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Ambon-Maluku Divers-21/04/2012

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Ambon-Maluku Divers-21/04/2012

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:33 am

[font=times new roman]We flew Garuda, Singapore to Makassar, as of now they fly direct 1,3,5,7. Uneventful flt. Bags came out as planned.  We caught up with our friends from KL and Penang (Dip blue). [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Fantastic dinner at Dhinar Seafood Rest which was very close to the hotel we stayed—Hotel Aryaduta. They served a lot of questionable species of fishes—titan trigger and cowfish although we did not order them. deep fried cowfish, supposedly a local favourite.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Early the next day, we caught a Grauda flt to Ambon. Uneventful again. Best airline 2011 so their magazine says.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Maluku Divers met us at the airport. 8 of us in total. 10 mins to the resort. The first impressions were good. Nestled in a heavily wooded estate, mango trees. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Checked-in and house rules together with the mandatory forms. Nitrox is avail.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The bungalows are arranged in a crescent no. 10 being closest to the dining hall (but that’s  the manager’s residence)  where the Wi Fi routers are located. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]The bungalows are very well appointed. This place is just 3 yrs old.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The furnishings are well thought of. The colour and fabric were harmonious. Certainly the best appointed that I have stayed in. Humongously huge bed. Good for newly weds! Know what I mean ??? [/font]
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[font=times new roman]You just know if a place has mosquitoes right? Coils…..electric or burning type you choose. I like a place that gives you plenty of tables to arrange your camera and charging paraphernalia. And a very bright table lamp to see that you do not lose things at night. Plenty of charging points in your room. If you still want more…[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The camera room is really plush, the number of  DSLR’s  inside could easily feed a small nation, I dare not  bring my Olympus inside, shy man! The best camera room I have seen in my travels. With framed pictures of their top ten. A promise of things to come…[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The rooms….If you are like me…(I hate a shower with anaemic water supply) you will like this place…they have a water pump to make your shower like a car wash!! Shiok[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Air-cond or ceiling fan its your choice. The laundry is very reasonably priced.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Very well organized. they will send your luggage to your room and you unpack your dive gear into a blue basket which they will collect, then assemble your gear for your check-out dive. (At the end of our stay, they dried our gear in the generator room then packed all our gear into our bags. Good idea to bring some masking tape and write your name on your gear.)[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Now the not so nice part-Meals were more continental than local, but it was all barely edible (it may be just me?). Breakfast was alright (how wrong can toast turn out ?)  but that was because I have starved the whole night. Ended up eating Indo Mie goreng or Nasi Goreng most of the stay. Very disappointing.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]For some unknown reason, we could not communicate with the kitchen staff in English or Bahasa…every evening they would ask for our breakfast orders individually but the next morning it was all wrong!! And the same goes for lunch orders.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]We found that Kios Endi, a warong close by sells very good nasi kuning. Jangan lupa!! Cheap and good.  We asked the dive staff to buy for us. We belanja them.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Beer is available. No fridge in the room. They were kind enough to provide ice cubes for single malt. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Do you find that the check-out dives are always at the best spots? Macam movies trailer like that ?? they brought us to Rhino city. 3 rhinopias and 4 ghostpipes, a couple of Nudis. We were stoked! Could not wait for tomorrow.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The schedule goes like this, 0730 hrs Bfast,0830 hrs first dive ( surface interval on the boat) second  dive, back to the resort for lunch 1230 hrs. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Afternoon dive is at 1500 hrs, tea time, then dinner at 1930 hrs. which is now..so siaran tergendala sebentar…   [/font]
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[font=times new roman]There is something I have to stand my ground on here…the manager did not wish us ‘good morning’ or ‘how’s the dive ?’ for the entire stay !!!! WTF ??? he wished the caucasians though… I have witnesses ok ?  I am not asking that he kiss my ,,,,, but this is too obvious already. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]I have never ever. not ever, not one time experienced this!! [/font]
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[font=times new roman]The only time he came to talk to us was to tell one of our group  that the dining hall was non-smoking…and the other time, that somebody left the water pump running?[/font]
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[font=times new roman]What’s up with that?[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The entire kitchen staff, the room maid, the dive staff and one lady (she says she is a volunteer )  were so hospitable. I don’t know-lah..if you come you guys judge for yourself.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Phone reception was good. Wi Fi was super slow.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]This trip I became familiar with putting on my BCD in the water as the boat was a little small for us. But it was good practice. It should be worn at the back !! hahahaa[/font]
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[font=times new roman]You may want to consider a small waterproof bag because the boarding of your dive boat is in chest deep waters. And at the end of the day, your masks , camera and sunglasses have to be self-helped out of the boat.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Tea and coffee served during the surface interval. Snacks as well—cakes or curry puff.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Drinking water as well. Folks bring your own water canisters, there is always a flu pandemic lurking around the corner. Perhaps sharing cups may not be a responsible thing to do?[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Although the waters were crystal clear, the floating rubbish, even a dead rat!! stole the beautiful scenery.  From the boat down to 15 m it was crystal clear. Like a pool dive.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Most of the sites had ghostpipes in all varieties. Frogfishes as well. And clouded moray eels were to be found under every rock. Nudis made their appearance on the second day of diving.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]2 jetties need a special mention—Right Jetty and Dak Blue Jetty (yes Dak) had the whole host of critters. And Laha had its own jetty as well and Mandarin fishes were found in the afternoon!! We believe its because the jetty is always filled with boats, and they cast shadows, so it appears to be dusk to them? [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Because we came on the new moon, the current was just ferocious everyday. Some of us ended up with multiple bandaids because of blisters.. even on our night dive the current was relentless.  A long pointer is recommended. On the safety stop, we had to be picked up all over.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Unfortunately, the night dive on this occasion was nothing to shout about. Maybe it’s the spot chosen or the time of the moon phase, I don’t know. Was expecting a lot from this night dive but it did not happen…[/font]
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[font=times new roman]There are families next to the resort that live under a few fronds of coconut leaves and eek out a living collecting plastic bottles from the rubbish washed ashore. If you can, bring some of your old clothes for them. I read from a post somewhere and brought some. I also brought along crayons and marker pens with drawing pads for their kids. Their  smiles made our day. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Town is an hour away by taxi (200,000 R), traffic is very heavy but the boatman or the boys who have motorbikes can buy some sundries for you. We bought toothpaste for the mask. They do accept beer as reward. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]The food was so bad some of our group made a sojourn to the city of Ambon by taxi. The food in town was better.  Even the caucasians found the food bad as they had to re order. We did not know but if you ordered after eating some, they will charge you for the next plate of food. Nasi Goreng was 10000R !![/font]
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[font=times new roman]Diving wise, there are so many new things to see and look up in the books, the sand and corals were full of hidden gems. We did not get in each others way for photo taking. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]In closing, why should you pay so much more to come here and see critters that are found in Lembeh? Roughly RM 9000 each incl airfare and hotel.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]I could tell you because of  Rhino city as in Rhinopias! And boy it was a city alright! 3 of them different colours. Ornate ghostpipe, normal seahorse and a pygmy. I could tell you Mimic city where we saw 2 mimics. And at Tower, we saw another mimic as soon as we dived in. and one big fat flamboyant. No star gazers. No bobit worm. They are found in such numbers, you would think the divemasters planted them a few hours before !! [/font]
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[font=times new roman]It is a toss up between Air Manis and Dak Blue jetty. Air Manis has ghostpipes and frogfish. But Dak blue has Nudis by the book load! Make sure you have new batteries each time you go down. A couple of us ran out of battery. The jetty has a loads of other critters. Slipper lobster, hairy goby, juvenile snake eel, sea horse, baby filefish, and carcasses of tuna…perhaps that’s why it’s so alive. Dak blue gets my vote. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Our guides were Stoner, Denny and Lookeh. All from Sulawesi. 2 of the gents are from Manado. If you have a DSLR and you need help carrying it between shots, you need Lookeh, he is a human torpedo….they are good at the guitar as well as spotters!! And they do keep up with Malaysian top-ten hits. Most evenings we bought them a couple of rounds of drinks. We saw we were the only ones doing so.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]The visibility was fantastic. I have never seen visibility like this at Lembeh. Bunaken yes. The variety of ghostpipe  here is crazy-lah! We counted at least 7. Frogfishes were about even. Nudis also. But the chromodoris here is huge! 7-8 cm ! The 3 jetties were enough to fulfill your wish for a critter hunt. We never did a house reef dive, hmmm. We did only one wreck dive. It was so so. Not many Kodak moments there.[/font]
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[font=times new roman]Ok why should you not come to Maluku Divers? The manager! Sombong is putting it lightly…the food at this place is horrible. As far as I know it’s the only dive center here. We encouraged the diveguides to open one and we will support them. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]We spent one night in the city of Ambon just to look see and had a fantastic lunch at a seafood resto (that’s how they call it). Cheap and good. The satay was good as well. All halal!![/font]
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[font=times new roman]Ok now to really close this report, as fond as I am of Lembeh and the world of wonders there, Ambon is something else. The clear waters, and the number of critters found in just 5 mins is worth coming back again…if there is another dive center. [/font]
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[font=times new roman]Photos are in Underwater photography section. Hooray!! I bought the same camera since I have the E-PL1 casing still. Feel lost without a camera. [/font]
alamak, the tank goes at the back??
decimal86
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