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Dive Review of Grand Komodo -- TemuKira in
Indonesia/Alor-Banda-Misool-Raja Ampat

Grand Komodo -- TemuKira, Dec, 2010,

by Jose Miguel and Peggy Duran , TX, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports with 7 Helpful votes). Report 6290.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, Galapagos, Papua New Guinea, Philipines, Maldives, Palau, Solomons, Andamans
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None. As dictated by your experience,common sense and air consumption.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera table plus rinse tanks on dive deck. Large charging stations in lounge. Crew extremely careful handling, rinsing, drying cameras.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 We went on a 15 day cruise on Grand Komodo Tours' MV TemuKira in December 2010, diving some of the best --and most remote-- areas in Indonesia: Flores, Alor, Gunung Api, Lucipara, Banda, Misool and Raja Ampat. The trip started with a large school of dolphins just out of Maumere, Flores and then over 15 eagle rays at Lapan Island wall. The first night dive at Alor's Keramba was excellent. Hadn't been back to Alor since '98, Kal's Dream was still a great site. Kalabahi Bay is uniquely beautiful. School's Out gave new visitors a healthy respect for Alor's sudden currents.
After a long sail we arrived at isolated Gunung Api island where the sea snakes, although perhaps less numerous, were still plentiful and as curious and non-threatening as during our last visit in '95. They were all around and over us at times, with some mating groupings.
Lucipara walls had large schools of jacks and fusiliers, a hammerhead, many turtles, huge sponges. Ai and Run walls were spectacular. Still, trading Run for Manhattan Island was not a smart move by the Dutch. Banda Naira was as charming and unspoiled as we found it 15 years ago. Hatta Island was a wonderful surprise. Kon Corner had lots of fishes and a ferocious current that snatched one diver away leading to a tense 90 minute search until his safety sausage was sighted. Captain and crew were very efficient and conscientious conducting the search.
Misool's Kapang Bayangang, The Window, Batu Hitam, Farundi Cave and Batu Tiga had great variety and numbers of fishes and some beautiful underwater seascapes. Batu Bungsu had double schools of pickhandle and blackfin barracudas. A cute baby bamboo shark was a highlight at Pinto Luar night dive. Nudibranchs were plentiful throughout the trip.
After another all night sail we arrived at Penamu and then Mbraimuk sea mounts with Wobegong sharks, large schools of barracudas, unicornfishes, fusiliers. Mansuar Island was a veritable fish soup. Of many night dives, one at Grand Komodo's new Raja Ampat Dive Lodge jetty was special with an epaulette shark, porcupines, ghost pipefishes, baby stonefishes, fimbriated morays and large schools of bait fish filling our light areas. We visited the resort and were impressed with the beauty of the place, the quality of the accommodations and the location so near to many great dive sites.
The size and variety of the schools at Cape Kri and Sardine Reef were as astonishing as ever. Blue Magic was...well, magic. Last day brought an amazing 45 minute encounter with several mantas at Manta Sandy cleaning station. A blue ring octopus provided entertainment while we waited for the mantas. A dreamy last dive at Drop Off made us promise to come back.
Indonesian diving is now acknowledged to be the best in the world. After twenty years we are still amazed by it. Throughout a large expanse of ocean we found rich, well preserved corals and an incredible diversity and richness of marine life. The surface landscapes were stunningly beautiful, especially in the Misool area with sunsets of the Gone with Wind variety.
Had great luck with our group of five European and one ex-pat American fellow divers and an excellent Captain, divemasters and crew. This was our 17th liveaboard trip with Grand Komodo and the third on the TemuKira, a 100 foot wooden Pinisi sail/motor vessel. It can accommodate 12 divers so the nine of us had plenty of room. The cabins are clean and comfortable, all with AC and en-suite bathrooms/showers, adequate storage and shelves. A comfortable lounge/dining area on the main deck had TV/DVD plus Fish and Invertebrates Identification library, three AC units and a large well lighted charging station
There is a double cabin on the upper deck next to a large sundeck with awning and beach chairs. The dive deck has ample room to suit up and is well-designed with wide tank racks and gear bins under the seats as well as a spacious camera table, two rinse tanks and a toilet/shower. Two other hot/cold water showers on the dive platform and beach towels were welcome after our dives. The compressors were well maintained and the air fills were correct.
The food was consistently good with a variety of Indonesian and Western dishes. Soups and desserts were served by the steward, entrees were buffet style. Special requests were fulfilled, our vegetarian daughter enjoyed all her meals. There were delicious smoothies, cakes, fruit and snacks between meals.
Although with the long sailings between the different areas we could not always do the usual three day dives and one night dive, the divemasters made sure we got at least two dives every day. They were meticulous in their pre-dive briefings and expert in checking current and conditions before every dive to make them as enjoyable and safe as possible. They kept a close watch on their divers and were helpful without being obtrusive. After the initial checkout they let you dive your own profiles limited only by your experience and good judgment but were there if needed. All the diving was done from fiberglass dinghies and the drivers were excellent at keeping track of divers and always being there when you surfaced.
The Indonesian divemasters and cabin steward are fluent in English and most of the crew understand enough for adequate communication. They all show a great commitment to preserve their nation's underwater riches and to provide their guests with a memorable experience. It's the small number of divers with a large crew giving them excellent service that makes Grand Komodo's "Boutique Liveaboards" so special and the best deal in Indonesian diving.
Grand Komodo Tours always takes care of all the local flights, transportation,hotel accommodations and all the changes sometimes required by the unpredictability of inter-island flights --and the staff has been helpful often with negotiations about excess baggage charges. We have been diving with them for over ten years and are looking forward to future trips. Peggy & Jose Miguel Duran, MD
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Subscriber's Comments

By carl berenson in WA, US at Dec 28, 2012 15:48 EST  
did you dive with Komodo tours in Cenderawasih bay? do you book with them driectly or through their agent in the USA?
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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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