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Dive Review of Dive into Ambon/Maluku Resort and Spa, in

Dive into Ambon/Maluku Resort and Spa, : "Dive into Ambon", Oct, 2016,

by Mike , MI, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 9152 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 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 $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Arrived Saturday morning and we were picked up at the airport. A 25 to 30 minutes of interesting drive from the airport to the resort, the driver could do the Baja. We had not planned on diving till Sunday due to the red eye flight but the young Malayan couple that joined us at the airport went diving that afternoon in pursuit of the psychedelic frog fish which is only found in the Ambon and Bali area. This was the sole reason for their weekend trip (back Sunday night) from Kuala Lumper. They bagged it, beautiful pictures.

Had a quiet morning talking to Kaj and met his partner Barb an Ausi expat. We then unpacked in the cottage, got settled and had a nap. Later we set up the gear in a nice gear room and from there on the guides took care of it, whether you are taking a 10 min van ride to the other side of the island for muck diving in the bay or simply catching a boat right at the resort. Weights are in Kg so remember 1 kg is 2.2 Lbs. A nice camera room is also available. Set up the cameras and they give you a box to put it in and they will take care of it from the resort to the boat. Voltage stabilized power supply is available in the camera room if you are worried about your battery’s or chargers.

Did the usual paperwork and discovered the Indonesian navy runs a chamber only 7 kl from the resort and will service any civilian dive emergency as well as their own people. The military also has a diving quick response unit that will respond when requested. Only limitation to divers here is a prohibition on solo divers even if so rated.

First day it was off to Ambon bay to search for the “psyco” frog fish today but no luck. The earlier group from another dive operation said they found it but we couldn’t, I wonder? Plenty of other things to keep your interest. Lots of eels. Dives were relatively shallow and all over 1 hr. No camera tank on the boat but back at the resort we soaked things through dinner to compensate. It is a full day on the boat along with lunch and arriving back just before sunset.

One thing I found amazing was how many fishing boats were simply at anchor in the bay. I gave up counting after hitting 50. Turns out this is a result of the Indonesian minister of fisheries banning foreign fishing boats. Turns out all these boats are all foreign owned, Thai, Korean, Chinese, or Taiwanese with a few Vietnamese. Their choice was arrest in Ambon bay or if caught on the open sea to get blown up. They have been tied up for 2 years now and hopefully will be abandoned. Good for the Indonesians. In fact, other than subsistence fishing we saw no mechanized fishing activity while there. The “hearsay” is subsistence fisherman used to go out to 100 km to get any tuna and now they only have to go 30 km for their daily catch.

The second day was what they call the wide angle side which is actually the Banda Sea. If you head south the next stop is Darwin, Australia. One boat is kept in Ambon bay and one at the resort for the wide angle trips. Out into the sea, down through a swim through and coral walls. Beautiful coral walls and healthy reef fish. Largest we saw at the drop off was two Napoleon Wrasse.

Diving we did three days in Ambon Bay and three out to sea. Great muck diving in the bay once your eye gets used to what to look for. The visibility varies a lot and there can be fairly fast current as the tide fills the bay as it did on the afternoons during our stay. No problem just go with it. Do not be surprised to see plastic garbage, just look under it for the critters. All the usual critters you find muck diving with the biggest being the eels, the tiny and large frog fish of all colors and the most unusual thin two male scorpion fish having a territory dispute. Great pics.

The wide angle side is coral and wall diving. Again there can be current but just go with it. Interesting dive to 70 ft. to boil eggs in what is a volcanic vent area. Bury the eggs in the gravel for four minutes and then eat a medium boiled egg. Another one is an easy gravel rock floored cave with a little sunlight getting in. There is no silt to stir up. You surface and then do the shut all lights off. The surprise if you wait is the neon fish that will show up in the cave. On these trip, depending on the dive sites used the lunch will be on island beaches. Largest thing we say was whales while traveling between sites. No we didn’t jump in since the sea was quite rough in that area. Largest critters were the Wrasse which we saw a couple of different times and a 2 to 3 meter hammerhead.

Food is Indonesian, mainly chicken or fish. Vegetarian is available. Breakfast eggs how you like them or Asian being soup, rice, and generally chicken. Lunch is on the boat and dinner around 7:00 pm. Bar service is provided by the dive operation with a selection of Australian and Indonesian (yes, Indonesian) wines, a number of beers and cider. The wines were surprise. If you like hard liquor I would suggest you stop at duty free before entering Indonesia. Linda did try the spa service and recommended it but I was drinking beer with Kaj.

There is a good web site, search for “Dive into Ambon” and Kaj and Barb are easily reachable. To get an idea of some of Kaj’s fantastic underwater video have a look at “Liquid”.
For diving there are three boats, two to accommodate large groups (10 diver), one in the bay and one on the resort side. There is also a smaller boat which is used on whichever side it is needed. Rental gear looked good and I would not hesitate to use it. Water temperature was from 81F to 84F so I wore a 3 mil and was fine considering I now get cold quickly. If you get cold take a hood or a vest. The crew, boat and dive guides are all local Ambon people who work at the operation year around. Employing the locals and creating a local labor pool has been a goal of Kaj and Barb.

We took Saturday off to degas so we hired a local driver to look around. First stop was the sacred eels, if you touch them you will be lucky. They feed the eels and they are very friendly. Have to give it time about the luck. Drove around town to see what was there and had lunch downtown. Went to the wet market and what we say was a great proliferation of vegetables and locally caught fish. A very nice offering and somewhere I would buy fish if I lived there. The museum was closed so the final stop of the day was the WW 2 Allied cemetery which is well kept up by Australia.

We are planning our next trip there this winter.
Websites Dive into Ambon   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Eastern Pacific, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Solomon's, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean
Closest Airport Ambon Getting There Direct from Jakarta, Bali or Makassar

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-150 Ft/ 15-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Only restriction was no solo divers even if you are rated.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments No rinse tank on boats but they put one on for the wide angle side.Fresh water soak tanks after coming back. Good camera room. What we find traveling around Asia is a lot of people put their masks with the ensuing soap in the rinse tanks so we now prefer to rinse and soak when back after a day of diving.

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