Raja Ampat Liveaboard vs Misool

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drrich2

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Right now we are not thrilled with the idea about living on a boat with strangers given covid concerns BUT it wouldn't be a deal breaker.
That's an interesting point, not specific to Indonesia, I imagine (I've never been there). In terms of COVID-19 risk, is a live-aboard or land-based resort safer? I get that it seems easier to social distance on land, but what about the broader infection route web?

See, if everyone who gets on the live-aboard, crew and customers, is SARS-CoV-2 free at the start, that's probably it. But that may not be true at a land resort. At the land resort, one of the cooks in the kitchen may have a couple of kids who go to school, who might bring the virus home, give it to him and then he coughs a few times while working on your food. Or the house keeper got it from visited sister, the coughed a few times while making up your room.

I doubt we'll ever see hard numbers, given the size and public profile of the dive industry, but it would be interesting to see how the SARS-CoV-2 infection risk compares between live-aboard and land-based resorts.
 

Lorenzoid

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At the land resort, one of the cooks in the kitchen may have a couple of kids who go to school, who might bring the virus home, give it to him and then he coughs a few times while working on your food. Or the house keeper got it from visited sister, the coughed a few times while making up your room.
Thanks a lot for the visual. Up to now, I would have assumed a cook would be wearing a mask and washing hands profusely. Even without covid, cooks should wear masks; in many places they wear hair nets, right? As far as housekeepers, I would also hope they wear masks, as is common in hotels these days, but even if they don't, it has been my understanding that science quickly learned "fomite" transmission isn't something we need to worry much about, so long as we're diligent about washing hands, etc. The examples I recall were that on many soft surfaces the virus isn't likely to survive more than a few hours, but on a surface like stainless steel it could last several days (though not necessarily in a concentration high enough to infect someone who touches it). I stopped obsessively disinfecting hard touch surfaces in hotel rooms and Airbnbs many months ago, when this reassuring news came out. I haven't been in a land-based dive resort in the covid era, but whether the cooking and cleaning staff wear masks will be something I will inquire about.
 
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ladiver33

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At the land resort, one of the cooks in the kitchen may have a couple of kids who go to school, who might bring the virus home, give it to him and then he coughs a few times while working on your food. Or the house keeper got it from visited sister, the coughed a few times while making up your room.

For Missol, they advertise that resort staff are tested, quaratine and then are not permitted off the island without quarantining again. Each time they leave, when coming back they have to complete a 14 day quarantine.

For our visit to Indo in 2020, we stayed on one side of a dive resort and the staff stayed on another. Staff there also had to test, 3 day quaratine, no one was permitted to.travel back and forth. Even on the boat the guide would splash at one end of the boat and we would enter on the other. We rapid tested every few days. All meals outside.

Having done both a Liveaboard and Dive Resort months ago. The resort felt WAYYYYYYYY safer
 

Dan

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Hi! My wife and I are looking at trips in 2022. We have been diving in quite a few spots across Indonesia over the years but never made it to Raja Ampat.

If I could sum up our wild life preferences we LOVE macro / muck and pelagics (sharks, mantas, even blackwater). We don't care too much for coral and the smaller to medium sized fish. Maybe better said we love all things big and small but not much in-between.

We were weighing the pros and cons of doing a Liveaboard va a stay at Misool Eco Resort.

We are a bit younger and enjoy a bit more challenging dives. We love to fit in 4+ dives a day.

Right now we are not thrilled with the idea about living on a boat with strangers given covid concerns BUT it wouldn't be a deal breaker.

Would I be correct in assuming that a 9 to 10 day Liveaboard would likely present a more wide array of dive sites va MER?

How is MER for macro and muck? I assume its not as great as Tulamben or Lembeh for that interest but is it better than most other places (I realize that's a bit silly of a question?)

One final question : Has anyone successfully done a Misool to Ambon trip (or vice versa). Would we have to fly back to Jakarta and then all the way back?

Any insight on the above would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance !
I have been to Raja Ampat about 8 times including staying in MER and 2 other resorts in Dampier strait & several liveaboard in Raja Ampat & crossing from Ambon to Raja Ampat.

If I were you and have never been to RA, I would go with liveaboard first to see what RA has to offer.

I have been to Lembeh twice and Ambon once for muck diving. There is some great muck diving and relatively unknown to most in RA, Algae Patch in Batanta that you could go by liveaboard, as shown in my video, below (also many other RA diving sites by going to my YouTube channel: Dan Tirto)



Magic Mountain in Misool also offer oceanic manta cleaning station.



Don’t worry too much about COVID-19. If you have been vaccinated and follow the protocol, you’ll be fine. I went to 8 liveaboards and a dive resort during the pandemic, got COVID-19 tested about 14 times and never contracted once (knock on wood)

When I sailed crossing from Ambon to RA, including Misool, I flew from Jakarta to Ambon and flew back to Jakarta from So-wrong.
 

Dan

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This is a perfect summary! Thank you Rob! That makes a lot of sense. Sounds like most of Amobon is closed up for early 2022. We are currently in Baja right now! Which boat are you taking out.
If you are in Baja now. Try to dive in Cabo Pulmo.



Land’s End in CSL is also a cool diving place.

 

Dan

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There is decent critter diving in Dampier Straits, so, I would think Misool is second choice. Raja Ampat is about biodiversity, abundance of fish and soft corals.
I was there in Jan 2020 last time and it was perfect timing for Mantas. Resort diving is as good as lob, if not better because you can dive each dive spot at best conditions.
Lob is good if you want to do both Dampier and Misool at the same trip. If you are concerned about dining with others in lob I would say go for a good resort in Dampier. I did a lob and resort holidays in quick succession and I would choose a good resort over lob, diving is comparable with very nice land experience as well. It a bit of shame to get stuck on the boat after so many hours of flying.
I was in RA in January 2020 too. Which boat were you on?

 

Blues Runner

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I think you will find availability at Misool very scarce in 2022. They are working in rebooking folks from 2020 and 2021. Misool is an outstanding operation and dive location. It is oriented more toward large animal experiences and coral. A link to my review from 2019 is below.

Good luck!

Misool Resort - Raja Ampat, Indonesia
 

Ucarkus

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I was in RA in January 2020 too. Which boat were you on?

In January I was actually on Papex resort, not lob, 13-30th. I do normally lob diving alone but this time travelled with my wife, Famous manta researcher Andrea Marshall was also there, being the best moments for manta sightings and she gave very interesting presentations.
 
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Cali_diver

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Just as a side note... if you haven't done Alor and/or Banda (sometimes boats will do a couple transition cruises and include both) you should consider it with your wish list. Great pelagics and phenomenal muck in Alor, and Banda during hammer season is off the charts. It is also what I would consider challenging and advanced diving.
 

Indah

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For Missol, they advertise that resort staff are tested, quaratine and then are not permitted off the island without quarantining again. Each time they leave, when coming back they have to complete a 14 day quarantine.

For our visit to Indo in 2020, we stayed on one side of a dive resort and the staff stayed on another. Staff there also had to test, 3 day quaratine, no one was permitted to.travel back and forth. Even on the boat the guide would splash at one end of the boat and we would enter on the other. We rapid tested every few days. All meals outside.

Having done both a Liveaboard and Dive Resort months ago. The resort felt WAYYYYYYYY safer
You visited Indonesia in 2020 as a tourist?
 
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