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Dive Review of Mermaid Liveaboards/Mermaid II in
Indonesia

Mermaid Liveaboards/Mermaid II: "Creatures great and small in Raja Ampat", Mar, 2018,

by DAVID J FRANK, NJ, US ( 1 report with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10176 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments My wife and I had a fantastic week of diving aboard the Mermaid II out of Sorong.

Travel was EWR > NRT > CGK > UPG > SOQ (we had scheduled a direct flight from Jakarta to Sorong in both directions which was cancelled with little notice.)

Overnighted in Sorong at the Swiss Belhotel which was pleasant enough. Did not tour Sorong at all, did not appear to be much to see.

We were picked up at the hotel by a driver arranged by Mermaid and ferried out to the boat with one of their two RIBs. We met our group for the week, an interesting group of folks from France, England, Switzerland, Austria, Uruguay, Hong Kong, U.S. and Canada. There were fifteen divers (max is 18) and 20 crew.

All diving is done from the two RIBs. The divers were divided into 2 teams, each team into groups of 3 or 4, and each group assigned a dive master for the week. We were with Ketut, hailing from Bali, who had an amazing eye for small critters, keeping the macro photographers quite happy. We saw innumerable and various Pygmy seahorses and other small critters, including dozens of nudibranchs, a variety of small shrimp, Pygmy squid, etc. on the other end of the spectrum, black and white tip sharks were seen on many/ most dives, 4 mantas swooped over our heads for a good 15 minutes at a cleaning station and we had another close fly-by of a large reef manta on another dive. A giant grouper was another highlight. Huge schools of barracuda, various jacks, fusiliers, etc etc. wobbegongs were frequently seen. Hawksbill and green turtles were seen on several dives.

Corals, both soft (predominating in southern sites) and hard (dominating the north) were very healthy on almost every site. Amazing to see acres of coral with no bleaching or damage, having dived mostly in the Caribbean.

4 dives were offered most days, usually 3 day dives and a night or twilight dive. On one day there were three to allow for a land excursion and on the last day only 2 to allow for flying the next day. A total of 25 dives were offered over 7 days.

Shore excursions included a hike to a viewpoint, a beach where you could snorkel with baby blacktip sharks, and visit to a small fishing village, there was also a lagoon tour and swim from the RIBs.

Food was plentiful and tasty, if not ‘gourmet’. The one vegetarian aboard was happy with the dishes prepared for him as well. 2 or 3 entrees, soup, salad, cooked veg, and fruit for dinner, baked dessert or ice cream several nights. Soft drinks cookies espresso coffee tea available 24 hrs. Beer was the local Bintang for 2 euro, ok selection of Aussie wines 25 euro for Yellowtail and the like. Would BYOB if you want a decent bottle of wine.

Accommodations were comfortable and spotless though the 8 identically cabins are smallish. There is a lower double and upper single and ensuite head in each.

Common space included a large comfortable salon where dive briefings were held and where people gathered between dives and after dinner, as well as a nice covered deck aft of that and a large sunpad forward.

Massage was available. Did not take advantage of this so cannot comment.

The photographer/videographer, Alex Lindbloom put together an excellent album and video, and was available for photography instruction if desired. You can see some of his
work on his website, alexlindbloom.com.

The boat was exceedingly well-run. Crew was attentive, friendly and efficient. Helped to don/doff gear. My wife has back issues, so her scuba unit was put in 5he RIB for her. Cruise director Montse was on top of everything.

We enjoyed the trip enough that we have made reservations for their Komodo trip in
2019.
Websites Mermaid Liveaboards   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Saba, Curaçao, Bahamas, Cozumel, Montserrat, British Columbia, New Jersey
Closest Airport Sorong, West Papua Getting There Flights from Jakarta on several airlines. Delays and cancellations were common among our group. Plan to arrive a day earliy.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth limits suggested but not checked; maximum divetime for most dives 70 minutes; no decompression diving; return to boat with at least 300 psi
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots 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 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table on dive deck. No dedicated charging area. Bring adapters. Several dedicated camera rinse tanks. Compressed air for drying equipment available.
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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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