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Dive Review of Odyssea Divers/Cocotinos in
Indonesia/Northern Sulawesi

March, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Robert DeFeo, CA, US
Contributor   (18 reports)
Report Number 5429
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Philippines, Roatan, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Texas, Puget Sound, Monterey
CA, Channel Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No glove diving  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Spacious on deck rinse tanks.  Camera room and computer available and
nicely arranged.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
Cocotinos Resort is a beautifully designed and exceptionally well run dive
resort.  Rooms are modern, very clean, air conditioned and laid out
perfectly for divers.  Rooms have 2 single beds and a window bench seat
that doubles as a couch or an extra bed.  Bed linens and towels very high
end and replaced when requested although guests are encouraged to be
ecologically conscious.  The bathrooms are exceptionally spacious with a
huge shower with tropical plants inside.  Best of all water pressure and
very, very hot water available in the shower rates a five plus. Staff is
professional, happy to serve, and will address any needs you may have. 
They are proud of their resort and their hospitality is overflowing.  The
grounds are nicely landscaped and well kept.  Sunsets from the resort are
spectaculiar with Manado Tua Volcano in the backdrop.  Sitting on the open
deck next to the covered outdoor dining area and bar after a day of diving
while having a cold Bitung Beer is wonderful. You may order wine or beer at
the bar but be aware---wine will cost you $25 a glass.  No hard liquor so
bring your own from a duty free shop.  Food is hot and favorful with large
variety and accomodations are made for dietary needs for all. Breakfast
includes eggs as you like them, plenty of fruit (pineapple, banannas,
Cocotinos' aim is to please you totally.  While I didn't take advantage of
the spa and massages available, those that did had great comments on the
quality of the facilty and professionalism of the staff.  The pool on the
property is attractive and very clean.  The women of the village dug it by
hand and the entire village is proud of the establishment.  It was nice to
see Christians and Moslems living in harmony with each other.  Courtesy is
rampant among the people and you will always receive smiles and waves.  The
local mosque is close by and the first call to prayer is sometimes
preceeded by song or music---between 4:30 and 5 am.  I found them quite
pleasant to listen to and a splendid way to start a diving day with these
wonderful people.
Electrical power goes out very often in Sulawesi so be prepared for that. 
Power is 220 volts and receptacles are two round prong types as in Germany.
 Internet is avaiable in the dinning area but is slow and also is subject
to outages but most folks got their e-mails in and out and postings done on
facebook for their pictures.
Diving operation is on-site and run by Odyssea Divers using three large
diveboats equipped with a runabout that looks like a fiberglass mold of a
rigid-hull inflatable.  Nitrox 32 is available and less expensive if
ordered in advance of your trip.  Fills were accurate and you test the
Nitrox with a divemaster onboard not at the dock before departure. Strongly
recommend use of Nitrox here as the depths (70'-100')on most dives and dive
times (60-70 mins) make it mandatory or you'll be up top watching the
action bebeath you because of shortented air bottomtime. You never touch
your stuff after it arrives.  They'll set it up and rinse it everynight
with wetsuits being almost totally dry by morning.  When preparing to enter
the water, the dive crews put your fins on for you...incredible.  Towels
are provided after the dive and your wet suit is hung up between dives on
the boats.  Fruit/snacks and coffee/tea/water provided between dives. 
Lunch provided on the boat by selecting your meal (typically asian or
western or vegetarian) the day before while you are in the dinning room for
Diving is mostly done in Bunaken Marine Park and there is a IDR 150,000
(approximately $20 USD) fee with tag provided.  Most dives are wall dives
with fairly hard moving currents and there's plenty to see as you sail by
the walls---turtles, tuna, trevally, eels,nudibranches, huge barrel
sponges, hard and soft corals, beautiful underwater relief with visibility
sometimes approaching 100 feet and water temps around 82 degrees.  We
spotted a Mola mola on one our surface intervals quite close to the boat
but didn't get to see it underwater---shucks.  We also did several muck
dives and enjoyed the change of pace a the varoius critters...cuttlefish,
stonefish, corals, eels, cone snails, pigmy seahorses, seahorses, and a
large variety of other critters. Sometimes, however, the guides were a bit
too agressive in trying to drive out animals in order to show them to you
and by that I mean they roughed up the bottom a bit and at times...not
really damaging things but coming fairly close on ocassion.  Diving here
though is not for beginners---for a couple of reasons.  First, the currents
can be severe and tricky.  A typical wall drift dive can see the current
shift direction 180 degrees and pick up dramatically in a drop of a hat. 
Additionally, you can run across rather dramatic up and down wellings while
in a hard horizontal current requiring rapid filling or venting of your
BCD.  An inexperienced diver might not react properly in such an
environment. Second, the dives tend to be deep on repetitive dives and the
DMs stay down to the limits of bottomtime. You must use YOUR OWN good
judgement whether to stay down or come up.  Very easy to end up with a deco
dive if you don't watch your bottomtimes---especially if you are on air.
They took us on one dive into a fairly strong current at 80' as a second
dive one day that required heavy exertion and several of our group had
in-water issues with that...wasn't a good call on the DM's part.  So use
your head when diving here and don't follow blindly.  Also come prepared to
talk bar and kilos when it comes to air pressure and weights.  They work it
out but they are used to metric and not imperial measures---confusion
ocassionally occurred during dives as to air remaining and weight. My
bottom line on Odyssea is that they are a solid operation with great
service but you need to be prepared to watch your own backside to be
completely safe out there.  
If you want a taste of resort luxury and fine Indonesian diving, Cocotino's
will provide both.
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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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