Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
Join Undercurrent on Facebook
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
 

Dive Review of Raja4Divers/Raja4Divers on Pef Island in
Indonesia/Pef Island, Raja Ampat

Raja4Divers/Raja4Divers on Pef Island, Jul, 2012,

by Frederick R. Turoff, PA, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 6696.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving BVI, USVI, Saba, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Costa Rica, Coco Island, Revillagigedos, Sea of Cortez, Palau, Yap, Red Sea, Sipadan, PNG, Indonesia, Philippines
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 79 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Try to keep dives about 1 hour so group stays together. No diving below 40m.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments In the photo room there are six stations for photographers, which could get crowded if everyone brought a camera. However, each station had several power supplies, towels, plastic trays with useful tools and supplies for camera care. These were clearly thought out by those familiar with photography needs. A computer with a large monitor was in the room for those who didnt bring their own.

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 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Raja4Divers operates on Pef Island in the Raja Ampat area of eastern Indonesia. Once you get to Sorong and are transported to the waterfront, its a three hour boat ride through the Dampier Strait to the remote resort just past the west tip of Gam Island. After being greeted by the resort crew singing, dancing and playing instruments, we were given an introduction to the resort and its operation by Armin Keller and Sabine Kaufman, the able dive operation directors. [Manager Maya was away that week.] With six seaside and spacious bungalows just a short walk from the restaurant and dive operation areas, this new resort has much going for it. Each bungalow has a king bed, desk and shelves, porch with lounge chairs and a bathroom area that is indoor-outdoor, having a small courtyard next to the covered area. The Papuan shower, which consisted of a large stone basin with hot and cold taps into which you dip a large ladle and then pour the water over yourself, was a new adventure - but to which one easily adapted. The spacious restaurant adjoined a lounging area and library where numerous underwater life ID books could be found. Meals were sumptuous, with several choices of course at each. Fresh island smoothies and a variety of other drinks were also available.

A short walk from the restaurant takes you to the photo room. There are six stations for photographers, which could get crowded if everyone brought a camera. However, each station had several power supplies, towels, plastic trays with useful tools and supplies for camera care. These were clearly thought out by those familiar with photography needs. A computer with a large monitor was in the room for those who didnt bring their own.

The office and store were at the land-end of the dive dock. At the far end, out on the water, was the dive area which featured a gear room, supplies and the boats. Night dives took place around this dive dock and the house reef on which it was built. Nitrox was supplied at no extra charge, which pleased this 65-yr old diver. The only requirement besides nitrox certification was to prepare tanks for all the next days dives the night before.

For those not familiar with Raja Ampat diving, the amount and variety of fish, critter and coral life will astound you. Although visibility was usually 40-60 feet and water temperature around 79-81 degrees, the many-hued corals and the variety of fish and critters will make you want to return (this was my 5th trip to Raja Ampat). Dive sites were anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour away. For longer trips, we often spent our intervals on small islands and had a meal or snacks. The longest trip, an hour into the Dampier Strait near Sorido and Kri resorts, put us in 84 degree water with nearly 100 feet of vis. Lunch on this day trip found us on an island with trees full of fruit bats that flew around us if disturbed. We also had visits from monitor lizards looking for lunch scraps. Our group numbered 11, so we split into two groups to dive, with at least two guides on each dive. Armin and Sabine usually went with us as well. Each day and night had some rain, with only our last dive day dry during dives but raining on the way home.

I had a new experience on our last night dive (which had only two divers plus a guide) a Wobbegon shark grabbed a small black tip shark just to our right and swam directly by us, pausing right in front of us for a short while. Of course, Murphys Law dictated that I was taking macro photos on that dive, but I managed to back up and get a shot of the Wobbegons head with the other shark in its mouth before it swam off slowly with us in pursuit. It headed under a coral outcrop, its body convulsed, and the small shark was gone. What an exciting end to the visits diving.

We had originally planned nine dive days, but upon arriving at Jakarta and checking into the Jakarta airport hotel, none of us thought to do a final check on our next flight, scheduled to depart 5am the next day as the most recent communication we had received stated. As it turned out, the flight left shortly after midnight, so we missed it and had to spend another day in Jakarta, get new tickets, catch the next flight out and arrive at Raja4Divers a day later than planned. So this is a reminder to all who travel to remote places always check on your next flight and dont rely on recent communications.

The resort and diving so impressed three of our party that they cancelled their next weeks plans to go to another area and extended their stay an additional week. Id be happy to return in the future as well. I cant imagine anyone being disappointed by a stay with Raja4Divers. When we departed, the staff sang, danced and played instruments for us once again. Of course, we joined in as much as we could. I headed to Bali for a few days of different diving before heading back to the US. My report on Scuba Seraya is filed separately.
Was this report helpful to you?
Bookmark and Share

Subscriber's Comments

By carl berenson in WA, US at Sep 22, 2012 17:29 EST  
considering Raja4divers or sorido, cenderawasih on boat OR bali/komodo boat for 7/13. what would you pick for ist time raja?
By Frederick R. Turoff in PA, US at Sep 25, 2012 14:41 EST  
I'd consider either Sorido or Raja4Divers plus the resort run by Grand Komodo Diving (www.komodoalordive.com). Prices may vary, find the one that suits your budget. All give you a wonderful week with good food. Sorido doesn't dive on Sat due to the owner's religious beliefs. If you like liveaboards, Grand Komodo boats are cheaper but not as fancy as Aggressors or Dancers. The Komodo trips give you the opportunity to see the dragons on Komodo during a dive interval. No matter where you go, you'll experience superb diving. Currents exist sometimes, so be prepared - bring a reef hook. The guides will take care of you. Feel free to call me if you wish - 215-880-6632.
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here
 

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 951 dive reviews of Indonesia and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.

Bookmark and Share
Featured Links from Our Sponsors
Interested in becoming a sponsor?
Reef & Rainforest, Let our experience be your guide -- Reef and Rainforest
Reef & Rainforest
is an agency for travelers that scuba dive. Looking for Biodiversity, critters, Komodo, Raja Ampat, temples? We specialize in adventures to Indonesia.
Scuba Dive Asia -- The Dive Travel Experts
SCUBA DIVE ASIA - The Dive Travel Experts
for Asia, Pacific & Africa. Dive vacations for individuals, groups, photo clubs & dive centers.

Want to assemble your own collection of Indonesia reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home


Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |


Copyright © 1996-2017 Undercurrent (www.undercurrent.org)
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.66 seconds