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Dive Review of Grand Komodo in

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Charles Menbeck, Illinois, USA
Report Number 1624
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, St. Lucia, Boniare, Palau, Yap, Chuuk
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
72   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The mv Putri Papua boat had a nice photo table in back by the equipment
area. Nice rinse tank too. That was helpful.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
Booked directly on their website at Paid $1100 per
person for 7 day Komodo liveaboard on the smaller mv Nusa Tera boat (fan
only with 2 shared rest rooms for the boat). We didn't need the a/c anyway
as it was pleasant at night when we slept topside on the deck with the
stars. Restrooms adequate too. Rate included inter island flights to/from
the seaport, which they handle for you. The boat looks bigger and better in
person than on the website. The cabins were clean and beautifully decorated
with the woods and carvings that Indonesians are known for. It was recently
painted topside with new non slip rubber mats throughout the deck. A very
clean, well-maintained boat. We were originally booked with two other
people. However we became the only guests on it as the other guests
canceled due to flight delays. It was nice to have the boat and friendly
helpful crew to ourselves. However, we were told that we would be switched
to the bigger more modern mv Putri Papua boat(a/c and bathrooms in every
cabin) after 3 1/2 days due to scheduling. We were flexible and didn't
mind. They gave us the owners cabin on that boat, which was a great cabin.
The food was mostly Indonesian/Asian. Rice, rice and more rice. But they
also served plenty of fruit, hot tea and fruit smoothies after the dives.
They mixed in fresh fish, chicken, and pork here and there with the rice
dishes. When we boarded, we did our check out dives 2 hours later as we
were already in the Komodo area. Topside scenery was very nice as all the
dives were around 3 islands. Parked in coves at night to sleep. It was very
remote and relaxing. The diving here is not really for beginners as most of
the sites had moderate to strong currents, and thermoclines that dropped
the water temp from 79 degrees one minute to 72 degrees the next. Visibilty
wasn't the best either. Some dives were mediocre while some were simply
fabulous (Batu Balong aka "Current City"). Did repetetive dives
there. It reminded me of the Blue Corner in Palau. It was that good.
Hammerhead Sharkls, Manta Rays, schools of fish blocking out the sunlight
while diving on a wall that went to within 10 feet of the surface. Profuse
hard and soft corals loaded on the wall. It was rocky topside (3 pinnacles
above and below). In between the pinnacles were the currents here and
there, but not bad. I'm not going to give a critter checklist of what we
saw during the week. The hard and soft corals, in general, were in top
shape. Plenty of big stuff (hammerhead sharks, manta rays, sting rays) as
well as plenty of schools of fish, big and small. Lots of macro
opportunities too. Did 3 macro photo night dives. Saw the cuttlefish
changing colors for the first time. Plenty of life here but again, not easy
diving, for the adventurous really. I was in the mood for easier diving
conditions at the time. We went and visited the Komodo Dragon for a 2-3
hour hike on Komodo island. That was an experience as we spotted about 6 of
them. Nice to see them in their natural surroundings. Air fills were ok,
some were 3000+ psi while quite a few were in the 2750 psi range. I needed
to clarify that with the crew as I am a bit of an air hog to begin with,
hauling camera gear and do not need to be short changed on the air on a
challenging dive. Crew was pretty good overall. Professional run operation.
They'll pick you up at the airport and make sure your transfers go smoothly
to your hotel. We stayed at a very nice hotel, the Parigata Resort
($40/night) in Sanur (quieter than touristy Kuta) overnight while waiting
for our connecting flight to the seaport (Labuan Bajo). The culture in Bali
was fantastic. The hotel was surrounded by walls in the Hidu tradition.
Pool had a waterfall with lushous landscaping. Rooms had great a/c and lots
of stone tile throughout. Plenty of evidence of their wood trim too.
Restaurant had good food and reasonable prices. Worth staying there. Very
nice. You won't be disappointed. Rented a car with driver for $40 for a day
(Romeo, English Speaking Driver, cell:081-338-759-653, home: 0361-289-380)
when we returned back to Bali. Went north to see the volcanoes, the
coastline, the rice fields (terraced) and the historical Hindu Temples.
Great touring. Very hot and humid in Bali (90 degrees plus with 80%+
humidity). Not for the weak. Bring plenty of suntan lotion. Drink plenty of
water. The sun is hot here and will burn you up and dehydrate you if not
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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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