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Dive Review of Dive Damai/Damai I in
Indonesia/Banda Sea

Dive Damai/Damai I: "adventures in the eastern Banda Sea", Oct, 2014,

by Rickie Sterne/Chris Button, AR, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 7955 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Bay Islands, Belize, Bonaire, Caymans, Cozumel, Turks&Caicos, Sea of Cortez, GBR, Fiji, Truk, Yap, Palau, other areas of Indonesia
Closest Airport Ambon for this itinerary Getting There Denpasar-Surabaya-Ambon on Garuda;pretty direct & easy thanks to Reef & Rainforest

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 75 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions dive safely; dive guides stayed down as long as we wanted to and as long as we had air
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments The Damai I has a dedicated camera room with twelve work stations. Both 110 and 220 plugs are available. Towels were provided, and whe ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Our two-week cruise aboard the lovely Damai I took us to only three sites we had visited on a previous, "classic" Banda Sea trip. We boarded the boat in Ambon. Three dives were offered in Ambon Bay that day. We thought a Rhinopias, a blue ringed octopus, and a coconut octopus carrying eggs constituted a good start to any dive trip.
The Damai I can carry twelve divers, but only seven were on board for our cruise. Our more-or-less English-speaking group consisted of two Californians, two northern Brits, an Aussie, and us two Arkansans. Due to the small number of divers, each couple enjoyed a private dive guide during the entire trip. The Aussie woman, a fairly new diver, was assigned a permanent guide to herself. The other three excellent guides rotated among the couples.
The dive deck on the Damai is the most spacious in the world. Each dive station is separated from its neighbor by a small private rinse tank. In addition to giving divers elbow room, the individual rinse tanks protects camera ports and means that divers can rinse their masks without concern for infection control. All diving is done from tenders. The crew carried our gear and our cameras to and from the tender boats, which are entered via a ladder on the starboard side. Gear was handled very carefully, and no diver reported any gear or camera damage. The tenders have holes for tanks and no gunnels. The usual entry was by backroll, but the dive guide and tender driver were happy for me to don my gear in the water. The very stable ladders are at the stern of the tender, making it easy to climb out of the water under gear. Most divers, however, chose to hand their gear up before exiting the water. Tender drivers stay on the dive site during the dives. Another indication of the Damai's concern for diver safety is that each dive guide carries an EPIRB device. We were served water on the dive deck before we entered the tenders, and we were welcomed back with hot cocoa. The crew rinsed our neoprene in some sort of cleaner after each dive and hung it to dry. When we came on deck for the next dive, we found our wetsuits and rash guards neatly folded at our dive stations. Each dive station is assigned the name of a fish or critter and has a specific towel embroidered with that critter for drying o ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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Subscriber's Comments

By kenneth l smith in ZZ, AF at Nov 19, 2014 13:22 EST  
Perhaps our full review of the Damai led them to make a few changes. Ben Davison
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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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