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Dive Review of Dive Damai in

Dive Damai, Feb, 2013,

by Gari Sisk, AK, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 6912.

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 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is an beautiful Indonesian wooden boat with an awesome crew! While we were on board, there were 17 crew/8 guests. We booked this boat back in March 2010, initially through Dive Damai, and then had Reef and Rainforest (the best agency for dive travel!) take over the booking and manage the details for us.

There were a few disappointments...when we booked the boat, it had 4 "equal" size staterooms, which changed since the initial booking, so 2 couples were in smaller rooms (although still generously sized). Now, there are 2 master cabins, 2 double cabins, and 2 single cabins that can accommodate 10 divers. The boat was scheduled to depart from Bima, but instead departed from Bali, making for a rough 18 hr. water crossing. The A/C in one of the rooms became sub-optimal during the week, but the crew did everything to try to make the situation bearable.

That said, the diving was wonderful. Andrina and Simon are brilliant and enthusiastic. Dive Masters Gusti, Adri, and Refley were good at finding things underwater, evaluating the currents at the sites, and optimizing each dive site.

The available equipment onboard is top notch, and it really is un-necessary to bring your own gear, unless you are a really unusual fit. Having laundry service available is also key to keeping your checked bag size down. The maximum for checked luggage (inter-island) is 15kg, even though the "published" weight says 20kg.

The land tour to see the Komodo dragons was unbelievable, as was our anchorage off of a beach for 2 nights, where we would watch them from the safety of the Damai.

This is the first live aboard (in the 15 years I have been doing live-aboards) that actually respected the dietary requests made by the guests. We had requested Indonesian fare, and had a large number of fish, chicken, pork, and shrimp dishes prepared in a Balinese fashion.

In regards to the "encounters" section, the marks are a bit misleading. While we did not see LOTS of sharks, we usually saw at least 1/day at the dive sites. As far as mantas, to say we saw "squadrons" would be incorrect, but the dive(s) we specifically targeted them, we did see them (8 at once, but 27+ sightings at one site).

There was a masseuse on-board that would give up to 3 massages/day, but I did not utilize this service. Those who did enjoyed it immensely, and signed up early!

This group is interested in doing more of Indonesia on this boat in the future, and our group was deeply saddened by the passing of Refley's 11 y.o. daughter from Dengue fever while we were on the boat. He and his family remain in our prayers.
Websites Dive Damai   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Maldives, Palau, Fiji, Utila, Okinawa, Puget Sound, Thailand, Australia, Truk, Hawaii, Little Cayman, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 78-83°F / 26-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-70 Ft/ 12-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Self enforcement within Nitrox guidelines.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We did not bring a camera, but the boat is set up well to accommodate photographers.
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Subscriber's Comments

By report author: Gari Sisk in AK, US at Mar 12, 2013 11:21 EST  
Sounds like fun. I just checked out the Reef/Rainforest site. Wow! Planning my next trip!
By DAVID SHEM-TOV in LONDON, GB at Mar 17, 2013 06:59 EST  
I would rather have an 18hr water crossing from Bali on the Damai than having to brave a Merpati flight from Bali to Bima. On our last trip, 3 of the guests had their luggage left in Bali requiring a day's diving wasted waiting for it. The Damai is a top notch operation.
By Ridgely Duvall in MA, US at Mar 18, 2013 16:19 EST  
I think I would too! Always better on a boat than on a plane. Hi David I met you on the Bilikiki once...
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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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