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Dive Review of Aquamarine/Dive Timor in

Aquamarine/Dive Timor, Sep, 2006,

by Scott Johnson, ca, usa (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 20 reports). Report 3024.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [None]Bali/Timor

First day dove Nusa Penida area….My 300th dive! Another plus was diving with Andrea and Antonella Ferrari, publishers of Reef Life…what big Cameras they have….I was not looking forward to this COLD WATER dive about 77 at the surface and 67 at 116’. First time I have worn a 5mm in 6 or 7 years…felt like a new diver, adjusting weights etc…blowing through air….But this dive would put me in the face of 2 Mola Molas…WOW about 6 footers…Big ones….cold as all get out but worth it! Second day (warm water 81 degrees) did Tulamben Bay which was a black sand beach. This is shore diving, small to large rocks and pebbles…made for some ugly entries and exits for me. First dive was the Liberty wreck…very good dive, then we did the Drop Off and Coral Gardens….lots of small and medium stuff….almost makes me want to become a muck diver…some really unusual creatures….one of the more interesting things I saw…were the women who carried our tanks and gear from one end of the beach to the other…on Top of their Heads and walking on pebbles!

The tour-(ND day) was remarkable, these temples with all the minuet detail…What imagination and artisanship! However, I must suggest get to know a little about the Hindu religion and the historical sights you are going to visit. Do not depend on the guides (or the one I had) to speak fluent English.

I dove and did a tour with AquaMarine, Annabelle and Kristie were very accommodating…Excellent operation…I booked my hotel, diving and tours through them for Bali. I had my own DM for both days! Everything was right on schedule.

Refugee camps are set up around town (due to the violence and burning of so many homes in April/May) with plenty of Aussie and other international troops around. Never felt security was an issue (being an American these days that is important!). The Timorese are very nice people, a nation with no debt, billions in the bank…and they do not know how to use it. They have to have the UN run it for them.

Diving is spectacular. I have never seen so many sea anemone’s and clown fish, every size and color you can imagine of Nudibranchs, leaf fish, scorpion fish, worms up to 3’ long and at least 3” or more circumference munching away, a Spanish Dancer (which is about a 2’ Nudibranch), sea cumbers eating and climbing their way up corals, hard and soft corals of every color etc. etc.….I did a drop off called K57…..This dive had more coral per sq ft than the Big Drop off in Palau has per sq yard…..6’ barrel sponges…strangest stuff crawling around I have ever seen…You can always see something new on every dive. I did dives with nothing but solid coral as far as you could dive and see and I saw one sea anemone that must have been 30’ by 30’ (looked larger) with around 100 clown fish. This area is probably some of the most pristine diving in the world…Nobody comes here! The dives are mostly Shore dives. They do have boat dives but one of Dive Timors boats engines was being replaced….The shore dives are mostly rocky, big and small pebbles….Makes for some pretty ugly entries and exits (for me)….it is worth it! Make sure to bring a bootie with a thick sole!!

I really have nothing to compare Timor to since I have never been to Wakatobi; Red sea is probably the closest, Timor far exceeds the Red Sea. I did meet two people who have dived a reserve in northern Sulawesi; they said Timor was much better. Not a lot of big stuff in Timor and to get to the big stuff…well…Dive Timor is the only operation with a dive boat and it was down the week I was there. I wanted to do a few drift dives or go to Atauro. Steve (instructor) busted his butt to find a boat to make Atauro happen at least once. We were loaded up on a boat one day and when we got to the water the engines would not start ( I felt worse for him than the dive I missed)!....He did get a boat the next day and this diving was a wall dive not much in the way of fish one Shark, pretty wall.

Dive Timor is excellent, I do not know if I can say enough good things about this operation. Margaretha, Steve and Mark (not the owner Mark he was in Australia) makes you feel at home. But you must remember this is a third world country! Not everything works or happens on schedule....Dive Timor has plenty of rental dive gear for those who have not brought theirs and Merpati air…has a strict 20 kilos! In addition, Dive Timor has the Castaway restaurant…Yum.. Simone (owner) imports much of his food from Australia…! Getting to meet some UN, Uncif and Aussies that hang out at Castaways was another plus…great people! Accommodations (where I stayed, nicer hotels are available) are a notch above Christmas Island….but do able. The only negatives on this trip were the loss of two dive days due to Merpati airlines new schedule to Timor, the Dive Timor boat being broken and limited to 45 to 55-minute dives…but that is understandable due to the fact the closest chamber is in Bali. The safe diving Dive Timor preaches does keep you Safe!

Aquamarine and Dive Timor are excellent operations. Weather was perfect, not too hot or humid, Water temps around 81….Then to have your own personal DM or Instructor as your buddy on every dive…and sometimes having to dive with two instructors. How much better can it get?!...I will be back to Timor.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Galapagos, Red Sea, Australia, Truk, Costa Rica, Christmas Island, Hawaii and a few others
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Pretty much 45 to 55 minute dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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