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Dive Review of Mermaid I Liveaboards in

Mermaid I Liveaboards: "Banda Sea Biodiversity Ring of Fire Tour--Mermaid I Liveaboard", Sep, 2017,

by Thomas B Brumback Jr. , IA, US ( 2 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10035 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Trip Video: Courtesy of Marcelo Ogata
[ link]

This is my third time on Mermaid Liveaboards and my trip was excellent as were all the others. This trip was from Sept. 30 2017-Oct. 11. 12 days/11 nights aboard the Mermaid I vessel. We traveled from Maumere-->Kawula-->Alor-->Wetar-->Banda Sea-->Ambon on their Biodiversity Special, Ring of Fire tour. Staff were very helpful in making reservations, meeting us at the airport, and insuring everything went well for us during our trip. I completed 34 dives on this trip and all were and hour or longer. Dive masters were always watchful and knew what you were doing and your capabilities after a few dives. They pretty much left us alone to dive our own plan but stressed the need to dive within your limits and capabilities. My longest dive was 1 1/2 hour muck dive with excellent photography opportunities.

Mermaid I is a little smaller than Mermaid II and accommodated 15 passengers and as many or more crew. Accommodations were Twin Shares and cabins were adequately furnished with ensuit bathrooms. The food was excellent with a mostly asian flair and some western meals. No one went hungry for sure.

Itinerary each day:
6:00AM Wakeup
6:30 AM Lite breakfast--coffee, cookies
7:00 AM 1st Dive
9:00 AM Full Breakfast
10:30 AM Second Dive
12:00 PM Full Lunch
2:00 PM Third Dive
4:00 PM Light Snack and 4th Dive
7:00 PM Full Dinner

This was truly a biodiversity tour. Muck and reef dives, jetties, and open water blue looking for hammerheads. We saw everything from nudibranchs, frog fish, rhinopias, tuna, sharks, rays, turtles, hammerheads and whales. You name it, we saw it. I am photographer so most of my time was photographing. I could take my time and dive masters were excellent at pointing out all sorts of creatures and looking for ones that I had requested. Photography ranged from macro muck dives, to wide angles for reefs and large critters.

We also had a side trip on Banda Neira to visit a Dutch Fort, see some local shops, tour a cinnamon/nutmeg plantation, and have breakfast with the locals. A great excursion.

Chef, captain and staff were very helpful. They catered to our every need and even arranged more diving for us in Ambon since we were staying a couple of extra days.

The trip showed us a sampling of some of the best diving on the planet. No regrets here. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Have another trip planned with Mermaid for Lembeh and Raja Ampat.
Websites Mermaid I Liveaboards   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Roatan, Australia, Caribbean, Caymans, Turks & Caicos, Bonaire, BVI, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Gallapagos, Maldives, Indonesia
Closest Airport Des Moines, IA Getting There Des Moines-Chicago-Doha Quatar-Bali-Maumere. A pretty long 2 day trip, but it went without difficulties.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 26-28°C / 79-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 15-35 M / 49-115 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions. Dive safe and within your limits. Stay with your buddy
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 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 On board vidographer was Marcelo Ogata. He was an excellent videographer and often gave helpful photographic tips to us to improve our shot selection and results. Dive tables were adequate but sometimes rinse buckets would get pretty full with lots o big cameras. Crew did an excellent job of handling cameras and loading gear in and out of the Zodiacs. Dive platform with all equipment, cameras, and people could get a bit crowded, but the crew efficiently staged the groups getting ready to avoid congestion.

Videographer: Marcelo Johan Ogata
[ link]
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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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