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Dive Review of Grand Komodo in
Indonesia/Komodo

Grand Komodo, Mar, 2005,

by Charles Menbeck, Illinois, USA . Report 1624.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, St. Lucia, Boniare, Palau, Yap, Chuuk
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 72 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 The mv Putri Papua boat had a nice photo table in back by the equipment area. Nice rinse tank too. That was helpful.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Booked directly on their website at GrandKomodoTours.com. Paid $1100 per person for 7 day Komodo liveaboard on the smaller mv Nusa Tera boat (fan only with 2 shared rest rooms for the boat). We didn't need the a/c anyway as it was pleasant at night when we slept topside on the deck with the stars. Restrooms adequate too. Rate included inter island flights to/from the seaport, which they handle for you. The boat looks bigger and better in person than on the website. The cabins were clean and beautifully decorated with the woods and carvings that Indonesians are known for. It was recently painted topside with new non slip rubber mats throughout the deck. A very clean, well-maintained boat. We were originally booked with two other people. However we became the only guests on it as the other guests canceled due to flight delays. It was nice to have the boat and friendly helpful crew to ourselves. However, we were told that we would be switched to the bigger more modern mv Putri Papua boat(a/c and bathrooms in every cabin) after 3 1/2 days due to scheduling. We were flexible and didn't mind. They gave us the owners cabin on that boat, which was a great cabin. The food was mostly Indonesian/Asian. Rice, rice and more rice. But they also served plenty of fruit, hot tea and fruit smoothies after the dives. They mixed in fresh fish, chicken, and pork here and there with the rice dishes. When we boarded, we did our check out dives 2 hours later as we were already in the Komodo area. Topside scenery was very nice as all the dives were around 3 islands. Parked in coves at night to sleep. It was very remote and relaxing. The diving here is not really for beginners as most of the sites had moderate to strong currents, and thermoclines that dropped the water temp from 79 degrees one minute to 72 degrees the next. Visibilty wasn't the best either. Some dives were mediocre while some were simply fabulous (Batu Balong aka "Current City"). Did repetetive dives there. It reminded me of the Blue Corner in Palau. It was that good. Hammerhead Sharkls, Manta Rays, schools of fish blocking out the sunlight while diving on a wall that went to within 10 feet of the surface. Profuse hard and soft corals loaded on the wall. It was rocky topside (3 pinnacles above and below). In between the pinnacles were the currents here and there, but not bad. I'm not going to give a critter checklist of what we saw during the week. The hard and soft corals, in general, were in top shape. Plenty of big stuff (hammerhead sharks, manta rays, sting rays) as well as plenty of schools of fish, big and small. Lots of macro opportunities too. Did 3 macro photo night dives. Saw the cuttlefish changing colors for the first time. Plenty of life here but again, not easy diving, for the adventurous really. I was in the mood for easier diving conditions at the time. We went and visited the Komodo Dragon for a 2-3 hour hike on Komodo island. That was an experience as we spotted about 6 of them. Nice to see them in their natural surroundings. Air fills were ok, some were 3000+ psi while quite a few were in the 2750 psi range. I needed to clarify that with the crew as I am a bit of an air hog to begin with, hauling camera gear and do not need to be short changed on the air on a challenging dive. Crew was pretty good overall. Professional run operation. They'll pick you up at the airport and make sure your transfers go smoothly to your hotel. We stayed at a very nice hotel, the Parigata Resort ($40/night) in Sanur (quieter than touristy Kuta) overnight while waiting for our connecting flight to the seaport (Labuan Bajo). The culture in Bali was fantastic. The hotel was surrounded by walls in the Hidu tradition. Pool had a waterfall with lushous landscaping. Rooms had great a/c and lots of stone tile throughout. Plenty of evidence of their wood trim too. Restaurant had good food and reasonable prices. Worth staying there. Very nice. You won't be disappointed. Rented a car with driver for $40 for a day (Romeo, English Speaking Driver, cell:081-338-759-653, home: 0361-289-380) when we returned back to Bali. Went north to see the volcanoes, the coastline, the rice fields (terraced) and the historical Hindu Temples. Great touring. Very hot and humid in Bali (90 degrees plus with 80%+ humidity). Not for the weak. Bring plenty of suntan lotion. Drink plenty of water. The sun is hot here and will burn you up and dehydrate you if not careful.
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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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