Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by reubencahn

  1. Just got an email saying they have some more possible passengers for the FeBrina trip, so maybe it will happen after all! They are putting us up at Walindi, and if they get some bookings for FeBruna, then they will move us to the boat. Really hope it happens!


    Reuben, when are you going to be in Walindi?


    We're there the 5th through the 12th of July, then on the Star Dancer from the 12th through the 21st.

  2. Too bad the others aren't interested in a liveaboard. Have they done liveaboards? By far the best value for the money! Consider what it costs to singly pay for;

    * three hot meals a day (unlimited wine with dinner on the FeBrina), and three hot snacks.

    * five dives a day

    * lodging for how many days

    * transportation putting you on top of fresh sites constantly

    * total pampering of you and your gear

    * Put on your gear, short walk to platform and jump in

    * constant interaction with native villagers as they paddle their outriggers to trade foodstuffs with the boats crew.


    And, OH so much more!!!


    I have spent a lot of time on the FeBrina and the Stardancer. Alan Raabe. of the FeBrina, has forgotten more about diving in PNG than most captains will ever knoe, IMHO. You just could not do much better. Maybe that's why the IMAX crew chartered Alan (on the 'Dancer) to guide them last year.


    This is so true. We're doing a week at Walindi before Star Dancer because I couldn't work out back to back liveaboard trips. It's essentially the same cost per day per person for only 3 dives a day.

  3. Thanks guys! This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. My fiorst choice was to go on a liveabord (FeBrina) but apparently me and my hubby are the ONLY people interested in going on liveaborad end on June/early July, so its not happening - hence the need to go landbased. I


    FWIW, we're on Star Dancer beginning July 11. Would have booked an earlier trip but couldn't get away until beginning of July.

  4. Sounds like Quantas and Australia in general is a good place to avoid, in terms of carry-on weight issues.


    Any other reports from Indonesia / Bali or at least the airlines in question, though? (OP is on Eva, I'm on Cathay Pacific in steerage... no special FF memberships since we're not wealthy world travelers and don't travel for work)


    I've flow Cathay to Indo but both times I was on award tickets in business and first. They didn't give us any problems, but our bags weren't particularly large, just heavy. I made a point of carrying my bag as thought it didn't weigh a thing. Did the same thing on Merpati and Lion in Indonesia and got away with it without problems. (I guess I'll be trying it again in Cairns.) The only grief was for overweight charges on our checked baggage and application of that seemed capricious to say the least. Where it was applied, lengthy bargaining brought the charges down for about $150 for the three of us to around $ 60.

  5. Reuben, I was working in Australia and requested equal platinum status from Qantas as I was travelling a lot on them. They gave it to me based on my status with Marco Polo. And that Qantas status saved me a bunch of times flying out of Draconian SYD, BNE and PER. The ground stuff had to personally sign off my cabin bags, which often was one big housing + camera, laptop and bits and pieces to allow shooting once I arrive.


    Got it. I'll just have to hope I get lucky. At least that's my only flight on QF.

  6. The most important thing to have is a top tier FF status on the airline. They don't mess with high mileage frequent flyers as much. Staying within the airline FF circle also helps. I'm stuck with Star Alliance nowadays but always liked One World more. I approached Qantas to give me equal status to my Marco Polo Platinum from Cathay Pacific. While you had to call for the staff sometimes, Platinum Qantas lets you carry a lot more than what Oz airports allow. Just don't join Asiamiles... the biggest waste of time FF program EVER!




    Top tier on a OneWorld carrier (AA) will get a better carryon allowance on QF? Do you try to deal with this at check-in? I have a CNS-SYD flight this summer that I'm worried about.

  7. I want upgrade to dSLR but with limited budget.

    So, I'm considering one of these but still can not decide which one.


    1. Nikon D60 + S&S RDX-D60 housing or 2. Canon 450D + S&S RDX-450D


    I don't have any experience with SLR before and definitly want to add 60mm macro & tokina 10~17mm lens also.


    Any advise will be appreciated, Thanks in advance.


    Doesn't the D60 require that the lens have a focus motor? If so, the 10-17 won't work.

  8. The new procedure will improve on those results:

    "Patients were able to read immediately after surgery, and at 12 months, the group demonstrated a statistically significant increase in near UCVA, with 90% achieving J3 or better. In addition, 100% of eyes had>1 D increased amplitude of accommodation with a mean increase of 2.4 D. One patient with a poor 12-month near vision outcome had resumed spectacle wear. Safety was favorable with no changes in IOP or corneal topography."


    Jeremy, This is very interesting to me. My work involves a lot of reading so the potential one month of reading problems following RLE makes it a non-starter. But in looking at the article, I notice it is from 2004 and yet doctors are still recommending RLE. A quick google search didn't net any more info other than on an experimental surgery developed in Colombia. Is this currently available?

  9. I've also been told that state of the art at the moment is RLE, in which the the lense is removed and an artificial lense inserted. RLE is expensive, around $3k or more per eye. Reading is problematic for up to a month as you retrain your eye to focus the new lense. Also, even lasik produces problematic results for some people, not many, but some. Like you, my distance vision is fine, and having prescription gauge readers in my mask works well.

  10. FWIW, I went through this a year ago. My two priorities were faster autofocus and reduced shutter lag. Of course, I was looking at the G9 rather than the G10. In the end, I settled on a DSLR because the G9 didn't offer enough improvement in those two areas for my wants. It is costly. I ended up purchasing a used D200 and housing to cut costs. There seem to be lots of deals around on last generation Nikon DSLRs and housings, but that doesn't really help you since you already have the 50D. I have to say that the elimination of shutter lag is worth every cent to me. I didn't realize how much the delay hindered me.

  11. I have Travelguard tied into my home policy. Depending on policy, they have scuba provisions. I've been med evaced out of Antarctica, PNG and South Africa and never got a stiff bill so it works darn well. Well they raise my premium by 3% but I fought it as it was tied to my home policy.

    I'm not sure what DAN insurance covers but travel insurance covers rental cars, stuff stolen etc. Most policies have a per trip basis purchase. Travelguard has a cancel for any reason policy that's worth getting if you qualify.

    What insurance company do you use that has Travelguard tied into it?

  12. It's going around Wetpixel. We ALL got one. It's probably some disturbed adolescent with nothing better to do. Do a block on that sender and hope for the best. It's not wetpixel's fault.


    I got one linking to an online pharmacy, so commercial spam, not a teenager.

  13. Thanks for the info. Thought it was pretty much a toss up. 14 divers vs. 18; bigger boat and maybe little more comfortable rooms. Sorry can't wait till July we are booking for October plus the better half is looking forward to it so best to book now.


    FWIW, we decided on Star Dancer. Reports from the last year were that both boats seemed a bit run down, but Star Dancer went into dry dock for refurbishment in January so should now be in good shape. Also, Star Dancer is supposed to be considerably more roomy. On the other hand, Febrina is supposed to be more stable if you're prone to seasickness. Allison, who posts on this board and goes to PNG every year likes both boats but I think prefers Febrina.


    One other note, there is currently a $500 pp discount for Star Dancer trips.

  14. Unless something has changed recently, it shouldn't really matter as both boats are run be the same operator (Max and Cecile from Walindi). The only real difference are the sizes of the boats. I was on the Star Dancer in Dec. '07, and was very happy with it.


    So my only piece of advice would be, if you decide to go with Star Dancer, book it direct through Walindi. See my pre-trip report here regarding Peter Hughes vs. direct booking.


    I think Star Dancer was just sold. I don't know if that means the operation will change or not. If you can wait until summer, I'll try to post a trip report. We're booked on Star Dancer in July.

  15. Hate to mess up the works - but since this message has gone on for awhile (and resulted in a lot of good info) can I add the Solomons into the mix? How do the Solomons compare to PNG and RA? Funny - but the Solomon are easier to get to (via Fiji) but just as expensive.


    I've been to Solomons once, on the Bilikiki. Solomons is known for huge schools of big fish, and Mary's Island had big schools of jack, but elsewhere not so much. (I was told that there had been some unusual currents/weather patterns and this perhaps caused an absence of the usual schools.) Sharks were not plentiful. There was some very good macro at certain sites. White Beach stands out in my memory. There are also beautiful passages carved in reefs and islands that would make great wide angle shots. Solomons has some very good diving, but I think PNG is better. Reefs are more impressive with more soft coral. I think PNG has better diversity. When I was last there, PNG had more sharks but that may not be true anymore.


    Incidentally, Virgin is also flying from Brisbane to Honiara and there's a huge airfare war on flights from the west coast to Australia with Virgin Australia providing new competition and Delta about to enter the market as well. On the other hand, if you fly via Fiji, you could stop over there and dive the Bligh Waters from the northern coast of Viti Levu.

  16. There is a cheaper flight now to PNG from Brisbane with Virgin it is about $A800 ($520 US) v $A1100 with PNG Air.


    Currently showing rountrips for $ 354 AUD which is a tremendous bargain over Air Nugini. Wish I'd know about this two months ago.

  17. Hi Reuben,

    Thanks for your help. I saw the PH special but its valid for 2009 only, and unfortunately not in my timeline. I appreciate you pointing it out for my benefit though, thanks!

    In doing my research, unfortunately many of the land based and liveaboards operators that used to service PNG divers are gone. For example, that's half the list of operators in the Lonely Planet book, its not an easy place to keep up business. I've narrowed my quest to either the tawali group of products to the south, or Peter Hghes or the Febrina to the north.


    It looks like anything out of Kavieng will have to be land-based as none of the northern liveaboards have Kavieng on their current schedules. And the only operators I can find that look worth the effort to get to is the Lissenung Island Resort. Everything else is a hit or miss option and some are catering more to surfing than diving? If anyone else knows better for Kavieng, please let me know.


    Your list of expereince there sounds as though you've made it to some very nice and interesting places as well, it keeps me envious and anxious to see PNG myself. Now, if people wouldn't mention the Banda Sea and RE (RA, R4, IJ, whichever is proper)... life wouldn't be so hard. :bye:


    Thanks again!




    Golden Dawn used to travel to Kavieng. GD's schedule seems a bit uncertain lately but it would be worth an email. It's the best boat I've ever been on.

  • Create New...