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Dive Review of Kararu/Cheng Ho in

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by James Jenkins, CA, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 4302
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, PNG, Malaysia, etc. 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
74   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The Cheng Ho enforced the "no gloves" policy we were told was in
effect for the Komodo park area -- most of the diving.  We were encouraged
to stay with our guides on some strong current dives.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Housings are kept outside and subject to exposure to wet divers and
weather; inside in the large dining/salon area is ample space for chargers
and room to work on cameras in a dry environment, between meals.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
The service, food and general accommodations on the Cheng Ho are above
average.  The boat is very large, with multiple spaces to relax, read or
get away (both shaded and in the sun).  I've been on this boat twice, with
15 divers and 20 divers (plus guides, cruise directors and boat
videographer) and the boat never feels crowded.

The boat is very large and rides fairly smoothly underway and is more
stable at anchor -- important both for boarding the tenders and avoiding
mal de mar.

The guides, Kerri and Hergen, and crew are great.  Kerri especially is
great at finding the critters.

They run three tenders, loaded serially from one stairway.  The operation
is smooth and fairly quick.  Sometimes divers are all dumped at the same
place -- this IS necessary for some, not all, of the dives, due to

The diving was some of the best we've done, combining great macro on a par
with Lembeh Straights and wonderful wide-angle with healthy reefs, soft
corals, sharks, mantas, turtles, large schools of fish, etc.

The water temps in the Indian Ocean (and where it comes in between Komodo
and Rinca) can be chilly:  I read lows of 74/75 on this trip; it had been
down to 68 earlier according to some divers; on our trip right before
(Archipelago II) cruise we had lows of 71-72. Most will need a full 7mm
suit to be warm.  I had a full 5/4 with a hooded
vest and a second vest and just managed to avoid the shivers.

I would recommend this boat and crew.  I recommend Komodo ONLY for very
experienced divers. 
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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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