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Dive Review of Kararu Sea Safari III in

September, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Jennifer Meriwether, CA, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 755
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Curacao, Little Cayman, Saba, Bonaire, Hawaii, Monterey
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, surge  
Water Temp
71   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational limits, 500 psi remaining  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
This was our first liveaboard and our first trip to Indonesia and I can't
imagine anything topping it. We did the 7 day itinerary from Bali - Komodo
- Bali. The only drawback with our itinerary was that leaving from Bali
(rather than Bima closer to Komodo) requires about 20 hours of transit time
before you get to your first dive site and another 20 hours after your last
dive to get back to Bali. The boat is a wooden "pinisi" style
boat that is about 100 ft. long and 30 ft. wide. It has a total of 4 decks.
Because we had only 7 passengers (out of 16 max), we were upgraded to one
of the upstairs staterooms at no extra charge. The staterooms were large
and comfortable with a fair amount of storage space and a queen-sized bed.
All cabins had a sink in the cabin, ensuite bathrooms with toilet and
shower and air conditioning (which worked quite well). The main salon
downstairs was also very comfortable and included 110 and 220 volt charging
stations and a complete library including many reference books. All meals
were taken there. Our chef, Didi, doubled as a massage therapist - for $10
he gave a great one hour massage in your cabin. His meals were very good -
varied and filling. We started the day with fresh baked chocolate
croissants and fruit, then came a full breakfast after the first dive with
a choice of anything from omelettes to Nasi Goreng (fried rice with veges).
Lunch usually included stir-fried veges and rice, lunch meats and cheese,
green salad, chicken or fish sate, and then one special item like 
chicken-potato salad, or a Spanish style egg torta with bell peppers.
Dinners were typically a different theme each night - Thai, Chinese, Greek,
Italian, Mexican, etc. Everything was good. The dive deck very comfortable
for 7 although it would probably be a bit crowded with 16. All fills were
made with at your dive station and were consistently 3000 psi or higher.
Unfortunately, no Nitrox was available for our trip but supposedly they
were finally getting it the following week. All diving was done from 2
small tenders. You had the choice of gearing up on the boat or on the
tender. We found it much easier to gear up on the boat. This boat carries a
crew of 19 plus two divemasters and someone was always around to help you
gear up, help you onto the tenders, etc. The crew was all around just
fantastic, helpful, cheerful, nothing was ever too much trouble for them.
Even the captain of the boat often assisted divers gearing up, and everyone
greeted you after the dive with the question "Good dive?'" and
seemed genuinely pleased when we responded yes. There were always two crew
on each tender and we never waited more than one or two minutes to be
picked up at the end of the dive. Every dive was so good that it is hard to
pick a favorite although Cannibal Rock in Rinja definitely lives up to its
stellar reputation. Our first two and last two days were spent diving in
warmer (78-80 degree) waters on the way to and from Komodo. Once we got to
Komodo and Rinja, the water temps dropped to 71-75 but the reefs were so
gorgeous that after the initial shock, you didn't really notice it that
much.  All of the reefs were pristine with huge plate and staghorn corals
growing to within 10 ft of the surface, a staggering variety of tropicals
and critters, tons of anemone fish, leaf fish, frogfish, pygmy seahorses on
the seafans at 80-100 ft, mantis shrimp, cuttlefish, nudibranchs galore,
sea apples, zebra crabs, snake eels, devil scorpionfish, you name it, we
saw it at one time or another. Our divemasters, Carl and Linda, were
excellent at finding the balance between pointing out cool stuff but not
mother-henning. They never limited bottom time, just asked you to come up
with 500 psi. We typically we did three or four dives a day depending on
the schedule, including a night dive on four of the nights but that was
plenty without Nitrox. Although we did see some larger pelagics, including
5 huge mantas at Manta Alley and a pod of dolphins in the water, this trip
is really much more for macro lovers. One of the passengers was looking for
big fish and he was somewhat disappointed but the rest of us were thrilled
with the variety of creatures and the health of the reefs. After this trip,
our next goal is to go back and do the 11-day itinerary on this boat.
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Other dive reports on Kararu Dive Voyages

All Indonesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Indonesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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