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Dive Review of Grand Komodo -- TemuKira in
Indonesia/Alor-Banda-Misool-Raja Ampat

December, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Jose Miguel and Peggy Duran , TX, US
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 6 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6290
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, Galapagos,Papua New Guinea, Philipines, Maldives,
Palau, Solomons, Andamans
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, surge  
Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None. As dictated by your experience,common sense and air consumption.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or  
Whale Sharks
> 2 
1 or  
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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 table plus rinse tanks on dive deck. Large charging stations
in lounge.  Crew extremely careful handling, rinsing, drying cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
We went on a 15 day cruise on Grand Komodo Tours' MV TemuKira in December
2010, diving some of the best --and most remote-- areas in Indonesia:
Flores, Alor, Gunung Api, Lucipara, Banda, Misool and Raja Ampat. The trip
started with a large school of dolphins just out of Maumere, Flores and
then  over 15 eagle rays at Lapan Island wall. The first night dive at
Alor's Keramba was excellent. Hadn't been back to Alor since '98, Kal's
Dream was still a  great site. Kalabahi Bay is uniquely beautiful. School's
Out gave new visitors a healthy respect for Alor's sudden currents. 
After a long sail we arrived at isolated Gunung Api island where the sea
snakes, although perhaps less numerous, were still plentiful and as curious
and non-threatening as during our last visit in '95. They were all around
and over us at times, with some mating groupings.
Lucipara walls had large schools of jacks and fusiliers, a hammerhead, many
turtles, huge sponges. Ai  and Run walls were spectacular. Still, trading
Run for Manhattan Island was not a smart move by the Dutch.  Banda Naira
was as charming and unspoiled as we found it 15 years ago. Hatta Island was
a wonderful surprise. Kon Corner had lots of fishes and a ferocious current
that snatched one diver away leading to a tense 90 minute search until his
safety sausage was sighted. Captain and crew were very efficient and
conscientious conducting the search.
Misool's Kapang Bayangang, The Window, Batu Hitam, Farundi Cave and Batu
Tiga had great variety and numbers of fishes and some beautiful underwater
seascapes. Batu Bungsu had double schools of pickhandle and blackfin
barracudas. A cute baby bamboo shark was a highlight at Pinto Luar night
dive.  Nudibranchs were plentiful throughout the trip. 
After another all night sail we arrived at Penamu and then Mbraimuk sea
mounts with Wobegong sharks, large schools of barracudas, unicornfishes,
fusiliers. Mansuar Island was a veritable fish soup. Of many night dives,
one at Grand Komodo's new Raja Ampat Dive Lodge jetty was special with an
epaulette shark, porcupines, ghost pipefishes, baby stonefishes, fimbriated
morays and large schools of bait fish filling our light areas. We visited
the resort and were impressed with the beauty of the place, the quality of
the accommodations and the location so near to many great dive sites. 
The size and variety of the schools at Cape Kri and Sardine Reef were as
astonishing as ever. Blue Magic was...well, magic. Last day brought an
amazing 45 minute encounter with several mantas at Manta Sandy cleaning
station.  A blue ring octopus  provided entertainment while we waited for
the mantas. A dreamy last dive at Drop Off made us promise to come back.  
Indonesian diving is now acknowledged to be the best in the world. After
twenty years we are still amazed by it. Throughout a large expanse of ocean
we found rich, well preserved corals and an incredible diversity and
richness of marine life. The surface landscapes were stunningly beautiful,
especially in the Misool area with sunsets of the Gone with Wind variety.
Had great luck with our group of  five European and one ex-pat American
fellow divers and an excellent Captain, divemasters and crew. This was our
17th liveaboard trip with Grand Komodo and the third on the TemuKira, a 100
foot wooden Pinisi sail/motor vessel. It can accommodate 12 divers so the
nine of us had plenty of room. The cabins are clean and comfortable, all
with AC and en-suite bathrooms/showers, adequate storage and shelves. A
comfortable lounge/dining area on the main deck had TV/DVD plus Fish and
Invertebrates Identification library, three AC units and a large well
lighted charging station
There is a double cabin on the upper deck next to a large sundeck with
awning and beach chairs. The dive deck has ample room to suit up and is
well-designed with wide tank racks and gear bins under the seats as well as
 a spacious camera table, two rinse tanks and a toilet/shower. Two other
hot/cold water showers on the dive platform and beach towels were welcome
after our dives. The compressors were well maintained and the air fills
were correct.
The food was consistently good with a variety of Indonesian and Western
dishes. Soups and desserts were served by the steward, entrees were buffet
style. Special requests were fulfilled, our vegetarian daughter enjoyed all
her meals. There were delicious smoothies, cakes, fruit and snacks between
Although with the long sailings between the different areas we could not
always do the usual three day dives and one night dive, the divemasters
made sure we got at least two dives every day. They were meticulous in
their pre-dive briefings and expert in checking current and conditions
before every dive to make them as enjoyable and safe as possible. They kept
a close watch on their divers and were helpful without being obtrusive.
After the initial checkout they let you dive your own profiles limited only
by your experience and good judgment but were there if needed. All the
diving was done from fiberglass dinghies and the drivers were excellent at
keeping track of divers and always being there when you surfaced.
The Indonesian divemasters and cabin steward are fluent in English and most
of the crew understand enough for adequate communication. They all show a
great commitment to preserve their nation's underwater riches and to
provide their guests with a memorable experience. It's the small number of
divers with a large crew giving them excellent service that makes Grand
Komodo's "Boutique Liveaboards" so special and the best deal in
Indonesian diving.  
Grand Komodo Tours always takes care of all the local flights,
transportation,hotel accommodations and all the changes sometimes required
by the unpredictability of inter-island flights --and the staff has been
helpful often with negotiations about excess baggage charges.  We have been
diving with them for over ten years and are looking forward to future
trips. Peggy & Jose Miguel Duran, MD
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Subscriber's Comments

By irenedabania at Dec 28, 2012 15:48 EST  
did you dive with Komodo tours in Cenderawasih bay? do you book with them
driectly or through their agent in the USA?
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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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