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Dive Review of Archipelago Expeditions/Archipelago Adverturer II in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Archipelago Expeditions/Archipelago Adverturer II, Jun, 2007,

by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 3392.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Lembeh, Komodo, Manado (Indonesia), Palau, Fiji, PNG, Hawaii, Galapagos, Revillagigedo Islands, Carribean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas
Water Temp 0 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 60 minute dives (loosely enforced)
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments small table for set up; air from tank on short low pressure hose; 110 and 220 current for recharging; gear handed down from tender and handed up at end of dive

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I have dove on liveaboards before - Peter Hughes (Palau and PNG); Aggressor (Galapagos); Sea Safari III with Kararu Diving (Komodo); but this boat was hands down the best I've been on. In fact, the boat was so good and the diving so exceptional that I was tempted not to write a review and keep it a secret! First and foremost, the cabin was almost as big as a hotel room. Large king bed, a built in writing desk and chair, large closet, separate enclosed head and shower stalls, separated by a sink area. I didn't even use the separate charging area because there was power right at the desk. There was a large living room area with flat screen tv with DVD player. Upstairs, a large dining area opened up onto a covered deck which also doubled as a second dining area, and a third deck above for sunning and watching sunsets. The food was the best I've ever had on a liveaboard, truly gormet, but portions which would not sink you on your next dive. The diving was, well, what more can be said about the diving in Raja Ampat? I suppose it's possible to have a bad dive here, but you would have to have bad weather, exceptionally strong current and flood your camera housing all on the same dive! The coral life and amount of fish is staggering. The program included several days diving in the south to the west and south of Misool. The viz is not particularly good here, but the soft corals are the best I've seen, better than Fiji by far. You'll be finning into a gentle current at a corner and see a torrent of fish sloping down the wall, but unlike other locations, the line of fish doesn't stop, it just goes on and on. The last two days were spent in the north, around Cape Kri. Here, the viz is much better, there are some large fish, including sharks and turtles, and the current is stronger. It would be too time consuming to list all the varieties of fish seen in Raja Ampat, but suffice it to say that I think we saw every type of fish in the ocean with the exception of a few varieties of sharks. The program includes (usually) four dives a day, including a night dive. The water was so smooth and the boat was so stable that we discarded our scopolamine patches after a couple of days. The crew was professional and friendly. Both dive guides, Ali and Made, spoke excellent English and were witty, attentive, safe and able to point out interesting critters. The tender drivers were unfailingly helpful, encouraging us to pass up our tanks from the water, handing down cameras, providing water, etc. The diving was close to the ship, so if you came up early, they would take you right back, not making you wait on the others. Since the dives were somewhat deep, the 60 minute limit was satisfactory. All equipment was taken from the tenders by the crew, with the exception of of mask and fins. They even washed out and hung up our wetsuits between dives.
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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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