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Dive Review of Maluku Divers in
Indonesia/Maluku Sea

Maluku Divers, Apr, 2009,

by Michael Emerson, MN, USA (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4718.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Pretty flexible. We were all experienced divers and were expected to be responsible.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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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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