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Diving in Alor/Komodo - How strong are the currents?


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#1 MitHere

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:15 PM

Hi,

 

So my girlfriend and I (Potentially another couple, too) are looking at doing a budget liveaboard in Komodo next year (Mid year). My girlfriend and I (And potentially the other couple, too) are thinking about heading off to Alor as Raja Ampat is supposed to be too rough from May to September (Right?)

 

I don't think Komodo is such a problem but I have heard the currents at Alor can be quite intense.

 

I would consider both my girlfriend and I to be moderately experienced divers - I have about 130 dives and she has maybe 80 dives - I'll probably have 200 by the time we head to Indonesia. I'd certainly be reluctant to consider myself advanced - I have rescue and nitrox but I suppose that doesn't mean much in this context.

 

We have both dived together at Cozumel, the Galapagos and Coiba - places with currents and slightly gnarlier conditions than a lot of the other fishbowls we have dived in :) My OW cert conditions are still probably the hardest conditions I have ever dived in.

 

How strong are the currents in Alor? I don't mind currents, especially when you know where they're going to go but I'd prefer not to have to use a bloody reef hook or anything silly. And I certainly don't want a strong down current making me paranoid about dragging me down :D


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#2 davephdv

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 01:40 PM

There is a dive site, off of Komodo, I believe called dirty rock. The current rips by there as strong as I've ever dived in.

Generally I remember the diving off of Komodo to be fairly easy.
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#3 jcclink

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

If you're diving Komodo take a reef hook & inflatable sausage.  And keep your dive guide in sight.  Conditions can change quickly at a few sites.  Currents are affected by the tide but in some areas there may still be some  current even at slack tide.  If you want to hang out with schools of fish you will be in a current.  No current - no fish in general.  Some dive operators/boats seem to have a fixed dive schedule & may not pay that much attention to the tidal currents.  On the bright side, if current is ripping at a site come back in 3 hrs - it will be a lot less.  Other than that Komodo offers great diving.  Most site are relative calm most of the time.  Cannibal Rock is a must for critters.  I've dove Komodo on 3 trips from a liveaboard.  Don't recall more than a couple of dives on the whole trip where current was really ripping.  (Fast drift dive - no photos.)  I have no problem going back again.

Diving Alor in Nov for the first time.  Haven't heard much about strong currents.


Edited by jcclink, 23 June 2014 - 05:32 PM.

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#4 okuma

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 05:31 PM

I've seen a standing wave about 3 ft high off a point due to current.  Hours later it was calm.  ust don't jump in with out checking the current or you may go to India!


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#5 eyu

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 09:57 AM

If you are concerned about currents I would suggest you do a few things.  

First, dive with a local divemaster who knows the current variations and have him schedule your dive sites during slack times.

Second, do not time your dive trip when the moon is full or when weather fronts are passing through.

 

Last year on my Komodo trip the currents were ripping at Manta Alley and we had a squadron of 7 mantas


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#6 bear35

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 06:15 AM

As everywhere currents obviously change, in my experience there are some strong currents but on a liveaboard the guides will assess the conditions and decide what to dive.

If you have been to Wolf and Darwin then you should be like you say used to current and they are no worse than there. Take a reef hook you will dive places  where you go to a point to watch the schooling fish and it will be very difficult to stay put without damaging sections of reef clinging on to something.

That said most of the sites are gentle currents and lots with no current.