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Dive Review of Odyssea I in
Indonesia/Raja Ampats

February, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Mel McCombie, CT, United States
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 3248
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, cloudy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 10    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
owing to currents and low vis, you are required to stay with your
divemaster and surface together  
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
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
dedicated digital room on the top deck; dedicated towels and tanks; crowded
on the dive deck
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
4 stars    
The Odyssea I liveaboard is still getting a few kinks out, but overall, we
really liked the trip. The cabins are the biggest and most comfortable we
have ever seen on a boat (big enough that I could do Pilates on the cabin
floor!), and the beds extraordinarily comfortable. Each cabin comes with
shower robes and ensuite bathrooms with showers. We berthed in the lower
deck stateroom in the bow, and though dark, found it pleasant. There is an
analogous stateroom on the main deck with large windows, but its proximity
to the saloon can make it noisy for light sleepers. The standard cabins
were very nice, slightly smaller than the staterooms, but everyone reported
plenty of storage and comfortable beds.

The food on this cruise started out blandly but owing to the presence of a
group of Thai divers who helped with the cooking, it got better. I got the
impression that high-quality meats were hard to find in the area. Most of
the meat in the dishes was gristly and fatty, though chicken, fish, and
shellfish were fine. The food is served buffet-style and the dining area
large. We weren't bowled over by the quality of the cooking but neither did
we starve.

The dive operation is also working out its snags (several of the DMs are
new to liveaboards and more cavelier in their attitudes toward dive safety
than we wished); the dive deck is crowded but since the crew sets up your
gear, washes it after every dive, and takes care of any mechanical
problems, the small size was okay; the only time we wished for more space
was when suiting up. I did notice that the stairs down from the dive deck
to the boat were narrow enough that divers who shop at the Big and Tall
will have to go down sideways and gear up below. The crew was kind,
attentive, and very helpful, and we bless them for washing wetsuits after
every dive in a tank with a mild disinfectant! The result was none of that
wetsuit funky smell (you know what I mean) that tends to hang like a blue
cloud after the 2nd day, and indeed, my wetsuit smelled better at the end
of the trip than the start. The crew also washes and dries your gear at the
end of the trip.

Diving is done from rigid-bottomed inflatables, backroll entries; the
currents were often strong enough to make our regs cavitate, and vis was
often low. This may have owed something to earthquakes in the region; I
don't know whether vis is always low. Dives are usually one hour, though
some wheedling on our part upped the dive times ten minutes or so.

The conditions in these islands are so varied, as is the life, that that it
can't be easily categorized. Some dives are big animal dives (an
unforgettable fleet of mantas); some are muck; some are coral; some are
critter. The most gratifying animal we saw regularly was the wobbegong
shark, seen on about every 3rd dive. The conditions are too challenging for
divers without experience in high current and low vis, but for experienced
divers, they are perfectly manageable.

We really liked the trip overall, and can say the Odyssea I is easily the
most comfortable and uncrowded liveaboard we've ever experienced (save its
dive deck). In addition to its cabins and main deck, its top deck is
enormous and houses a digital room, media room, large shaded area, and
large sundeck. However, the effort of getting to and from Irian Jaya
(Papua) may not be worth it to some given that with a few exceptions, you
can see all the creatures in the Raja Ampats in more easily accessed areas
in Indonesia. Yet preserving the marine life in the area is important, so
supporting the positive power of tourism makes a difference. It is
certainly worth a visit.

Remember to bring local money for overweight baggage fees and airport
taxes. FYI, since the only flights to Sorong go through Manado, it's easy
to piggyback a week or two in Lembeh and/or Bunaken onto your trip (if
you've got time and some spare change).

I booked through Marty Dawson of Scuba Travel Ventures, and as anyone who
knows Marty knows, she is both efficient and extremely caring.
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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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