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Dive Review of Grand Komodo/TemuKira in
Indonesia/Misool & Halmahera

Grand Komodo/TemuKira, Oct, 2007,

by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 3726.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Bay Islands, Belize, Caymans, Cozumel. Turks&Caicos, Sea of Cortez, Australia, Fiji, Truk, Yap, Palau, Wakatobi& Alor in Indonesia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 80 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions We stayed more or less with the dive guide (he found cool stuff), and dives generally lasted 60-70 minutes - which was as long as my air supply and deco limits allowed
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments What an adventure we had with Grand Komodo! We boarded the TemuKira in Sorong, Papua, and debarked two weeks and forty-nine dives later in Ternate, Halmahera. The TemuKira can accomodate twelve divers, but there were only five of us onboard for this cruise. We started diving the day we boarded, doing a sort of checkout dive in washing machine currents with upwellings and downwellings at Timus Matan. Both the currents and the profuse marine life at this site ( woebegong shark, cuttlefish, leaf scorpionfish in several hues, mantis shrimp, and numerous tropicals amid soft and hard corals) were good preparation for what lay ahead. We awoke the next morning in Misool. For the next five days we did four dives a day on gorgeous vertical walls so richly encrusted with corals and sponges that there was scarcely a spot to steady oneself with a single finger. The 1-2 knot currents assured that we encountered rivers of fish both large and small. We were so overwhelmed by the sheer masses of the fish, that we didn't really begin to appreciate the huge variety of fish life for the first couple of dives. Hooked in at a point, we watched a school of at least two hundred barracudas (a commingling of chevron, yellowtail, and pickhandle) and swirling fusiliers, triggerfish, snappers, and unicornfish. The occasional blacktip or whitetip shark swam past, and we saw several turtles and a number of huge tuna. At times clouds of small silver fish almost blocked the view. There were lots of smaller fish and critters, too. Pygmy seahorses came four to the seafan, and we began to differentiate among varieties of the timy creatures. There were hundreds of nudis in dozens of varieties. I counted 55 Pterolidiae ianthinae on one site. Crustaceans were just as well represented in both number and variety. When we left Misool, the diving became at least in part exploratory. We did two days of transit dives at Pulau Tikus and Kofiau. At both islands we found sloping walls with good coral cover, rich marine life, and strong currents. The small islands of southwestern Halmahera had sometimes sloping, sometimes sheer walls and always strong currents that brought in large fish in large numbers. We continued to see some sharks and turtles, schools of bumphead parrotfish and Tiera batfish, and hundreds and hundreds of tropicals(really!) The night divng was outstanding in Halmahera. One night we descended onto a bombed-out seamount and I was grumbling to myself when a large freeswimming moray of unknown variety brushed past. From that moment we saw a wonderful critter about every forty seconds. There was an "ask and ye shall be given quality" to diving in Halmahera. Wish you could see a palette surgeonfish? A school of them showed up on the next dive. I've only seen one pleurobranch ever. Six of the things in four varieties, some with commensal emperor shrimp onboard, appeared on the night dive. There may be diving this good elsewhere in the world, but I can't imagine that diving could be any better.
The crew of the TemuKira made our diving experience both richer and safer. Dive guides Anton and Weka were sharp-eyed and patient. They were aware of both where their divers were and where the critters were. The role of the dinghy driver is an important one when diving in strong currents. We felt the safer because we knew that if we got separated from the group, we could surface and Romley would be right there to pick us up. The whole crew helped us gear up and schlepped gear to and from the dinghy. They handled our cameras carefully.
The TemuKira is a wooden pinisi well adapted for diving and for comfort. The dive deck has the usual gear station for each diver with two baskets under the bench. A central camera table would be crowded if there were twelve photographers, but was spacious for four. Two compressors filled the tanks to 2900-3000 psi. Deck towels were changed every three days. We appreciated the hot showers on the dive deck. The boat offers two double-bedded cabins and four bunk-bedded cabins. Our double cabin in the bow of the boat was one of the nicest we have ever had on a liveaboard. All four of our bags fit beneath the slightly elevated bed. We had ample storage space in a closet and cupboard, and the cabin was large enough for a settle and built-in desk. There was a good reading light over the bed. Each cabin has individually controlled ac. The ensuite bathroom was large enough to move around in and had more storage. The showers are tepid at best. Phenus, the boat's steward, kept our cabin clean and changed the linens regularly. The salon, where we ate,charged our batteries, and perused the ID books, was also air conditioned. There was a covered sun deck up top, where I spent most of my surface intervals in comfortable lounge chairs. Grand Komodo provided the wonderful three-volume Indonesian Reef Fish to help us sort out the hundreds of fish we encountered every day.
Divers like to eat, and the TemuKira was a good place to eat. Chef Nico served really interesting meals, largely Indonesian. There was plenty of fresh fish,fresh fruit, and fresh veggies. There was also a pork or chicken dish at every meal. We ate shashimi twice. We especially enjoyed the fruit smoothies served at breakfast and afternoon snacktime. Nico's meals were the best we have eaten in our Indonesian travels.
The crew of the TemuKira kept the boat clean, kept all its equipment functioning well, and made us feel very welcome.
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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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