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Dive Review of Odyssea Divers/Cocotinos in
Indonesia/Northern Sulawesi

Odyssea Divers/Cocotinos, Mar, 2010,

by Robert DeFeo, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5429.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Philippines, Roatan, Cayman Islands, Hawaii, Texas, Puget Sound, Monterey CA, Channel Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas currents
Water Temp 81 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No glove diving
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Spacious on deck rinse tanks. Camera room and computer available and nicely arranged.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Cocotinos Resort is a beautifully designed and exceptionally well run dive resort. Rooms are modern, very clean, air conditioned and laid out perfectly for divers. Rooms have 2 single beds and a window bench seat that doubles as a couch or an extra bed. Bed linens and towels very high end and replaced when requested although guests are encouraged to be ecologically conscious. The bathrooms are exceptionally spacious with a huge shower with tropical plants inside. Best of all water pressure and very, very hot water available in the shower rates a five plus. Staff is professional, happy to serve, and will address any needs you may have. They are proud of their resort and their hospitality is overflowing. The grounds are nicely landscaped and well kept. Sunsets from the resort are spectaculiar with Manado Tua Volcano in the backdrop. Sitting on the open deck next to the covered outdoor dining area and bar after a day of diving while having a cold Bitung Beer is wonderful. You may order wine or beer at the bar but be aware---wine will cost you $25 a glass. No hard liquor so bring your own from a duty free shop. Food is hot and favorful with large variety and accomodations are made for dietary needs for all. Breakfast includes eggs as you like them, plenty of fruit (pineapple, banannas, papaya).
Cocotinos' aim is to please you totally. While I didn't take advantage of the spa and massages available, those that did had great comments on the quality of the facilty and professionalism of the staff. The pool on the property is attractive and very clean. The women of the village dug it by hand and the entire village is proud of the establishment. It was nice to see Christians and Moslems living in harmony with each other. Courtesy is rampant among the people and you will always receive smiles and waves. The local mosque is close by and the first call to prayer is sometimes preceeded by song or music---between 4:30 and 5 am. I found them quite pleasant to listen to and a splendid way to start a diving day with these wonderful people.
Electrical power goes out very often in Sulawesi so be prepared for that. Power is 220 volts and receptacles are two round prong types as in Germany. Internet is avaiable in the dinning area but is slow and also is subject to outages but most folks got their e-mails in and out and postings done on facebook for their pictures.
Diving operation is on-site and run by Odyssea Divers using three large diveboats equipped with a runabout that looks like a fiberglass mold of a rigid-hull inflatable. Nitrox 32 is available and less expensive if ordered in advance of your trip. Fills were accurate and you test the Nitrox with a divemaster onboard not at the dock before departure. Strongly recommend use of Nitrox here as the depths (70'-100')on most dives and dive times (60-70 mins) make it mandatory or you'll be up top watching the action bebeath you because of shortented air bottomtime. You never touch your stuff after it arrives. They'll set it up and rinse it everynight with wetsuits being almost totally dry by morning. When preparing to enter the water, the dive crews put your fins on for you...incredible. Towels are provided after the dive and your wet suit is hung up between dives on the boats. Fruit/snacks and coffee/tea/water provided between dives. Lunch provided on the boat by selecting your meal (typically asian or western or vegetarian) the day before while you are in the dinning room for dinner.
Diving is mostly done in Bunaken Marine Park and there is a IDR 150,000 (approximately $20 USD) fee with tag provided. Most dives are wall dives with fairly hard moving currents and there's plenty to see as you sail by the walls---turtles, tuna, trevally, eels,nudibranches, huge barrel sponges, hard and soft corals, beautiful underwater relief with visibility sometimes approaching 100 feet and water temps around 82 degrees. We spotted a Mola mola on one our surface intervals quite close to the boat but didn't get to see it underwater---shucks. We also did several muck dives and enjoyed the change of pace a the varoius critters...cuttlefish, stonefish, corals, eels, cone snails, pigmy seahorses, seahorses, and a large variety of other critters. Sometimes, however, the guides were a bit too agressive in trying to drive out animals in order to show them to you and by that I mean they roughed up the bottom a bit and at times...not really damaging things but coming fairly close on ocassion. Diving here though is not for beginners---for a couple of reasons. First, the currents can be severe and tricky. A typical wall drift dive can see the current shift direction 180 degrees and pick up dramatically in a drop of a hat. Additionally, you can run across rather dramatic up and down wellings while in a hard horizontal current requiring rapid filling or venting of your BCD. An inexperienced diver might not react properly in such an environment. Second, the dives tend to be deep on repetitive dives and the DMs stay down to the limits of bottomtime. You must use YOUR OWN good judgement whether to stay down or come up. Very easy to end up with a deco dive if you don't watch your bottomtimes---especially if you are on air. They took us on one dive into a fairly strong current at 80' as a second dive one day that required heavy exertion and several of our group had in-water issues with that...wasn't a good call on the DM's part. So use your head when diving here and don't follow blindly. Also come prepared to talk bar and kilos when it comes to air pressure and weights. They work it out but they are used to metric and not imperial measures---confusion ocassionally occurred during dives as to air remaining and weight. My bottom line on Odyssea is that they are a solid operation with great service but you need to be prepared to watch your own backside to be completely safe out there.
If you want a taste of resort luxury and fine Indonesian diving, Cocotino's will provide both.
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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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