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Raja Ampat Live-aboards

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I'm planning a trip to Raja Ampat for January 2009 and was wondering if anyone has feedback for the TemuKira liveaboard?

 

I have some friends you were on the boat a few years ago and said it was great, but I was looking for some additional reviews.

 

Any info would be helpful.

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

Michael

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I've been on the TemuKira a couple of times and had a great time, although one time the food was a bit spicy. I've done 5 or 6 trips with Grand Komodo Tours and they are great people to work with.

 

 

Mike

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I'll give you my super biased view...

Grand Komodo Tours are a fantastic company to work with. Yes, their food is mainly Asian, though this is where we are and this is what works for many of their returning clients. If you don't like it spicy, simply tell the chef. Thye do not have a western cruise director, tough the local guys who do this job are great at it and are totally out there to please their guests. I've had the chef even make different food for certain clients, like I say, they are there to do their utmost to keep you happy!

For your info -- I have numerous charters planned with Temukira and Raja Explorer and right now I'm working on them to install Nitrox!

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My very biased opinion.

 

I've not been on a Grand Komodo boat, but I have been on another boat in the same area at the same time they were there (Raja Ampat Explorer). They tied off directly to one dive site rather that anchor out off the reef -- this was the second time they did it, and I have pictures of them tied to the rock. For those of you who know the area, this was at Fiabacet. The first time, they tied off directly over one end of the site and nearly drifted into one of the rocks sticking up out of the water. I doubt they would get away with that now given the new park rules about anchoring distance. Second thing they did: We were suiting upt to dive a spot (Mike's Point). They steamed up and saw us getting ready so they literally drove right up to the dive site and dropped anchor while still moving forward. The anchor caught and they spun around next to the site and they jumped in their tenders to be ahead of us. After their dive, we went ahead and went in the water. On their way out, their boat (the big one, not one of their pangas) steamed what I would call dangerously close to where our pangas were recovering divers (quite possibly going over some of our folks who were trying to surface in the current). I, and others from our trip, wrote notes to GK to complain and received notes back saying (to paraphrase), "We love the envrionment and run great trips -- come dive with us and see", while not addressing any of the issues at hand. In addition, during a prior year, we had to give one of their boats bread and beer from our boat as they had run out. I have heard that they do provide a great value for the $$, but given their blatant disregard for MY safety (while I diving off another boat next door), I would never consider using the company. I know that personnel change and that they may never do anything like that again and that, on average, all of the boats in Raja Ampat provide good service. However, the replies to my e-mail demonstrated to me a corporate attitude that I find troubling. I know it is unpopular to post negative information here, but I thought I'd add my two cents.

 

Mike (from Lembeh :lol: )

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I know it is unpopular to post negative information here, but I thought I'd add my two cents.

 

Mike (from Lembeh :lol: )

Not at all Mike. It's great to feedback positive or negative so long as it's factual and isn't coming from a biased source. That's why the sub-forum exists.

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Mike, your comments are totally valid, this is what this forum is about! Negative and positive comments are what people use to make their minds up on all the time!

 

I've also tied off to those islands and don't see the harm in it! However, this was before there were lots of other boats in the area. In PNG the dive boats there have moorings on top of the sites, just about all the pinnacles are dived from the back of the boats there. When they don't have moorings, they too drop anchor as close as possible to the sites, then tie the back of the boat off so they can dive from the back. This is this is the best way to dive for sure and the reason I like to use GKT boats, I can have an open dive deck and divers go when they want. I often dive a lot myself and when we see something really cool we can go up change tanks and drop back in without any hassle.

 

Now of course with the amount of boats there, I wouldn't do this on the sites that everyone dives regularly, though I would do it on some other sites I have in the area. There is actually one boat there who has put in his own ropes in some places so he can tie his boat between islands overnight. Is there anything wrong in this?

 

I have read other negative comments about GKT boats and I’ve spoke with the owners, who I can assure you do care. However, in all the time diving with GKT I have never seen them anchor directly on reef. I've been with them and seen them place anchors on reef tops so as not to damage anything. They actually have the capability of anchoring in very really water which many of the bigger boats don't.

 

I’ve had the same tender driver issues with quite a few of the other boats over here. I really can’t stand to see boats going too close to divers underwater, it scares the poops outta me! I've nearly been mowed over more than once over here…

 

As for sharing food, drinks and other stuff, trust me, all boats do this over here. Sorong is probably the worst place in Indonesia to get supplies, apart from Fakfak that is! At some stage they all run out are close to running out and get help from other boats!

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As for sharing food, drinks and other stuff, trust me, all boats do this over here. Sorong is probably the worst place in Indonesia to get supplies, apart from Fakfak that is! At some stage they all run out are close to running out and get help from other boats!

 

Yep, thats part and parcel of liveaboards in remote locations. we used to share between boats in palau and tahiti quite often. Sometimes you can't get something or one group devours a lot of something you don't expect and its great to have another boat at hand to help out in order to keep your gang happy. Nothing wrong with that at all.

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The one advantage of the Temu Kira that hasn't been mentioned is the dive platform, which for a Phinisi style boat is a darn nice thing to have. I dislike the gangway/platforms most of the other boats have. With a dive platform, it's a great way to have open platform diving on appropriate sites. There are a few sites in Alor, Flores and Wetar which makes open platform a boon for avid shooters. Misool's mangroves and a few other sites are also great for that. You just have to convince Reno's boys to do it :lol:

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Drew, that's why I like use GKT so much! Rear dive diving is really such a joy...

 

I never realised how good liveaboard diving could be till I went to PNG! After that I knew I wanted more of that rear dive deck action!

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all the time diving with GKT I have never seen them anchor directly on reef.

 

When i stayed at Raja Ampat Explorer from 17th~25th May, i did not see them anchor directly on reef. They tie one line on the rock around Misool area.

 

I think they have already understood how important it is to protect this beautiful and unique sites.

 

cheers, :lol:

Edited by JennyHuang

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I stayed on the Temu Kira from January 31 - February 10, 2007. I have stayed on many liveaboards (Big Blue in Palau; Mike Ball's Paradise Sport in PNG; Mike Ball’s Spoil Sport in the Great Barrier Reef; Baruna in Bali/Komodo; Peter Hughes' Sky Dancer in the Galapagos; Okeanos Aggressor in the Cocos Islands; Oceanic Explorer in the Philippines). I've stayed on nice boats and I've stayed on budget boats.

 

Although the Temu Kira is considered a "budget" liveaboard I really liked it. I thought the Temu Kira dive guides and crew really made a difference. I thought their service and knowledge of the local surpassed many of the liveaboards I have been on.

 

LIKES: :lol:

* Excellent dive guides, they were super experienced. It only took one of the guides (Noak) 5 minutes to find an epaulette shark. He found at least one on every night dive! In my opinion, Noak went over and above his duties as a dive guide to ensure we all had enough photo subjects.

* We started the trip with a “wish list†and they found everything we put on our list. Knowing how excited we would get if we saw something rare, they split the group and made sure each of us had adequate time to take photos of our own wish list.

* The head DM reviewed his proposed dive plan with us each evening after dinner, made sure we were all happy with it and gave us a list of creatures to look out for. This was great because we could then figure out which lense to use the next day (ie., wide angle vs macro).

* Spacious dive deck with tables for cameras (all 11 of us had big cameras).

* Depending on the dive site you do a giant stride entry from the dive deck or you’re taken to the dive site by zodiac.

* 2 rinse tanks for cameras, trays for loose dive accessories such as mask, fins, snorkel, dive lights, etc.

* Long cabinet top in dining room for charging batteries, dry camera gear, etc.

* Spacious sun deck upstairs.

* Spacious bathrooms with fully functional flush toilets (no smell, drains worked). Each bathroom had a rack for drying your dripping wetsuits.

* Great local food. If you don’t like something (we had a friend who didn’t like seafood), the chef would change the menu to cater to your tastes. The chef even made a cake for our newlywed friends on the last night.

* Fully air-conditioned bedroom and dining area.

* The crew would fly-fish while we were sailing and on many afternoons we had fresh sashimi!

 

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: ^_^

* They had a dining area with ample space for all 11 of us, however, they didn’t have a separate indoor sofa area for lounging area. This wasn’t a big deal for us as we spent most of our non-dive time editing photos in our laptops and some of us spent a lot of time upstairs on the sundeck. You won’t find a big spacious living rooms like they have on the Mike Ball or Peter Hughes boats.

 

Here are the photos I took in Raja Ampat: www.flickr.com/wudai

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Thanks for all the info, it was a big help!

 

If anyone else has more info, please pass it on.

 

 

Michael

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Just book your trip and enjoy! Raja Ampat will blow you away, it's ace!

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