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Dive Review of Dive Damai/MSY Damai in
Indonesia/Bali to Komodo

Dive Damai/MSY Damai, Oct, 2009,

by David Reubush, VA, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 47 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 5330.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Curacao, Dominica, Galapagos, Grand Turk, Indonesia, Provo, Red Sea, Roatan, Virgin Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 73 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 5 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Act responsibly
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Boat is designed for photographers. Individual rinse tanks at your gear station. Camera room off the salon with lots of charging stations and storage space.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I have a new favorite live-aboard the MSY Damai. I was on the boat for its 4th trip in October, 2009. We left from Bali and worked our way east to the Komodo National Park. The boat is brand new and only accommodates 8 guests in 4 cabins. The cabins are bigger than most dive resort rooms. There are 2 cabins forward with 2 king size beds in each, a separate bath with both tub and shower, a sink in the main part of the cabin, two desks with power outlets, and the toilet in a room with a door. I ended up with one of these cabins all by myself. The a/c worked great in the cabin. The other 2 cabins are aft and have just one bed, but also had a couch to lounge on. The boat is really set up for photographers. Each gear station has its own rinse tank for your camera. There is a camera room off the salon with lots of power outlets for battery charging and storage space under the work surface. The food was also great, perhaps the best live-aboard food I have ever eaten. We were told the chef was trained by an Australian 5-star. Plus, if you didn't like what was on the menu for a given meal they would fix whatever you wanted instead. I think everyone's favorite was a chicken burrito with mango salsa. It got ordered a lot when someone didn't go for what was on the menu. There was a refrigerator in the salon with sodas, fruit juices, and beer. You just helped yourself and there was no additional cost. Wine was available and was also included, but nobody on this trip drank any.

Diving was from 2 aluminum tenders, but they had ladders so we didn't have to do the beached whale routine. We went from Bali where the water was about 84 degrees to Komodo where it ranged from 73 to 75 so you needed different wet suits for the different conditions. Currents ranged from essentially none to one dive where we dropped in and basically were taken for a ride. Visibility ranged from pea green soup to perhaps 60 ft. (most dives). With all the in and out traffic they didn't try to a/c the salon/eating area, plus the crew is acclimated to the Indonesian climate so it was fine for them. In the early part of the trip I tended to stay in my cabin to stay cool. In the later stages we all tended to congregate in the salon to try to warm up from the chilly water. The conditions you see will all depend on the particular itinerary of your trip.

Another really nice thing is that they provide wet suits etc. etc. They have new Scuba Pro wet suits (3mm-with no hood & 5mm-with an integral hood), weight integrated BC's, regulators, fins, booties, and Uwatec computers. The 2 wet suits I used were still in plastic bags when they got them out for me. It certainly made packing easier. Note: I did take a half mil that I use in the Caribbean in the summer and a 3/5 hooded vest. I dove with the half mil for the warm water dives off Bali, added the hooded vest to the half mil and then moved to the 3 and then the 5 as the water got colder. I ended up with the 5 mil plus the hooded vest for the colder dives in Komodo. Be aware that the dive masters will recommend the 5 mil for all diving as they are acclimated to the warm climate and even 84 degree water is cold for them. I used the 5 mil for our first, check-out dive off Bali and almost couldnt take the heat. After switching to the half mil I brought I had no further trouble. I had a similar experience on the Wakatobi Pelagian a couple of years ago. I also took my own mask, but I think they have them too, if you don't want to take yours.

The crew was also great. There were 2X as many crew as passengers. The crew carried the gear and cameras to and from the tenders. The only things I had to do were check the nitrox percentage (which is also included) before every dive and get into my wet suit. The captain and head dive master are both part owners of the boat so they have a vested interest in making sure you are a happy customer. The driving force behind the operation and major owner is Alberto Reija who had the vision to take Indonesian live-aboard diving to a new level and has succeeded.
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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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