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Your Komodo / Bajo advice & opinions are needed

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Namastaras, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Namastaras

    Namastaras Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    30
    18
    8
    I've selected Komodo/Labuan Bajo to do my divemaster training. I am looking for advice on two major subjects:

    Preferred Time of Year- I am looking at going in Feb/Mar or Mar/April. I am looking for advice on diving conditions for those months- is there a big difference in going in Feb/March/April? I've heard the north dive sites are 'better' but less available during those months. I've heard Mantas are more abundant earlier in the year, but visibility is less. What are your opinions?

    Preferred Dive Ops- I would like my training to include time on a liveaboard, be of a smaller sized operation (maybe 1-3 other trainees) and ideally offer some eco/conservation information. Obviously safety and training quality are required. I am not looking for an internship/potential employment opportunity. Cost is not a concerning factor in making my decision.

    I also would love to hear any advice, concerns or comments about your experience in Bajo/Komodo. Tell me your favorite spot for food/drinks/sunsets. What was your favorite non-diving thing you did on land? What was the best thing you ate? Worst thing you ordered at a restaurant? What was the best thing you saw underwater?
     
    DownUnderwater Dan likes this.
  2. lamarpaulski

    lamarpaulski Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Calif.
    763
    268
    63
    I’d prepare for pretty strong to very strong currents. Beyond usual Cozumel currents imho. Mask/mouthpiece bungee maybe a good addition. Reef clip. Remote so consider unavailability if equipment replacement parts/medicine etc...carry extras.

    There’s often negative diving due to currents. Know how to deploy SMB.

    The life there, in places, is amazing in quantity and variety. Mantas were plentiful when I was there (Sept) but they claimed April was super good month. Bring camera(s).

    I enjoyed hiking the Komodo dragon reserve and watching bats, sea eagles and other unique wildlife.

    Lucky guy. Has to be near top of world’s best diving.
     
    Namastaras likes this.
  3. Namastaras

    Namastaras Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    30
    18
    8
    Great to know the current comparison to Cozumel, I have about 150 dives in CZM and do love drift diving, but I can really appreciate not having currents as well. Gear recos are great too, probably wouldn't have thought about availability in a more remote location! Thanks for your response :wink:
     
  4. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,809
    1,573
    113
    komodo is fairly dry, so diveable year round. look into doing your DM with scuba junkies. i don't think any of the liveaboards offer DM trainee programs.

    LBJ the city is kinda meh, but has a bit of nightlife if that is important to you. if you go with scuba junkies, they are not in town.
     
    Namastaras likes this.
  5. Centrals

    Centrals Barangay Pasaway

    # of Dives:
    Location: Hong Kong
    6,914
    2,323
    113
    SJ is the obvious choice. The operation is very isolated and miles away from LBJ. But as DMT you are better off to mingle with your clients whom you are supposed to dive with.
    There is early public ferry departure from the village near by to LBJ so a trip is possible on your day-off.
     
    Namastaras likes this.
  6. jale

    jale Barracuda

    326
    140
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    +1 with Scuba Junky for learning in paradise :)
    If I remember correctly, talking to DM candidates there, the training is around 6 weeks long and you will learn a lot about the ins and.outs of a well oiled popular operation and will have a chance to dive with different kinds of divers and gain experience.
    They are also involved with.local and do eco jobs.
    The only little "negative" (not so negative in fact :)) point is that, altough the instructors I met are really nice, passionate and open minded with the way people dive, they also are a bit too "PADI-formated" in the sense that they only dive "NDL-30M" which is of course the way to do and good enough for this type of operation. Just don't forget that diving is wider than the PADI way
    Again, SJ is a good place to do your PADI DM. Go 4 it :)
     
    Namastaras likes this.
  7. Namastaras

    Namastaras Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    30
    18
    8
    Does anyone know what medical and healthcare is available in the bajo area?
     
  8. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    3,809
    1,573
    113
  9. Namastaras

    Namastaras Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York, NY
    30
    18
    8
    Anyone have a second choice for a dive op in bajo?
    I am a bit hesitant to go with scuba junkies because of the isolated location, I think being in the town would be more enjoyable and offer another element to spending 6 weeks in this location.
     
  10. CarcharodonCarcharias

    CarcharodonCarcharias Manta Ray

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    They were talking about putting a chamber in LBJ. But as of now, the closest one is still in Bali. So I strongly recommend you get your DAN insurance.


    There are plenty shops on the main stretch of LBJ. My friend did his DMT with Manta Rhei and he enjoyed that experience quite a lot. The folks at Blue Marlin seemed pretty nice and legit as well.

    I just got back from Komodo few wks ago. I've written a comprehensive trip review in the Indonesia forum of Scubaboard. Take a look.
     
    Namastaras and chillyinCanada like this.

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