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Posts posted by reubencahn

  1. I'm thinking about booking on this boat for the coming summer because it's one of the few boats going somewhere other than Komodo. I know the boat has made its first few trips, and I'm hoping somebody here might have been on one of those trips and can tell me about the boat, the crew, etc.

  2. Reubencahn I have noticed you bringing this rates issue up on several dive forums and I think you are obviously not familiar with how the industry works.


    So I will give you a little help


    First of all did you know that currency values change all the time? Everyone in the industry would have provided rates for 2009 to agents etc by late 2008, at that time the Australian dollar was almost equal to the American dollar, so everyone was paying the same. Now a certain person called George Bush ruined your economy which went on to impact the rest of the world. The value of the Australian dollar then collapsed, so the Australian rate would have been cheaper if converted to US.


    Now . . . . Americans like to have their prices in USD and guess what Reubencahn . . . . Australians (PNGs biggest market) like to have their prices in AUD! So if you looked at todays exchange rates the Australian dollar has strengthened greatly so now Americans and Australians are living in harmony again with roughly equal rates.


    I have been to Walindi many times and love the place and the diving. If you are so worried about cost why did you go? PNG is an expensive place, you won't find 5-star dive resorts in PNG, but what people go for is the quality of diving. Walindi has never claimed to be a 5 star resort, if you want 5 dives a day, cooked food on the boats then stick to liveaboards and don't go to PNG!


    Hey Drew what exactly did the Aussies do in PNG?

    Personally Americans should pay more especially after what they did to the Native Americans / Iraq / the world economy . . .




    Thanks for your help in understanding the dive industry, global economics and politics. I'm sure I'll find it very useful in the future.

  3. Reef & Rainforest is good as is Diversionoz. I really like Diversionoz but you if you're paying by credit card, the banks will hit you with foreign transaction fees since they're located in Australia. On the other hand, Diversionoz may be able to get you the Australian pricing for Walindi which is much less than they charge Americans. It's worth asking.


    Walindi doesn't really have a house reef and most of the reefs are a bit of a ride from the resort. I was just at Walindi for a week before a trip on Star Dancer. While I loved Kimbe Bay, I didn't love Walindi--or at least not at its price. I posted a report here:




    Two other things: First, if you're going to Walindi, book your dives through your agent rather than booking and paying there in order to avoid 10% PNG tax; Second, you can get better Air Nugini fares on their website than any agent can get. Although the agents told us that we wouldn't have the same baggage allowance, we were able to get Air Nugini to give us the same piece allowance (2 x 32kg) as we had on our transpac by showing our itinerary.

  4. Air Asia's baggage allowance is miniscule. If you are booked through from North America to Manado, then the 2 x 23 kilo checked baggage allowance applies. The transit hotel is an excellent option, but only if you are not using points for a portion of your flight.





    I was looking at this yesterday. They changed this recently and have no baggage allowance anymore except a single carryon. On the other hand, you can advance purchase 30 kg checked for 115 MYR, about 33 USD. You can add another 15kg of sports equipment for another 40 MYR or 11USD. Even with baggage charges and charges for picking a seat, it comes out considerably cheaper than SilkAir.

  5. Tank you very much for the quick reply :)

    Very nice report some nice photos too.


    So it looks like the fathers is the best dive site for me in there.

    And I'm considering to skip Walindi after Sky Dancer and try some other place in PNG than kimbe.

    Was the Zero wreck available from Liveaboard?

    Thanks again



    I don't think we dove the zero from Star Dancer but the boat spends 1 to 2 days in Kimbe bay so there's no reason they couldn't dive it.

  6. I'm writing in this topic cause it is about the same place we are planning to go to.


    What are the best places in Kimbe bay area to see some pelagic fish?


    My wife always wanted to go to PNG and i will for sure visit the wrecks (zero and so on) but I'm not a big muck/macro fan :)


    We decided to go on Star dancer for 10 days trip in october, cause it goes to Fathers and we prefer liveaboards,

    but are there also some places with shore boat access for dives where I can take pictures of some bigger stuff


    (we were thinking about Walindi for another week)

    and we are staying in PNG area for 3 weeks total and i want to use it to maximum without to many location changes - its always a lost diving






    We recently returned from a trip to PNG. We spent a week at Walindi followed by 10 days on Star Dancer. I'm attaching links to trip reports on each. We saw some big stuff in Kimbe Bay at Bradford Shoals and Inglis Shoals but more once we got out to Father's Reef. I'm attaching links to trip reports. FWIW, one of the other divers on Star Dancer travelled on to Lissenung and Tawali afterwards. She was dissapointed by the diving at Lissenung and very happy with Tawali.





  7. I got this from Reef&Rainforest re baggage: (good luck. I get a headache when I read it)


    <On PX flights issued in our office the international PX flights allow pc system – this would be same as the over the water carrier which these days seem to be 2 pcs at 50 pounds each. If international flight is bought from WEB or any other point of sale then only allowed MAX 44 pounds total weight on international legs.


    Domestic flights on PX if bought in our office then its at this time still 70 pounds or 32 kgs max – this is shown on eticket last column as 32 KG. If bought off web or any other source the internal weight on first connecting flight from international flight would be max 44 (20kgs) pounds and all other flights would be max 35 (16 kgs) pounds. If arrive on any carrier other than PX international then only receive 16kgs all flights 35 pounds.>


    Reef & Rainforest, whom I also used, sent me an identical email. I decided to take a chance nevertheless and book on the website. In fact, we were given the piece allowance and allowed two 32 kg bags because that was our allowance on Cathay whom we had flown to Australia.

  8. Thank you for your feedback. Is the Tokina 10-17mm lens a lens you would use for a "general purpose" underwater or is there another lens that would more appropriate. If I could only have one other lens, I am asking what I should be looking at.


    Consider these as comments from a rank beginner: If you want to take pictures of something like sharks and you're not able to get really close, the Tokina may not be the best choice. It's very wide, even zoomed, and you need to get really close to your subject. That's also the best thing about the Tokina: it forces you to get really close and chose and frame your shots carefully. When you do that, you get better shots.

  9. Hey Rueben,

    I'm confused. What were you supposed to do with the plastic carry bag?

    and to the important question, how many great shots did you come home with?





    We moved some of the camera gear to the plastic carryon. I'm not sure what this accomplished. Diving was great. This is a great wide angle trip with decent macro. A good photographer would have gotten lots of truly great shots. Me, I'm not so sure. But, once I dig out from under, I'll post a trip report with some shots.

  10. Just returned from PNG, a week at Walindi followed by 10 days on the StarDancer, and am thinking about where to go next. I'm limited to the (northern hemisphere) summer. We'd prefer a liveaboard to land-based (for at least most of the trip). We've been to Fiji, PNG (northern mainland and New Britain), Indonesia (Lembeh & Komodo), Solomons and Sipadan. My son would just as soon return to the Solomons. My wife would probably be willing to do that. Part of me would like to go back to Indonesia, but we were just there last year. Fiji is a possibility. But, is there somewhere else to think about? From what I can see, the Maldives are not at their best June through August. Raja Ampat is out since all the liveaboards leave for the summer. Is there any place else with the same quality of diving as PNG and Indonesia with a mix of both big and small stuff that I'm not thinking about? Should we look at the Red Sea? Am I wrong about the Maldives at that time of year? Any experience with any of the Fiji liveaboards? Any suggestions are appreciated.

  11. I did end up purchasing off the website. Saved about $ 1000 for the three of us. No problems with checked baggage. I showed our transpac itinerary and Air Nugini would have allowed us two 32 kg bags each since that's what Cathay allowed. Carryon baggage was a problem leaving Cairns. The Air Nugini check-in desk in Cairns is run by Qantas personnel who are baggage Nazis. Was forced to essentially empty my ThinkTank Airport International into my son's daypack and a plastic carry bag that Qantas provided in order to come in under 7 kg. And someone was waiting on the jetbridge to make certain I hadn't repacked everything back into the camera bag. At the same time, any non-roller bag seemed exempt from scrutiny. I was carrying a large computer bag w/ my laptop, reg, several books, two strobes, etc. It weighed at least 25 or 30 lbs but was never checked. Same for my son's backpack. The same issues on our flight from Cairns to Sydney. On the other hand, flying from Rabaul to Port Moresby to Cairns, there was no problem. As long as we were dealing with Air Nugini not Qantas personnel, everything was fine.

  12. For what housing/port? I have one you could borrow but it depends on what port you want to stick it on.



    I'm actually looking for just the SubSee diopter for use as a handheld magnifier. I won't be using it as a diopter so don't need the port adapter.

  13. Does anyone have a Subsee they're willing to part with. II'm in desperate need of one for my wife to use as a magnifier on our upcoming PNG trip. 'm happy to pay full price. That way you can replace yours with the new improved version as soon as they're available.

  14. I bought a Pinnacle 5mil Merino Elastiprene last summer. I also bought one for my son. I had a seam problem in one leg. Otherwise the suit seem good. I'm not sure how I feel about the wool liner. It definitely adds some warmth but it holds a lot of water and doesn't dry fast. On the whole, I like Scubapro Everflex suits better. They're well made. Stretchy enough without being overly compressible.

  15. Thank you very much! This covers all the smaller o-rings.

    However, I did not see (or just missed) the very long o-ring seal for the front and back of the enclosure (uses a pair of them to seal back cover). Any suggestions? Thanks again...


    I may have a couple at home. I'm out of town but will take a look when I get back.

  16. So, new piece of data. I had the converter connected to the right hand bulkhead. After trying everything else I could think of, I moved the converter to the left hand bulkhead. Voila, the shutter releases and the strobe fires. Moved the camera back and forth to test at different distances and ttl seems to be working (with a - 1 ev compensation). So now my question would be, is the left bulkhead on Subal housings a primary that must be connected before the right or is there some problem with the housing?

  17. I just got back from a month there-23 days aboard the FeBrina. What questions can I answer about shooting from her?




    We're headed that way in a month. Right now, I've only two lenses, a 60mm and a 10-17. If I could add another lens, what would be most essential for that area? I was thinking about either a Sigma 17-70 behind a dome or maybe a 105 if I could find an old one at a good price. Or will I be fine with the lenses I've got?

  18. I'm having an impossible time getting my Sea & Sea ttl converter to work. This is the new YS Converter /N that allows you to use different types of strobes with the same converter. My setup is as follows:


    D200 with flash set to ttl, front curtain synch, no redeye reduction, modeling light off. Using manual, 1/100, f16, release priority

    Subal ND20 housing with circuit board set as described on Reef's website, i.e., cable is connected to five pin male connection. http://www.reefphoto.com/tt/index.php?acti...&article=22

    YS Converter /N: have tried setting to A,B,C and D with no luck

    Z-240 strobe set as described on Reef's site. The left hand dial is set to "S-TTL" and the right hand dial is set to "TTL" Have tried setting Advance Cancel Circuitry both on and off.


    Everything is connected properly but camera shutter will not release if the converter is turned on. If the converter is off, the shutter will release and the strobes will fire if they are on. I've tried turning the components on in different orders. I've tried changing the strobe settings but I can't get this to work. What am I doing wrong? Please help!!!!

  19. Subal ND20 (With GS Viewfinder) Nikon D200 Housing - 2500.00

    Subal Focus Port for Nikon 105VR lens - 275.00

    Subal FE2 Fisheye Dome Port - 750.00

    Subal EXR-50/3 Extension Ring - 50.00

    Inon Z240 Strobe x2 - 450.00 Each

    Sync Cord - Nikonos x2 - 150.00

    Ultralight Arms 8" and 5" x2 - 150.00


    All items have plenty of extras including extra O-ring and Lens caps.


    Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye lens (like new) - 375.00

    Nikon 12-24mm Wide Angle - 650.00

    Nikon 17-55mm - 600.00


    All prices are negotiable within reason! :) Please contact me via this email address ornateghostpipefish

    If you would like to check out some photos taken with this setup: Eclectic Nomad


    You pay all shipping charges...

    Sent you a pm. The email link is not working.

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