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Dive Review of Grand Komodo/TemuKira in
Indonesia/Triton Bay

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Chrisanda Button & Rickie Ster, AR, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 7 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4728
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Bay Islands, Belize, Cozumel, Turks& Caicos, Sea of Cortez,
Australia, Truk, Yap, Palau, Fiji, Wakatobi, Alor, Misool & Halmahera
in Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Only when our dive times were approaching 80 minutes did the dive guides
give the ascend signal, although 70 minutes was officially posted as the
dive time.  We were free to follow the guides or not.  None of us were
doing deco diving.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Limited visibility, a fact of life in the Triton Bay area, as well as
strong currents, made reef scenes and wide angle photography challenging.
With 5 photographers on board, two with small cameras, the boat's camera
facilities were adequate. Crew members handled our cameras carefully,
rinsing and drying them after each dive.  We brought our cameras to the
table on the dive deck, and crew members quickly learned who owned which
camera.  The dry table in the salon provided enough power strips, although
probably not enough space, for twelve photographers.  The dive guides were
familiar with the sites and highly skilled at finding photographic
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
     Is there fine diving in Triton Bay?  Definitely!  However, divers
traveling to this area need to be apprised of two facts.  First, the
visibility in Triton Bay extends only to fifty feet in the best season. 
Second, Triton Bay is, indeed, the frontier of diving in Indonesia, and
government regulations in the area change quite unpredictably and without
notice.  The TemuKira had already made two trips to Triton Bay this year,
so the crew knew to stop at a village near the entrance to the bay and pay
tribute.  However, on our third day of diving, we were accosted by a police
boat and our captain ordered to return to Kaimana at once under pain of
arrest.  Obviously, we motored to Kaimana. And there we cooled our heels in
the harbor for twenty-four hours while officials quibbled about the boat's
documents and the guests' visas.  On our way out of Triton Bay we were
again held overnight in Kaimana while officials decided whether to deport
two guests with social visas. Grand Komodo handled the problem as well as
possible, but we still lost almost two days of diving to the whims of these
officials. This problem is not peculiar to the TemuKira.  We believe that
the officials in Kaimana were seizing on an excuse( that boats were taking
and selling resources from Papua)to extract money from dive operators.
      The diving in Triton Bay takes place on sloping sea mounts with dense
cover of both hard and soft corals and forests of large black corals.  But
the reason to go to Triton Bay is to see fish - myriads of fish, each large
for its species.  Both the variety and quantity of fish was stunning.  The
Pomacanthus angels and triggerfish were so large as to seem almost
threatening. Gorgeous pairs of Pomacanthus annularis appeared on every
dive.  We saw over a dozen woebegong sharks up close and personal.  Our
favorite was the "decorator woebegong", who sported a feather
star on his head.  We saw every species of Pomacanthus angel in the book
and counted two dozen species of butterflies. Shoals of fusiliers,
jacks,surgeonfish, and snappers swam up and down the seamounts, and we
encountered several large aggregations of barracuda. Anthias, damsels, and
silversides abounded. Large groupers, puffers, and footballer cod had
eluded the fishermen's nets.  Night diving was also good in Triton Bay,
bringing out Papuan cuttlefish, bobtail squid, overdecorated crabs,
flatworms,  and snails.  Oddly, we saw octopus during the day.  What keeps
the corals healthy and the fish large is all the plankton in the water and
the strong currents that carry the plankton in.  On our way back to Sorong,
we enjoyed three good dives at Pisang and a day and a half on the beautiful
sheer walls of Misool. 
     This trip was our third with Grand Komodo.  We found once again that
Grand Komodo starts taking good care of its divers even before they board
the boat.  Tian met us at the airport in Denpasar and took us to a reliable
money changer on our way to the hotel.  She had arranged a personable and
very helpful driver for us in Makassar.  Robert not only transported us to
and from our hotel, he helped us negotiate the Merpati check in and told us
about the people and cultures of Sulawesi  
     The TemuKira is a comfortable wooden pinisi well set up for diving. 
The boat can carry twelve divers, but we had only six on board. Ten crew
members tended thoughtfully to our needs.  When we were preparing to dive,
all crew save the captain and chef were on the dive deck, carrying our gear
to the dinghy, rinsing our masks, zipping our wetsuits, even handing us our
gloves. It was Alwy, the steward, who spotted a leak in Rickie's hose. The
dive deck is spacious enough for a full load of guests with storage in two
baskets under each tank station. The dive guides were familiar with the
dive sites and very sharp eyed. Romley, the dinghy driver, was always right
there when we came up.  On one site where the currents were especially
strong and variable, six divers managed to come up in four spots, and
Romley quickly picked us all up.  There were two warm showers on the dive
deck. Cabin showers are cool to tepid.  Our cabin was one of the nicest we
have had on a liveaboard. We had plenty of storage in a closet and drawers.
 There was a built-in desk and a Balinese settle as well as a slightly
elevated double berth that let us store our luggage underneath.  There was
a good reading light over the bed, and each cabin had
individually-controlled air conditioning. Alwy kept our cabin spotlessly
clean and changed both cabin and deck towels about every fourth day.  We
ate in the salon on the main deck.  Breakfasts were Western with the
addition of mie kwah or rice porridge.  Lunches and dinners were Indonesian
and delicious.  We were served very fresh fish and seafood twice daily, and
there were also interesting chicken dishes at every meal.  We enjoyed
plenty of fresh veggies.  Dessert consisted of delicious tropical fruit or
homemade ice cream. Dinners always began with  soups. We enjoyed four dives
a day.  Surface intervals were spent lounging on the covered sun deck and
perusing the boat's very good marine ID library.
     GKTD is an Indonesian owned and operated company whose employees enjoy
sharing their county's beauty with visitors.  Their dive guides and support
crew have made us feel safe in challenging diving conditions.
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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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