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Dive Review of misool eco resort in
Indonesia/raja ampat

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Hollie Lindauer, OR, US
Reviewer   (5 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6480
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
red sea, caymans, palau, rangiroa, fiji, philippeans, roatan, belize,
cozumel, hawaii
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max time - about 60 minutes - some guides were more restrictive than
others.  Max depth - was suggested at 90' first dive, 60'-80' second, 60'
3rd and 40' 4th dive.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
Desk tops with power stations, lighting and internet are provided in the
dive center for each room.   The dive guides try very hard to locate
specimens for photos, often going separately at greater depths to find a
pygmy seahorse or something, then calling photographers down to avoid deco
times.   They do charge for internet access.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
Combining the flights and boat journey, it takes about 1 1/2 days to get to
the resort from Bali and about 2 full days to return to Bali.  It is
similar for Jakarta.  

Flights (lion air, garuda, express air) from Bali are routed through
Makassar to Sorong with an overnight required on the outbound and direct on
the return.   The outboard boats take about 4.5 hours between Sorong and

Flights can be delayed and after meeting our flight, the misool staff
deposited us at the local hotel until we were all ready to depart at about
3:30 pm.  The port does require some climbing aboard and across the
outboards from the docks.  Our afternoon boat trip was very choppy to
pounding on the open seas.  The weather frequently changed from sun to
cloudy to rain.  

The resort itself is gorgeous and an amazing accomplishment.  It is
entirely constructed of reclaimed wood.  They have worked hard to
incorporate many ecological features -desalinating water, creating septic
gardens, water saving devices, sustainable food sources only.  The rooms
are comfortable and elegant with spacious decks and steps into the lagoon. 
The lagoon has beautiful clear water and octopus, moray, spotted sting ray,
needle fish and baby sharks are often visible from the board walks.  This
easily accessed lagoon is a great snorkel and swimming area and part of the
house reef. 

All the public rooms and the room bathrooms are open air, which is
problematic for mosquitoes.  Bring your own deet - they do have citronella
for sale.   There is a dehumidifier in the rooms - so they are not really
air conditioned.  There are fans and mosquito nets.

The food is plentiful - cereal and yogurt at 8am breakfast (dive 1), main
breakfast was pancakes or eggs at 11 (dive 2), lunch 2 (dive 3) and dinner
(night dive) often offered indonesia /european dishes, fried calamari,
fried chicken with vegetarian options - tempe, tofu  Afternoon tea was
baked goods, cookies or fruit/nuts (dusk dive 4).  Fresh fruits and
vegetables did run out. Drinks were always available, including smoothies,
beer and some wines.  The staff is local and very helpful/thoughtful. 

The dive guides consisted of 4 local crew and one briton who was fairly new
to the resort.  They do rotate staff for time off.  Nitrox is free and
measured between 26-31 %.  They were always willing to add you to or remove
you from any  of the 4-5 dives offered daily.  We went out twice alone with
our dive guide.  Usually there were 4 or 5 in our group. If there were 6,
we had a second guide.  Or if the boat had 8 we went into 2 separate
groups.   Dive sites are 5-20 min. away.  Some days we did breakfast on an
island to avoid returns. 

Dive entry is a roll off the side of the open outboards.  They do have an
awning on each boat.   On return from dives, you hand up weights and
inflated, fins at ladder.  I thought they were a bit strict on the 60

The guests were from australia, sweden, germany, US and austria.  Most were
photographers.  Given the unusual and variety of species with mild
currents, it's pretty ideal for photographers.  The guides did check for
currents and made every attempt to avoid any difficulties.  Corals are
often feeding and I got the impression that the 60-100' vis was good.

The guides did have some difficulty restraining photographers who had full
lights on night critters/shark and who sat on corals while photographing.  
The soft corals are stunning, with huge sea fans and whips often protruding
from wall faces - that makes them difficult to protect with some divers.

The hard corals do show damage from monsoon storms and dynamite diving. 
The resort is located at an old shark finning/fishing camp.   They do add
their own enforcing of the marine preserve and are doing some reef
restoration work along with manta research.

One manta and one leopard shark was sited during our trip.  We would often
see one or two large black/white tips per dive,  a turtle or two.  There
were small schools of bream, jacks, mackerel, bump heads, bat fish and
snapper. Larger schools of banner, fusiliers, anthias, glass fish. 
Wonderful varieties of angels, snappers, damsels, butterfly, parrot,
trigger, file, dart, clown and anemones - very active and unique
nudibranchs, huge flat worms, mantis shrimp - and pygmy seahorses, squat
lobsters, crinoid shrimp for the eagle eye - we often saw scorpion and leaf
fish, epaulette and wobegone sharks. 

Sadly there is plastic trash floating in the water and on the beaches from
the shipping lanes.  Diving is very similar to Wakitobi.  The resort is
smaller, not as easy to get to and not as luxurious (ac, boats and food). 
Misool is newer and they are expanding.
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