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Best boat for big and small.

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Hello all,

Last year we did our first Philippine trip and it was life changing. We feel it is time to step up to a liveaboard.

With 4 in our group we have a basic game plan;

  • Very good Macro
  • Very good big animal
  • Warm water
  • good food
  • camera friendly
  • 10days (or)
  • 7 days with 3 at land based resort

 

For big and small it looks like Philippines (central/south), Palau or Fiji.

 

Can you pass on any knowledge to aid our quest?

 

  • Boats
  • areas
  • past history

Thanks in advance,

Erik

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Hi Erik!

 

Unfortunately I can't recommend you any live-aboards, but I think that if you want to see lots of cool critters then you should stick to Philippines, Malaysian Borneo or Indonesia (PNG as well of course).

 

Fiji and Palau does not have muck/critter sites to compete with those regions. There are quite a few big fish in Palau though!

 

Sounds like you're in for a nice trip either way!

-Morten

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Hello....Liveaboards are a great way to go. I can only answer to Palau. I have been on the Palau Aggressor a couple of times and it is a very nice operation. They only take up to 18 divers on a trip. They have 7 and 10 day charters, plus they also operate the Dancer Fleet in the area which might give an additional option. It is a very nice boat - redone in 2010. I had the chance to go through it as they were bringing it back from its refit and they have done a very nice job with this boat. I think both of these boats would hit all the boxes you mentioned up there, except muck diving. Palau has some good macro opportunities, but just not your muck diving. Mandarin Fish lake is one of my favorite dive sites - especially at dusk when they are mating.

 

German Channel is great for Mantas, and Blue Corner is a fabulous dive for seeing sharks and large schools of fish. They use reef hooks so that you can stay on the wall and watch the encounter for awhile. There is current in Palau - some of it very easy and other times it can be pretty fast. But then that is where you use the reef hooks and hook in and enjoy.

 

There are also some good wrecks to dive on in Palau. Plus you have Jellyfish Lake - which is a MUST.

 

Good luck with your choices and have fun - Pam

Edited by DiverPam

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Palau is great as DivePam has already stated. I did the trip on the Tropic Dancer, a sister ship to the Aggressor and would also recommend them. Palau has big stuff, jelly fish but does not have muck.

 

For a combination of big stuff and muck I sailed on the Mermaid 1 from Bali to Komodo and back. There were some great muck sites and big stuff on this trip, but the southern part of Komodo has some cooler waters that are in the mid 70's.

 

Another consideration would be to do a live-a-board to Tubbataha Reef for big stuff combined with Anilao for muck.

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THE ARENUI! I went to Komodo on the Arenui last year. Really good macro, reefscapes, mantas, even a few sharks. Plus you get to see the dragons.

 

This boat is the best liveaboard I've ever been on, and I've been on several. It's beautiful. The dive operation is excellent. The food ans service is the best I've ever experienced. I can't wait to go back!

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