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Dive Review of MSY Seahorse in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

MSY Seahorse, Dec, 2011,

by Lisa Evans, CO, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6435.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Roatan, Bonaire, BVI, Belize, Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, Philippines
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
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.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This boat experience was a mixture of some really great things and a few not-so-great things.

Overall:
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 comfortable.
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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