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

Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer: "Raja Ampat aboard the Raj Ampat Explorer June 2017", Jun, 2017,

by Mel Cundiff, CO, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 9680 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Ever since the Nature Conservancy published the report by Conservation International in the fall of 2003 announcing that Raja Ampat was the center for marine biodiversity in the world, it has been on many diversí bucket lists. Coincidentally, I had already booked the Kri Eco Resort (Camp) for the spring of 2004, and it was the only land-based resort in Raja Ampat at that time. There was just one live aboard dive boat operating in the area. While diving there for ten days, no dive boats were seen during the day, and there were no people or structures to be seen anywhere along any of the shorelines day or night. Now it is said that there are 50+ legal live aboard dive boats in the area and at least as many illegal ones. The shore lines are smothered with land-based dive resorts. What a difference a publication makes!

The marine biodiversity is so great in the area of the Coral Triangle that a typical diver canít tell the difference from one area to another, and s/he will continue to see new species every trip there. That was the case again as I just returned from doing 50 dives on the MV Raja Ampat Explorer from the Grand Komodo Fleet out of Bali ([komodoalordive.com link]). I logged 24 species that I hadnít remembered seeing before this trip. I have been diving in the Raja Ampat area a half dozen times, and I am overwhelmed each time. At one time or another, I have been on all five of the Grand Komodo live aboard boats, and I will not hesitate to book them when I am in Indonesia. Grand Komodo uses native crews who know their way around and are unbelievably eager to make a clientís stay educational, pleasant and comfortable. I have been fortunate in requesting, and getting, Weka as the main dive master on these charters. He is a veteran of diving the coral reefs of Indonesia.

At a relative slow time for diving, there were only 8 of us on a boat equipped to handle 14, and we had a crew of 12 Ė all but two divers had their own private room. I have booked with dive operations in the past and have had them cancel at the last minute when they didnít fill. We were fortunate in not being crowded and did a night dive every night. Our younger dive masters had the experience and eyes to find and point out the organisms that we would have missed on our own. Air conditioning, en suite facilities in the cabins, and three warm-water showers on or near the dive deck made for comfortable conditions on our dive boat.

The boat had adequate camera facilities for us, but with a boat full of photographers it might be cramped. The one significant criticism was the food on this charter. While the food was tasty and plentiful, there was a lack of diversity in the cuisine. The main dishes were mostly rice/noodle-based Asian dishes with lots of fish and an abundance of large healthy shrimp. The chef was young and not experienced like the ones I have had on previous Grand Komodo boats. Divers were not complaining, but we could have had a greater diversity of meals.

Mel Cundiff Broomfield, CO Cundiff@Colorado.EDU 29/July/2017
Websites Grand Komodo -- Raja Ampat Explorer   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving On the best coral reefs all over the world.
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Manado, Bali, Jakarta

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 84-88°F / 29-31°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20-50 Ft/ 6-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions A one hour limit.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars 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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