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Bastianos and Kri Eco Resort - Indonesia

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My partner and I are going to Indonesia in Jan 08. We will be spending 1 week at Kri Eco Resort, Sorong and two weeks at Bastianos Resort, Bunaken.

Would love to hear from anyone that's been there or planning to go there. :guiness:

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My partner and I are going to Indonesia in Jan 08. We will be spending 1 week at Kri Eco Resort, Sorong and two weeks at Bastianos Resort, Bunaken.

Would love to hear from anyone that's been there or planning to go there. :guiness:

 

Just spent a week in Sorong last month - we stayed at Sorido Bay, which is the newer resort on the same island as Kri, owned by the same folks (a Dutch guy named Max, lots of fun to talk to). It was great - quite beautiful, very professional operation. The folks we met who stayed at Kri also liked it - it's pretty basic, but well-run and clean, with a camera room. The diving is the same for both, and it's spectacular. Bring good fins though, the currents can be ripping.

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Just spent a week in Sorong last month - we stayed at Sorido Bay, which is the newer resort on the same island as Kri, owned by the same folks (a Dutch guy named Max, lots of fun to talk to). It was great - quite beautiful, very professional operation. The folks we met who stayed at Kri also liked it - it's pretty basic, but well-run and clean, with a camera room. The diving is the same for both, and it's spectacular. Bring good fins though, the currents can be ripping.

 

Thanks so much for the reply. I have been doing quite a bit of reading up on the area on the internet and there is always a mention on the strong currents. I have started doing some swimming training to get my fitness up, was it a real struggle in the currents? In the write-ups they also mention large fish, size of small cars - Did you see any this size? :guiness:

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Thanks so much for the reply. I have been doing quite a bit of reading up on the area on the internet and there is always a mention on the strong currents. I have started doing some swimming training to get my fitness up, was it a real struggle in the currents? In the write-ups they also mention large fish, size of small cars - Did you see any this size? :)

 

I have not stayed at either Kri or Sorido (partly because I think you do better in that area on a liveaboard) but having said that, I've been in that area three times in the last four years and the currents can, indeed, be strong. However, it is in your best interests not to fight them. Assuming you have dive guides and boat operators who are competent enough, they will check the site first to make sure the current is in the proper direction. Many sites have a "good side" and the current needs to be in the proper direction for you to dive it properly. Once that is established, they will locate the "split point" -- the place where the reef and the current meet at a 90º angle. The current hits the reef there and splits to go around the reef on either side. As long as you stay low and within close proximity to the split point, the current tends to hold you in place on the reef. That's also where the fish tend to hang out. Once you get too far on either side, it is best to just go with the current. They should also tell you which side is best should you decide to go with the current.

 

On the trips I've been on, we'll cruise the Strait and check out a site. If there is no current, or if it is the wrong direction, we'll go on to the next site and check. Remaining flexible is important in my mind. Better to do a good dive thirty minutes late than do a crappy dive because it is time to do a dive! In that area, you WANT current. Not ripping, but strong enough. The current is what makes the soft corals open up and it is what attracts the big fish. Our guides/boat operators find the split point and drop us in up-current. We descend quickly and hit the split point. We hang out there until we get bored or start to run out of air, then continue on around the planned side of the reef doing a drift dive to finish it off. The boat drivers on the trips I've been on have been very skilled at picking everyone up after the dive.

 

As for big fish, it is sometimes hit or miss but on one one dive there last year we saw sharks, schools of barracuda, jacks and unicornfish and some in the group that drifted far enough saw a school of about 50 big bumphead parrotfish (if not small cars, at least big motorcycles). It isn't always so, but there is always potential.

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

Thank you so much for your reply. The information you have provided is very helpful. I have really only done one dive in a serious current and that was in PNG at a place called Albatross Passage. I will just stick close to the guides and try not to get sucked away. If you have any photos posted on that area I would love to take a peek.

Thanks again. :)

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Another bit of advice for diving strong currents there would be to get yourself a reef hook, planning to stay close by a guide is a very good idea, although the guide will be used to this kind of diving and might be a large distance away from you before you know it. Get youself some fins that work well in currents just in case you do end up fighting it.

 

I am a lazy kind of diver and love to drift. The currents we experienced in some parts of komodo a few months ago were unbelievable. My reg was being ripped out of my mouth, my mask was costantly being flooded and i was trying to hold onto my camera rig. Doing all this with about 30 mantas around us. I aborted my dive after 10 minutes to get rid of the camera. and then dropped back in and found my buddy straight away. a good self inflating smb is also a good thing to have tucked into a pocket when diving places with strong currents.

 

I was at Bunaken a few years ago diving one of the lovely walls and i remember drifting along swiftly and all of a sudden my bubbles started to go downwards instead of up or sideways. just keep behind other divers and watch what they are doing.

 

Enjoy !!!!!!

Edited by stewsmith

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Hi Stew, Thanks for your advice, I best get the new equipment suggested, up my swimming practice and hold the hand of the dive guide :)

 

Another bit of advice for diving strong currents there would be to get yourself a reef hook, planning to stay close by a guide is a very good idea, although the guide will be used to this kind of diving and might be a large distance away from you before you know it. Get youself some fins that work well in currents just in case you do end up fighting it.

 

I am a lazy kind of diver and love to drift. The currents we experienced in some parts of komodo a few months ago were unbelievable. My reg was being ripped out of my mouth, my mask was costantly being flooded and i was trying to hold onto my camera rig. Doing all this with about 30 mantas around us. I aborted my dive after 10 minutes to get rid of the camera. and then dropped back in and found my buddy straight away. a good self inflating smb is also a good thing to have tucked into a pocket when diving places with strong currents.

 

I was at Bunaken a few years ago diving one of the lovely walls and i remember drifting along swiftly and all of a sudden my bubbles started to go downwards instead of up or sideways. just keep behind other divers and watch what they are doing.

 

Enjoy !!!!!!

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Just got back from Bunaken. Last week. Off season was great. Very few divers, no rain in Bunaken even though it rained daily in Manado.

 

Currents can be strong here too. Currents in this area go from wicked strong to none in 1 dive. The locals claim they are strongest around the full moon and new moon. Strength of current depends on time of dive. The tides are about 8 to 10 feet so that is a lot of water flowing in and out! Some of the wall diving is outside of the strong current areas.

 

I think 2 weeks in Bunaken would be a little long considering Lembeh is 2 hours by boat and car. I would suggest 1 week in Bunaken and 1 week in Lembeh. Lembeh is not 100% muck, they have reefs as well.

 

I have never stayed at Bastianos, but I did walk by the resort. Rooms from the outside looked nice. Right on the water.

 

Diving is mostly wall diving in that area. There are 2 huge turtles that allow you to get within 6 inches for photos. Bunaken has some good wide angle ops as well as some macro. Trips to Sulawesi is about 30 minutes with some smaller critters.

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