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About champ

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    Olympus - C750
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    Olympus PT
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  1. Does anybody offer shorter trips than 7 days?
  2. I've swam with the manatees the last three years in the Crystal River. It is really enjoyable. This year there were a LOT of tour operators ... it has become a bit of a cattle boat type of thing - lots of inexperienced people kicking around stirring up the buttom scarring the Manatees. Birdsunderwater charges about twice the rate other places. My recomendation is to go with the crystal lodge dive center. A snorkle tour with them is $15 ... however I recomend going on your own. rent a kayak for $8/hr (minimum of 2 hours) or rent a 14-16 foot pontoon for $10/hr. If you are a SCUBA diver, tanks are $8. There are some small caverns to check out. Interacting with the manatees is beter with a snorkle. Just don't kick around, scratch them under the flipper, you will eventually find one who wants to "play". I had one swim right up to me bumping his nose into my mask then he gave me a hug with his flippers ... it was unreal!!! It's best VERY early in the morning before the cattle boats go out. The manatees hang out around 5 spings (all within a 5 minute boat ride) Crystal Lodge Dive Center (and hotel) 352-795-6798 www.manatee-central.com
  3. I would definately do a liveaboard in the Similan Islands. This is the best diving. Koh Sumui is a fun island but the good diving (Champhon Pinnicles) is an all day boat ride 7-7 for just two dives. If you are staying on Koh Tau for the moon party it may be a little shorter ride. Phuket is a little more built up than Koh Sumui and also fun but the diving is still an all day boat ride.
  4. How about shore diving right in Hawaii. Lot's of great places. I thought this site gave useful descriptions of the shore diving sites. We enjoyed the shore diving better than the boat diving (less crowed, go at your own pace, just as good as the boat sites)
  5. My wife and I going to Tahiti and Rangiroa this January. We plan to spend one week on the Aggressor and then 5 days on Rangiroa. The costs of the trip started low since we were able to use our frequent flyer miles but we've now found moderately priced accomodation hard to find. We tried the pension bounty on Rangiroa (which looked nice and price was fair) but they are on holiday the week we will be there. Also, I would really like to get some photos of a giant hammerhead while we are there - any recomendations on dive shop? forgot to ask my original question ... Any recomendations on moderatly priced accomodations on Tahiti and Rangiroa? Thanks
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