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Your packing & general liveaboarding tips for upcoming Raja Ampat LoB

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by fluff_astrid, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. SeaWarden

    SeaWarden Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Singapore
    81
    15
    8

    Yep, I always carry one. Actually I registered mine in the States and it worked, the Oceanic agency mailed to my SIngapore address. But that was prior to the address change to Singapore.

    However I didn't know Australian devices work as well. Those are so much cheaper and waterproof too.
     
    Dan likes this.
  2. fluff_astrid

    fluff_astrid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    34
    26
    18
    All righty, I managed to get mostly everything on this list (except a pointer, which seems to be caught in Auspost h*ll). Coming up to my departure on Blue Manta on 19 December and both excited and nervous (I'm a nervous nelly about everything, even stuff I'm expert at :D). Any last things I should know to keep me excited about BM while I try to survive a few more days of work? :D
     
    chillyinCanada and Mike1967 like this.
  3. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,662
    3,200
    113
    Since you are a nervous nelly, the best way to calm it down is by knowing about the boat, its operation and crew. Real Time Blue Manta Review: Banda Sea 9 – 19 Sept 2019 would be a good reading.

    I would highly suggest you to get the pointer. It helps you to anchor yourself on a rock or sand during a slight current sweeping by and when you are trying to get a picture. Also, there are lots of hydroids in Raja Ampat. The pointer would keep you far enough distance from them, especially since they don't let you wear gloves.

    Also make sure your ankles are fully covered by booties and wetsuit. They don't have eyes to see where the hydroids are. Exposed skins on legs are prime target for hydroid contact, which would make the contact area itches like hell and forms blisters. If you get it, apply vinegar as soon as you are back on the boat.

    Closed ankle fins are not good unless you wear 3mm socks to cover your ankle.

    Having a good trim on your diving form would help to keep the ankle and fins away from the corals, keep them off from getting whacked off by your fins.

    I'll be in the Red Sea at about the same time you leave. I'll be flying to Hurghada when you aboard Blue Manta. :)

    Have fun & bon voyage! Say hi to Egoi & Batman from me. :)
     
  4. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    17,001
    10,867
    113
    You didn't leave the cone as you went to the surface. Swim horizontally out of the cone. When the trigger turns back, cutting off pursuit, then surface.
     
  5. scubaNYC16

    scubaNYC16 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    266
    163
    43
    Don’t worry about anything. You’re going to have the best time. The boat, cruise director and crew are awesome.Tell Egoi and Batman (Danny) that Gil says hi. Have an awesome trip and happy holidays!
     
  6. fluff_astrid

    fluff_astrid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    34
    26
    18
    Thanks @Dan, you bet I definitely read through that thread. The pointer I'm hoping will arrive in the two remaining days I have before my flight, otherwise I might have to see about doing something like blunting the end of a skewer (only sorta kidding). And for coverage, will definitely cover up the legs. I'm hate applying sunscreen, especially the thicker reef safe stuff, so if I happen not to be in my full suit, I'll still be in a full rashie (with boots).

    And thanks @scubaNYC16, will say hi!
     
  7. Wisnu

    Wisnu Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Katameya Heights, New Cairo
    1,613
    514
    113

    Let me know if you are stranded in Cairo
     
  8. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,662
    3,200
    113
    Looking good so far. I'll fly with Turksh Air, Houston - Istanbul - Hurghada, skipping Cairo. :)

    A week liveaboard trip there ($1000) costs about 1/3 of Raja Ampat. Try to go there before the price and number of liveaboards go back up to that of during its hayday.
     
  9. fluff_astrid

    fluff_astrid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    34
    26
    18
    Just to check back in and say: that was an awesome liveaboard! Granted, I’m somewhat easy to please, but the Blue Manta operation was so stellar.

    Rooms: 5 star. I had one of the “lowest end” rooms below deck and I felt like it was the high end of rooms on other liveaboards, if not better. Great views, comfy beds, lots of table space, and nice sized bathrooms, holy moly!

    Crew: One million stars. Egoi’s briefings and wake up announcements were so much fun, he even sang Feliz Navidad over the loudspeaker for the Christmas wake up call :D He was also great in organizing sites for us during their less crowded times. Also, I’m not the most comfortable in certain types of currents (those with up and down drafts) but the DMs helped me a ton with this. There was only one time I had to reef hook in (Manta Ridge) and they helped me figure out how to do it *and* enjoy it (I was so distracted with trying to make sure my slack was just right on my hook and that I didn’t touch coral, that I wasn’t looking anywhere but down, and Batman came by and “told” me to look up so I could enjoy the *tons* of mantas just above and ahead of me). I had one or two other small issues on a couple other dives, but they were great with assisting on that.

    Diving style: Oh my gosh, I loved the laid back pace. I usually skip one dive on every liveaboard because they try to cram 5 dives in a day, with maybe an hour and a half at most between them to scarf food and scramble back into gear. Blue Manta’s pace is perfect for me, nice long SIs and nap times. I was actually able to enjoy the boat and the company of my fellow shipmates.
    I also really liked how easy gearing up was. They carried everything to the dinghies and you geared up onboard, so much easier that way!

    Boat itself: Dive deck is so well organized, I never felt too crowded even with a full boat. The upper deck was beautiful. And it was super stable.

    Dive sites: Very cool. Every area had something I enjoyed, though I think Manta Ridge and Melissa’s Garden were my favorites (I’m a coral “architecture” fan and the variety and density at Melissa’s was so wonderful). The only dives I decided not to participate in, other than a few due to ear issues, were Cape Kri and Blue Magic, because I knew in advance of this trip that they are the most current-extreme, and that I wouldn’t enjoy the stress of it. The videos I saw from the people who did dive those spots, with their downward bubbles and cheeks flapping in the current, didn’t make me regret that decision :wink:

    The only sad thing to see in some areas is that, while the Blue Manta crew is super eco conscious, other operators didn’t seem to care what their patrons did. We saw a boat where everyone was wearing gloves at Manta ridge, and they were just splayed all over the coral. We saw these operators dump people on top of Manta cleaning stations, where they ran into corals and mantas in their attempts to take selfies during descent. I can’t help but think that the only solution here is for tighter government regulation of sites, because clearly the bad operators and patrons seem to outnumber the good ones.

    That aside, now I need to figure out my next trip!
     
  10. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,904
    2,215
    113
    Unfortunately, there is always "that" boat with "that" dive group that makes you facepalm. I do not think this problem plagues just Raja Ampat. I have seen it everywhere I have been. :(

    Your next trip....Back to Raja Ampat, of course. :wink: :D I have quite a romance with that place so I keep on returning. It feels like it gets better with each return trip.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.

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