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Dive Review of M.S.Y. Seahorse in
Indonesia/Komodo/Gili Islands

June, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by David Chiddo, Tokyo, Japan (1 report)
Report Number 4191
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, Puerta Gallera, Boracay, Fiji/Mamanucas,
Fiji/Taveuni, Similans, Phuket, Papua New Guinea, Great Barrier Reef,
Maldives, Bali, Izu/Japan
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
24   to 28    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 30    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits as prescribed by gas blend of 32 EAN  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Few divers on boat, lots of room for setting up gear. Staff handled all
gear with care.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
The boat: Seahorse is a beauty, 33 m and very seaworthy. Lots of deck space
for setting up and gear storage. Sun deck spacious and comfortable with
chaise lounge and cushions. Galley and dining area very comfortable, TV
with video/DVD and stereo available for entertainment. Cabins very spacious
and comfortable, including nice functioning bathroom and one of the most
comfortable beds ever. Plenty of room for two plus all your stuff. Cabins 5
& 6 most stable. Boat is traditional Indonesian Pinisi style, slow but

The food: was a nice mix of western and Indonesian dishes. Good balance of
seafood and meat, plenty of veggies and rice too. Solid breakfast, lunch
and dinner with snacks in between. Beer and wine available at very
reasonable prices. Chef is flexible and can make special dishes without a
fuss. The Indonesian food was noticeably better than the western dishes
with plenty of sambal to spice things up!

The service: was very attentive, again small group so we were lucky, but
crew was great. Chi Chi our lovely cruise director did a great job and
satisfied our every request with a smile! Norberto the dive guide was
outstanding! Very experienced and knowledgeable about the Komodo area and
introduced us to some incredible sites which we dove at the right times.
Both key staff very pleasant, accommodating  and easy to work with, it
truly was a pleasure to have them on the boat. The captain also did a great
job, moving to sites we wanted to dive when we wanted to dive them, again
nothing but total cooperation from the crew.

The weather: was perfect. Sunny and warm in the days, clear evenings, no
rain. It is usually quite windy in South Komodo in June but we had light
breezes at the most. Seas were mostly calm with big swells only in the
south on one day.

The currents: as expected ripping currents in Komodo straights, not so bad
in the south. Just missed the full moon by a week or so so things were not
as wild as expected. In fact, we experiences long slack tides for most of
the trip and our dives at Cannibal Rock etc were effected by this. Water
was cold and green though and fish life prolific even with less current
than usual.
Inevitably you will encounter strong currents somewhere in this area and I
would not recommend Komodo for novice divers. Experience and a cool head
prerequisite for total safety.

The diving: done from zodiac tenders, back roll entry. Tender stays with
divers on all dives for quick and easy pick ups. 32 EAN is the default gas,
free too. The diving was quite simply superb! We experienced excellent
visibility most of the time, water was also warm (28C) except for the far
south of Rinca where it was a chilly 24C. Sea life encountered includes:
sharks, black tip, white tip, grey reef, spotted eagle rays, stingrays,
huge bump head parrot fish in schools, Jacks and trevally of all varieties
and sizes including some very, very large Big Eye Trevally, green sea
turtles on almost every dive every day, Napoleon wrasse everywhere, large
marble cod fish, titan trigger fish, snappers, trigger fish and fusiliers
of all kinds often swimming in HUGE schools in the 100's! Most fish were
easy to approach and didn't seem to be fazed by us divers, were able to
swim along side rays, sharks and turtles with ease. 
Coral was also extremely healthy and we saw a huge variety, (too many to
mention) of especially very large corals, including table corals 10~15
meters wide! Was very reminiscent of a trip to Milne Bay in PNG a few years
ago, incredible variety of healthy coral. We also witnessed lots of new
growth coral in the Komodo straights area which is very encouraging indeed.
Did not see any signs of dynamite fishing anywhere.

Dive sites of special note include: GPS in the Gili Banta region, strong
current and lots of fish. Highway to Heaven and Star Wars also good drift
dives providing lots of action including sharks and jacks. In the Komodo
straights area, Castle Rock and Crystal Rock were two of the best dives if
the week with more and more fish. Also Tatawa Kecil and Batu Bolong
provided limitless sightings of large schools of fish including many
pelagics. Only disappointment was South Komodo at tip of Rinca island in
horseshoe bay. The famous Cannibal Rock and Larry's Yellow Wall of Texas
were not as good as expected due to lack of current which is very rare but
I guess our luck was not with us that day. On the way back to Labuan Bajo
we dove the wall at Pink Beach (the beach itself is not that nice) which
was an excellent dive with prolific sea life. Tatawa Besar another ripper
in the straights was fantastic as was Sebayor Kecil, a great way to end the

The dragons: we went, we saw them, we went back to the boat to resume
diving as soon as possible, enough said.

Conclusion: diving Komodo was an incredible experience we will never
forget. The Seahorse and her crew provided us with a comfortable and
professional dive operation at a very reasonable price. Ground crew also
did a good job coordinating entire trip booking and transfers etc. We used
There is not a lot of cultural activity available as you might get in Iran
Jaya or PNG etc but it was still fantastic, and lets face it, you really
are there for the diving. We started our trip in Bima, a sleepy little town
with little charm and ended up in Lubuan Bajo, another sleepy little town
with even less charm. Domestic flights on Merpati were comfortable and
believe it or not, ON TIME.

Next trip will be to Raja Ampat.

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