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Dive Review of MSY Seahorse in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

December, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Lisa Evans, CO, US
Contributor   (13 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6435
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Roatan, Bonaire, BVI, Belize, Great Barrier Reef, Fiji,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy  
calm, choppy, currents, no currents  
Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Start with the group; dive own profile; no real maximum time - did ask that
you not go over 80 minutes or so.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Dedicated rinse tanks.  Shelves and supplies were in a room off the deck,
near the compressors and kitchen.  We were told that most photographers
leave their cameras on the table on the dive deck, but that did not seem
like a good idea due to weather, boat movement, and general activity in
that area.  Lots of outlets, power strips, plug adaptors etc in the camera
room, as well as an air tank and towels.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
This boat experience was a mixture of some really great things and a few
not-so-great things.

Great:  Cruise director's general attitude, helpfulness, cheerfulness, dive
competence and responsiveness.  Divemaster competence and helpfulness.  
Not-so-great:  Had some problems with nitrox.  Crew worked hard to fix it -
cleaning lines, cleaning tanks, etc, but it persisted for a day and a half
before being mostly resolved.  Three of the 16 passengers had no ethics in
the water... we were all required to sign a paper saying that if we touched
the reef, we got one warning and then would be asked not to dive.  Everyone
understands accidental touching, or photographers balancing themselves with
sticks or a finger on dead coral.  But these three totally disregarded any
admonitions to stop touching (and in the case of the pre-teen, hitting,
harassing, etc) coral and other animals, and were allowed to continue
diving.  It made the rest of us sick at heart (and angry) to see them in
the water, dive after dive, fins hitting coral, the kid whacking at things
with his stick etc.  

Boat/routine:  Nice set-up.  Nice common area.  Coffee, bread, peanut
butter, fruit available at 6:30 am (first dive briefing at 7am).  Would
have preferred this a bit earlier.. but okay.  Full breakfast after first
dive, lunch after second dive.  Third dive about 3pm and night dive at
5-6pm.  Dinner after night dive.  Meals generally good - occasionally
great.  Beer was expensive and we were allowed to go on shore the first day
and buy some and bring it back.  This was very nice.  Cabins were
Not-so-great:  there were 2 instances where we had fumes in our cabin - i
think from the nitrox compressor.  The AC didn't filter, so things stayed
pretty damp in all cabins, which doesn't do much for fresh-smelling living
quarters!  No water pressure in the shower, and hard to regulate the
temperature sometimes.  Also - we generally traveled to new dive sites in
the morning instead of at night, which meant that the engine woke you up
about 5am, and several times we arrived to find boats already there and had
to schedule our dives around their schedules.  Not a big deal, except that
visibility was hugely better in the morning, so the later in the day you
dove, the soupier it was (plankton.)

Diving:  Incredible.  Huge diversity of species.  Dive guides very helpful
in finding things.  Strategies for diving to find the best at each site. 
Excellent flexibility for dive profiles (at most sites) and bottom time. 
Saw 5 mantas at one time (no category above between 1-2 and
"squadrons", occasional sharks (lots of wobbegongs in certain
places), nudis galore, huge schools of jacks, trevallys, fusiliers, etc. 
Healthy coral and sea life (some broken coral - careless divers, I think.) 
Large schools of bait fish.  Lots of octos.

Without the aforementioned glitches, this would definitely have been a 5
for Money's Worth - it was less expensive than several others and we got a
ton of diving in. Crew was friendly and helpful.  Lots done to make our
trip enjoyable.  Very helpful in reaching our early-morning flight and
scooting us through the airport at Sorong.

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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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