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Dive Review of Worldwide Dive and Sail PA Siren in
Indonesia/Komodo

Worldwide Dive and Sail PA Siren, Jul, 2012,

by Ann Mecklem, Bowen, AU ( 1 report). Report 6651.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Mexico, Australia, Palau, Truk Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 20 to 25 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 5 to 30 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Most dives were recommended 60 minutes max.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Underwater photographers are well catered for on this boat. A great deal of bench space inside the saloon for camera gear as well as your own large personal storage drawer in the saloon to keep all your camera goodies nearby without having to run back and forth to your cabin to get things. The crew are really great when handling your gear. They have obviously been trained on how to handle camera gear. I've never experienced crew being so great with the cameras before.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We did a 10 night trip on the PA Siren at the end of July 2012. In all honesty, this was, hands-down the BEST liveaboard dive trip we have ever been on. The boat has truly been designed with diver's needs in mind. The cabins are very spacious - two to three times larger than any we have stayed in on past liveaboards. Plenty of storage space in the cabin and extra storage for each guest up in the saloon. It was great having a small drawer just for me to keep my sunglasses, sunblock, above water camera, book, etc in so I didn't have to always go back to the cabin for it. Each diver also has a large crate/drawer in the saloon to store extra camera gear, etc for easy access before diving.

We booked this trip because it was advertised for rebreather divers. My husband dives a Hollis Prism 2 rebreather and I chose to take the Poseidon Rebreather course while onboard this trip. My instructor, Thomas, was great and made learning to dive the rebreather a much less stressful task than I thought it would be. I actually enjoyed diving the Poseidon and am very happy I now have the certification as next time I am on a Siren boat I can hire one of their rebreathers and will not have to bring one myself. At this early stage in my rebreather diving, my favourite thing about diving a rebreather (besides how quiet it is and how warm you are when using it) is that I never had to worry about being low on air :). I like that! As far as catering for other rebreathers, my husband was able to source the correct sodasorb (you should book this ahead of time) onboard (which is great he didn't have to bring that as we have had it confiscated in transit on other trips). O2 fills for his rebreather were also no problem. Note, if you are bringing your own rebreather, check with WDS ahead of time as far a tanks and sorb go. You may need to bring your own if they do not have the size for your unit.

The cruise director, dive guides, captain and crew (and of course Frank, the owner, who was on our trip) are wonderful and welcoming people. We have found that the attitude of the people working on the boat really makes a difference in how enjoyable the trip is. Everything is thought of for you and really all you have to think about is gearing up, getting on the dinghy and diving. Everything else is done for you. We were lucky enough to have Sunshine waiting for us with the beverage of our choice as soon as we climbed back onboard after each dive (water, hot chocolate, tea... whatever you wanted, you got). The service from the crew on this boat was exemplary. I must give a special mention to Rachman... He was wonderful in helping me into and out of the Poseidon Rebreather and he managed to always have a smile on his face while helping. Bless him, he saved my back! If he wasn't right there when I got to my spot, someone else was always there to help me with it.

The dive briefings were very detailed and if there were going to be currents involved, we were advised of that during the briefing. In my opinion, personal responsibility lies with the diver (not the guides or dive company) as to what type of dives a diver can (or should) do. I appreciated the detail put into the briefings which allowed the divers to make the decision as to whether or not they did a dive. Certainly staying with the guides during dives enabled us to see more critters/action and get the most of dives.

The food served to us on this trip by Chefs Ivan and Andri was wonderful. We had a mix of international cuisine for dinner each night, hearty selections for lunch and 2 breakfasts each morning! The second breakfast (after the first dive each day) even had cooked to order eggs or omelettes. Included in your trip is soft drinks, tea, coffee (even a fancy coffee machine onboard), and Bintang (local Indonesian beer). Each night there were fresh desserts served at the end of dinner. Amazing what they can whip up in the galley onboard. We enjoyed the food and drinks very much.

As for safety onboard... We never had any issues to make us concerned. As a matter of fact, this is the only live aboard we have been on where we were actually shown where our lifejackets are AND had a proper "muster drill" where we had to each get our lifejackets and go to the area where we would go in an actual emergency with our lifejackets. Never felt anything but safe on this trip.

The land excursion to Rinca to see the Komodos was a nice experience. We enjoyed the trek through the "jungle" and seeing the dragons and monkeys was a great enhancement to the diving.

Oh, almost forgot... we had an issue with a missing bag once we got on the boat. After the boat left Bima and all our dive gear had been sorted out of our bags my husband noticed his small clothing suitcase wasn't onboard. We should have realised this earlier, however, as soon as we told Frank, he immediately contacted someone at the airport and our bag was found and delivered to the boat by dinghy while we were at the first dive site not far from Bima. Thank goodness! It was great and nobody made a big deal out of it or made us feel like idiots for not realising it sooner.

Speaking of baggage... We did have excess baggage. The flights within Australia and to Bali from Australia were no problem for us as we were able to pay for extra bags when we bought our tickets. The Bali to Bima flight costs us an extra (1,160,000 IDR) on the way out (that's about $120 Australian dollars... but we had planned on this). The great thing was, on the way back, Frank was at the airport with us and was able to negotiate a much lower rate for us (about half what we paid going into Bima.) We hadn't expected that, so it was a really nice touch.

We look forward to arranging a trip on the PA Siren once she moves to Palau. We did enjoy this trip very much and would do this itinerary again with the Siren fleet.

We are now spoiled and ruined for all other live aboard companies. We look forward to being back onboard a Siren boat and we miss the diving, the crew, the food, and the wake up songs!

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Subscriber's Comments

By Mark Shandur in ZZ, TH at Aug 30, 2012 03:18 EST  
We are pleased to read you had a great trip on the Palau Siren whilst she is in Indonesia this season. Congratulations on passing your rebreather training course and we look forward to welcoming you and Brian back anytime. best wishes from the Siren Fleet
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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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