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Dive Review of Grand Komodo Tours & Ddiving/Nusa Tara in

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA
Report Number 3088
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Bay Islands, Belize, Turks & Caicos, Sea of Cortez, Australia,
Fiji, Truk, Yap, and Palau
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
73   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Due to strong currents, we dove as a group.  No  one cared if we clicked
into deco obligation  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
1 or 2 
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
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The camera table and charging station was spacious with only three divers
on board, but would have been crowded with 6 photographers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
     Alor is visited by fewer than 1000 divers per year, but those few
divers are fortunate indeed.  A week on a liveaboard in Alor is a week in a
National Geographic program.  Residents of coastal villages paddled past in
their dugout canoes, sometimes stopping to sell fish to the cook. 
Schoolchildren waved to us as we ascended near an elementary school, and
everywhere the diving was very good to downright spectacular.  The Arches,
the Edge, the Boardroom, and School's Out were some of the most richly
covered, beautiful walls we have ever seen.  A huge variety of hard and
soft corals, gorgonians, and sponges vied for our attention.  We swam
casually past huge barrel sponges and elephant ear sponges (5 feet+) that
in many destinations would have been the whole point of a dive. We did
visit one site that had suffered damage from dynamite fishing past, but
since a colony of two dozen large and bold mandarin fish had taken up
residence in the coral rubble it was had to be resentful.  Before breakfast
on our first day of diving we had seen a large school of huge bumphead
parrotfish, blue ribbon eels, several types of scorpionfish, beautiful
nudis, and assorted shrimp.  When we surfaced, we found ourselves
surrounded by a pod of literally hundreds of dolphins.  And that wasn't
even one of the really good sites.  There were masses of fish everywhere in
Alor,and numerous and varied nudis, shrimp, and crabs.  We saw mantis
shrimp, emperor shrimp, anemone shrimp and more. There were acres of
anemeones with 8 varieties of anemone fish, woebegong shark, giant
frogfish, crocodile fish, stonefish, leaf scorpionfish, sea horses,  and
more. Kal's Dream was a pair of current-swept pinnacles that would have
justified the entire trip.  As we had been advised, diving in Alor
presented challenges of depth, strong currents, and upwellings and
downwellings.  However, the skill of our excellent dive guide Anthony
always put us in the water at the best time and the best place.  The skiff
driver followed the divers very closely. Not enough can be said about
Anthony's ability to find critters and keep divers safe.  
     The Nusa Tara is the oldest and smallest of Grand Komodo's fleet.  It
is a wooden pinisi.  While it is a simple boat, we found it comfortable and
clean. The boat can accomodate 6 divers, but only 3 were on board for our
trip. (thanks for running the trip GKT&D).  We thoroughly enjoyed the
companionship of a genial German diver.  Our cabin in the prow had 2 lower
bunks and was larger than the other 2 cabins.  All cabins have private
baths.  While we were limited to one shower per day, and a tepid one at
that, there was ample bottled water for drinking and our gear was washed by
the crew at week's end.  We enjoyed hanging out in the lounge with its
Balinese settles.  Chef Halim fed us generously and well.  The food was
mostly Indonesian and delicious.  Steward Alwy served the meals family
style and kept our cabins very clean.  There was also an upper deck covered
by an awning so low only I among the divers could stand upright.  The dive
deck had individual stations with storage baskets beneath the bench, and
our wetsuits hung nearby.  Anytime divers were entering the water or
returing to the boat, 3 crew members stood by to assist us. They provided
concierge-level service with smiles and consideration. Grand Komodo takes
good care of their divers both on the boat and in transit. We were taken to
and from airports by a representative of the company, and at Maumere,
Anthony even bargained with Merpati Airlines to reduce our overweight
baggage charges.  The dive operation was safety conscious as well.  And did
I mention that the trip was an incredible bargain?  Our only complaint was
the instant coffee.  So next year when we dive with GKT&D again, we'll
pack our own coffee pot.  
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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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