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Dive Review of Seven Seas in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

April, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by David E Reubush, VA, US
Top Contributor   (45 reports, with 8 Helpful votes)
Report Number 6213 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Curacao,
Dominica, Dumaguete, Galapagos, Indonesia, Puerto Galera, Red Sea, Roatan,
Turks & Caicos, Virgin Islands
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
84   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or  
Whale Sharks
1 or 
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
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The Seven Seas is a relatively small boat so it does not have a dedicated
camera room.  The cameras (there were a lot of photographers on this trip)
lived on a large hatch cover out on deck.  However, they strung a large
tarp up above the cameras to protect them from the sun and most weather. 
Work on the cameras could be done in the dining area/lounge between meals. 
There were also outlets in the lounge for battery recharging.  A large
rinse tank was dedicated for camera rinse only.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
This was my second trip to Raja Ampat.  I really enjoyed my first trip in
2010, but this trip took things to another level.  I have been a fan of
Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock since I bought their book "Secret
Sea" more than ten years ago.  I finally met them a couple of years
ago when they were delivering copies of their book "Diving Indonesias
Raja Ampat" to the live-aboard that I had just gotten aboard in Balis
Benoa harbor.  At that point, after meeting them, I decided that I would
endeavor to join a trip hosted by them as soon as I could.   As things
turned out I got an email from them earlier this year announcing that there
had been a couple of cancellations for an April trip to Raja Ampat on the
Seven Seas.  What could be better than diving Raja Ampat with the folks who
wrote the book?  So, I signed up.

The trip was everything I expected and more.  We visited sites with huge
schools of chevron barracuda, sweet lips, batfish etc.  It was like the
old days before factory ships and reef dynamiting.  The dive site
"Manta Sandy" had 6 or 8 mantas who performed for us for about 90
minutes total on 2 dives.  The mantas got so close that we often had to
bend over to avoid being hit when they flew over.  On some trips I have
been warned that you have to stay perfectly still as movement will scare
the mantas away.  That was definitely not the case in this instance.  Our
moving around had absolutely no effect on the mantas.  They actually
appeared to like being tickled by the bubbles.  There were also muck sites
with amazing creatures, including walking sharks.  I would recommend Raja
Ampat to anyone, although beginners should be aware that there can be
ripping currents.  I would particularly recommend traveling with Burt and
Maurine.  They really know Raja Ampat and Indonesia and know the best sites
to visit.

The Seven Seas was a great boat.  It was comfortable, the crew was great,
and the food was good.  The only way it could be improved would be with the
addition of a camera room for photographers, but I don't know where it
would fit.  As it was, dealing with my camera was not a major problem.    
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Diving Guide to Indonesia
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