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Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

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Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 23, 2013 8:21 am

Dewi nusantara only accepts guests at 1200 hrs or later, that is their policy. as a rule of thumb, always ask the boat (any boat)---not the guy who sold you the package--- yourself if they have specific boarding time to prevent any unexplained excursions to a strange hotel lobby. we have been on 2 LOBs in Sorong and both times we boarded the boat after arrival at the airport. we had a most uncomfortable hour at such hotel because our travel agent did not know this policy.

now back to the boat. IT IS HUGE !. the first time we saw the Dewi was at Ambon after we had finished our safety stop and we surfaced to see it. i knew i had to come dive with them. the tender brought us along side and a few steps brought us on to the boat itself and the dive deck which is also used as a dining area. some dive centers do not have a staging area half as big! the camera room is next and it is big as well. a towel and a air-blower is available for you to clean the casing. hey...they have a shower-head as you exit the tenders on the way to the dive-deck !!! heated water brudder !! i was wondering why that part of the boat was always wet. the galley is big as well and after so many meals onboard i have to admit their food is good. their special meals are good enough for asian apettites.

Nitrox ( not iNi-Trox is available at USD200 per trip) but beer is free! the first glass of wine for dinner is free as well.i think at these rates, it ought to be free. plenty of juices and soft drinks but...but there are no espresso machines. just normal filtered coffee or Nescafe satchets. come on...get a machine on! do the right thing.

smoking is confined to the wheelhouse, which is fine if you are not a smoker. there are some no-go zones and they will be explained to you. they ring a bell for meal times or dive briefings. wake up calls in your cabin in the mornings can be arranged. most dives in the mornings are at 0715 hrs. continental breakfast were available at 0630 hrs.

the rooms are ginormous!! newlyweds could run around and have great fun. plenty of storage space, a cupboard if you have something to hang up, plenty of charging points (220 volts) and a port hole with complete privacy. this boat (formerly rainbow dancer) was built in Kalimantan and interior fitted in Bali--it shows. paintings of a half naked woman hang in all the rooms except mine! mine had an anemone...how come?. the showers ensuite could accomodate three at a time if you were lucky enough. complete with shampoo, shower gel and conditioner. a big basin top to put all your personal toiletries. yes they do provide a hair-dryer, more storage space beneath if you a really fussy traveler. air-cond is like our house hold, controlled to the very degree. mood lighting whilst running around... no mini fridge, and a writing desk to do my blog. hehehee the bed is big enough for wrestling matches if you still have the inclination after 4 dives. the whole place is fitted with quality hardwood from kalimantan. there is a fire escape on the common corridor that brings you to the dive deck. the usual life-jacket, fire extingusher and a winding torch for emergency lighting.

we thought it was a luxurious habitat,until we saw the master cabin !!! it could fit a basketball team. huge bed with chains..hmmm..there must be handcuffs/whips somewhere. and there is a jacuzzi. the present occupant reserved it 18 months ago--just to show the popularity of this cabin. it is at the stern with a panoramic view of the ocean. next time lah...

this boat is 5 years old but it hardly shows. seems it was commisioned yesterday. the maintenance and daily chores are really good. even our beds were smoothed over in the mornings and again in the evenings. (with choco kisses at night no less!)

meal times are all outdoors but for my wife and i, we ate indoors with the air-cond on. i reckon we have had so much sunlight we do not need anymore. however dining outside with a bit of wind blowing, it isn't too bad. they have a large sail hung over the dive deck deck for shade. eggs are cooked to your preference, lunch is buffet style and dinner is a pre-set meal. and they will accomodate special request for all meals. the head waiter--Henry--is so professional in his work, he can whip up any order/drinks that you fancy.

we found the full grain bread for breakfast to be really good and fragrant when toasted. they are baked at sorong.

ok the diving..the crew will take care of your dive equipment from the time you board until your departure. and that includes the re-fill of your bio-filter (moisture compensator) on your regulator if you have one. all equipment will be brought to the tender a few minutes before you. all you have to do is suit-up and walk to the tender. this is total luxury from my experience. dont forget if you are diving Nitrox to fill in the deatils on the clipboard. good idea to bring you own SMB as well. and the boat provides reef hooks and a whistle to signal the boat man. on the last day, all equipment were rinsed and sanitised with dettol, then dried in the sun or failing that, in the engine room as we sailed back to sorong. i keep asking if its so wrong ( Sorong ) why does it feel right?

andy.. if you are reading this? yes water is so important even on this floating hotel! we are served water with a dash of fresh lemon before and after the dive! they have water on the tender as well. (insider joke, my apologies ). never but never pour a glass of water on your face after a dive as it might have lime in it ?

so you back roll and do your thing underwater and when its time to get back into the boat, it is a joy..cameras, weights, fins and BCDs' in that order. they want you to enjoy each and every dive. you really could not ask for anything else...but wait..there's more...on night dives ? hot chocolate when you return !!! good quality hot chocolate.more cocoa than butter. and there's more...hot towel..after you shower at the dive deck then, wait for it...a head and neck massage!! yes really.... don't be shaking your head and say i am exaggerating...massage but by the boatboys. well some of us like it that way. most days it was a 4 dives a day.

learned a new trick, if you have a leaking mask and have tried many masks, wear a hood!! it keeps the mask in place and water out. well it worked for me. and on the technological front, bring along a few thumbdrives and SD cards to tranfer other ppl's media to your notebook. or yours to theirs. if your notebook has a mini HDMI plug, then that too if you want to use the LCD TV on board. always bring along a rainproof jacket as some of the dive sites are a distance from the mothership and it can be cold after a dive.

there are towels everywhere...in the rooms..dive decks and in the camera room. they have an onboard sale of T-shirts and accessories. i bought a T-shirt at a reasonable price.

pre-dinner rituals..cocktails, beer or soft drinks were served under the stars. they will write the menu on the dive deck and so gives you plenty of time to ask for a special request. most meals were delicious especially the gado gado. open face sandwiches, pizza, spring rolls with vege fillings, crepe with coconut fillings(kueh dadar), goreng pisang (banana fritters) were served at tea time. portions are big. and thankfully they serve other fishes besides tuna. if i have seen meals prepared to individual orders on a boat or dive centre, i really cannot remember where. impressive.

every night, it was a bliss to sleep in this floating hotel. because of its size, it did not seem to sway so much. but do not take room 2 !! you will be the first to know if the ship is heading for a new destination or has arrived at, the anchor and its chain is next to you!! it makes helluva of noise.

unfortunately, at Manta Sandy, we saw only 3 mantas. turned out to be a macro dive at Blue Magic, we did not see any unlike the last time i was there.

chicken reef had its fair share of prey and predators. so did mayhem ridge. some of these sites have two names like white arrow/ about 5 years ago, you would have noticed there were only half a dozen books on Raja Ampat ? now there are hundreds or seem like hundreds. there are 2 new resorts opening in Kri soon. so if you want to see Raja at its pristine, do not wait any longer.

cendana jetty night dive was a great way to use a tank of Nitrox. 2 wobegongs, 1 walking shark, 2 octopii, 3 baby squids, hundreds of baby scorpion fish at the fuel jetty. i remem i dived the main jetty with the showroom and saw a blue-ring octopus.

melissa garden is one of the best sites for hard corals and fish galore. we did our safety stop south of the site where currents were slack and it was spectacular because the overhang cast a huge shadow over the sandy bottom and where the sweetlips congregated. great kodak moment dude. did 2 dives here.

misokon, blue magic, friwin bonda, sardine reef, mike's point, chicken reef, manta sandy, mayhem ridge, citrus ridge, white arrow, west ganan, cendana jetty, melissa's garden, kruo channel, pyramid wall, farondi cave, wayil kecil, neptune fan sea.

algae patch on batanta island, was a visit to lembeh island! all the usual suspects are here maybe less so but the nudis collection is more varied. rumours of rhinopias abound but none seen. no leaf or cockatoo seen when their habitat seems abundant here.

on a night dive if you are diving a wall, becareful if u are shooting inside of a cavern, disorientation is a real threat. you might end up going in instead of out! wayil kecil is one such dive. when the group has left, it is just you, your source of light and pitch darkness. a spot light only gives you a fifty-cent coin size picture of visibility.

my first visit to raja ampat was unfortunately spent inside my cabin because i caught a flu bug that near paralysed me. so this is my third visit or rather second visit with a full itinerary of diving. the sea-horses were amazing. especially the santa claus pygmy. saw a new nudibranch yet to be classified. saw a crab and a shrimp in a sea-pen. hundreds of shrimps that are new to me. saved a pikachu from the abyss. and took some really close shots of sweetlips and groupers. sea-fans of ginormuos proportions at neptune fan sea. mantas that sneak up behind you..gobies galore.

will i do it again? yes without hesitation. it is everything you could hope for in a diving holiday. big stuff, macro and corals so alive and multipying. well not necessarily on a luxury boat, but it would be better on a boat.

total damage--USD 12K domestic airfare included (02 divers). (JKT/Sorong/JKT) beers and soft drinks included. may is a little late in the calendar for Raja as it rained almost everyday. and it was cold above and below the sea. the seas were a bit choppy but on a boat this size, we hardly felt it. and most importantly--you would have missed the manta parade.

in closing, the Dewi Nusantara is the height of diving luxury. from rescuing guests from hotel lobby to hot choco after a night dive. it would be hard to imagine if any boat can top this act. so if you have money to spent, you only do LOBs once a year. you are curious about diving with the best there is, Dewi is all that and more. raja ampat is for the avid photographer who wnats to document the entire species of fishes in Indonesia and publish a book. as for me, taking out the bank loan from IMF to dive with them was well worth it! it was sad to say goodbye to my car....

-- Thu May 23, 2013 8:21 am --

photos to follow...
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#2  Postby run » Thu May 23, 2013 8:39 am

ok i see you mentioned walking shark, seahorse, non-classified nudi but the one caught my eye the 12K in USD summore. uuuuuuh those who had been to Raja 4 with cost around RM4k back then was the lucky ones.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#3  Postby mamakpenang » Thu May 23, 2013 10:53 am

nice one bro...jealous nyer.....
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#4  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 23, 2013 11:05 am

run wrote:ok i see you mentioned walking shark, seahorse, non-classified nudi but the one caught my eye the 12K in USD summore. uuuuuuh those who had been to Raja 4 with cost around RM4k back then was the lucky ones.


agreed..it is the place rather than the vehicle. as I said, all divers must dive R4 at least once in his life. also if possible in your life must dive with uber luxury. heard there is another boat--WAOW--also super ex. stands for Water Adventure Ocean Wide. Dewi Nusantara sounds nicer ? both same size. hmm maybe I deliver newspaper, wash car, mow lawn and collect tin cans so satisfy my curiosity.

mamakpenang, once in a while can lah...

now back to normal life, at night I make myself a cup of hot choco and dream of wobegongs. shiok
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#5  Postby reztitan » Thu May 23, 2013 2:11 pm

Reading your report make me wanna go R4 now.. nice one...
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#6  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 23, 2013 2:19 pm

run is right...it is not the boat. (although my report was more on the boat ) I have been there on Mermaid II and Black Manta as well but nobody comes close to Dewi....like a floating Ritz Carlton like that. we see maybe one day we can do a Mass Dive X...to R4 ? charter a boat and see how much it cost. I see there is a big selection at Sorong. from the mass market to Dewi/WAOW/Amira/Pindito standards.

we going Semporna again as u can see. then next year we are working on Lembeh !!! and maybe after that, we see if the quotes are bearable or not.

-- Thu May 23, 2013 2:24 pm --

this trip especially, we were lucky to see one specie of Nudis and one of coral blenny nvr seen before
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#7  Postby run » Thu May 23, 2013 3:22 pm

decimal86 believe me if you paid USD12k and service like 7 stars then of coz it worth it.
I have admired upon Raja 4 of its marine life diversity since i saw the documentary ack in 2007. That time i learned that to go there at least RM4k ex sorong. But after that documentary , the price went up sky rocket. There goes my dream. Maybe lar after a few dive at iceland, swimming with the whales, dive with the great whites, and cave dive at the cenote , i might be able to go to Raja 4.
Dream on run ..dream on.

Come on decimal86 post up pix
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#8  Postby terjuntiruk » Thu May 23, 2013 4:45 pm

I managed to dive TARP and someone got to do R4? :huh:
Errr... at USD6k I will need to pawn even my underwear :azn:
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#9  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 23, 2013 4:53 pm

yes I am still paying it off. when we surfaced near to the Dewi in Ambon, we knew we must try this boat. most of the divers on board also like that. not the millionaire types. just save and save then splurge. brudder we plan R4 lah but on a realistic budget ?
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#10  Postby gchew » Thu May 23, 2013 5:42 pm

When? :P I'm interested in R4! :)
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#11  Postby decimal86 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:52 am

gchew wrote:When? :P I'm interested in R4! :)


hi there, this year we have Semporna, next year we plan Lembeh, after that we will post the total cost of a Mass Dive-LOB and see the response. this one needs at least 16 divers to really bring the cost down.

in fact, MIDE 2013 is the best place to enquire. if any of you guys can suggest a boat for 2014 it will be a great help.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#12  Postby clairvoyant » Sun May 26, 2013 10:36 am

Wow luxury diving. I was in R4 from 14-22, we saw Dewi in Misool and also at Manta Sandy. My previous trip also I saw this huge vessel Fam Islands.
Photo upload please...
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#13  Postby decimal86 » Sun May 26, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi
I shot everything in RAW have to convert. Which boat were u on? How? Short review..?
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#14  Postby Narco » Tue May 28, 2013 4:49 pm

Wow Decimal, i really envy u. Not only u got to be at one of the best spot in the world, but also on one of the best LOB existed with the best ever dive BUDDY u will ever had.

I'll be there, in the next 15 years, hopefully.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#15  Postby gavstang » Tue May 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Very good report bro. An insightful and entertaining read for those of us who havent crossed Raja Ampat off our bucket list.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#16  Postby Lotusman » Tue May 28, 2013 9:44 pm

How does lembeh & bunaken, compare? Same sea right or just next 'door'. Just joking...only because I m going there in August :) not quite r4
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#17  Postby decimal86 » Wed May 29, 2013 8:07 am

gavstang wrote:Very good report bro. An insightful and entertaining read for those of us who havent crossed Raja Ampat off our bucket list.


gavstang, thks. hey we should meet up for MIDE and keep a group going for R4?


Lotusman wrote:How does lembeh & bunaken, compare? Same sea right or just next 'door'. Just joking...only because I m going there in August :) not quite r4


bro' bunaken has the soft corals but the number of fishes and the species on any one dive cannot compare. R4 is for everyone, for me, i would prefer muck diving and critters, but this is like being in a dive store where they have all the latest gear and all the colours! dont buy also happy sial !!

oh Lembeh in august? you wear a hood for diving? night dives there got millions of worms swimming in the beam of your torch. my DM kena worm in ear, infected for 2 weeks...air perang! very appropriate name. my friend dive manager at KBR, says frogfish season...

enjoy Lembeh. which dive center? short review if you got time?

-- Wed May 29, 2013 8:16 am --

ok looks like my friends on the Dewi were faster than me on the mutimedia front, Andrea Esty who was with us videoed these snippets sony in a gates housing with 2 Sola lights

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11305
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#18  Postby clairvoyant » Wed May 29, 2013 10:08 am

Sorry late respond,
I was in Raja Ampat with Grand Komodo. Our vessel is Putri Papua. It is small vessel i think 1/3 of Dewi the size. This vessel can accommodate 8 divers.
local owner, nice food, experience dive guide / dive master, good service and I happy with them. My 1st trip with them was Nov 2011 and 2nd on this april.
The 1st trip quite long 12 day, cover from Misool, Fam, Kawe, Wayag, Passage & Mansuar area. My 2nd trip is cover Misool, Fam & Mansuar. price also half from Dewi ya.
my photo..not all but this is part of it http://www.flickr.com/photos/dive_horiz ... 439947045/

Thank you.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#19  Postby gavstang » Wed May 29, 2013 10:22 am

decimal86 wrote:
gavstang wrote:Very good report bro. An insightful and entertaining read for those of us who havent crossed Raja Ampat off our bucket list.


gavstang, thks. hey we should meet up for MIDE and keep a group going for R4?

Yeah we should! MIDE on Saturday perhaps? Easier for us outstation folk! And definitely keen on an R4 trip in future, but maybe not quite as high end as yours la bro!
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#20  Postby decimal86 » Wed May 29, 2013 5:05 pm

clairvoyant wrote:Sorry late respond,
I was in Raja Ampat with Grand Komodo. Our vessel is Putri Papua. It is small vessel i think 1/3 of Dewi the size. This vessel can accommodate 8 divers.
local owner, nice food, experience dive guide / dive master, good service and I happy with them. My 1st trip with them was Nov 2011 and 2nd on this april.
The 1st trip quite long 12 day, cover from Misool, Fam, Kawe, Wayag, Passage & Mansuar area. My 2nd trip is cover Misool, Fam & Mansuar. price also half from Dewi ya.
my photo..not all but this is part of it http://www.flickr.com/photos/dive_horiz ... 439947045/

Thank you.


hey, hey good looking boat! yes 12 days looks to be the norm for R4. my friend offered her video of R4.

gavstang wrote:
decimal86 wrote:
gavstang wrote:Very good report bro. An insightful and entertaining read for those of us who havent crossed Raja Ampat off our bucket list.


gavstang, thks. hey we should meet up for MIDE and keep a group going for R4?

Yeah we should! MIDE on Saturday perhaps? Easier for us outstation folk! And definitely keen on an R4 trip in future, but maybe not quite as high end as yours la bro!


gaystang,

any chance of you making a Fri 5th July meet-up @ MIDE ? whole bunch of the Mass Dive kakis will be there on Fri ? good chance to put-a-face-to-the nic?

-- Wed May 29, 2013 5:10 pm --

clairvoyant wrote:Sorry late respond,
I was in Raja Ampat with Grand Komodo. Our vessel is Putri Papua. It is small vessel i think 1/3 of Dewi the size. This vessel can accommodate 8 divers.
local owner, nice food, experience dive guide / dive master, good service and I happy with them. My 1st trip with them was Nov 2011 and 2nd on this april.
The 1st trip quite long 12 day, cover from Misool, Fam, Kawe, Wayag, Passage & Mansuar area. My 2nd trip is cover Misool, Fam & Mansuar. price also half from Dewi ya.
my photo..not all but this is part of it http://www.flickr.com/photos/dive_horiz ... 439947045/

Thank you.


wow u have an eye for WA ! i still hunting around aperture settings for that..nice collection bro. i thinking of doing Banda Sea crossing next year, have you been?
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#21  Postby gavstang » Wed May 29, 2013 5:11 pm

gaystang,

any chance of you making a Fri 5th July meet-up @ MIDE ? whole bunch of the Mass Dive kakis will be there on Fri ? good chance to put-a-face-to-the nic?[/quote]

Friday? Wah have to take leave wor! Will try my man...yes indeed it would be nice to put a face to the nick!
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#22  Postby clairvoyant » Wed May 29, 2013 5:59 pm

Thanks Bro, Saya Baru belajar taking UW photo.
anyway never been in Banda Sea. heard about Banda sea like sea snake island, Gunung Api... .
I like also to dive there and Alor Area.

Cheers
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#23  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 30, 2013 8:49 am

clairvoyant wrote:Thanks Bro, Saya Baru belajar taking UW photo.
anyway never been in Banda Sea. heard about Banda sea like sea snake island, Gunung Api... .
I like also to dive there and Alor Area.

Cheers


those were great shots my friend.

I was thinking of doing that too if the IMF willing to loan me another sum for LOBs. how ? want to do a Banda Sea on some other boat other than Dewi ? like I said boat does not matter, the destination more important. next year ?
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#24  Postby clairvoyant » Thu May 30, 2013 9:26 am

yup interested. But not Dewi lay too much. yes next year..
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#25  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 30, 2013 9:46 am

clairvoyant wrote:yup interested. But not Dewi lay too much. yes next year..


hey that's great ! plus my wife, we have 3 divers now...u be around during MIDE ? teh tarik ? chit chat ? I will be there on Fri and Sat I think.

-- Thu May 30, 2013 9:48 am --

gavstang wrote:gaystang,

any chance of you making a Fri 5th July meet-up @ MIDE ? whole bunch of the Mass Dive kakis will be there on Fri ? good chance to put-a-face-to-the nic?


Friday? Wah have to take leave wor! Will try my man...yes indeed it would be nice to put a face to the nick![/quote]

ok no prob . Sat oso can. I staying with my sis-in-law at Sentul, its close by. hmm were we talking about the data cable for the Suunto sometime back?
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#26  Postby clairvoyant » Thu May 30, 2013 10:15 am

I also bring my model please count for her ya. (my Wife). MIDE not so sure, but I stay in Putra Height, Subang Jaya.
my facebook https://www.facebook.com/izwas
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#27  Postby decimal86 » Thu May 30, 2013 10:33 am

clairvoyant wrote:I also bring my model please count for her ya. (my Wife). MIDE not so sure, but I stay in Putra Height, Subang Jaya.
my facebook https://www.facebook.com/izwas


alright !! 4 now..sure get a good price for a LOB. turning out to be a great morning dude. ok see how for MIDE or else we meet up some other time.
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#28  Postby gavstang » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:54 am

MIDE saturday! I'll definitely be there on Saturday..we'll get in touch closer to the date!
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Re: Raja Ampat on the Dewi Nusantara 05/05/13--16/05/13

Post Number:#29  Postby decimal86 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:05 am

gavstang wrote:MIDE saturday! I'll definitely be there on Saturday..we'll get in touch closer to the date!


ok we meet up on Sat then.
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