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Dive Review of Pindito in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Pindito: "Raja Ampat wonders on the Pindito", Jan, 2018,

by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 34 reports with 14 Helpful votes). Report 10211 has 4 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my second trip on the Pindito, which I learned means PINisi DIving TOurism=PINDITO. Built by pioneer Edi Frommenwiler, the ship and crew provide an excellent trip. I had a special deal, as I was single and the eight cabins were all filled, so I stayed in the owner’s cabin, sharing shower and toilet facilities with the three dive guides. Dive guide Arif Munandar was happy to see me return and led me to some neat photo opportunities. He also entertained us with many stories. Food is served in a first deck dining hall with two wait staff on constant lookout for our needs. Meals are plentiful and varied. Breakfast is made to order from a menu, then lunch and dinner menus are made up by the cooks, although anyone with special needs is well cared for.

Generally, four dives are offered daily. After light breakfast we do a morning dive, then full breakfast. After an off-gassing interval, the second dive goes out and returns to a welcomed lunch. In Mid-afternoon the third dive is offered, then a night or dusk dive goes out before a full dinner. Our group was divided into three groups and we rotated among the three divemasters, Arif, Arlie and Recky, but always used the same Zodiac and boatman. Movies, sharing photos, day-reviews and next-day plans are evening activities after dinner. Plenty of space is available to work on photos in the dining room, using a large library to identify some of the day’s sightings. The day’s diving makes sleeping easy after socializing a bit at night.

Our original itinerary was to visit the Misool area, but when we boarded we were told the action was north, so we headed there. I don’t recall seeing as many mantas on four previous trips to Raja Ampat as we did this time around. Of course, the corals in this area are spectacular, and the fish populations impressive. Critters abound, with many nudibranchs, crustaceans and cephalopods to thrill those who seek them. I took my best photo so far of two Severin’s pygmy seahorses together that Arif found on a night dive. For those who enjoy manta encounters, the mantas came close and inspected us as we did them. One even slapped a diver on the head as it went by.

Diving was generally in calm seas with little or no current, but we had several dives where current was quite strong. We dove an area called “The Passage” between islands which I’ve enjoyed when the current was weak. This time it was ripping and took the boatload of us on a wild ride in poor vis – it was all we could do to look out for rocks and avoid them. Another nearby dive area called “Manta Ridge” gave me the toughest dive of my career – current separated me from my group and I aborted after 13 minutes, heading to the surface and our inflatable. I was dropped at the start position again but found myself in a washing machine, going from just below the surface to 88’ in short order. This was more than I wanted to fight, so I aborted again and was picked up. When my group returned to the surface, I learned they had encountered maybe 10 mantas that stayed with them while they hooked into the reef and enjoyed the show, albeit in strong current. So that’s one great dive that got away from me. On several other dives however, friendly mantas came by for a close encounter of the best kind. In fact, I switched my camera from stills to movies to get a different view of my experience.

Raja Ampat is an area know for wobbegon sharks, and we saw plenty, along with a variety of their moving cousins. Night dives revealed many crustaceans, basket stars, octopi, squid and cuttlefish, epaulette sharks, resting turtles and the ever-present bioluminescent tiny critters that permeate the water.

The only bad thing of the trip came in the form of a cold that stopped up my ears for three days. I had to rely on reports of other divers to vicariously enjoy what they saw (having been to Raja Ampat several times already reduced my hurt). Ironically, my regular dive buddy got a cold the day after I did and missed a similar three days. Still, I was able to record 22 dives of the 34 that were offered.

Travel-wise, normally we routed through Bali for a few days before heading to the boat to help with the time change. Due to the active volcano nearby, we changed to go through Jakarta and stayed at the nearby hotel FM7, which was a good move. This hotel has the largest spa area I’ve seen, of which I took full advantage to help with travel fatigue and recovery. Normally, flying from Bali to Sorong (Raja Ampat) takes two or three flights, but from Jakarta there is a direct flight to and from. Always be sure to confirm flights, as occasionally there is a flight time change!

If you’ve not been to Raja Ampat yet, be sure to do it while you can.
Websites Pindito   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving USVI, BVI, lesser Antilles, Bonaire, all three Caymans , Coco Island,
Revillagigedos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines,
Micronesia, Red Sea
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There USA-Hong Kong-Jakarta-Sorong; overnight in Jakarta at FM7 hotel nearby

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, dry Seas calm, currents, no currents
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-80 Ft/ 9-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Sport SCUBA limit, generally an hour or more. Deepest I went on this trip was 92' with most in the 60-80' range. Once guides trusted your skills, you had plenty of freedom.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 Camera room amidships next to dining area with plenty of power, tools, towels and storage. However, if all passengers were photographers, more room would be needed. Crew handled cameras with great care.
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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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