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

October, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Rickie Sterne/Chrisanda Btuuo, AR, US
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 7 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6758
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas,Bay Islands,Belize,Bonaire,Caymans,Cozumel,Turks&Caicos,Sea of
Cortez,Australia,Fiji,Truk,Yap,Palau,other areas of Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy, dry  
choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
82   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
     We were encouraged to dive safely and conservatively since we were
diving in a remote location.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
     When we saw all the cameras, strobes, ports, and electronic devices
emerging from bags, we wondered whether there would be room on the camera
table and in the charging station for all the equipment the twelve divers
had brought.  There was.  We never had to wait to plug in our several
battery chargers.  The charging strips had universal plug adapters built
in, a great help.  The crew handled all our photographic gear carefully,
both in the dinghy and on the deck.  By the second night, the crew knew
that we carried only one camera on night dives and which camera it was.
When I inadvertently left my strobe turned on, the compressor man found me
and pointed out my oversight.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
     Having decided in advance that ten days was not enough time to spend
diving in Raja Ampat, we moved directly from Grand Komodo's Putri Papua to
their TemuKira.  This cruise was to spend the first two days in Misool and
then move northward.  We unpacked, dined on quite a good private luncheon,
and rested while awaiting the arrival of ten Australian divers on the late
flight from Manado. The group of Aussies, who had been diving together for
twenty years, were highly skilled and experienced divers who kindly
included us in their group.  
     We had made several previous trips on the TemuKira and knew already
that we like the boat and the crew.  Our double-bedded cabin was spacious
enough for us both to stand up at the same time and had enough storage
space for us to stow our bags under the slightly elevated bed and to put
all our clothes in various drawers.  There was a small Balinese settle and
a built-in dresser-desk.  Each cabin has individually-controlled air
conditioning.  The ensuite bathroom had a drying rod as well as the usual
fixtures.  The shower ran tepid to warm every night.The salon is
air-conditioned, but most of the time the group chose to open the windows
and enjoy the sea breezes.  The shaded sundeck with its sling chairs and
two Balinese settles has always been my favorite place to spend surface
intervals with a book, unless I am in the salon consulting the boat's
excellent ID library (the best we have encountered on a liveaboard).
     The dive deck has stations spacious enough for a full load of twelve
divers to gear up at the same time, especially with the crew helping us. 
There was ample storage space in each gear station in two under-bench
baskets.  Dive lights and our individual water bottles stayed on the second
shelf of the camera table.  When one diver set her cup of tea on the upper
shelf, a crew member quietly moved the offending liquid to the second shelf
each time she did that.  The crew carried our fins to the dinghy for us and
handed in our cameras after we were all settled.  There were always two
crew members to steady us as we stepped down into the dinghy.  Crew members
even put on fins for some divers.  After we made our backrolls into the
water, the dinghy drivers always stayed on the site, watching for divers
who needed to be picked up.  Our dives did not end when the first diver had
burned through his air.  Tank fills were always 3000+, and the dive guides
seemed willing to stay on the site as long as divers wanted to and still
had air. Grand Komodo has two outstanding new dive guides in Putu and
Jerry.  Putu's meticulously drawn briefing maps corresponded well to the
sites' actual topography, and we always understood what the dive plan was,
with the caveat that a change in current would require underwater
adaptation.  Both Putu and Jerry were very sharp-eyed.  However, they also
knew exactly where to drop us into the current and were aware of where
their divers were in the water, even though we did not always stay in a
group.  Both were eager for all the divers to enjoy all their dives. 
Before the third dive of the trip, Jerry asked me if my camera were
shooting only macro.  When I said yes, he began "feeding" me
macro subjects, lots of macro subjects.  During this trip, only four divers
regularly participated in the night dives.  On the last night, however,
everyone went.  We decided to hang back out of the crowd and poke around on
our own.  At the end of the dive, we were the only two left in the water
with the dive guides.  Putu apparently decided he "owed" us
something nifty since we had been doing our own finding.  He swam around
over an area of rubble for fully five minutes until he spotted an epaulette
shark.  The shark gave us a good demonstration of its "walking"
skills before we ascended.
     The steep, richly covered walls of Misool are still gorgeous.  We dove
on sites in both Misool and the north that we had not visited on previous
trips. At Karong Bayanga near Warkraket the beautiful walls were surrounded
by schools of mid-sized fish.  We also saw two large mantas soar over us
and encountered four white-tip sharks.  We ended the dive admiring three
palette surgeonfish, which I consider one of the prettiest fish in the
ocean.  When we reached the northern area, one of our Aussie companions
summarized the general dive plan thus: "Find a seamount swept by
strong currents.  Dive in and kick hard through large schools of assorted
fish, avoiding the mackeral, trevally, and barracudas.  Reach the point and
hook in or hide behind a coral head.  Watch a gazillion fish and a number
of blacktip sharks cruise past.  Let go and drift up toward the top of the
seamount to a beautiful coral garden.  Admire the corals and smaller fish
and critters until you are exhausted or out of air."  This general
dive plan netted us many magnificent dives.  As another Aussie often
commented, "Another raging fish dive."  We did have the
opportunity to observe the behaviors of the reef's smaller denizens as
well.  Hooked on the point at Cape Kri, I was gawking at large schools of
yellowtail barracuda and sleek unicornfish, a swimming woebegong, and two
large bumphead parrotfish in a cleaning station.  I was distracted by being
repeatedly attacked by a damselfish who clearly felt I had invaded his
     For most of the divers, however, the apex dive occurred on our second
dive at Manta Sandy.  We had been quite pleased by our first dive at the
site when six mantas swam through the cleaning station and four lingered
for leisurely grooming services.  Everyone wanted more mantas, so back we
went.  We quickly realized that a bit of current had come up while we were
eating our breakfast.  But with the current came the mantas.  I saw my
first manta before I even reached the official site.  He was apparently
swimming away from the cleaning station while I was swimming in.  For 66
minutes we knelt or lay on the sand at sixty feet.  At no time during that
hour was a manta not present hovering in the station to be groomed by
assorted small fish.  Once there were six mantas in view.  They hovered,
they soared, they turned barrel rolls.  They swam directly over us.  Even
the dive guides pulled out point and shoot cameras we didn't know they had.
 When we were down to 1 minute no deco time, we swam up ten feet, gained
another three minutes, and watched some more.  There were still two mantas
in the cleaning station when we reluctantly swam up the slope.  As a sort
of consolation prize, Jerry pointed out a trio of pegasus seamoths
wandering around on the sand.  A very excited, very happy group of divers
returned to the TemuKira for lunch.
     With a dozen divers spending four and a half to five hours a day doing
vigorous dives, the cook was kept very busy.  We enjoyed three tasty and
hearty meals of Indonesian food, featuring fresh fish caught by the
captain, as well as afternoon snacks.  As on all Grand Komodo boats, the
entire crew worked very hard to ensure the divers' comfort and pleasure. 
When people who did not night dive requested an earlier dinner service, the
cook and steward arranged two seatings for the evening meal.  The boat is
kept very clean.  I kept dropping small objects in our cabin and having to
scrabble around under the bed.  I can attest that there are NO dust bunnies
on the TemuKira.  One guest was snorkeling rather than diving, and a crew
member accompanied her on every site.  On our last night on board, the crew
serenaded us after dinner with Papuan songs. We were all surprised to find
what beautiful voices some of the helpful but silent crew members
possessed.   We heartily concurred with the comment made by an Aussie
diver,"This crew has completely spoiled us."
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Subscriber's Comments

By Arthur Burke Jr in TX, US at Nov 12, 2012 10:16 EST  
Great review.  Need to add to the diving bucket list.
By Arief Latif in ZZ, ID at Jul 23, 2014 05:06 EST  
Had the privilige to dive in Raja Ampat on board Temukira in 2007 and glad
to see the level of service was still high in 2012.  Hope to someday return
to Raja Ampat. Thanks for the great review that brings back great memories.
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