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Dive Review of Grand Komodo Tours in

May, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Fred Turoff, PA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 1088
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Sea of Cortez, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman,
Bonaire, Coco, Revillagigedos, Galapagos, Yap, Belau, Fiji, Sipadan, PNG,
Red Sea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
77   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
10   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
depth limits  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 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 boat needs more table room if many are UWP. Two rinse tanks dedicated
to cameras is always ready. Crew handled cameras well. No on-board
developing, but digital and video were reviewed immediately after dives.
Recharging stations are available (220v).
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
At $1225 for 8 days, 7 nights, this is a terrific deal. The diving was
often in pristine areas with no other boats in the area. Our passenger
total was only 4, yet the boat went out with 8 crew. The divemaster, Chris,
gave detailed briefings and found many creatures for our viewing. Athough
big animals were scarce - we saw fewer than 10 sharks during the week, two
mantas where the water was cool (77 degrees) and soupy with plankton (good
for them, bad for photos), several large Napolean Wrasse and other large
fish, but not in schools - there were so many smaller creatures to dazzle
our eyes. Lots of nudibranchs - including Spanish dancers on 2 night dives,
cuttlefish both day and night, 2 frogfish, 3 pygmy seahorses on one fan, a
reef stonefish, ball of striped catfish at night, blue ribbon eel, ghost
pipefish (once), octopi, leaf scorpionfish, crocodilefish, decorator and
hermit crabs with anemone cities on their backs, several turtles, clown
triggerfish, anemonefish galore. Healthy coral of so many varieties covered
with smaller reef fish. Some sites were so beautiful, I just stopped and
marvelled at them, especially with overhead sunlight. Protected sites were
generally calm or light current. However, two ocean sites (not by islands)
had strong currents which blew me off the sites, so I wound up in blue
water for a while. But the skiff driver always found me quickly (DiveAlert
helped). I'm thin, so I was most comfortable in a light fleece vest with
hood and 5 mm body suit in the warmer water (80+), but I used a 6mm hood in
cooler water.

The crew was caring and helpful. 3-4 dives per day is the norm. A
between-dive trip to Komodo National Park allowed us to see the dragons up
close and to see native flora and fauna as we toured a bit with a guide.
For evening entertainment, bring some DVDs you want to see, as their
selection was limited and mostly bootleg it seemed. We had fresh fish
thanks to crew-fishermen several days, plus fresh squid as we were near the
squid-fishing fleets twice.

The first day I noticed a diesel smell in the cabin area, but not much
afterward (maybe I got used to it). I slept in my cabin only the first
night, after which I settled on a mattress with a blanket on the upper deck
in 77 degree air with a light breeze. The captain turned off the lights, so
it was me and the southern stars - no moon until morning, so the sky was

After the trip my dive-buddy and I did a day tour around Bali and were
amazed at the craftsmanship of so many natives. Bali is hurting for
tourists, so bargains were abundant. We stayed at the beautiful Kartika
Hotel in Denpasar, a fine value.

At this writing, I hear Cathay Pacific is offering cheap rt flights from
several US cities to Denpasar, so anyone contemplating this trip should
consider going later this year. The value of the boat trip is great. I plan
to head back this way with this operation in a near future trip for sure,
but will visit a different area.
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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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