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Dive Review of Raja4Divers/Raja4Divers on Pef Island in
Indonesia/Pef Island, Raja Ampat

July, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6696
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman
Brac, Costa Rica, Coco Island, Revillagigedos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap,
Red Sea, Sipadan, PNG, Indonesia, Philippines
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
79   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Try to keep dives about 1 hour so group stays together. No diving below
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
In the photo room there are six stations for photographers, which could get
crowded if everyone brought a camera. However, each station had several
power supplies, towels, plastic trays with useful tools and supplies for
camera care. These were clearly thought out by those familiar with
photography needs. A computer with a large monitor was in the room for
those who didnt bring their own.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Raja4Divers operates on Pef Island in the Raja Ampat area of eastern
Indonesia. Once you get to Sorong and are transported to the waterfront,
its a three hour boat ride through the Dampier Strait to the remote resort
just past the west tip of Gam Island. After being greeted by the resort
crew singing, dancing and playing instruments, we were given an
introduction to the resort and its operation by Armin Keller and Sabine
Kaufman, the able dive operation directors. [Manager Maya was away that
week.] With six seaside and spacious bungalows just a short walk from the
restaurant and dive operation areas, this new resort has much going for it.
Each bungalow has a king bed, desk and shelves, porch with lounge chairs
and a bathroom area that is indoor-outdoor, having a small courtyard next
to the covered area. The Papuan shower, which consisted of a large stone
basin with hot and cold taps into which you dip a large ladle and then pour
the water over yourself, was a new adventure - but to which one easily
adapted. The spacious restaurant adjoined a lounging area and library where
numerous underwater life ID books could be found. Meals were sumptuous,
with several choices of course at each. Fresh island smoothies and a
variety of other drinks were also available.

A short walk from the restaurant takes you to the photo room. There are six
stations for photographers, which could get crowded if everyone brought a
camera. However, each station had several power supplies, towels, plastic
trays with useful tools and supplies for camera care. These were clearly
thought out by those familiar with photography needs. A computer with a
large monitor was in the room for those who didnt bring their own.

The office and store were at the land-end of the dive dock. At the far end,
out on the water, was the dive area which featured a gear room, supplies
and the boats. Night dives took place around this dive dock and the house
reef on which it was built. Nitrox was supplied at no extra charge, which
pleased this 65-yr old diver. The only requirement besides nitrox
certification was to prepare tanks for all the next days dives the night

For those not familiar with Raja Ampat diving, the amount and variety of
fish, critter and coral life will astound you. Although visibility was
usually 40-60 feet and water temperature around 79-81 degrees, the
many-hued corals and the variety of fish and critters will make you want to
return (this was my 5th trip to Raja Ampat). Dive sites were anywhere from
5 minutes to an hour away. For longer trips, we often spent our intervals
on small islands and had a meal or snacks. The longest trip, an hour into
the Dampier Strait near Sorido and Kri resorts, put us in 84 degree water
with nearly 100 feet of vis. Lunch on this day trip found us on an island
with trees full of fruit bats that flew around us if disturbed. We also had
visits from monitor lizards looking for lunch scraps. Our group numbered
11, so we split into two groups to dive, with at least two guides on each
dive. Armin and Sabine usually went with us as well. Each day and night had
some rain, with only our last dive day dry during dives but raining on the
way home.

I had a new experience on our last night dive (which had only two divers
plus a guide)  a Wobbegon shark grabbed a small black tip shark just to
our right and swam directly by us, pausing right in front of us for a short
while. Of course, Murphys Law dictated that I was taking macro photos on
that dive, but I managed to back up and get a shot of the Wobbegons head
with the other shark in its mouth before it swam off slowly with us in
pursuit. It headed under a coral outcrop, its body convulsed, and the small
shark was gone. What an exciting end to the visits diving.

We had originally planned nine dive days, but upon arriving at Jakarta and
checking into the Jakarta airport hotel, none of us thought to do a final
check on our next flight, scheduled to depart 5am the next day as the most
recent communication we had received stated. As it turned out, the flight
left shortly after midnight, so we missed it and had to spend another day
in Jakarta, get new tickets, catch the next flight out and arrive at
Raja4Divers a day later than planned. So this is a reminder to all who
travel to remote places  always check on your next flight and dont rely
on recent communications. 

The resort and diving so impressed three of our party that they cancelled
their next weeks plans to go to another area and extended their stay an
additional week. Id be happy to return in the future as well. I cant
imagine anyone being disappointed by a stay with Raja4Divers. When we
departed, the staff sang, danced and played instruments for us once again.
Of course, we joined in as much as we could. I headed to Bali for a few
days of different diving before heading back to the US. My report on Scuba
Seraya is filed separately.
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Subscriber's Comments

By carl berenson in WA, US at Sep 22, 2012 17:29 EST  
considering Raja4divers or sorido, cenderawasih on boat OR bali/komodo boat
for 7/13. what would you pick for ist time raja?
By Frederick R. Turoff in PA, US at Sep 25, 2012 14:41 EST  
I'd consider either Sorido or Raja4Divers plus the resort run by Grand
Komodo Diving ( Prices may vary, find the one that
suits your budget. All give you a wonderful week with good food. Sorido
doesn't dive on Sat due to the owner's religious beliefs. If you like
liveaboards, Grand Komodo boats are cheaper but not as fancy as Aggressors
or Dancers. The Komodo trips give you the opportunity to see the dragons on
Komodo during a dive interval. No matter where you go, you'll experience
superb diving. Currents exist sometimes, so be prepared - bring a reef
hook. The guides will take care of you. Feel free to call me if you wish -
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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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