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Dive Review of my WAOW in
Indonesia/Flores Alor

my WAOW, Oct, 2013,

by Jeremy Brookfield, AG, CH ( 1 report). Report 7233.

No photos available at this time

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 N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I have been on more than 30 liveaboards (mostly high-end) and this boat was probably the best thought-out and comfortable. It did help having the huge master cabin but all cabins were of excellent size and well finished.

The staff were excellent and could not be faulted on any aspect. They even provide you with a PDF containing the names of the dive sites and subjects seen for your log book. Food was noticeably better than on any previous liveaboard. Only complaint was that the breakfast buffet which quickly became cold.

The boat is a beautiful three masted schooner. The lounge and decks are very large and well-equipped. The master cabin and the two de-luxe cabins have their own sun loungers.

Diving is from large tenders (they have 3 but, as the boat was not full, only two were in service). The tenders were always on site when we surfaced in spite of the occasional strong and variable currents. Nautilus Lifelines were lent to each diver so I could have left mine at home.

The crew were happy to take us out in the tenders on the two occasions we came across large schools of dolphins. On one afternoon, the wind was strong enough to raise the sails and actually sail.

I have been to Indonesia many times (North and South Sulawesi, Komodo, Bali and Raja Ampat). This was my first trip to Flores and Alor. The coral is very healthy, probably due to the mixing of the warm currents from the north and the very cold and strong currents from the south. As is often the case in Indonesia, large fish were not that common but this was more than compensated by the macro critters including Saron shrimp, blue ringed octopus and Rhinopias. Apparently it is possible to see Molas in this area but we were not so lucky. Two of the sites had huge carpets of different anemones in varying colours. This is something I have never seen before. Noticeable by their absence were pygmy seahorses. Frogfish and anemone fish were also unusually rare by Indonesian standards.

The muck dives were, as is to be expected in Indonesia, first rate and dives of 70-90 minutes were tolerated. I hate having to surface after 60 minutes when there are numerous subjects to photograph and I have plenty of air in the tank. The boat rents out 15L alu tanks for a small additional cost.
Also much appreciated was that the evening meal was after the night dive.

We only saw one other liveaboard and that for only 2 days.

The water temperature was very variable ranging from a balmy 28c in the north to a shocking 19c in the south. The boat sold quite a number of neoprene vests with integrated hoods.

We also had two memorable trips to local villages. The first was a small,quite isolated and poor. The guests on the previous trip had donated some money to buy a guitar, sone footballs and some clothes to the kids. We were able to hand these over. The kids paddle out in their wooden canoes to the boat and make for charming photographic models.

The second trip, to a village in the hills around Maumere where the local fabric was woven was more touristic. They dressed-up in their traditional garments but clearly had not done this very often and so was still a novelty for them and us.
Websites my WAOW   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Galapagos, Maldives, Sudan, Red Sea, Bahamas, Socorro
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas currents
Water Temp 19-28°F / -7--2°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 15-30 M / 49-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Very much free to dive as I wished.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 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 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large dedicated camera room, good rinse buckets, all the dive team knew how to handle large SLRs
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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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