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Dive Review of Arenui in

Arenui, May, 2014,

by Patricia Benton, Buckingham, GB (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 7643.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Alor-Komodo Megafauna 5-18 May 2014 with Dr Andrea Marshall

I have already submitted one review, mainly about the Arenui and the service side. This review concentrates more on the actual trip:

We recently returned from third trip on board the Arenui. We have previously been on the Raja Ampat and the Sorong to Ambon trips and experienced all the wonderful diving included in those.

We booked this trip because it was to areas we had not dived before with Arenui and included the added big attraction of Manta Queen Dr Andrea Marshall being on board. We expected to learn a lot about the Marine Megafauna Foundation and in particular mantas, our favourites – we were not disappointed.

We first headed east to Alor in the hope of catching up with megafauna and the renowned diving. The diving was exceptional. We saw eight different rhinopias (paddle flap and weedy scorpion fish). We saw so many that it became hard to appreciate that they are so very special!

We saw megafauna, but not in the circumstances we would have wished. In fact, we saw local fishermen with a mola mola they had caught, roped it through its eye sockets and tied it to the back of their boat. They hoped that we would pay them for the experience of seeing the creature – obviously, we did not.

We also saw another boat that had caught a young thresher shark – again, with the hope that we would pay for their so called catch and release practice. A known liveaboard promotes this. This practice is to be deplored by all real divers.

We visited a traditional Abui Tribe Village to learn about their lifestyle.

We visited Lamakera Village and were shown how they catch manta rays to feed the Chinese demand for manta gill rakers with their bogus medicinal properties.

One highlight of the trip was a visit to the Komba volcano, a semi-active volcano that has minor eruptions every 10 to 20 minutes. We arrived after dark and motored at a safe distance as we watched puffs of smoke and lava falling into the sea. Suddenly, after a gap of about 20 minutes, the top of the volcano began to glow followed by an enormous explosion and a very big lava shower. This was an exciting experience, demonstrating on a relatively small scale the power of volcanoes.

We moved west to Komodo and, following Andrea’s application of a good luck charm (a painted pink toe nail for everyone on board including captain and crew!) had the best manta sighting we have ever had. They were cleaning and feeding in the strong currents and, with our careful observation of these beautiful creatures, they were not in the least disturbed by our excitement. Andrea and her husband identified abut 30 individual mantas.

We were guided to the best dive sites in all the areas we visited and experienced wonderful diving.

All this was made very special by the flexibility of the trip. We made land-based excursions as well as well diving at the best dive sites.

We learned a great deal from Andrea and her husband, Janneman. We helped them to gain valuable manta sightings and obtaining details of local manta fishing to assist them and the MMF to promote alternative practices to local communities.

In addition to Andrea’s very informative presentations, she and Janneman both freely shared their knowledge and experiences with us.

In addition to all of the above, the food and service aboard Arenui was first class. The cruise directors, captain, dive masters, cooks, stewards, room boy, tender drivers, engineers, are all exceptional.

Thank you all for another addition to our best lifetime experiences.
Websites Arenui   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Thailand, Mallorca, Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 27-29°C / 81-84°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 10-20 M / 33-66 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions per PADI recreational diving: 30m depth
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Plenty of space for large and small cameras, together with lots of charging points. Help and advice given when needed.
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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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