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Dive Review of Sorido Bay Resort in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Fred Turoff, PA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5018
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Costa
Rica, Coco Island, Revillagigedos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap, Red Sea,
Sipadan, PNG, Indonesia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, currents  
Water Temp
83   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
suggested time limit but guide stayed with us until we were ready to
finish. sport dive depth limit was mentioned, but my deepest dive was to 86
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Rinse tanks on jetty where boats docked. Cameras kept in rooms, where
charging stations, table and shelves offer work and storage space. Staff
offered to carry cameras, but I use this as exercise. On boats, cameras
protected and handled well but no rinse tank. A room on the land-end of the
jetty may become a camera room.
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  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
I visited Sorido three years ago while it was partly under construction.
With most of the building now completed, the resort is a beautiful place to
visit, with native hardwoods used in the buildings and walkways, spacious
bungalows with toilets and showers ensuite, plus plenty of lounging and
office space. I noticed an improved selection and variety of food items for
each meal from three years back. Fresh fruit and pastries were always
available in the lounge area along with a variety of drinks. Owner Max
Ammer was present much of the time (and full of stories), but also watched
over his other nearby resort on the small island, Kri Eco. Leon and Claudia
Pellarini Joubert ( ran the dive and photo operations
smoothly. We did two morning dives and one afternoon dive each day, with
optional night dives when requested. After each dive, when we returned to
the resort, we were met with freshly made fruit smoothies.

The house reef, Cape Kri, is known for its prolific fish life, and offered
a chance to see mandarinfish court during dusk hours by the dive jetty. A
school of spadefish calls the jetty home, allowing photographers an
excellent backdrop for schooling spadefish photos. This area is known for
at least four species of pygmy seahorses, and I was able to photograph all
four. Dive guide Dolphinus was amazing in his ability to find these tiny
creatures. In addition to lots of small creatures, these pristine reefs
feature an extremely large amount of fish life. Our one disappointment was
a visit to Manta Point, where no mantas showed, so we headed to a
relatively recently discovered reef where it seemed millions of baitfish
swarmed and tried to avoid the predatory jacks hunting them. Wobbegon
sharks were spotted on many dives, often hiding in niches filled with
glassy sweepers. Nearby, schools of sweetlips crowded together to face the
current and provide interesting portraits. A tridachna larger than me
highlighted one site where current kept us tied to the reef while the fish
stayed in place effortlessly. Schools of bumphead parrotfish cruised by on
occasion, sometimes allowing a close approach. Four mobula rays passed
overhead in formation on our first day. Sharks of several species passed us
during a few dives, cruising the walls. Healthy corals abound. Nudibranchs,
shrimp, cuttlefish, octopi and Napoleon wrasse were often spotted. A clown
triggerfish was being cleaned by several shrimp, while a piece of crinoid
remained stuck to its cheek. Barracuda schools passed nearby while ghost
pipefish tried to melt into the background. On a night dive I found two
species of octopi that I hadnt seen before, a slender filefish colored
green like the plants it hid in and a juvenile stonefish, looking like a
black fuzzy rock. During a surface interval spent at a local village, we
snorkeled around its jetty and found a fish soup made up of several species
of silvery fish numbering beyond our ability to count. These schools looked
like a wavy bottom that constantly changed shape.

With the sun, earth and moon in alignment during our stay, the tidal swings
were large, exposing many corals at low tide and making me wonder how they
kept alive while baking in the sun. For most of our visit, the weather was
sunny and warm, but plenty of shaded areas helped keep sunburn away. Boats
also were shaded. The majority of dive sites were within 15 minutes,
although a few, like Manta Point, required a longer trip. With water temp
hovering around 84 F, all were comfortable. (Being thin, I wear a wet suit
and hooded vest as I get cold easily.) Since no diving is done on Saturday,
a trip to a nearby village and a hike through the jungle to seek the red
bird of paradise is an option. We also visited an area called The Passage
where rock islands like Palau create many secluded lagoons and offer
climbing opportunities for adventurous souls. Seeing these mounds of old
coral made me wonder when they were undersea or when the seabed lifted,
turning coral heads into islands.

The week I was there we had 10 guests, all of whom spoke English. Countries
represented were Belgium, US, Indonesia, Germany, while Max is originally
Dutch, Leon is South African and Claudia is Italian. All workers were
either locals or from other parts of Indonesia. Max recently obtained a
small seaplane, which he flew several times while we were there, once on an
unsuccessful attempt to direct us to dugongs with which we hoped to

Although there were occasional currents that made diving and photography a
challenge, for the most part the warm water, visibility and prolific life
made each dive a wonderful experience. Ill return again in the future,
hopefully with some friends who have yet to see the wonders of Raja Ampat,
a part of the world that every diver should visit. Due to plane schedules,
it took me three days to get there from the east US. Coming home I spent a
day in Bali to relax before the 30-hour trip home from Denpasar. Dont let
the travel time to and from worry you  its worth it.
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