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Dive Review of CNDive/Embun Luat in

CNDive/Embun Luat, Mar, 2012,

by Mr Brent Woods, ON, CA (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 11 Helpful votes). Report 6789.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I was in Indonesia as part of group that spent a week on the Pelagean and 10 days at Wakatobi. I will not review them as there are already many reviews for them. Komodo was a personal side trip because I wanted to see the dragons.
When I started looking into going to Komodo, I didn't know it was a dive destination in its own right. I decided that since I would have my dive gear with me, I might as well dive rather than take one of the day trips from Lubuan Bajo on the island of Flores. I looked in the chapbook for information on diving in Komodo and there was none so I researched the dive operators listed in Lonely Planet. I choose CNDive based on a review that described how accommodating and trustworthy this operator is. I found this to be true.
I contacted CNDive and made a reservation for a three day cruise sometime in the week I was to be in Flores. No deposit, pay cash on arrival. Amazingly, my flight from Bali to Flores was on the same basis and both worked out. Indonesian domestic airlines do not have a great reputation. I asked for a recommendation from CNDive and used one of the airlines they recommended.
A word of caution about domestic flights within Indonesia. Flight times change frequently so check the day before and show up early for flights leaving Bali. There is nothing efficient about the domestic terminal in Bali and it is the airport that changes the flight times not the airlines. I missed my return flight to Bali because my afternoon flight became an early morning flight. I was rebooked without any additional charges. Patience and a sense of adventure are essential for independant travel in Indonesia.
Back to the diving. First the boat. My liveaboard cost the equivalent of $150/day. National park fees extra. The boat is basic, of traditional design, has a cannon and in need of some tlc but seaworthy and mechanically sound. It would not be suitable for anyone with mobility problems.
The stated capacity is 12 which would be crowded; the minimum is 4. My trip had three. A group of 11 Indonesians cancelled on short notice and were replaced by an recently certified Argentinean couple. There were two dive masters for us. The dive sites chosen were suitable for all. My dives were longer and deeper. I was able to talk them into a night dive which is not normally offered and at no additional cost.
Food was plentiful and served buffet style. The food is Indonesian and it is not westernized. I have no idea what most of the dishes were but the banana pancakes are memorable (drizzle condensed milk on them) and the fruit fresh.
I did nine dives and a dragon hike on Rinca Island over three days. All the dives were in Komodo National Park. The park has been very effective at protecting the marine environment as well as the islands the dragons live on. The coral is healthy with no signs of dynamite fishing. The fish population is also healthy with lots of large fish including sting rays and mantas and a shark.
There was great diversity in the dive sites. The check out dive with a bit of imagination could be termed a muck dive. There were a couple of dives in the lee of Komodo's famed pinnacles, a manta dive, a drift dive and a couple of shallow wall dives.
Over the three days here I saw nudibranchs (including two that were tailing), sea snakes, sea stars, scorpion fish, large clams, turtles, clown triggerfish, moorish idols, schools of large groupers and spadefish, large jacks, lionfish, ghost pipefish, mating cuttlefish, triton triggerfish, angelfish, mantas, whitetip reef shark, sting rays, hermit crabs, crabs, blue spotted ray, eels, large octopus, sweetlips and many, many more that I don't remember.
In conclusion, diving in Komodo is fantastic. I thought it was better than Wakatobi and the Pelagean because of the variety in the types of dive sites, the top side scenery and an obviously healthy marine ecosystem. I would happily dive in Komodo again and with CNDive. CNDive is not for you if you want luxury or Western food.

Websites CNDive   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Ontario, Quebec, Cuba, Roatan, Red Sea, Little Cayman, St. Eustatius, Saba, Bonaire, Jamaica, Pohnpei, Galapagos, Cost Rica, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Palau, Yap
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas currents
Water Temp 75-81°F / 24-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth, group was split by experience
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments This is a basic boat. There are no dedicated facilities for photographers which was not a problem on my trip due to small number of passengers. Limited number of outlets that battery chargers can be plugged into.
Subject matter was fantastic.
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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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