Nekton boats may come back!!

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divergirl50

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For my 2 cents, definately call it something else. Then look at possibly Curacao and Bonaire...no liveaboards there so no competition. No all inclusives for divers and that driving and diving and finding somewhere to eat stops alot of us "older" 40plus to not go. Its too much trouble to do all that shore diving anymore. Been there and done that and now we like nice, easy, and great diving.
It is a big gamble to say the least. But more power to you and more places for us to dive! I would be willing to sell it if it got redone and had an owner that really cared.
 

chinacat46

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One of the main reasons I go on a liveaboard is to visit areas inaccessible to day boats. I don't see a need to dive a liveaboard in Bonaire or Curacao as all sites are easily accessible from land based diving. Probably why there aren't any there now.
 

scubafanatic

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Bonaire no competition? heck. you just wade in there.

no need for a boat, much less a liveaboard.

um, you can't exactly shore dive Klien Bonaire if you're located on 'mainland' Bonaire, can you ???

Also, I think you're missing the point, shore diving in Bonaire IS a lot of work...plenty of hot, blazing sun, driving vehicles off road a lot, rough shore entries, and endless schlepping of tanks/weights/gear back and forth and back and forth...plus the time wasted trying to 'do' meals, unless you eat sandwiches out of an igloo cooler (and the cooler doesn't get stolen while you're away.) Plus if you're a photographer trying to 'support' your cameras in 'field conditions' isn't convienient. So, shore diving in Bonaire is NOT just a matter of 'wade in there' !

The average US diver is upper-40's (average age is going up and up) so I don't think the thought of a liveaboard in say, Bonaire, is completely stupid....I think there is a segment of the market that might like to dive Bonaire, without the high-maintainance of the traditional Bonaire dive 'mode'.

Also, a Bonaire liveaboard can offer services unavailable 'on land', for example, offer bigger capacity tanks (good luck finding anything bigger than an AL 80 on the 'mainland') and also can offer diving on the 'wild side' of Bonaire which is pretty much wide open territory with essentially zero land based competition.
 

mike_s

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um, you can't exactly shore dive Klien Bonaire if you're located on 'mainland' Bonaire, can you ???

Also, I think you're missing the point, shore diving in Bonaire IS a lot of work...plenty of hot, blazing sun, driving vehicles off road a lot, rough shore entries, and endless schlepping of tanks/weights/gear back and forth and back and forth...plus the time wasted trying to 'do' meals, unless you eat sandwiches out of an igloo cooler (and the cooler doesn't get stolen while you're away.) Plus if you're a photographer trying to 'support' your cameras in 'field conditions' isn't convienient. So, shore diving in Bonaire is NOT just a matter of 'wade in there' !

The average US diver is upper-40's (average age is going up and up) so I don't think the thought of a liveaboard in say, Bonaire, is completely stupid....I think there is a segment of the market that might like to dive Bonaire, without the high-maintainance of the traditional Bonaire dive 'mode'.

Also, a Bonaire liveaboard can offer services unavailable 'on land', for example, offer bigger capacity tanks (good luck finding anything bigger than an AL 80 on the 'mainland') and also can offer diving on the 'wild side' of Bonaire which is pretty much wide open territory with essentially zero land based competition.


You forgot "that on a Bonaire Liveaboard, you're less likely to get all your stuff stolen while diving" ! :thumb: (or from your room :D )
 

drrich2

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Scubafanatic:

You make relevant points. I've seen someone post on this forum in the past about doing mainly boat dives in Bonaire; some people prefer that (albeit a minority of Bonaire divers). On the other hand, with Bonaire, you can do boat dives to avoid the hassle of shore entries/exits, and still not be confined to a boat the large majority of the time. Staying at a land resort with the option to roam the island seems nicer than a live-aboard experience to me. Yes, I realize the live-aboard can dock and let the passengers off to wander the island or whatever, but at that point, what's the advantage of a live-aboard over a land-based resort & boat dive package?

Diving the eastern 'wild side' coast, of course. Nice perk, but I don't think it'll draw a large enough customer base consistently enough to be profitable.

I'm not sure how the distance & fuel costs factor in; is it practical to do an ABC islands live-aboard tour, from the wrecks of Aruba to the wildside of Bonaire, with a little Curacao on the side?

Richard.
 

parrotman

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I have read through most of these posts and find it the different perspectives interesting. For myself I have been on both the Pilot and the Rorqual. I preferred the Rorqual, by the time I was on the Pilot it was very badly in need of a refit.
I would do the Rorqual again if it were cleaned up. I like the design of the boat and compared to many of the other liveaboards that I have been on, it is quite comfortable.

I did the Belize itinerary on the Pilot. We never left sight of the first mooring that we dove on the first day. I see no point in doing a live-aboard if you are not going to move around. That being said, I would try Belize again if the itinerary was right. I would not bother with Cozumel. I am not really sure how a boat like the Rorqual would do Coz anyway considering the drift diving there.
Caymans might work, although I would not do a Caymans trip, costs too much to get there and I personally was not that impressed with the diving.

One thing that I do not like about some of the liveaboard ops is their choice of departure ports. When doing the Belize trip, the Pilot was moored at the Port Authority dock. Sorry, but when I spend that kind of money to fly to Belize, overnight in a hotel, pay $30 for a cab out to the boat, I don't want to feel like I am some lower class citizen that is traveling through the slums to get to the boat. Both the Peter Hughes boat and the Aggressor were moored on a dock off of the hotel that I was staying in. Nice hotel with a water front bar, Classy operation.

Spend the bucks for a nice dock, it will make a difference. I took the Rorqual out of FLL. That was much better experience. I was picked up at the airport, taken to a large shopping area while we waited for the rest of the passengers. Watched a movie and had lunch then got on a nice bus to go out to the boat. Class act. I wold guess that if the Nekton op had continued that level of service they would have been more successful.

I was on the Febrina in Papua New Guinea last fall and I asked the Captain how business was doing. He said that this was the best year that they have had since being in business. The customers are out there and they are willing to spend the money as long as they are treated right and get their moneys worth.

Just my opinion.

J
 

parrotman

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You forgot "that on a Bonaire Liveaboard, you're less likely to get all your stuff stolen while diving" ! :thumb: (or from your room :D )

I would not count on that. I have been to Bonaire many times as well as most of the Caribbean. The only place that I have ever had anything stolen from me was on a live aboard.

J
 

cappyjon431

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This is totally off topic (mods can remove it if it is inappropriate), but I was reading it this morning and it reminded me of the "sudden" way in which Nekton closed down their operation. It think it is a safe bet that Nekton was not the first travel operator to go out of business suddenly, nor will it be the last. It is very unfortunate that travelers get stuck with the finacial mess that the operators create when going under, but it is something the traveling diver should always remember:

Tour Operator Collapses Leaving 1,200 British Travelers Stranded - AOL Travel News

About 1,200 vacationers were stranded in Mallorca and the Spanish coast due to the sudden collapse of a British tour operator
The Guardian newspaper says it is unclear how the British travelers are going to make it home.

The travel company, Sun4U, is believed to have been financially hard hit by events surrounding the Icelandic ash cloud , which grounded planes across Europe earlier this year.

Sun4U said on its website that it had ceased operations and that travelers should make alternative travel plans.

The company's collapse follows that of another British tour operator, Goldtrail Travel, which also suddenly closed up shop, leaving 16,000 vacationers stranded, mostly in Greece and Turkey.
 
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