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Dive Review of Grand Komodo/Raja Ampat Dive Lodge in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

September, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Barbara M Shively, MD, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 6255
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Around the Caribbean for 20+ years, Costa Rica, Hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
81   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Strong currents required staying with dive guide.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
There is a dedicated rinse tank for cameras on shore
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
1 stars
1 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars    
1 stars   
4 stars    
My husband says it should be renamed the Raja Ampat DIET Lodge!  The food
was basically unedible -- and we are not real picky eaters.  There was no
choice, no menu, food was just set in front of you.  Most meals were
totally lacking in flavor with tough, overcooked meats, lukewarm unseasoned
rice and flavorless, overcooked (or almost raw) vegetables.  At dinner the
soup course was the exception and was not bad.  Butter was in a slab and
tasted 'off', probably rancid.  If you like a drink occasionally, beware,
there is NO alcohol except Bintang beer.  Accommodations were adequate if
you don't need enough light to read by or otherwise see much.  Interiors
are dark wood paneling that absorb what light is given by the very low
wattage bulbs.  We did ask for and get one reading light.  As for diving, I
was led to believe mantas were there year round and that currents were mild
(Undercurrent report was one source).  Neither was true!  I specifically
went to see and photograph mantas -- not there, wrong season.  Our dive
guide, Jemi, was extemely nice and competant and tried his best.  All dives
were done along the tops of sea mounts out in the open sea between islands
and the dive guide said currents are almost always strong to very strong. 
I found it impossible to do much photography while being swept along by 3
knot currents.  We were not told to bring reef hooks and they had only one
available.  I don't like the damage they must do to the reef.  I might have
resorted to use it in desperation had I not come down with a cold that
stopped me from more diving.  Also, we were warned by the dive guide that
we needed to be able to descend immediately upon getting into the water or
risk being swept too far along the sea mount and possibly pulled very deep
by the current at the end of the sea mount.  Equalizing is often a problem
for us so this was a frightening prospect.  In summary, we were not young,
strong or fit enough (nor willing) to deal with the challenges of this
diving.  That plus the minimal comfort level of the accomodations added up
to the worst dive trip of our lives.
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Diving Guide to Indonesia
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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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