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Dive Review of Papua Diving/Sorido Bay Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Amput

July, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 1783
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Komodo, Indonesia; Palau; Galapagos; PNG; BVI; Cozumel; Roatan; Bonaire;
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
82   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Most dives ended after one hour, although there were no enforced
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
see body of report below
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
	We flew from LAX to Singapore and then on to Manado in northern Sulawesi. 
We had to overnight in Manado.  Next morning, we flew on Wings Air (motto,
in English, Fly Is Cheap) to Sorong, Papua, on the island of New Guinea. 
We were met at the plane by a representative of Sorido Bay/Eco Dive Resort
and escorted to their boat for the two hour trip to Kri Island, which is in
the Raja Amput (Four Kings) island chain, off the Birdshead portion of
	The Kri Eco Resort has been offering fantastic diving in a remote and
pristine part of Indonesia for several years now, and the owner just began
building an adjacent luxury resort, Sorido Bay.  The new rooms (currently
only two), offer air conditioning, satellite television, spacious and
comfortable beds, a large bathroom (supplied with new toothbrushes and
toothpaste, a nice touch) and a large camera table with its own rinse sink
and a 110 volt outlet for battery charging.  Food is served in a dining
room upstairs from the offices in a spacious room overlooking the bay. 
Guests can use the computer in the upstairs library to look at digital
pictures, play DVDs and even check and send email.  The food is mostly
Indonesian style, with plentiful meat and fish offerings and American or
Indonesian style breakfasts.  The food was tasty and filling if not
gourmet.  Every afternoon the waitress brought hot tea and a snack to our
	The diving is fantastic, if challenging.  We were there at the full moon
and the current, which is usually strong, was ripping on some of the dives.
 At times, it was all we could do to duck behind a bomie to get out of
direct current.  Photographic conditions were less than ideal, since trying
to maintain position in the current was often difficult.  Not every dive
was like this, however, and on a couple of dives, there was little or no
current, but these were the exceptions.
	The dive operation and resort are owned by Max, a Dutch ex-pat who is one
of the most interesting people I have met in my travels.  He came to
Indonesia originally to salvage WWII discarded jeeps and boats and ended up
marrying an Indonesian woman and staying to carve his little paradise out
of the wilderness.   Max is the ultimate can-do guy, and has set up a
thriving operation in a very isolated part of the world.  He has his own
shop where he fashions wood which his workers cut from the jungle into
tongue-and-groove boards for the flooring and ceilings. Max is the kind of
guy who you would definitely want around if you were stranded on a desert
island, a regular Robinson Caruso.
	In their haste to create a plush resort in the middle of nowhere, however,
the dive operation has suffered.  Especially given the remoteness of the
site and the challenge of the diving, the condition of the boat is
deplorable.  It has no radio, no lights, no life preservers (actually there
was one), and, although there was a plastic case which looked as if it
might have contained oxygen, even if it did, none of the crew would have
been able to operate it.  The dive guide, Nixon, was a very experienced
diver and a good guide, concerned for my well-being during the dives (he
checked up on me several times when my photography had me stray from the
group), but he was the only one who seemed to know what he was doing. 
There were other dive guides who tagged along, but they spoke no English
(or other European language) and when Nixon would find something below,
they would queue up to see it first, blocking out the paying divers.  The
two guys on the boat were constantly bickering, and didnt know much about
setting up equipment.  It wasnt until the third day that they figured out
how to put the weight pockets into my integrated BC and once I painfully
watched as the assistant tried to figure out how to get my wifes first
stage on the tank; he had it upside down until I finally showed him.  My
tank fell off twice, once underwater and once when I was about to do a back
roll off the boat, and my wifes tank was twice set up with a used and
mostly empty tank.  That being said, they were always friendly and eager to
please, so it was hard to be mad at them, just dismayed.
	During a night dive, Nixon entered the water without a light.  My wife
gave him her backup and then he went down to 80 feet in a raging current. 
Totally unsafe.  Even Mikhail, from Sweden, one of the most accomplished
divers I have had the pleasure to dive with, was angry about that dive.
	The diving itself was spectacular.  Legend has it that Indonesia was
thought to have approximately 250 varieties of reef fish, but that on one
dive in Raja Amput, Dr. Gerald Allen found 273 species.  In addition to
variety, the abundance of the fish life and the coral is astounding, with
every Indonesian variety well represented and, obviously, plenty more.  In
addition to reef exploration, there is a manta ray dive which we did twice.
 On the first manta dive, we saw four different mantas, three at once.  On
the second dive, we saw two, but one came in eye to eye with us and brushed
my hair as it passed over me as I was tethered to my reef hook.  Overall,
diving with Papua Diving is an experience not to be missed by the advanced
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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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