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Dive Review of Pindito in
Papua New Guinea/Raja Ampat

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Chuck Edson , OR, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 6518
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Hawaii, Belize, Micronesia, Palau, Wakatobi, Great Barrier Reef, Cozumel,
Solomans, Fiji, Sea of Cortez, Bonaire ...
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
15   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recommended depths and guides were reasonable.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
I did not bring an underwater camera but most of the 16 divers did and
accommodations and care of equipment seemed very adequate.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
This trip was organized by Alan Markis through Dolphin Dive in Sacramento
CA.  It was advertised as "Whale watching and Muck Diving."  A
marine biologist and whale expert, Benjamin Kahn, was on the ship.  He was
VERY knowledgeable and on the first day we spotted Sperm Whales.  Kahn was
on a grant to conduct whale research. Edi Frommenwiler, owner of the Pindio
(the dive boat), was on board.  Edi is a colorful character,
environmentalist and avid underwater photographer who very much supported
Kahns research.  Although the whale watching and listening through the
hydrophone were interesting, these activities compromised the diving
opportunities in my opinion.  We stayed near deep water to increase
prospects of whale sightings which I believe limited chances for good coral
diving locales.  Also, I felt that we spent too much time following
dolphins.  (Many on board enjoyed it though.)  All this said, I do not
regret the trip.  It was a pretty good compromise of mammal pursuit and
diving (though as implied I was disappointed with some dives).  Manta sites
were good and some dives were beautiful.  The dive staff was excellent and
the service was exceptional.  The Indonesians were extremely friendly and
threw a party when we departed.  The food was good but not notable and not
much variety.  I was disappointed that fish was not served more, but that
may have been due to environmental sensitivity.  There was a tour of a
pearl farm. Alan Markis has a following mostly from Central California. 
These divers accepted us newcomers warmly.  Many of them were older than we
are (mid 50s to 60s plus) but there were some youngsters too.  Alan is a
charming person who is very experienced about diving options in Indonesia
but he wasnt always great at guiding his brood through some transfers.  
All this said I would not hesitate to go diving with Alan again on the
Pindito or elsewhere in Indonesia or Raja Ampat.  Time and money limit us,
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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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