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Dive Review of Living Colours in

May, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6101
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Costa
Rica, Coco Island, Revillagigedos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap, Red Sea,
Sipadan, PNG, Indonesia, Philippines
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
deepest point of 18 dives was 92 feet. most 60 feet and above. dive times
usually about an hour, except when current made us work. dive guides
trusted us once they saw we were competent and safe divers.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
boats had fresh water rinse container that fit 2 large and several small
cameras. no photo room on shore but fresh water hose to rinse cameras and
gear. cameras kept in personal rooms, which were accessed by a 60 step
stairway up the side of the hill then a bit more climbing/walking. staff
offered to carry my camera, but I used this as a form of exercise. when
tide is out, there is a long walk to and from boat along beach to path
through mangroves that leads to shallow boat areas. when tide is in, boats
are right by resort.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Living Colours was built and is run by a Finnish couple, Jaako and Mia, who
are friendly and run a nice operation. I noticed a number of guests were
Finnish, but guests were from a good variety of countries. This is a resort
for those who wish to spend less but have some terrific dives. Meals are in
the dining hall up the hill from the office, dive shop and beach bar. Food
is served family style, with several choices of main meal always. Food was
quite adequate with fresh seafood at most meals. Rooms are on the upper
area as well. It is a 60 step climb from the beach to the dining room and
beyond for the rooms, so be prepared for this. My room had ceiling and
floor fans but no AC, and this was adequate. The hot water in the shower
used a gas burner that ignited when the water flowed, but it was
inconsistent and sometimes turned off in mid-shower.

When the tide is in, boats come right to the resort. However, when it is
out, there is a walk along the beach for a good ways to get to the path
through the mangroves that leads to the boat loading/unloading area. All
gear is left on the boats until they can dock at the resort for unloading
bu the staff.

The boats usually carry 4-8 divers with 1-3 divemasters, who learn your
name quickly and constantly point out the uw life for which this area is
known. They have no Nitrox, so keep that in mind. Heavy gear is always on
the boat for your first dive, and is washed and hung at day's end. Gear
that isn't hung is kept in baskets overnight. The diving is mainly wall
diving, with beautiful corals and lots of fish. We had numerous turtles as
well, with the largest green turtle I've ever seen lounging on a table
coral that jutted from a wall. It seemed unconcerned about us divers
looking and taking photos. Although others saw more, I saw only two sharks,
both white tip, with one cruising a wall and the other, a small one, hiding
under a table coral head. We visited several sandy areas for muck diving as
well, where I found neat critters. Several dives had strong current, moving
us along a wall quickly and easily, while most other dives had little to no
current. Three night dives (two at the house reef) produced lots of crabs,
squat lobsters in corals, shrimp, several cephalopods, plus a
honeydew-melon-sized stonefish looking like a fuzzy rock at which an artist
threw random gobs of bright paint. One of my friends did several snorkel
trips on front of the resort at low tide and saw sea snakes, rays, lion and
scorpionfish and other interesting uw life. We saw a good variety of
nudibranchs but only one pygmy seahorse was found in 5 dive days, which
didn't bother me as I've seen plenty of them on previous trips to Lembeh
and Raja Ampat.

A sidebar: one of the Finnish guests was a man who runs a dive operation in
Thailand. He was leading a group and on an island when the tsunami of 2004
hit. His story of surviving the wave and doing three days of search and
rescue afterward was riveting and an encouraging tale of human effort.

Bunaken offers excellent and varied diving and is easily reached from
Manado in northeast Sulawesi. After an interesting ride from the airport
through crowded Manado to the waterfront, it's maybe a half-hour boat ride
to the island. Those on a budget should consider Living Colours as a fine
place to see neat uw life and meet interesting folks from around the world.
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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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