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Dive Review of Kri Eco in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

July, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Paddy Ryan, CO, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4300
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Bahamas, Poor Knights, Fiji, Sulawesi, Solomon Islands, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
100 foot depth limit, nominal one hour dive limit (frequently exceeded!)  
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
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Initially dive guides pointed out every nudibranch, even if they had
already shown us the same species earlier. With time their great
observational skills became more adapted to our interests.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
It really was all good. We knew before we got there that there were no en
suites, that there were no hot water showers and no AC. We didn't really
miss these "luxuries" anyway as we were there to dive. Being
lulled to sleep by the sounds of jacks hitting schools of baitfish and the
quacking of the local pair of rajah shelducks was very special.

We were issued with reef hooks at the start of our stay and encouraged to
use them. Most of us did without but at times they were useful. Sleeping
barracuda was a site with a current so strong that one could just swim into
it when working really really hard.

Initially I was disappointed with what wasn't there ... no Lembeh Straits
muck diving critters ... no frogfish, wasp cockatoofish, wonderpus or mimic
octopuses. But what is there is fabulous. Home to incredible fish and hard
coral diversity it was often difficult to decide what to look at.

On one amazing dive on "Sardines" we were doing our safety stop
when a resident herd (I can't call it a school) of giant bumphead
(Napoleon) wrasse came storming along the reef crest. They ranged in size
from "little" guys barely three feet long to five foot giants
that must have weighed two hundred pounds. Being in the middle of such a
group of behemoths going about their business, blithely unconcerned about
us strange humans was a heart-stopping, tear inducing experience. I feel
privileged to have seen such a sight.

Food was excellent and there was plenty of it. Staff were friendly (perhaps
a little shy) and helpful. Once, when I was walking to the restaurant in a
small downpour, one of the staff ran with an umbrella to give to me. When
one of our party was ill, they were frequently visited by staff to see if
they could be helped.

We never did see mantas even after three attempts. But our boat had so much
fun anyway that the folk in the office could hear our drumming on any
available surface in the boat for several miles before we docked. Crazy
Eddie's dance on the bow just summed up the trip. I smiled from first
waking up to going to bed at night. I'm grinning now as I remember an
amazing three weeks.

You must do the trip to "The Passage". It costs extra but it is
worth every cent. The limestone islands, the mangroves and the bat cave are
all part of this expedition and to add to the pleasure you get a real
luxury at the end of it (yes, you get a hot "mandi" usually
reserved for after a night dive).

Manager Maya Hadorn, personable and multi-talented, left on vacation after
two weeks of our stay but her standins Ami and Nickson were equally helpful
and pleasant. Max Ammer, the owner, came and chatted with us and made us
feel at home. He was a little harassed at the start of our trip because
upmarket Sorido around the corner was occupied by the King of the
Netherlands and various hangers-on.

A number of us picked up dysentery during our stay ... I suspect the salsa!
A daily diet of immodium allowed for comfortable diving.

Each accommodation unit had a power strip and after borrowing some adapters
from Maya I was able to keep two housings running the whole time. 

Staff are scrupulously honest. Small items like a Swiss army knife were
always where I left them. They are a little shy and retiring at first but
as they get to know you they start to open up. The people contributed
enormously to the success of our trip. Meeting mostly European fellow
divers was another plus.

Getting there is the pits. We arrived two days late thanks to bad weather
and changed airline schedules. Take time in Manado to enjoy the city and go
and see the black macaques and  the tarsiers at the Tangkoko Reserve.

But the diving was memorable and just a little bittersweet. This was how
the world used to be.

We will return, I'm starting to save up right now.
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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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