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Dive Review of Maluku Divers in
Indonesia/Maluku Sea

April, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Michael Emerson, MN, USA
Contributor   (13 reports)
Report Number 4718
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Little Cayman, Cozumel, Galapagos, Fiji, Lembeh, Bunaken, Komodo, Palau,
Solomons, Myramar
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Pretty flexible.  We were all experienced divers and were expected to be
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
In late March/early April, my teenage son and I spent 8 days in Ambon at
the Maluku Divers Resort and Dive operation.  For quite some time, Ambon
was gripped by civil war and was off-limits to tourism.  Potential visitors
should have no fear about travel here as the island is quite prosperous and
very friendly to visitors.  Surprisingly, you land at a nice airport with a
jetway and modern facilities.  It puts most Caribbean countries to shame.

Ambon is gaining popularity as a muck diving destination and a credible
alternative to the black sands of Lembeh.  More and more liveaboard dive
boats are departing or arriving from Ambon and thus bringing more divers to
these shores.

The resort had six bungalows that were spacious and had decent AC.  They
even had a nice camera bench in the room.  For those of you with a box full
of cameras and strobes, it is great.  You are definitely off of "the
grid" here and it is an hour ride into town to get connected to the
WWW.  I was able to send and receive text messages back to home with pretty
good regularity.  The food was traditional Indonesian fare and generally
quite good, although it did get a bit repetitious towards the end of the
week.  My son is a pretty picky eater and he gave it a thumbs up.  The only
negative was the frequent and unpredictable electrical outages.  They could
strike at any time of day or night and could last from 15 minutes to 10
hours.  We were told that a power plant was off-line and the problem would
improve later this year.

The primary dive attraction is a series of "muck" sites in Ambon
bay such as The Twilight Zone, Laha, and Rhino City.  The sites are packed
with great targets for the casual and serious photographer.  On our last
dive at Laha we saw 5 harlequin shrimp, an equal number of sea horses,
coleman shrimp, zebra crabs, a flamboyant cuttlefish, mating puffers,
mating cuttlefish, three snake eels, a jawfish, snake eels, nudis,
anenomes, and others.  You won't get bored.  The water is much clearer than
Lembeh and can also be subjected to some pretty good current which can make
your macro photography a bit challenging.  Getting a short metal stick to
plant yourself by your next great find will help a lot.

The dive shop also visits a dozen sites along the southern coast of Ambon. 
The coral reefs there are not spectacular but they are healthy and still
quite enjoyable, especially if you have OD'ed on rhinopias, stone fish, and
warty frog fishes.  Not much large fish life, but we did see one of the
largest Napolean Wrasse that I have seen anywhere.

When the weather is nice, the dive operation will take you to the small
islands of Tiga Palau which are about an hour away by fast boat.  These
islands provide some world class reef dive environments.  From the boat, we
could see individual fish all the way down to 100 feet.  The primary site
is the home of about a million red tooth triggerfish which cascade over the
wall.  The top of the reef is spectacular with all types and colors of hard
and soft coral.  I got some of the nicest pictures of reef in my diving
career here.  The current can rocket you along so it is a site for divers
with some experience in drift diving.

All in all, this is a great dive destination, although it takes some work
to get there from the U.S.  While it is not a true Lembeh 2, it is very
good and you will dive sites visited only once or twice a week by any
divers.  Together with nice clear visibility, you will have a great time
here either as a primary destination or the add on to a dive vacation in
Bali or an Indonesian liveaboard.  Hopefully you can spot the blue ring
octopus that we could never quite catch up to.
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