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Dive Review of Aquamarine/Dive Timor in
Indonesia/Bali/Timor

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Scott Johnson, ca, usa (10 reports)
Report Number 3024

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Reporter
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Galapagos, Red Sea, Australia, Truk, Costa Rica, Christmas Island,
Hawaii and a few others

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
80   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
2
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Pretty much 45 to 55 minute dives  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
[None]Bali/Timor

Bali
First day dove Nusa Penida area….My 300th dive! Another plus was diving
with Andrea and Antonella Ferrari, publishers of Reef Life…what big Cameras
they have….I was not looking forward to this COLD WATER dive about 77 at
the surface and 67 at 116’. First time I have worn a 5mm in 6 or 7
years…felt like a new diver, adjusting weights etc…blowing through air….But
this dive would put me in the face of 2 Mola Molas…WOW about 6 footers…Big
ones….cold as all get out but worth it! Second day (warm water 81 degrees)
did Tulamben Bay which was a black sand beach. This is shore diving, small
to large rocks and pebbles…made for some ugly entries and exits for me.
First dive was the Liberty wreck…very good dive, then we did the Drop Off
and Coral Gardens….lots of small and medium stuff….almost makes me want to
become a muck diver…some really unusual creatures….one of the more
interesting things I saw…were the women who carried our tanks and gear from
one end of the beach to the other…on Top of their Heads and walking on
pebbles!

The tour-(ND day) was remarkable, these temples with all the minuet
detail…What imagination and artisanship! However, I must suggest get to
know a little about the Hindu religion and the historical sights you are
going to visit. Do not depend on the guides (or the one I had) to speak
fluent English.

I dove and did a tour with AquaMarine, Annabelle and Kristie were very
accommodating…Excellent operation…I booked my hotel, diving and tours
through them for Bali. I had my own DM for both days! Everything was right
on schedule.

Timor
Refugee camps are set up around town (due to the violence and burning of so
many homes in April/May) with plenty of Aussie and other international
troops around. Never felt security was an issue (being an American these
days that is important!). The Timorese are very nice people, a nation with
no debt, billions in the bank…and they do not know how to use it. They have
to have the UN run it for them.

Diving is spectacular. I have never seen so many sea anemone’s and clown
fish, every size and color you can imagine of Nudibranchs, leaf fish,
scorpion fish, worms up to 3’ long and at least 3” or more circumference
munching away, a Spanish Dancer (which is about a 2’ Nudibranch), sea
cumbers eating and climbing their way up corals, hard and soft corals of
every color etc. etc.….I did a drop off called K57…..This dive had more
coral per sq ft than the Big Drop off in Palau has per sq yard…..6’ barrel
sponges…strangest stuff crawling around I have ever seen…You can always see
something new on every dive. I did dives with nothing but solid coral as
far as you could dive and see and I saw one sea anemone that must have been
30’ by 30’ (looked larger) with around 100 clown fish. This area is
probably some of the most pristine diving in the world…Nobody comes here!
The dives are mostly Shore dives. They do have boat dives but one of Dive
Timors boats engines was being replaced….The shore dives are mostly rocky,
big and small pebbles….Makes for some pretty ugly entries and exits (for
me)….it is worth it! Make sure to bring a bootie with a thick sole!!
	
I really have nothing to compare Timor to since I have never been to
Wakatobi; Red sea is probably the closest, Timor far exceeds the Red Sea. I
did meet two people who have dived a reserve in northern Sulawesi; they
said Timor was much better. Not a lot of big stuff in Timor and to get to
the big stuff…well…Dive Timor is the only operation with a dive boat and it
was down the week I was there. I wanted to do a few drift dives or go to
Atauro. Steve (instructor) busted his butt to find a boat to make Atauro
happen at least once. We were loaded up on a boat one day and when we got
to the water the engines would not start ( I felt worse for him than the
dive I missed)!....He did get a boat the next day and this diving was a
wall dive not much in the way of fish one Shark, pretty wall. 

Dive Timor is excellent, I do not know if I can say enough good things
about this operation. Margaretha, Steve and Mark (not the owner Mark he was
in Australia) makes you feel at home. But you must remember this is a third
world country! Not everything works or happens on schedule....Dive Timor
has plenty of rental dive gear for those who have not brought theirs and
Merpati air…has a strict 20 kilos! In addition, Dive Timor has the Castaway
restaurant…Yum.. Simone (owner) imports much of his food from Australia…!
Getting to meet some UN, Uncif and Aussies that hang out at Castaways was
another plus…great people! Accommodations (where I stayed, nicer hotels are
available) are a notch above Christmas Island….but do able. The only
negatives on this trip were the loss of two dive days due to Merpati
airlines new schedule to Timor, the Dive Timor boat being broken and
limited to 45 to 55-minute dives…but that is understandable due to the fact
the closest chamber is in Bali. The safe diving Dive Timor preaches does
keep you Safe! 

Aquamarine and Dive Timor are excellent operations. Weather was perfect,
not too hot or humid, Water temps around 81….Then to have your own personal
DM or Instructor as your buddy on every dive…and sometimes having to dive
with two instructors. How much better can it get?!...I will be back to
Timor.

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