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
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
X
 

Dive Review of Indo Sisren in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Indo Sisren: "Misool area of Raja Ampat has good diving", Oct, 2017,

by pat delaplane, CA, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10067 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 1 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Overview of diving Raja Ampat.
If you are taken to good sites, the diving can be good. It was mostly wide angle with lots of fish. Occasionally a dive guide would point out something small. For me, it was usually too small to photograph but still interesting that such tiny animals are able to survive. There were many large schools of fish. The best diving was at Misool, which is a long boat ride from Sorong but well worth it. I suppose it all depends on where the trip director and the boat captain decide to take you.
I was disappointed with the general operation. The boat is old and some things didn’t work and others didn’t work well. I don’t like some of the general policies regarding safety of crew. The food was plentiful but of poor quality in my opinion and that of others on the trip. The rooms are large with lots of cabinets but no hanging closets. The AC worked most of the time. The plumbing had some leaks but otherwise was functional. There was enough camera room and charger space. There was room to store camera equipment in drawers in the camera room/salon. The cabin crew was friendly and helpful. Dive crew took care of equipment well enough. I was not impressed with the dive guides but I only experienced 2 of the three.

Some details:
I was met at the Sorong airport by two nice representatives from the boat. They took me to the transport boat and on the Siren I was told I could wait in the dining area. I was the first one there was offered a juice. The second couple who arrived I noticed was offered cold towels, not me. Few more people arrived. Finally I asked if I could go to my room and change out of the dirty clothes I’d been wearing for 2 days. I Also showered off the two days of sweat and changed into a sarong.
Eventually all my stuff got to the cabin after I unloaded my dive gear.

First dive was a bore but good enough for checkout. Second had us swim against the current most of the dive. We were all grabbing coral and rocks and anything we could to keep from being swept away. None of us were pleased and we voiced our displeasure. Third dive had us swim hard against the current for 13 minutes before hooking in and looking around. Then the dive guide had us swim out into the blue for some reason that was never explained and back to the reef. I said I would not dive with this guide again. I told the trip director that It was not responsible to subject us to that and not fair to the reef life. If it is a choice between my life and the reef, I'm sorry reef, but I'm going to pick my own life. This set a real negative tone for me and I was considering how to get off the boat and abort the rest of the trip.

Next day I was not going to go diving with the same guide and was considering how to just get off the boat and go back to Bali. Then one woman In our group said come dive with us. She and her husband went on their own and didn't necessarily follow the dive guide, so I went with them.
I dived with her and her husband the rest of the day.

Day 3 the first dive was supposedly lots of current but we were prepared to hook in. I didn’t take my camera to minimize complications. It was a shame as there was not much current and lots to see. Second dive I slept. Third dive that day was a jetty. It was interesting. Lots of rubble and swirling currents but interesting stuff. At the end we rode the current to safety stop.

So far I was not impressed with Raja Ampat. First two days there were tons of boats at all the sites. Day three not so many.

Boat crew was very accommodating so far as schlepping my equipment around, but they all smoke. Not unusual for dive crews in Indonesia.

My room was large but had a couple of problems. The lights flicked on and off, so I ask them to fix them and it was done. The room cleaners I’m sure noticed that the bathroom floor was always wet. There was a leak. Finally day three I said something to a room cleaner and she said it would be fixed. One leak got fixed but there was still another small one with the spray gizmo. The director said he would fix it. I eventually figured out that if I hooked the spray gizmo on the towel rack the leak would stop.

By day 4 my dive group got changed. This worked out much better.

The best diving was at Misool. It was a long 16 hour overnight ride to get there. No night dive that day.

There is a lot of diversity in the waters around Misool. There are so many tiny fish you think it is backscatter in the water but it is really tiny fish. I saw many different anemone and anemone fish combinations, more than ever any place else. There were big ones and small ones and ones with different shapes and different colors. It was really very interesting and beautiful.
We saw a couple of Manta Rays and several turtles. We saw a few sharks. There were many enormous schools of different fish, jacks, fusiliers, sweetlips, barracuda all schooling around. They would go one direction and then turn around and go the other. It reminded me of starling murmurations. We saw a few pygmy seahorses and a few nudebranchs.

The last day of diving was supposed to be two dives at an algae patch. It was sort of a muck dive where you had to look thru the muck and algae for interesting small organisms. Then the last dive was changed to what he called “Happy Endings” which was more like “Crappy Endings." It was a place that was totally murky and the bottom was silt. There was just about nothing to see except 3 fish and about 5 pieces of hard coral. I don’t know why this site was selected except as some sort of punishment.


Then there was the food. There was way too much of it and too many choices and most of it was overcooked and desiccated. A few of us mentioned that to the tour director and the response we got was that Indonesians all overcook their food because they don’t have refrigeration and things go bad so you have to highly season things and overcook them to hide the spoilage. Gee, how encouraging is that? He also said this is what you get when you only pay $5/day for a cook. Well, we were paying $5200 or so for this 10 day trip and for $500/day I think we should be able to expect something better. In my 10 days on the boat the cook was never able to flip two eggs without breaking the yolk of at least one of them. I decided that sunny side up was the way to go.
I reminisce of the days of Peter Hughes when we had sit-down dinners with a tablecloth and meals served to us at proper tables rather than standing in a buffet line and sitting in a U shaped booth where you have to disturb two people to get out if you are sitting in the inside place. Hughes was able to pull off civilized elegance for under $2000 for a week of diving and arrange 5 dives a day so you weren't eating dinner just before bedtime.

The night dives were all done at about 6pm and dinner was not till 8pm. Most of us would have preferred it to be the opposite. I think 8pm is too late to be eating dinner. Some days I just had snacks early and skipped dinner. It was all desiccated anyway. I sometimes saved some strips of bacon from the morning to eat later in the day so I would have some edible protein later in the day. The most edible meat on the trip was the squid and the shrimp.

At the end they wanted us to critique the trip. One person said that she was on a previous trip and did an elaborate critique and she said the same problems still existed. I was on a different Siren boat and said that I thought having the same dive masters do all the dives every day was not good for their safety but I see that they still do it that way. On other boats, most of the staff are dive masters and rotate leading the dives along with their other jobs on the boat. Most of the staff on this boat never got in the water and were not even certified to dive. There were only 3 dive guides and they all did every dive. I don't think that is safe for them but the trip director thought it was just fine.

Another food inconsistency was that we did not do any fishing thus never got any fresh fish on the trip because it was against the philosophy of the trip leader. We did however have fish as one option for most dinners. Where did he think it was coming from? It didn’t just grow in the freezer.

The trip leader never did ask to see our certification cards. That is usually the first thing that happens on the boat before they ever set sail. We kept asking when he wanted them and I finally packed mine away. He never asked anyone’s Certification cards or Nitrox cards.

One nice feature was that we could hang around on the boat till our flight out rather than having to be off the boat at 7am as with some other liveaboards.

If you can get on a boat that goes out to the Misool area, I think you will enjoy the diving of Raja Ampat. There are many liveaboards going to Raja Ampat these days. It would be good to check out the many of them and see what others offer and at what prices.


Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Hawaii, Wakatobi, Komodo, Thailand Similan Islands, Catalina, Palau, Yap, Malaysia,
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There Two flights from Bali. Required an overnight in Manado which was not so good. Going back to Bali was easier.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 10-100 Ft/ 3-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]100 ft 70 minutes for the most part
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 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 [None]Adequate
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote
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 1209 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

 
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.
Island Dreams Travel
Island Dreams Travel
Island Dreams specializes in dive travel to Indonesia. We've dived it many times ourselves, and stand ready to customize your Indonesia scuba diving adventure.

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 © 1996-2021 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.11 seconds