simply walk from the lounge to your tank, slip it on and fall into the water. There's no fooling around with Zodiacs or Pongas. In a couple of spots there is a pretty good current but there's a line from the mooring to the stern of the boat so you can hand-over-hand to the top of the reef and then drop over the edge into the protected water. Most areas are quite calm. Only once did we do a drift dive and that was a cinch. When people popped up at the end of the dive, the big boat came along and picked you up. What could be easier.

The FeBrina is about 75 feet long (23 meters) and carries a maximum of 12 passengers. There are three double staterooms in the bow plus two double and two single cabins in the rear. All have a bathroom and shower in-suite. The boat is not as luxurious as one of the Dancer boats, but it is quite comfortable and you're are not fighting for space with so many people. Finally, the fact that Alan Raabe is running the operation is what makes it so special. He pioneered live-aboard diving in the area about 25 years ago and knows the area better than anyone alive. He is also responsible for placing all the moorings so anchors are not taring up the bottom. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Websites Walindi Plantation Resort   M/V Febrina

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Fiji, Cook Is., Hawaii, California, Thailand, Bonaire, Bahamas, St Lucia, Belize, Cocos, Australia, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Bora Bora
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 100-200 Ft/ 30-61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Ultimate freedom - You are required to come back to the boat at the end of each dive.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Two large tables for camera setup and storage. Separate area with 110VAC for battery charging.
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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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