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Dive Review of Kararu Sea Safari III in
Indonesia/Bali/Komodo

Kararu Sea Safari III, Sep, 2003,

by Jennifer Meriwether, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 755.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Curacao, Little Cayman, Saba, Bonaire, Hawaii, Monterey
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 71 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational limits, 500 psi remaining
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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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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