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Dive Review of Pindito in
Indonesia/Rajah Ampat

Pindito, Feb, 2008,

by Mike Judd, OR, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 4403.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Maldives, Cocos Is., Fiji, Thailand, various Carib.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 83 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Generally followed dive guide, but some variance allowed
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Rajah Ampat takes two days travel each way, but worth it. Pindito leaves from Sorong, a formerly small town which has "boomed" due to oil discoveries in the area - don't plan on any land sight-seeing. We covered a couple hundred miles in our 11 day cruise, with most of the diving in the Misool Island area. There are a few dive boats operating in the area, but we ran into others less than half the days. It's nice to be out of the main traffic lane, although the occasional raft of garbage was a reminder that very few places are pristine any more.
Pindito is a fairly new boat, but build to resemble the traditional pinisi vessels in the area (apparently the pretty sail you see in the photos is a decoration). The bare wood cabins have a nice rustic feel, and are average size (although my buddy in the top bunk complained about the low ceiling). There wasn't a lot of choice in the menu (for understandable reasons, given the location), but the food was generally good. Nitrox was free, a plus with four dives a day. The diving was from zodiacs, which were crowded enough that it was a pain to gear up. On the positive side, we never had more than a five minute ride to a dive site.
The three dive masters (Europeans) were pleasant and fun characters, and did a good job of leading without dictating, as well as pointing things out. My only criticism is that they didn't seem to believe in the "look but don't touch" philosophy. The rest of the crew were locals, and excellent.
There was a great variety and number of fish. For those who like to see the undersea world through a camera lens (is my bias showing?), there were clouds of small tropicals, nudibranchs, blennies, and pipefish. And, of course, pigmy seahorses. I must admit I don't know what makes these tiny fellows more precious than other seahorses which can be seen with the naked eye, but they must be, because our leaders and others spent hours searching for them! On the other end of the scale, there were frequent visits from large humphead parrotfish, a few Napolean wrasse, some small tuna, little epaulet sharks, and a couple of the indigenous wobegongs. There was also a great manta cleaning station, where a half dozen or so swooped by on one of the dives. Even better than the fish life was the coral, with an amazing range of different colors and varieties of both hard and soft.
One warning about stinging things. Many of the sites have large growths of hydrozoans, which look like inocuous patches of brownish-gray ferns growing underwater. They appear to be attached to the coral or other surface, but I am absolutely sure that when you are looking the other way they shoot out and make sneak attacks.
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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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