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

October, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Chrisanda Button/Rickie Sterne, Arkansas, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 7 Helpful votes)
Report Number 3726
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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

sunny, dry  
surge, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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   
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
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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
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
     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
     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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