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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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July 2019    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 34, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Raja Ampat, Bonaire, Maldives, Cozumel . . .

and endless trash spilling into the water

from the July, 2019 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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From time to time, we select salient reports from readers to suggest great dive destinations for your consideration, as well as places not to go or things for which to watch out.

For this issue, we have in hand a full travel review about diving in the Dominican Republic, but given the mysterious deaths of tourists there recently (there is speculation that drinks from the minibar were the cause of some deaths), I don't think it would be useful to devote four pages to Dominican Republic diving, especially since it's not on the radar of serious divers.

On Land at Raja Ampat

One area that is on the radar for serious divers is Raja Ampat, on the far eastern end of Indonesia. While many divers join liveaboards -- once a bargain, now pricey -- there are several good land-based operations, and we'd like to point out a couple.

Misool Eco Resort consistently gets top-notch reviews, and Kay Schroer (Templestowe, Australia), who was there in April, says "Misool is a vast, patrolled, marine-protected area, and as a result, the walls and reefs are covered with healthy hard and soft corals, brilliantly colorful on top of the reef. Reefs are teaming with fish of every color and size, and we saw oceanic mantas on our last dive. The dive guides are experienced and great at spotting all the tiny pygmy seahorses and more. The resort, with its water cottages situated over the lagoon, is wonderful. From the deck or dining area, you can see turtles, sharks and other fish. The covered and outdoor dining areas are lovely and the food delicious, though don't expect fish -- Misool is a no-take zone." Amazing, isn't it, how divers love fresh fish dinners, then lament the paucity of decent-sized fish on the reefs? (

"Plastic bags were floating all over, and down on the bottom, hurting photography. On top, they looked like jellyfish, until you got close."

Another fine choice is Sorido Bay Resort, built and managed by Dutchman Max Ammer, who pioneered Raja Ampat diving in the '90s. Valera Saknenko (Richmond Hill, Ontario), there in December, says, "I could not imagine a better dive resort (Editor's note: They have also been to Misool Eco Resort). SBR is a very small resort, maximum 18 guests. All cottages are very spacious and located on a nice sandy beach, about 10 meters from water. Diving was fantastic. I was overwhelmed with the variety and number of fish and beauty of corals. At the site Manta Dropoff, mantas were on top of each other and on top of divers. There were many black-tip sharks, wobbegong sharks, crocodilefish, schools of bumphead parrotfish, huge schools of jacks, barracudas, sweetlips everywhere. Currents could be very strong, but guides were very careful to avoid any troubles. At Manta Dropoff, they actually secured a rope to accommodate a safety stop because the current was very strong." Saknenko noted that as vegans, she and her buddy had some difficulty with the Indonesian food. You can see videos from her trip at: ( ...

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