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Posts posted by Oceanshutter

  1. Don,


    My wife and I went on our honeymoon to St. Lucia in 2002. So I am not sure how helpful this is. We stayed at the Sandals resort at La Toc. Great Resort, fantastic food. Best resort we have been to. St Lucia, imo, is not much of a dive destination the diving was maybe a 4 out of 10. I don't remember the names of the dives, but I do remember the best one we went on was the one right in front of the Anse Chastanet resort. It was really quite good. The rest of the dives were rubble, patches of reef, or wrecks. Keep in mind, I don't know if the Sandals dive operation is to blame for that, or if that is really all St Lucia has to offer. Because they are all inclusive diving was included. We did only 6 dives. If I were to go for the diving, is seems that Anse Chastanet is the most known for their dive services. But if you are looking for a mellow vacation with your wife, and get in a little diving, Sandals is great. Also, we didn't see anything bigger than a green moray eel. You aren't going to see big stuff in St. Lucia unless you are very lucky.


    As far as activities, we did a catamaran cruise down to the pitons. Beautiful scenery. Wasn't much for the snorkeling they offered but the boat ride was fun. they took us to a restaurant overlooking the pitons for lunch and then drove us thru town. The other activity we did was a 4x4 tour. That was pretty fun. You go to the volcano, thru rivers, and thru the banana plantation. And you have the chance to buy banana ketchup. which is interesting.


    The best thing about St Lucia is the scenery and the resort we stayed at. As long as diving isn't your main priority, you should have a great time.

  2. Looking at going to Bali and have read a bunch of past posts about it. I have a few questions:


    - Is Bali itself a dive destination? Can you do 7 days of 4 dives a day and still be wanting to dive more?

    - What can it be compared to quality wise? Anilao, Lembeh, Dauin, PNG, Palau...etc...

    - Is February thru May a good time to go? I would like to go in february, but it looks like it might not be good.

    - Is there a dive operator that can help with diving the whole island. SEcret Bay, Manta Point, Tulamben?

    - What percentage is wide angle vs. macro?


    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.


  3. We went to Little Cayman and Brac a couple of years ago. And I can say that the diving is really quite good. We did it by liveaboard, so I can't comment on the resort. Although we did get a massage there, and it looks like a typically dive resort. Bloody Bay wall was fantastic. and the Tibbetts wreck is fun. Much better than Grand Cayman when we went. Grand Cayman looks pretty beat up from all the divers and the hurricane.

  4. I just wanted to let anyone know, that may be thinking or have already booked a trip to Palau flying with Delta. The connection from Tokyo has apparently been shut down. Or greatly reduced. I have heard reasons from....It was too expensive for fuel, to, Delta never had proper permission from the Palauan government to fly there. This is coming from the Delta reservations agents. Don't know if it's true or not, but it sure screwed me and my wifes trip there in November.


    After spending 6 hours on the phone with different Delta agents and supervisors. They cannot get you to palau. The closest they can come is guam. And with the guam to koror flight with continental $1000.00 per person. It really isn't worth it. (for the record, I bought the ticket with skymiles). They will not book you on any other airline even if you bought your tickets. (we had another friend that was going with us and he paid for his ticket) So we were basically done with the palau trip. I feel myself sinking into a dive depression.


    Unfortunately, I had a deposit with the Dancer Fleet that part of it was refundable, but they still kept $600 of our money for "administration fees" They wouldn't allow us to move it to another boat. Or even another date, with the same boat. They were not understanding at all. I can understand them not letting us go on another boat, as these are individual franchises. But to not let us even change the date, considering the circumstances, is ridiculous. Needless to say, I don't plan on going on a dancer boat or aggressor boat again. There is plenty of other competition with just as good if not better product. Am I being too petty?


    Delta refunded all my miles and gave me and my wife 12,500 miles each. But it took a bit of prodding to get them to give me the extra miles. That was supposed to be for compensation for the deposit I lost. I still think I got the shaft.


    Yes I could have had insurance, but I don't normally do insurance until I have to make the whole trip payment 60 days before.


    As a quick band aid, we booked a trip to bonaire. not that Bonaire is terrible, one of the better places in the carib...........but............Bonaire instead of Palau........I think I just threw up a little.

  5. Was there in march. Mainly it is muck....but there are some reef dives. Beatrice is awesomee. Lots of schooling anthias. Beautiful dive. Anilao is awesome.


    If you like hard corals apo island is great too. But requires a flight to dumaguete from Manila. They have good resorts on dauin. Which also has very good muck. We loved it.

  6. Talking to one of the guides. It seems kona has issues the aquarium trade as well. One day one of the guides found a garbage bag full of 500 or so yellow Tangs. Thrown away for who knows what reason.


    We dove with kona honu divers and found much more down to earth and laid back. If I went again, which I wouldn't. I would go with them. The black dive and the manta dives would be the only dives that are worth it. Assuming the mantas show up.


    We did dumaguete last year and loved it. And we went to anilao in march and that was the most productive trip my wife (she does photos, I do video) has had. I would love to do lembeh. Unfortunately, delta doesn't fly there (ff miles). And I rely on that to keep the trips in budget. Will be going to Palau for the second time in November. Cocos is defiantly on my list but, my wife has tough time with seasickness and have heard the ride out to cocos can be a bit rough. So that concerns me. Plus the price is pretty high. One day!

  7. Steve,


    Sorry about the trip. I have to say, that my wife and I totally agree with you on Kona and JAck's Dive locker. We just returned the first part of june. Kona is the worst value in diving that I have even seen. The Caribbean is much better IMO. (as you said the south pacific isn't even in the conversation in comparing) We too wanted an advanced dive so we did the 3 tank dive that Jacks offered. Again, I didn't have any problem with crew themselves. They were great. and the air fills were impressive. But the dive sites were terrible. Again, could have shore dove. But in all honesty it isn't worth the effort. The life was non existent. No fish and no coral. (although better than oahu, where the dive guide had to write my wifes name on a rock to keep us entertained.). So for $500 for me and my wife, that was the worst money ever spent on a day of diving. We did do the black night dive, which was entertaining, as we saw creatures we have never seen. You had more luck than we did on the manta dive. We did it 3 times (at the airport location) and not a single manta. 3 times!!!! I couldn't believe it. Obviously, this isn't the dive shops fault. But it added to the overall disappointing trip. So that was another $700 down the drain.


    We have decided we are done with Hawaii. Horrible diving, and too damn expensive for not only diving but hotel and food. We figured we could have gone to the Philippines TWICE for the price of the kona trip. I haven't been able to figure out how a liveaboard stays in business over there. The only thing I can figure, is that people get comfortable with a location and they keep going back. And the fact that its still in the USA might be another reason people feel comfortable. We met a guy from California and he has only been diving there. We told him he doesn't know what he is missing! I don't have as much experience as you do, but of all the places I have gone, Each place was fun and exciting in its own way. I can still do 5 dives a day in the Caribbean, and suck every last breathe out of my tank and be having a good time. In fact, I've never had a dive trip where I came home saying I wouldn't go back to the destination (maybe different operator or resort) In Kona, I was counting down the psi to get the dive over with. I'm really not that negative, I just wasn't impressed.



  8. As far as the Carib goes. What the others said about lack of diversity and color is true. Been to Bonaire not much of wide angle. I would recommend cayman islands. Little cayman and cayman brace have good wide angle opportunities. Plus you always have sting ray city. Which is a great wide angle spot. Being hurricane season, it a little bit of a risk. Other than that the Bahamas shark and dolphin possibilities are always fun.

  9. Don't go to kona! There are many better places. I just got back from there and it was a major disappointment. In march went to anilao Philippines. That was a blast. Tons of variety, great for a photographer. But mostly macro. Even if it is raining, it won't matter. The diving was great. Palau is fantastic as well.

    In my opinion, On a scale of 1 to 10, the red sea is a 7 and kona would be a 3. With you traveling so far. Don't waste your time with kona. Go somewhere better! For wide angle, Fiji and Palau are the best I have been to. Better than the red sea IMO. Raja ampat, or Komodo I have heard are great for wide angle, but have not been myself.


    If you are drawn to the kona manta dive, I have heard it is cool. But I did it 3 times last month and didn't see 1 manta. So it isn't a guarantee. The dives there are very similar, and really no coral to speak of. Plus it is the most expensive crap destination I have been to. A lot of money to not see much. Also the volcano wasn't flowing either. Trust me the diving isn't worth it.


    Palau has so many different wide angle possibilities. Walls, sharks, wrecks, jellyfish lake, caves, holes....etc. Fiji has the best and most colorful soft coral in the world, with great viz.

  10. We also did the black water dive. That was fun and interesting. It was tough photo wise but my wife ended up with a couple of keepers. It was the highlight of our trip since we didnt get mantas. I probably wouldn't do it every night. But a couple times would be fun.

  11. That's Fantastic! I am glad you had a good time.


    My wife and I were there last week and part of this week. We did the Manta Dive 3 times! (Wed. the 1st with Jacks, and Sunday and Monday with Kona Honu divers). Guess how many Manta's we saw combined? Maybe 10.....20......30.......Nope....... we saw a grand total of 0!!!! We couldn't believe it. This was really the whole reason we went there to be honest. So it was a total bummer. We went with jacks the first time and the water was crystal clear, so there wasn't any plankton in the water. WE then switched to Kona Honu Divers as we didn't want to do the afternoon dive, just the manta dive. There was some pretty bad surge, and again the mantas were a no show. We thought for sure if we did 3 dives we couldn't miss.......we were wrong. $700 down the drain. I understand that nobody controls what the mantas do, but that just added to an overall disappointing trip. Although, I did think the dive operators are very good considering what they deal with. Jack's a little more strict. Kona Honu was more laid back and we enjoyed them a bit more.


    After 1 trip to Oahu and 1 to the Big island, I have decided I am done with Hawaii. It is way too expensive for very less than average diving. We did a 3 tank advanced charter and after tip, it was over $500 for me and my wife. Horrible! We could have gone to the Philippines twice for the amount of money we spent on this trip, and had better service and off the hook diving.


    I am starting to think my wife and I are Manta cursed. (only seen one in all our travels, fiji) We did German Channel in Palau a couple of times, and was very similar to the kona dive.......sit and wait...........



  12. Thanks for the replies.

    As far as the stability goes, I Think part of my problem was the fact that my rig is not weighted properly. The dome port wants to float up, while the back goes down. I think that if I can get that a little better, it will help with the stability. I just dont know how to do it yet. Do you think this will help?


    Waterworks, the first tune is actually 2 songs that kind of blend together. It is angels and airwaves. The album is I-empire. The songs are "star of bethlehem" and "true love".

  13. Hello all:


    First of all I have decided I finally needed to get my own login to wetpixel. I was previously posting under my wifes account tyanea.


    We went to Anilao in March and wanted to show you my first video I have put together. As Anilao is primarily a macro destination, and the fact that I only had wide angle lenses available, it made it a little challenging for a beginner. But I think I came out with some decent footage. I used a Canon 5d mark ii, with mostly a 15mm fisheye, with a little bit of footage with the 17-40mm. I also used the magic filters in about half of the footage as well.


    If you have time, have a look. Being a beginner, I am open to suggestions of how to get better. (shorter clips, better white balance, holding still....etc) Please feel free to share your thoughts.




    Here is the link in case the embedded code doesn't work

    Anilao HD video




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