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Dive Review of Dive Damai in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Daniel Benson, OR, US
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports, with 5 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6568 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
The world.  Egypt, Hawaii, Philippines, Malaysia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, surge, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Be an adult.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 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  
We were a group of photographers so the amount of gear we had in the camera
room was pretty outrageous.  The camera room is a little small, but laid
out well and accommodated us. There are 10 stations, each have 220 and 110
v outlets.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This is arguably the best dive live aboard in existence today.  It's
spacious and has 10 guests maximum.  It travels about 5 knots, but to
maximize the diving it travels at night.  Although the brochure advertises
5 dives a day, we routinely got 4 dives a day since each dive was at least
1 hour, with many being upwards of 90 minutes. 
The itinerary is outstanding, with a large variety. We saw mantas (12 at
one time) and pygmy sea horses and everything in between.  We did muck
diving, mangrove diving, sea mount diving.  Current and calm.  We did it
Our trip went from Tenate to Sarong in 2 weeks.  It was a group of
Toward the end of the trip we were comfortable enough with each other to
share our secrets, and turns out every one of us were breathing our tanks
down to 150 psi or less.  The diving was that good!
Cabin #5 is the largest. It's also right above the water line.  It's closes
to the engine room, and is somewhat dark and smells of diesel fuel.
Cabin #6 is next largest, but the nicest because it's bright and has a
semiprivate deck.
There is another cabin that is delightful.  Sorry I don't know the number. 
It's got a bunk bed, and is the only on on the top deck.  It has it's own
semiprivate deck, and breathtaking sunsets are part of the deal. Email me
if you need the cabin number.
As large as the Damai I is, the Damai II is even larger. 
It  would be nice to have a hot water shower on the dive deck.  Most people
toweled off, then headed for their room for a hot water shower after each
The dive guides are excellent.  They sure can find the critters! We would
spend as much time as we wanted photographing a subject, then turn to find
the dive guides waiting patiently on the next perfect subject! There were
no more than 4 guest to each dive guide.
At first I was enticed with the idea of unlimited massages. However, the
diving was so good I only got 1 massage because I want to miss a dive!
Even in this remote part of the world we saw evidence of dynamite fishing
with the consequent reef destruction.
The airlines (LIONAIR) has a very stiff surcharge for baggage over  weight.
 (One of our group paid $400.00 in over weight charges.) The boat has 
scuba gear for you to use.  Take my advice: LEAVE YOUR GEAR AT  HOME.  Your
gear is no better than theirs.  I took my hoseless dive computer and
primary regulator since I have a special mouthpiece on it. Otherwise I used
all their stuff.  We only had to pay $40.00 extra!       
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Subscriber's Comments

By William Bynum in TX, US at May 31, 2012 19:03 EST  
Just returned from second trip on Damai 2 (ternate to ambon)  Exceptional
organization and staff.  Anyone considering an Indonesia liveaboard should
take advantage of this extraordinary experience.
By David E Reubush in VA, US at Jun 07, 2012 16:26 EST  
I'm running behind (as usual).  I was on the Damai II in Raja Ampat in
March with Burt Jones.  I'll try to get around to a full review shortly. 
In any event, diving was its usual RA wonderful as mentioned by Daniel. 
However, I have now been to RA in March, April, and May.  In both of the
previous trips the weather was fantastic.  This year in March all it did
was RAIN.  The constant rain made a couple of things obvious that otherwise
would not be a problem.  The boat needs someplace where you can suit-up out
of the rain.  Putting on a soaking wet wetsuit in the pouring down rain is
not fun.  Also, the boat needs more racks/bars to hang up wet bathing suits
in the room when you can't hang them up on the lines on the deck.  I will
also note that the D2 does have a hot shower on the deck - it just
sometimes takes a bit of time for the hot water to get there.
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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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