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

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by David Reubush, VA, USA
Top Contributor   (45 reports, with 8 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5330
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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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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