from 2 reviews
- Dive Damai - Indonesia, Bali, Java
13th December 2009 by BethTierney
Way to go - the best Indonesian liveaboard
Visit Date: November 2009
We have just returned from a trip to West Papua and new liveaboard, Dive Damai. Sometimes, you can't put into words just how good something can be. When it comes to describing Damai take 'excellent', feed it into a Thesaurus and there you have it.
That's the good news. The less good news is that unless you have a place already booked on this wonderful vessel you may have to wait a few years to get on. She is full for the forseeable future, so if you find a agent with a spare space, grab it.
12th December 2009 by ricktaylor
This is how diving should always be - SPECTACULAR
Visit Date: November 2009
Just returned after 12 days on the Damai having completed 31 dives in Raja Ampat and West Papua. This is absolute luxury liveaboard diving. Before the diving, let me tell you about the boat and the crew. The accommodation on board is magnificent. The cabin or stateroom was larger than my bedroom at home! It had a separate wash area, plus a shower room. The bed was king size! The food was of excellent quality, plus wine, beer, juices etc. Even afternoon tea and cakes were prepared. The spring rolls were my favourite.
I have my own gear, but as Lion Air lost my dive bag, I had to use the Damai’s gear for the first 2 days. Damai’s kit is new and good quality ScubaPro. Once I got my kit, I dived using a 0.5mm skin. The Damai’s wetsuits are either 3 or 5mm. Free Nitrox is available on board. Before every dive, there are good briefings describing whether the dive is going to be a wall, drift and current speed. This is known because, before every dive, a dive leader goes in the water to evaluate the expected current.
OK, the diving which was touted as being the best on the planet and I am not going to argue with that one bit. It is supposedly the most marine biodiverse in the world and the colours are amazing. Raja Ampat is now known as the epicentre of marine biodiversity. For photographers you can take pictures of Nudibranches, Pygmy Seahorses, and Porcelain Crabs up to Giant Mantas. I have to admit, if it was not for the dive leaders, I would not have spotted the pygmies, but as it is I have lots of photos of small critters. Of the 31 dives, it is hard to say which one was the best, as they were all good, but I was left awe struck by the Manta Dive cleaning station, which we did twice. Just sitting on the sand at 17 meters and watching the Giant Mantas gracefully fly past. The Mantas were approx. 5 meters width and they filled the view finder. Every other dive we saw Wobbegong Sharks and the grand daddy of all turtles. He was huge and didn’t mind me stroking his back whilst he chompped away at something for his lunch. There were Batfish by the hundreds and an interesting dive was to the Batfish cleaning station. They come in to this area, change their colour from silver to a darkish brown colour which lets the cleaner fish know they are ready for a spruce up. On the dive at Little Komodo, I saw a 6 foot ringed snake which is the largest I have ever seen – I got him videoed to prove it! Also, on a lot of the dives there were Octopus, Scorpion Fish and Cuttlefish. On most dives I saw Puffer Fish, Moorish Idols, Fusiliers, Barracuda, large Groupers, Bump Head Parrot Fish, Travally, Antheas, Clown Fish, Barramundi, Jacks, Pipefish, Napoleon Wrasse, Lionfish, Cardinals etc.etc.etc. I had never seen a Frog Fish before – this time I did and she got well photographed. If I have to say which was the best dive I would have to say “Daran” for the quantity of fish and I gave this dive a 5*+++. When the Dive Leaders get excited, you know it is good. There were thousands upon thousands of fish of every description – it was mind blowing.
The Dive Leaders – these are the guys that make your dive great. Thanks so much to Aris, Ketut and Wayan, you were brilliant. They really went out of their way to find interesting critters for us to photo and were usually the first ones to spot Wobbegongs or Scorpion Fish that were camouflaged. Thanks also to Alberto, the owner, who joined us on some of the dives. Maximum number of divers to dive leaders is 4 to 1.
Finally, did I enjoy this diving experience? You bet your life I did and I would go again tomorrow. The only downside is after you have dived in this area of Indonesia, where and what do you do next.