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Dive Review of Peter Hughes -- Komodo Dancer in

August, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Philip johnston, Bayswater, AU
Reviewer   (6 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6251
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia
(Bali, Rajah Ampat, Lembeh), Cocos, Cozumel, Galapogas, Tahiti, Tonga
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
22   to 27    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 40    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No-decompression 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
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Good amounts of space for photographers, the crew were good in transferring
cameras to/from dive tenders etc. All power points were Indonesian but a
number of adaptors were provided free of charge for European/American (but
not Australian) rechargers.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
The Komodo Dancer is a wooden hulled schooner, although the sails were
basically only for show as we motored from place to place. The boat is in
good condition, the passengers in 1 cabin complained of a leaking toilet
but I didn't have any problems myself with the boat or any of the fittings.
The cabins were a little on the small side though.
I rated the crew as excellent. All of the 14 passengers took the same
flight from Bali to the departure port of Labuan Bajo, however the luggage
of 5 or 6 of them was simply not loaded onto the plane. Despite the next
day being a national holiday in Indonesia the cruise director Jimmy &
the local office managed to quickly track down the missing bags &
arrange for them to be collected from the airport (when they did eventually
arrive)& delivered to the boat immediately, which was a pretty good
effort. For those who had no dive gear in the interim, rental gear was
provided at no charge. 
I found all crew members attentive & helpful without fail, particularly
the dive crew who consistently carried camera gear to the dive tenders for
us. The divemaster did a preliminary dive on all dive sites to ensure
currents were not unreasonable.
Food was of good quality without being gourmet, & in good quantity.
Unlike every other live-aboard I have been on, beer & soft drinks were
free of charge.    
Diving was a good mix of reefs, sea mounts & a few critter/muck dives.
I would rate 4-5 of the dive sites visited (including Cannibal Roack &
Crystal Rock) as world-class, with the rest being reaonable to good. I can
recall only 1 dive (an exploratory dive at the southern end of Komodo) as
being a dud. We dived one well-known site (GPS), & whilst it was good
& a few pelagics & sharks were seen the divemaster indicated that
the shark life there is now a shadow of what it was 10 years ago....may all
those who eat shark fin soup choke on it....
Mantas were seen in good quantities at 2 dive sites, once or twice
approaching within touching distance. I would have liked a few more
critter/muck dives however the cruise director generally deferred to the
majority wishes of the passengers, who were generally disinterested in muck
dives despite their quality. After diving Cannibal Rock twice we dove a
nearby site called Yellow Wall, I would have preferred to have done the
critter dive at the small bay near Cannibal rock (which we did later that
day as a night dive). Fans of muck dives should ask specifically to dive
that small bay as the critter life there equalled anything I have seen at

We visited a beach on Rinca to see Komodo Dragons.....whilst it was good to
be able to see these creatures in the wild & reasonably close-up whilst
on the beach, a fair degree of caution should be exercised as the dragons
proved to be quite aggresive & at one stage had to be pushed away from
us with poles by the crew.       
Overall, I rated the cruise as a professionally run operation, with
excellent levels of service from crew. Highlights? - good numbers of
interactions with Mantas, & one of the divemasters showing me a
Rhinopia he had found at Cannibal Rock - the first (& only) Rhinopia I
have seen in almost 30 years of diving.   
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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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