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Dive Review of Kri Eco in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Kri Eco, Jul, 2008,

by Paddy Ryan, CO, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4300.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100 foot depth limit, nominal one hour dive limit (frequently exceeded!)
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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