Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
 

Dive Review of Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer, Jan, 2011,

by Kimberly Krebs, MD, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6141.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Belize, Kona, Little Cayman, Turks & Caicos, Key Largo
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions No depth or time restrictions.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large dry camera table inside and fairly large camera table on the dive deck. Indoor camera table had plenty of outlets and offered both US plugs and Euro plugs. During a fairly huge rainstorm, the roof above the indoor camera table leaked and photographers suddenly had to jump into action to remove everything from the table. Beware of this!!

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 $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We were originally booked aboard the Archipelago Adventurer II, but it and its replacement boat were removed from service before we could go on our trip. He had booked 18 months in advance and were suddenly without a boat 4 weeks before our trip. We scrambled to find another liveaboard, and must give many thanks to our travel agents at Reef & Rainforest as well as Grand Komodo for getting us booked aboard the Raja Ampat Explorer for the exact same dates that we had booked for the AAII. We were two of six total divers on board, all of us relocated from the AAII.

We stayed in the below deck cabins while the other two couples were in the two cabins on the top deck. We were given full run of the lower cabins, so we had more than enough space - we ended up keeping our luggage in one room and sleeping in another. We slept in the room all the way forward, which was the only room downstairs with a double bed (the rest of the rooms were two twins). The two cabins upstairs were both double beds. We had a reasonable amount of storage space, and the rooms were fine. Since we had been looking forward to a much more luxurious boat, I would call the accommodations just adequate. The bathroom included a marine head and a shower. Bathrooms were clean, but seemed dingy and moldy. The hot water did not work in the cabins all week, but no one brought this up with the crew, so I don't know if this is the usual or not. The showers on the dive deck were hot.

Water was not drinkable, but the crew provided bottled water in all rooms and would fill up our bottles for us if we left them around. I stayed hydrated so well on this trip!

There were roaches on board, and I mean LOTS of roaches. One of our fellow divers who had previously been on 58 liveaboard trips stated that it was more roaches than he'd ever seen. They must have sprayed before we boarded, because the critters were the most active the first 2 days. They crawled everywhere, and got into everything, including one walking across my face the first night. We slept with at least one light on in the room for the rest of the trip, which seemed to help. However, they were still around, including in eating areas, etc. I understand, since it's a boat and these things happen, but just be aware.

On board were 15 crew members. The captain was excellent, and steered us out of a pretty significant storm several days in. All of the crew members were BEYOND helpful and were just spectacular. Few spoke English, but they enjoyed teaching my husband to speak Indonesian. Our dive master and cruise director Weka was superb and spoke excellent English. He also assisted us at the airport as we were checking into our flight to Bali.

We traveled at the end of January, which should be the best season in Raja Ampat. We did have a few more cloudy/rainy days than expected, but vis was reasonable and the fish life was amazing. This is my first Pacific diving beyond Hawaii, so I don't have a lot to compare, but the reefs were so much more alive and there were so many more fish than anywhere that I had ever been. Schools of Barracuda numbering in the hundreds, huge schools of jacks, nudibranchs all around, and a Wobbegong on nearly every dive. We didn't see any sharks besides the Wobbegongs. We also had an excellent Mandarin Fish dive. The dive at Manta Sandy was one to remember - with about 5 or 6 mantas staying above us for the entire dive, swooping in very low.

A reef hook is probably desired, the crew expected us to have one (we didn't, so they made us hooks). Currents were often fairly strong, but diving was done from pangas and all dives were drift dives. The crew also took us on two boat trips around the islands - one in Wayag and one in Mansuar. In Wayag, we also had the opportunity to climb to the top of one of the islands. This was excellent, but only for those in great shape - it is truly a CLIMB!

We did 3-4 dives per day, and our group elected to do dusk dives instead of night dives on most days.

Grand Komodo also owns the Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, and we docked there on 3 nights. We could get out and walk around and spend time on the beach if desired. The Lodge seems very nice.

Food was Indonesian style, with toast and coffee/tea before dive 1, Indonesian style breakfast with some American offerings after the first dive. Delicious smoothies and fresh fruit were served with breakfast every day. Lunch was after dive 2, usually stir fry or Indonesian food. Snack after dive 3 (friend bananas - yum), and dinner included soup each day, and stir fry or Indonesian food. The captain caught a large wahoo one day and we had sashimi at lunch and dinner that day. Beer and sodas were available for an additional cost - the honor system was used to keep track.

The top level of the boat was a covered sun deck, which was perfect for relaxing between dives.

Overall, if you are looking for a boat in this price range, you can't do much better. The crew and diving were spectacular, but the roaches left a little something to be desired.
Was this report helpful to you?
Bookmark and Share
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 952 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share
Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for Biodiversity, critters, Komodo, Raja Ampat, temples? We specialize in adventures to Indonesia.
Scuba Dive Asia -- The Dive Travel Experts
SCUBA DIVE ASIA - The Dive Travel Experts
for Asia, Pacific & Africa. Dive vacations for individuals, groups, photo clubs & dive centers.

Want to assemble your own collection of Indonesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |


Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.2 seconds