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Dive Review of Grand Komodo Tours/MV Tarata in
Indonesia/Komodo, Alor Islands

Grand Komodo Tours/MV Tarata, Aug, 2006,

by Terry Anderson, TX, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 27 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 2676.

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 N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was our third time with Grand Komodo Tours, and our second trip to Komodo National Park. Smartly, the Indonesian government designated the area a National Park in the 1990s and the result is that the reefs and marine life are healthy and improving, unlike most of the world. We went on this trip in 2000 and this time there were more whitetip and gray sharks and at least as many manta rays, over a dozen. On one dive 4 mantas circled us for 15 minutes in the warm water of north Komodo (84 degrees), and on a cold water dive (71 degrees) on the tip of South Komodo we saw 6 on two dives, feeding in the rich currents. We also saw an Eagle ray and nice schools of jacks, some tuna and eels, and loads of lion fish and turtles. The designation of the Park means that the locals can only use small fishing boats in the area, (no large foreign ones) and can use only single lines, not nets and no dynamite. That means that you can get fresh 10 or 15 pound tuna off the local boats for dinner, $4 for a tuna, and still see them in the water. After a week we left the Park and went to Alor, which took two days on the boat and we dove colorful walls with great fans along the way. Out of the Park--no sharks, mantas, or schools of jacks or tuna, but in Alor we saw leaf fish, banded sea snakes, and lots of mandarian fish. Grand Komodo also took us to villages where we had lots of fun with the local people, and enjoyed their Independance Day celebrations on August 17. We will make a fourth trip to this fascinating country. You just get to Bali with your dive equipment and Grand Komodo will set up your hotels, flights incountry, and everything else, including pre- and post-dive side trips. The MV Tarata can take 12 divers, but as usual, we only had 6, so the gal with only 20 dives always had one of the two fine DMs along her side. Oh, of course, dive your own profile on the 3 or 4 dives a day; excellent survice, you're the boss, just tell the DMs what you want to see. Great trip for divers who like to visit another culture, above and below water.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over the world: Maldives, Galapagos, Carribean, Pacific
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 71-84°F / 22-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Just bring your own dive equipment and computer.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 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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