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Dive Review of Ahi Resort/Ahi Dive Resort in
Indonesia/Ahi Island, West Papua

Ahi Resort/Ahi Dive Resort, Feb, 2011,

by ruth ellen, TX, US ( 1 report). Report 5971.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Entire Carribean, East & west Australia, Hawaii, Florida, Red Sea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Galapagos Islands.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 86 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Ahi Island is a tiny island ( maybe two football fields wide and 3 long). The "dive resort" is no such thing. They started to accomodate divers a year ago when they discovered that there is a group of resident whale sharks that stay in the area, at the surface and are quite acclimated to divers. This has resulted from the local fishermen who have caught little fish and fed the whale sharks.
When my friend from Australia said to meet him & his dive buddy there to dive with whale sharks, I was ready ! It took 27 flying hours from Texas (5 separate flights), not counting layovers. Then 45 minutes by land, 45 minutes by sea and we were there.
The'resort'(using the word loosely) manager was the only person on the island to speak English. The dive guides did not even have a working knowledge of english words pertaining to the dive equipment. Using hand signals, we estabished how we would let him know how much air we had left on a dive.
The dive "boat" was known as a perahu( looks like a long canoe with outriggers and 2 motors on the back.)
Little did we know that they were only capable of being in water that was smooth as glass. For the next two mornings we got up at 4 a m to go to the whale sharks ( 2 1/2 hours from the island). The first morning water was coming into the perahu faster than they could bail it out. One of the outriggers broke and they jumped into the water to try to fix it. After an hour and a half of being jostled about, the boatmen signalled to us that the water was too rough and we had to turn back. Maybe there were 2 foot waves ! Next morning, the same thing, only this time, they fixed the motor attachments so not as much water was coming into the boat. AFter an hour and a half we turned back...again, maybe 2-3 foot waves. On the 3rd day, the water was very flat and we made it all the way to the fishermen. They accomodated us by throwing fish into the water and 3 whale sharks surfaced, opened their mouths and let themselves be fed. We then dove with them for 2 glorious hours, no more than 20 feet from the surface. They continually circled the fishing boat, swimming among us( 4 divers) with no fear. Yes, that was
unbelievable.
We did some shore diving on the house reef: no fish, no coral, nothing. We also did some boat dives close to the island : no fish, no coral. From the perahu, we got into the water between the boat & the outriggers, then your gear was handed down & we put it on. I wouldn't recommend the diving to anyone.
Before the trip, Ahi Resort sent out an information sheet. One of the items referred to food preferences ( there is no beef ). There was a box to check chicken & fish. Every day, for BOTH lunch & dinner we were served chicken in one form or another...never fish. When asked the manager replied that he had had some guests that told him they had come to see the fish, not eat them. Tasty, but 12 consecutive meals of chicken is just too much. In addition to that, there were no specific meal times and no bell to alert us. The dining area was in a round building, set out on a dock...charming from the outside, but in horrible repair on the inside with mold on the ceiling panels. The cost for staying was the same as if we were in a very posh resort: very expensive.
One night the manager stayed on the mainland and did not tell us that he would be gone...again, no one spoke ANY english on the island. So when the wind came up and one of the boats broke loose we had to run to get one of the men and through more hand signals and pointing, he figured out that something was wrong.
The bungalows were roomy, clean and tastefully furnished, although quite warm in the afternoons with no airconditioning. We spent a lot of time sitting on the porches to pass the time. The diving was so bad that we didn't care much about putting on our gear.
Yes, the whale sharks were wonderful. Quite different from the ones I saw in Western Australia & Galapagos. But two hours with whale sharks on one side and 27 flying hours, a resort that is not even close to adequate, food that was usually served cold with rice & chicken at every meal, and a boat that could barely stay afloat on the other side doesn't seem quite even.
Bottom line is this: the accomodations, the food, the poor diving would all mean nothing if Ahi had a boat that was capable of getting divers to the real reason they come there: the whale sharks. But until that time I would tell divers to keep your money in your pocket and find another place to go!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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