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Dive Review of Aurora in

July, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by James Jenkins, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6183
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, California, Cocos, Fiji, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Palau, PNG, Solomons, Truk, etc
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
75   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None.  We had many dives of 75, 80, 90 minutes or more.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Large camera room for about 9 photographers; would be crowded with more
than 10.  Ample charging stations.  On main deck.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
Boat was comfortable and roomy enough. (We had 10 divers.)  Cabins are a
bit larger than average, but not the largest we've had.  Nicely appointed;
some have a small desk for your photo editing.  There are no closets, but
lots of drawers and cabinet space.  

Diving was via two chase boats.  The boats are perfect for 4 divers and one
dive master.  A bit crowded with 5 divers -- larger groups would need to
run a shuttle program.  We've done this and it works fine when only 4 dives
are scheduled daily.  Drops were very good on submerged pinnacles and boats
were always nearby to pick us up on surfacing.  Aurora has all divers put
on tanks on the dingies; this makes for very easy diving.  The boat drivers
also hauled up our tanks at the end of the dive.

Our dive masters were Bawa and Nyoman, "supplied" by Kararu. 
(The crew, except these two, are employed by Aurora.)  These guys are
great.  We've been on several trips with them (via Kararu -- see earlier
reports for Raja Ampat and Komodo).

We did two, "short" trips back-to-back (9 and 7 nights).  The
first started in Bima and ended in Labuan Bajo; the second started and
ended in Labuan Bajo.  Many liveaboards are now based out of LBJ for the
Komodo season which puts you right in the middle of the best diving in
couple hours.

While the boat advertises NITROX, the membrane system was not working on
our trips.  The owners, knowing we were on for two cruises, brought on
about 30 tanks filled on the Cheng Ho for our second trip so that we had 2+
NITROX tanks each day that week.

We enjoyed the boat, the crew were great.  We met two of the owners and
they were great hosts.  

We love the Komodo area.  There's a great mix of muck and wide-angle.  Be
sure to get down to Horseshoe Bay and be prepared for cold water.

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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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