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Dive Review of Dive Damai in
Indonesia/Ambon to Triton Bay

Dive Damai: "Great Boat/Crew with Challenging Dive Conditions", Oct, 2015,

by Michael J. Millet, CA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 81 reports with 48 Helpful votes). Report 8575 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The original itinerary for this 12 night live-aboard trip was to start in Ambon then on to the Banda Islands, next diving the Forgotten Islands and finishing in Triton Bay. However, weather conditions forced a change in the itinerary so that the boat did not reach the Forgotten Islands. Instead we returned to Eastern Seram after diving the Banda Islands and also hitting Nils Desperada for 2 dives. After diving Koon Island, we headed east to Mommon on Papua then down to Triton Bay.

The Damai Dua is a very spacious boat with large cabins, dining area and salon. My cabin had both a queen and single bed plus a desk. It had lots of storage space and several wall hooks. The lighting in the cabin was generally inadequate. The head included a large shower with plenty of hot water. When the boat was underway, the toilet did not always flush properly. The cabin was kept clean and tidy by the crew. The trip fare included laundry.

The Damai Dua is the typical Indonesian live-aboard design with no keel. The boat tended to roll quite a bit even in moderately choppy seas. Some guests became a bit seasick.

The boat offered free wifi that did not work consistently even within range of cell towers.

The dining area is large enough to accommodate 12 guests plus the cruise directors. Then food was generally tasty and plentiful with the kitchen very flexible in satisfying special requests. A nice variety of Indonesian and Western foods were served including tuna, steak and chicken. The trip included beer and a glass of wine at dinner. The salon area is quite comfortable and offered a large library of marine life books. Up top is a large sundeck with plenty of lounge chairs and bean bags.

The Damai Dua has a very spacious and complete camera room with several stations accommodating even large camera rigs. Both 110 and 220 power is provided in a well lit, no A/C in camera room so that outside ambient temperature is maintained.

The dive deck is spacious with each dive station having its own camera rinse tank. After and adequate dive briefing, the crew loads the dive gear on to the skiffs. After a short skiff ride, dive gear is donned then a back roll into the water. 10 dives were divided into 3 separate dive groups with its own dive guide. Dive guides were rotated daily. 2 of the 3 dive guides were excellent critter finders. Upon return to the big boat, the crew unloaded the dive gear from the skiffs, rinsed, dried and folded wet suits, gloves, hoods, etc.

The dive conditions were a bit challenging and somewhat unexpected with relatively cold water, generally 73˚f-76˚f, and low viz. I wore a full 3mm wetsuit on top a full 3mm wetsuit with a beanie and there were some dives where I was still cold.

All U/W photography was macro due to the poor viz and very hazy, smoky skies. The haze was due to fires burning all across Indonesia. The photo subjects were generally: nudibranchs, flatworms, pygmy seahorses, crustaceans, eels, mandarinffish, pipefish, cuttlefish and glimpses of hammerhead sharks.

Because of the very hazy, smoky skies, the air strip at Kaimana was closed indefinitely. So guests would not likely make their international flight connections. However, cruise director, Gerry, did a truly remarkable job of arranging flights from Sorong to Jakarta. The guests chose to forego the last 1 1/2 days of diving so the boat could motor up to Sorong in time to make the flights that had been pre-booked. The total distance travelled on this trip with the re-routing was over 1100 nautical miles.

The Damai Dua is a very nice boat with a great crew. The diving was a bit less than hoped for due to unexpected conditions. I will definitely seriously consider another trip on the Damai Dua.
Websites Dive Damai   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean; Galapagos, Socorro, Fiji, Solomons, GBR, Vanuatu,
PNG, Philippines, Indonesia, Palau, Yap, Kosrae
Closest Airport Ambon Getting There From Denpasar, must connect thru Surabaya and Makassar

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 72-80°F / 22-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 6
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No Deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 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 Damai Dua has a very spacious, well-equipped camera room. Each dive station has its own camera rinse tank. Crew does a good job handling camera gear with care.
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Subscriber's Comments

By lindaron in , at Mar 04, 2016 16:49 EST  
I prefer shorter routes for travel via boat, so that extra time is embedded to accommodate unforeseen events. If the route had been shorter, then perhaps there would have been time for more diving.
By lindaron in , at Mar 04, 2016 16:51 EST  
I prefer shorter routes for travel via boat, so that extra time is embedded to accommodate unforeseen events. If the route had been shorter, then perhaps there would have been time for more diving.
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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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