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Dive Review of Alor Divers in

Alor Divers, Jul, 2012,

by Mona Cousens, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports). Report 6745.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We came to Alor Divers because we wanted something a little different. Since we have been nearly everywhere divers want to be, and since the Dancer Fleet started an Alor itinerary this summer, we thought we would give it a try. We decided to go land based and chose Alor Divers on the island of Pantar. This resort has been here eight years but not really marketed in the US. We learned about it from a French Divemaster on the Philippine Siren last December. The owners are French.

In the French laissez faire style, the resort is very basic. Rooms are bungalow style with patio looking at the water and very basic furniture. Table and chairs out of hard wood, bed hardwood with mosquito net, a desk and hard wood chair, two hard wood lounge chairs in the sand outside and some wood shelves.
The bathroom has a hot water shower which is appreciated.
There is a room fan but at this time of year it is not needed as the air is fresh.

We saw no mosquitos when here. They say they just donít have them.

The diving is par for the course in this part of the world. Reefs are fairly healthy but scarce for fish in some areas as the locals need to eat. At least we did not see evidence of dynamite fishing. They use bamboo traps. For us old salts, we have not seen anything out of the ordinary, but the Slovenian fellow who is on his first trip to this part of the world is thrilled with the one cockatoo waspfish, two banded pipefish, some sea snakes, various coral crabs including hairy squat lobster and porcelin crabs. There are also frogfish here at certain times and rhinopias.

The diving is difficult due to the fact that there is no pier and you must wade into the water and take a small ponga back and forth to the dive boat which is moored off shore. The ponga leaks and someone must be the designated ďbailerĒ if you donít want to sink. Your gear is kept on the boat and is ready to go when you are so you donít have to worry about that, just take your wetsuit back and forth and your camera.

Our divemaster for the week has only been here three months, so still learning the sites.
He is Italian and adheres to the laissez faire French attitude (or Italian che sera, sera) by not briefing us well on the site, and changing the dive plan underwater as he likes. He also does not see why we do not want to swim against heavy current to come back to the boat. Why should the boat move when we can just as easily crawl across the bottom to get back to it? After a couple days of this, he did agree to go get the boat on one of the dives while the rest of us sheltered in a tiny cove away from ripping current.

The currents are so utterly unpredictable I cannot recommend this for beginners. Just not safe for you. Many sites which are world class cannot be dived most of the time as you just cannot get in there whenever you want. Currents of course change due to the time of year and lunar cycle, but even the owner who has been there 8 years could not predict what would be happening on any given day.

You are given two boat dives per day. One at 8:00 and one at 2:00. In between and after you are welcome to beach dive the house reef. They are quite accommodating about this and will leave a tank for you if you wish to go at 4 AM like the Slovenian fellow who was here with us.

The food has been some of the worst I have had at a dive resort. In all fairness, we learned the cook had quit just before we arrived so we have nothing else to compare it to. You just eat basically the same thing everyday. Breakfast is burnt eggs or bread and cheese. Lunch and dinner is some type of stir fry. No desserts , which is good in a way. It forces you to lose weight while on vacation. Something not easily done.

The owner and his wife are planning on leaving the island soon and are hoping to turn over the operation to the Italian fellow and his British wife. They do not know the area well, but the French owners have two children who need to go to school so they are going to live in Bali soon.

As for a recommendation, if you are American and coming to this area, go liveaboard.
You can see all the sites in the four days the Dancer was around the area. If you are looking for something low key and REALLY, REALLY, away from it all... this is for you.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, PNG, Borneo, Indonesia, Most Caribbean, Solomons, Panama, etc etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas currents, no currents
Water Temp 74-81°F / 23-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You needed to stay with the divemaster and get out when he did.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There is no set up for photographers. You carry your camera through the waves to the ponga to the very basic boat.
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Subscriber's Comments

By hawaiiholly in , at Dec 05, 2012 22:38 EST  
I totally agree with Mona regarding the currents, they are so unpredictable and can switch many times on a dive. Some being so strong that you have to choose to hold onto the bottom or your mask (no turning the head, as it will rip right off). Alor is a unique destination and have to say glad we did a liveaboard....
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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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