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  1. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    I thought Komodo and Raja were different times of year. If I am in Singapore in December, is Komodo really an option? Liveaboards likely will need to be booked ahead of time, so flying to Singapore before I decide removes a lot of options.
  2. bvbellomo

    combine Raja Ampat with land based location?

    I'm not going until COVID is no longer affecting trips, but I am planning now, and COVID is affecting flights. I see lots of relatively cheap flights to Jakarta, and none to Denpasar. So you are saying in ordinary times, a flight to Denpasar is roughly the same travel time and cost as a flight...
  3. bvbellomo

    combine Raja Ampat with land based location?

    I'm seeing this advice a lot, and I am confused. Coming from the USA (or probably anywhere far away) you are going to fly into Jakarta either way. Then if you want Komodo, you are going to Labuan Bajo - most likely by domestic flight. If you want Raja, you are going to Sorong, again by...
  4. bvbellomo

    Red Sea (Egypt) in late March... Is it worth it? Is this chart accurate?

    I've only been on 1 trip, but saying the probability of seeing a whale shark is high from June - December seems a bit optimistic. We never saw an Oceanic Whitetip, but we talked about the possibility a lot.
  5. bvbellomo

    Trip Report Red Sea Aggressor and Nile Queen Aggressor December/January 2021/22

    Just curious - where was your land based Philippines trip? Is there a trip report on here? I really want an Indo liveaboard trip, but am considering Tubbataha if the Philippines open before Indonesia. I haven't seen much about land based Philippine options.
  6. bvbellomo

    Late March Red Sea - Which sections?

    I did BDE (trip report) last May. Overall, I enjoyed it, but our divemaster said it was the wrong time of year. We didn't see a single Oceanic white tip, and had a few 'wasted' blue water dives we didn't see anything - but also 1 really great dive we went to see the reef instead of blue water...
  7. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Trim is terrible, and I do end up vertical far too often. But this should have minimal effect if I am not moving. Switching to a BP+Wing vs my BCD was a big improvement overall. With the BCD, my tank, especially using a 100, flopped around as I had too much slack around my waist. With the...
  8. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    I don't have a set breathing cycle for scuba. I've looked for more information on this, but everyone has always told me just to breath naturally and not think about it, which is really weird for as a former tuba/trombone player, and current marathon runner and martial artist. I've also done...
  9. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    If an Olympic marathoner and the average person jogged together for 10k in an hour, the Olympic marathoner will use a lot less oxygen - maybe only 30% as much. But if they sit down and watch TV together for an hour, it is hard to say which uses less oxygen, and certainly doesn't matter who...
  10. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Regular mask, and not absolutely necessary to get ready ahead of time, especially if I pack the old one too just in case. I've done 81 dives, the 77 most recent using the same mask. Besides a good seal and comfortable fit, I should practice clearing my ears, flooding my mask, removing it and...
  11. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Always compare yourself to others - when your air consumption ends their dives early!
  12. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    My 12th dive was 0.628. Everything before that was significantly worse or I don't have data to calculate. My best dive on my recent trip was #72 with 0.538 - so I am improving, although not quickly and I still run out of air with a 100 before less experienced divers with 80s. The easiest part...
  13. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    10 day quarantine is not forever, and I won't take this trip unless it ends. I am not looking for a < $1000 liveaboard or resort. I am over $1500 airfare no matter what, and probably planning around $5000 (with a lot of flexibility in either direction) for the whole trip. My question is if I...
  14. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Nothing to disagree with. Liveaboard is riskier, if it is better, it is worth it. I certainly don't know. I am not sure how many < 50 dive divers make it all the way to Raja, I am over 80 and thinking about how many more I need to do before I go to fine tune weights, get used to a new mask...
  15. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    I've never heard of a land-based resort being booked solid. Maybe they have a rule, only 6 people to a boat, but after 2 years without guests I bet they decide I am really not so fat and they can fit 7. Land based is just "Plan B" in case my liveaboard is cancelled after I get on my airplane...
  16. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Worst realistic scenario is probably finding out my liveaboard is cancelled on the flight from Jakarta to Sorong. If that happens, is taking a ferry to Waisai a realistic option for land based scuba? I know someone said Waisai is too far away, but I don't see any scuba resorts in Sorong or...
  17. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    The reality is I probably have to choose based on availability. If there is a $6000 liveaboard and a $1000 liveaboard, and only 1 open spot between them, my choice is either to take it or stay home. If it's the $6000 liveaboard, I can probably decided just by looking at my bank balance. But...
  18. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    I was hoping COVID would be over before this trip. I went to Egypt and Mexico in 2021, and while great, they exhausted my funds and time off work and I had a really difficult air travel both ways for both trips. December 2022 is much more realistic than February 2022, but I do want to start...
  19. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    Maybe, but looking on a map doesn't help me since I am unfamiliar with Indonesia and I don't know what is under the water.
  20. bvbellomo

    How to plan for Komodo or Raja

    I've noticed White Manta is well above twice the price of the cheaper liveaboards. I don't necessarily have an issue with the price, but I do want to know what I am paying for and what I risk on a cheaper trip. I don't care about my cabin or for a 'luxury' boat, but I do want good dive masters...
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