Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Diving in Panama and the Yemaya II Liveaboard - Client Testimonial

Frog Fish (by Mark Owen)
"All of the following was superbly arranged by Dive Worldwide.

We arrived at Panama airport and were met. Unfortunately we then had to wait 2 hours for our transfer to the hotel as our driver had got stuck in traffic and had a flat tyre. Be aware, in Panama everything will be here/ takes 5 minutes! Our hotel in Panama was great, what we would class as 4 star they class as 3 star. We spent our first evening sitting on a terrace looking out over a wonderful view of Panama city. Our guide was Bianca. She was fantastic, made us aware of our itinerary, and even rang the hotel later to check all was ok. As a guide we couldn't fault her, she was brilliant.

Spiny Anemone (by Mark Owen)
The next day we travelled to Coiba National Park. This was a 4 hour trip, but Bianca had told us about this and our driver made various stops for food, etc. we picked up our travel companions on the way, and arrived at the dock for the Yemaya II late afternoon. The crew and skiff awaited us and immediately took our luggage and made us feel welcome. We then had a short trip to the boat and here we got our first view of the rainforest. The scenery is absolutely breath taking. Arriving at the Yemaya II we were enthusiastically greeted by the crew. A lovely welcome.

Hermit Crab (by Mark Owen)
The Yemaya II is a lovely, comfortable boat with a fantastic, friendly crew. The chef is superb - his food really is outstanding. His cakes are to die for! All the food is freshly cooked, locally sourced and organic. In fact, most is freshly caught and bought from the local fishing boats.
You won't be disappointed or ever, whatever time of the day or night, go hungry. The atmosphere is relaxed, and your every need will be catered for. The crew, especially the captain, dive master and chef, couldn't do enough to make sure we were all happy.

Coiba 'Desert Island' (by Mark Owen)
We woke up the next day to be greeted with views of islands, rainforest and a blue, blue sea. Words cannot describe how beautiful this area is, or how unspoilt it is both above and below the water. From then on every morning we saw devil rays basking around the boat
and every evening we had sail fish (flying fish) and that's before we had even entered the water!

Guineafowl Puffer (by Mark Owen)
We had the opportunity to dive 3 or more often 4 times a day. The diver master and crew are really knowledgeable and point out all the best 'stuff'. The dive sites are varied and pristine and visibility is really good. Don't worry about crowding - apart from the sea life we never saw any other divers. We had the ocean to ourselves! If you want true variety in everything you won't be disappointed. We saw lots of black tip sharks, turtles, whale shark (wow), morays, dolphins, and if you like the smaller 'stuff' you won't be disappointed. Loads of frog fish, black coral, starfish, anemones, sea urchins and much much more?

In addition to all this, regularly, dolphins swam with the boat. The crew always alert you when they are around. We also saw whale blow holes, but they were too fast for us, but the sight was enough. The boat is also equipped with kayaks, so most afternoons we explored
'paradise', desert islands. It felt we were Robinson Crusoes, exploring new lands. Great fun!

Starfish (by Mark Owen)
We finished our trip with a couple of nights by the Panama canal. Don't miss this, or a visit to the Miraflores locks (but avoid the restaurant there). We also went kayaking in the rainforest, again organised by Bianca. Our guide was really knowledgeable and found lots of animals we'd have missed. We also had lunch in our own private waterfall - really fantastic.

All in all, would I recommend a trip to Panama and to the Yemaya II?

Well, in a way I don't want to - I want to keep this fantastic place and boat a secret just for us. However, on a serious note. Of course I'd recommend both, without hesitation. You won't be disappointed. It's the holiday of a lifetime!"

Jo W. August 2011.

For Diving holidays and liveaboards in Panama - Click here

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