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Dive Review of Dive Damai in
Indonesia/Banda Sea

Dive Damai: "Decimated marine legacy", Nov, 2017,

by Dan Benson, WA, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 13 Helpful votes). Report 9975 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Indonesia has successfully decimated their marine resource. In 14 days of diving in the Banda Sea, I saw the following creatures larger than a dinner plate: 2 sea turtles, a "school" of barracuda numbering about 10, one white tip shark, one nurse shark, two gray reef sharks, a blue spotted ray, a devil ray and a nice school of rat fish. THAT'S ALL! The larger fish are gone.
I did hear dynamiting on several occasions.
Poor local fishermen and scuba divers compete for the same resources. You can guess which wins that contest. Sustainable isn't in the Indonesian vocabulary.
The Damai sets the standards for customer service. The crew is excellent, and you never touch your gear.
However, there were some problems with the boat. At times there was no water for showers. The drains in the bathroom backed up, the toilet sometimes didn't flush and there was the smell of diesel smell in some rooms. Diving is done from small boats. However, there are only two small dingys and most of the time there were three groups of divers. The divers in the first two groups are taken out to dive while divers in the third group wait for a dingy to return.
This trip went from Ambon to Maumere, Flores accross the Banda Sea. The ship sailed at night so each day we were at a new dive site. Diving was varied, with some wall diving, some muck, and some sea mount diving. The highlight of the trip was probably snake island, where we encountered many sea Kraits.
Currents could be changeable and challenging. And with these conditions you'd expect to find schools of fish, sharks and other handsome creatures. But they just aren't there. It's sad to dive a sea mount or wall and have to content yourself to looking for nudibranchs!
This is a very expensive live-aboard. Because of the mediocre diving and problems with the structure of the boat I don't feel this trip represented a fair value.
The best part of Indonesian diving is muck diving. However, you don't need a live-aboard to dive in the muck.
I say, DON'T GO TO INDONESIA to dive. There are other places around the world with better diving. Places that cherish their marine environment and that work to protect it.

Websites Dive Damai   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Indonesia (6 times), Philippines, Red Sea, Hawaii, West Coast U.S., Bahamas, Cuba, Caymans, Bonaire, Curacao, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Maldives,
Closest Airport Ambon Getting There Flight through Jakarta is a nightmare

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions You're an adult. Act accordingly
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera room is crowded.
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Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Jay Jones in CA, US at Nov 19, 2017 09:01 EST  
Our sentiments exactly on the Banda sea
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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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