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Dive Review of Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer, Nov, 2010,

by LP, NSW, AUSTRALIA ( 1 report). Report 5827.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Bali, Mexico, Honduras
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 28 to 28 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10 to 20 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No Deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I can't stress enough how good Grand Komodo are and the respect they had from other dive operators in the region. They're all locals and apparently other dive companies have tried (and sometimes succeeded) in poaching Grand Komodo divemasters. They're that good. The operation itself was so smooth and our chef Aji, who used to work at an upmarket restaurant in Bali for 7 years was spectacular and while i might not be the most experienced diver I know my food. I am already planning my next dive trip with Grand Komodo in the Komodo/Flores region (more big fish).

So while I'm not as experienced a diver as many people reviewing on this site I have been fortunate enough to do most of my diving in world class spots and I would be lying to say I wasn't disappointed with the number of larger fish. Talking to the locals, they agree that the articles and "buzz" about Raja Ampat have been mostly marketing and that it was never a PNG. Shark Fining only stopped in 2007 and the marine conservation zones boundaries have only just been agreed upon, let alone enforced. Talking to a marine biologist working on that project, she feels that it will probably take 10-20 years to get back to a full food chain but she's worried tourism will likely be rampant by that time.

Still, sites like Cape Kri, Manta Point and the Fibbacet reefs were truly spectacular with huge schools of so many species in the one spot, it was mind boggling!! It was worth it for that plus we had a full 1 hr dive with several Manta Rays that brushed us they were so inquisitive. Just don't expect other dive sites to match up. The corals, small fishes and critters were as you've heard and abundant across many dive sites but if your into seeing bigger pelagics, don't put Raja Ampat at the top of your list.
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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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