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Dive Review of Kararu in
Indonesia/Komodo

Kararu, Jun, 2004,

by Sean Bruner, AZ, USA (Contributor Contributor 16 reports). Report 1100.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Galapagos, Palau, PNG, Mexico, Carribean, Hawaii, Fiji
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 74 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Long camera table with secured cabinets underneath. Compressed air for drying. Two separate rinse tanks. E6 processing. Battery charging station with three or four 110 volt power strips. Little professional help or tips from staff, but plenty from other passengers.

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 Left Benoa Harbor on Bali for 11 day cruise, 10 1/2 days diving in mid June. Beautiful weather. The boat was large, as was the crew. Cabin had a large king bed which took up almost the entire cabin. Storage underneath and in a small closet. Larger bags were stored in engine room. Two days out to Komodo national park, a world heritage site, with a short stopover the second day off of Flores island for two dives. The dives in the park were spectacular, with a large variety of healthy, colorful soft and hard coral. Excellent macro life, with many varieties never before seen. Exotics included frogfish, leaf scorpion fish, crocodile fish, pygmy seahorses, ghost pipe fish, and numerous tiny crabs, shrimp and lobster. The dives on the northern part of the park were warm with excellent visibility. The dives on the southern part were cold with less viz (30') but incredible critters. I took a 3/2 wetsuit and hood/vest and a 7/5 wetsuit and am glad I did.
The boat was the largest liveaboard I've been on (previously on Peter Hughes and Aggressor liveaboards) and also had the largest crew, which equalled the 18 guests. The boat was comfortable, except on the two day ride back to Bali when diesel fumes overpowered the lower cabins, forcing many guests to sleep in the the lounge or on deck. There are two cabins on the upper deck; ask for those when you book.
The dive guides were helpful, but not great, nor was there much outside help with photography, although there were so many photographers on board that help was available. The lounge had a great library and many DVD's and some videos, although the video recorded kept conking out.
The food varied from good to mediocre. The breakfasts were average, eggs, pancakes, French toast, bacon, Indonesian noodles (packaged), croissants and fresh fruit. The coffee was strong, the tea not so great. Lunch was filling and often consisted of creative leftover preparations from the previous dinner. Deserts at lunch were a variety of fruit. Dinners started with good soup and offered a choice of several entres, mostly beef or chicken done to an ethnic theme (Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, etc) with a couple of nights offering fish. I appreciated the vegetable offerings; a vegetarian would have no problem. The food was filing, if often uninspired. The deserts were so bad that they often went uneaten. The chocolate mousse was an exception.
Tony, one of the owners, was on board and did his uptmost to please all the guests. He was humorous and always eager to talk to the guests and make them feel welcome and appreciated. He gave up his upper deck cabin on the last two nights to passengers overcome by fumes and he slept on the deck. The English dive master, Linda, was also very warm and friendly. The Indonesian dive master, Seno, was good at finding things in the water, but he didn't dine with us and generally hung out with the Indonesian crew, who were all friendly and extremely helpful, but with their limited English, were hard to carry on a conversation with.
Except for the diesel fumes the last two nights and the food, this is the best liveaboard I've been on (and the food wasn't really so bad). Part of that had to do with the diving, which was the best I've experienced, and I've been to quite a few good spots around the world.
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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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