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Dive Review of Grand Komodo -- Putri Papua in

Grand Komodo -- Putri Papua: "Raining fish", Nov, 2016,

by Dan Purnell, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 9369 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 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Raja Ampat may be one of the most inconvenient places to visit, but is has some of the finest diving in the world. My journey began in Portland Oregon, to Jakarta, and then on to Sorong. I highly recommend taking the direct flight from Jakarta to Sorong. It is a fast and efficient way to get to Sorong.

We spent most of our diving in the northern part of Raja Ampat and the Dampier Strait. We dove around Wayag, Kawe, FAM and Yanggefo.

This was my 9th trip with Grand Komodo tours. As many Indonesian diving operations have become more upscale and expensive, Grand Komodo tours has changed little over the last 11 years. Grand Komodo liveaboards are not fancy; they are reasonable priced, and they cater to folks who just love to dive.

The Putri Papua was well maintained and clean. The rooms were small but adequate. The air conditioning worked. There were no diesel fumes. There were plenty of sockets to recharge camera equipment. The food was ample and delicious. You could buy beer and pop on the boat.

As always, the crew was helpful, friendly, enthusiastic and eager to please. If you needed anything, they were right there to help. Everybody is on deck to help divers into and out of the water. The Putri Papua crew did however, have some difficulties communicating with their guests. At times, language issues made it difficult for the crew to give thorough dive briefings and nightly recaps. But we all worked together to make the situation work. Safety was not compromised in any manner.

Grand Komodo is run by caring, friendly, extremely competent people. They know Raja Ampat, the dive sites, the conditions, and where the critters live. They will show you the best that Raja Ampat has to offer. They offer 3 daytime dives and 1 night dive each day.

The diving was outstanding! Raja Ampat diving is all about pristine hard and soft coral gardens, smothered in blizzards of fish. Schools of fusiliers, anthias and jacks are so dense that they can impair your vision. At times you will think it is raining fish. The bigger fish are recovering with recent protections and better enforcement of regulations. It is now common to see black tip, wobbegong, and occasional white tip sharks on most dives. We also saw schools of sweetlips, bumphead parrots, snappers, surgeon and barracuda. Also commonly sighted were napoleon wrasses, turtles, groupers, trevallies, batfish, scorpion, pigmy sea horses, angel, butterfly, unicorn and so many more. We were also fortunate to see squadrons of manta rays around the northern islands. It was also great to see that the reefs have suffered very little coral bleaching damage.

Raja Ampat diving is all about current, sometimes ripping current. I strongly recommend bringing a reef hook. Reef hooks keep you stationary, so you can enjoy the vibrant reefs, while the current surges around you.

When the current is running, the reefs go wild. Hunting schools of jacks cause mayhem, scattering thousand of fish. Mantas, the winged creatures of the sea, glide effortlessly over their cleaning stations. It is sometimes hard to take it all in. I have always had sensory overload on a number of the Dampier Strait sites. Raja Ampat is a virtual smorgasbord for the eyes.
Websites Grand Komodo -- Putri Papua   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving PNG, Solomon Islands, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Bali, Halmahera, Yap, Palau, Bonaire, Honduras, Little Cayman, Red Sea, Oregon, Washington, Flower Gardens - Texas, Fiji, Galapagos
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-150 Ft/ 18-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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