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Dive Review of SMY Ondina in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

SMY Ondina: "SMY Ondina in Raja Ampat", Nov, 2014,

by Marta J Arensberg, WA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 7 reports). Report 8004.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 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 Our charter was arranged by Deb Fugitt, owner of City Seahorse. It was an invitation only charter of previous guests, so every diver was well experienced. Deb books all inter-Indonesia travel and hotel arrangements.

The SMY Ondina has an experienced crew, which Deb supplements with her hand picked dive masters. Charters are limited to 12 divers, so very small groups. Each dive group has either 3 or 4 divers with one very experienced dive guide per dive. We rarely shared dive sites with other vessels. There were 4 or 5 dives offered each day on our 14 day charter. First dive at 7:00 AM, and the last dive at 6:30 PM, before dinner at 8:00 PM. No time limits were imposed on any dive. The dingy was always right close when we surfaced.

Dive sites were varied between wide angle and macro. The reefs were healthy with soft and hard corals, huge schools of fish, both large & small, and lots of critters. Some dives were at underwater pinnacles, underneath village piers, along deep walls and down sandy slopes. Lots of variety. If the group really liked a particular site, we would stay and do several dives there. Nitrox, at 32.+/-, was available the entire charter.

The yacht is tidy and clean. The cabins, six doubles and two singles, have A/C and are spacious and cleaned each day. Linens changed twice a week. The lounge, where meals and snacks are served, is the indoor gathering spot with A/C. Food is plentiful, mostly Indonesian offerings, and served by a very friendly and accommodating crew. The outdoor shaded table & seating area on the main deck was a popular gathering spot, as was the upper deck lounging area sporting 7 or 8 loungers and additional sling back chairs for sun seekers and star gazers.

Getting to Sorong, on the island of New Guinea, is a long, multi-flight experience. That is really the only negative of diving Raja Ampat. Thankfully, the superb diving experiences out weigh the time and cost factors.

Websites SMY Ondina   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Hawaii, Mexico, Caribbean, Belize, Turks & Caicos.
Closest Airport Sorong Getting There From USA to Jakarta or Bali, then to Sorong.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 82-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-100 Ft/ 9-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Preferred buddy diving.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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 The yacht has a large covered camera table just outside the dive deck. The crew were well trained in safety & care of handling each camera setup. The crew loads and unloads all cameras into the dingy and back onto the camera table before and after each dive. Each diver has a personal storage tote under the table for extra camera gear. And each diver has a personal charging shelf, with three plugs for recharging batteries.
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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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