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Dive Review of Pindito in
Indonesia/Rajah Ampat

February, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Mike Judd, OR, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports)
Report Number 4403
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Palau, Maldives, Cocos Is., Fiji, Thailand, various Carib.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Generally followed dive guide, but some variance allowed  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
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
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Rajah Ampat takes two days travel each way, but worth it.  Pindito leaves
from Sorong, a formerly small town which has "boomed" due to oil
discoveries in the area - don't plan on any land sight-seeing.  We covered
a couple hundred miles in our 11 day cruise, with most of the diving in the
Misool Island area.  There are a few dive boats operating in the area, but
we ran into others less than half the days.  It's nice to be out of the
main traffic lane, although the occasional raft of garbage was a reminder
that very few places are pristine any more.  
Pindito is a fairly new boat, but build to resemble the traditional pinisi
vessels in the area (apparently the pretty sail you see in the photos is a
decoration).  The bare wood cabins have a nice rustic feel, and are average
size (although my buddy in the top bunk complained about the low ceiling). 
There wasn't a lot of choice in the menu (for understandable reasons, given
the location), but the food was generally good.  Nitrox was free, a plus
with four dives a day.  The diving was from zodiacs, which were crowded
enough that it was a pain to gear up.  On the positive side, we never had
more than a five minute ride to a dive site.
The three dive masters (Europeans) were pleasant and fun characters, and
did a good job of leading without dictating, as well as pointing things
out.  My only criticism is that they didn't seem to believe in the
"look but don't touch" philosophy.  The rest of the crew were
locals, and excellent.
There was a great variety and number of fish.  For those who like to see
the undersea world through a camera lens (is my bias showing?), there were
clouds of small tropicals, nudibranchs, blennies, and pipefish.  And, of
course, pigmy seahorses.  I must admit I don't know what makes these tiny
fellows more precious than other seahorses which can be seen with the naked
eye, but they must be, because our leaders and others spent hours searching
for them!  On the other end of the scale, there were frequent visits from
large humphead parrotfish, a few Napolean wrasse, some small tuna, little
epaulet sharks, and a couple of the indigenous wobegongs.  There was also a
great manta cleaning station, where a half dozen or so swooped by on one of
the dives.  Even better than the fish life was the coral, with an amazing
range of different colors and varieties of both hard and soft.
One warning about stinging things.  Many of the sites have large growths of
hydrozoans, which look like inocuous patches of brownish-gray ferns growing
underwater.  They appear to be attached to the coral or other surface, but
I am absolutely sure that when you are looking the other way they shoot out
and make sneak attacks.   
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Diving Guide to Indonesia
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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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