Which is Better Snorkeling Only Palau or Raja Ampats and Banda
Replies: 32 - Last Post: Nov 8, 2012 2:43 PM Last Post By: coralqueen
Jul 18, 2012 7:13 PM
15Though I am aware many LP users are budget travelers on factual questions they are often very knowledgeable so why not tap into their expertise. Wheather I am in a beach hut or home stay in RA or Palau the comparison of the color, variety of coral, fish and sea anenomies are as I said points of factual comparison and that info is very helpful. When I was young I backpacked for a number of years.
Jul 18, 2012 7:26 PM
16Ashley, it's not that the collective experience of LPers is invalid or that there's anything intrinsically "wrong" with backpackers, but the experience of snorkeling from shore based out of a guesthouse is so, so far from what you are planning to do from the Seven Seas that there's no possible overlap from which to gather insights. You really need to go to a different sort of forum to find people who have done what you're asking about.
As I said earlier, I didn't offer any input because I don't snorkel! However, I'm familiar with the Seven Seas and know that guests invariably have a great time aboard this boat, whether they are snorkeling or on scuba.
Aug 1, 2012 12:14 PM
17To add and just for fun : good idea this "Nautilus Lifeline".
I didn't know about this stuff.
Is it worth in remote seas of Indonesia ?
How many boats cruise around with a valid Marine Radio and Marine GPS.
Almost none expect Pleni ships and the gas company ships.
Of course the Seven Sea diving boat does have GPS and Radio, so they will catch Ashely Distress Signal.
Am I wrong ?
Due to pass or visa restrictions for private foreign ships to cruise in Indonesia Sea, almost nobody around.
.... personnaly, for safety or psychological reasons when I trip Indo seas with very local rustic boat, I always bring my Handy Marine Radio bought years ago in Bali. Only 5 watts signal out put but does send voice message over 30 miles to any other boat equiped with a Marine Radio, and I can catch their reply. But who's around... ? Still I feel safe or safer...cause the battery last for over one month. With hope give the time to pass next by one Pleni Ship in the lost sea....
Aug 1, 2012 3:37 PM
Aug 1, 2012 3:43 PM
19and cost $15/day to ren. After investigation the Nautiless Lifeline did not get great reviews from users and this phone can contact Soromg or Ambon for evacaution should the need arrise. I am 68 so I decided that 1 million dollars of evacution and $500,000 of medical coverage with TravelGuard was wise in that part of the world. I probably would want to get flown to Singapore. I may be over-reacting but an incident years ago put the gear of G-D in me.
Aug 10, 2012 6:11 AM
20It's a great Action Ashley.
You will and be safe like this.
I bet The Seven Seven Seas crews are experienced and pros.
A well as your dedicated guide or captain for your personnal zodiac.
Just a tip (you may already know) : when you go out of zodiac for snorkelling. And I you go for long time...
Make sure the zodiac crew or Captain aren't both falling bored and asleep, while you're out and far away into water.
I did experienced that unexpected worries or problems were often happening when crew was sleeping, and did things more complicate to solve.
Not a Joke...
As per example among others, last year in Indonesia, in an area with strong currents, the captain went at beach while I was in water with son and wife. Boat was left with anchor at the beggining of the drop off. Boat went to drift into the reverse current after anchor dropped of. Captain was sleeping nicely and crew was walking little in land. Time to wissle and wake up Captain from the water, boat was already far away drifting. I had to catch the boat with my very long fins.
Got onto the boat. But was uncapable to start that old and doggy diesel engine with manual starter to wheel hand...Last chance was to row into the current 3/4 to 1/2 side of current. Finally took about 1 hour for me to row, and the Captain to swim in side current to meet each other, and for the him to get on board and start the engine...End
Aug 10, 2012 6:48 AM
21I forgot to give another Safety Tip for snorkelling when you go with boat.
Buy and bring with you One Spear Fishing Buoy.
They are red to orange color.
There is a large choice of sizes and doesn't wait much for the small ones (150 grams).
Only cost 20 to 30 $ or so and comes with light and long rope.
Go snorkelling with your spear fishing Buoy.
It's visible some hundreds meters away from a boat or from sea shore.
One head with a snorkel is not always very visible far out in sea, or depending sea condition.
If tired, a problem, or hard and sudden drift into current, you help yourself to rest with the buoy.
Also possible to agree with the Captain some buoy language like :
1) buoy in water normal postion : all is ok
2) buoy in vertical position but still in water : problem or moderate issue, need help.
3) buoy out of water any position : need urgent assistance or boat rescue for pick up.
For good or advanced snorkellers or free divers, this type buoy is a MUST HAVE for safety and visibility.
I don't know if they are very popular or easy to find in the US or Ausie.
But in europe you'll find very them very easy on the web with name store like, nootcica, scubastore among others
Look yourself for the appropriate .something for europe country. I'm not trying making any free adds.
This safety tip is Valid for any of us enjoying spending hours into water with a mask.
Belive me one crew or captain can seek long time before finding one snorkeller head on top of the surface, and won't feel much concerned if the sknorkeler head is not showing of around (because they are used to this type of situation).
But not finding immediatly one red buoy after seeking for it, crew and captain will feel very much concerned about this abnormal matter.
Aug 11, 2012 7:59 AM
22Though we have a divemaster assigned to 4 snorkelers and 2 other divemasters for 7 divers and we wear yellow blow up vests (CO2) with a whistle which is likely useless we looked into your suggestion. Is this what you are referencing? does it fold up into a 4-5 inch light weight package for packing because of our extended trip luggage/weight is an issue.
Carter Lift Bag 25# Spearfishing Buoy
Specially designed for spearfishing
Carter Lift Bag 25# Spearfishing Buoy
Aug 26, 2012 8:31 PM
23Sorry for late reply Ashley, I was out travelling meditarenean sea.
Carter lift bag aren't appropriate and too big.
look and seek european brands manufacuters like : cressi, omer, imersion, beuchat, mares, picasso, among others. Plenty of choices.
Buoys are very light weight and tiny small when packed or rolled.
Check ebay in Us or in Fr or Uk or It or De.
Send me a PM and I will return you adresses of reliable europeans web stores.
Aug 28, 2012 12:40 PM
Aug 31, 2012 6:45 AM
25Quai13 Might you have snorkeled in the Phillipines in and around El Nido. If so how would you compare the quality of the snorkeling there to the Raja Ampats, Wakatoni and Bunaken National Preserve. I am not so much hung up on seeing whalws but a wide variety of different fish species, corals and sea anenomies?
Sep 4, 2012 3:37 AM
26Hi Ashley, Glad you found safety buoy.
I Was in El Nido over 15 years ago. Boat was too small at that time to discover far out away.
I did much spear fishing in El Nido, and found out too many white and black tip sharks.
Snorkeling wasn't something spectacluar, and hardly seen much very big fishes appart sharks and few GT's. It's told to be much better the Islands North of El Nido. But the area is big, wide, as well as the size of the Islands. Must find a speed boat for thoses Islands ortherwise you must be prepared every day to spent hours cruising several spots.
Never went to Raja Ampat. Bunaken was a big deception for me, but defently a good place for advanced divers.
Due to my experience I will say Indonesia is better snorkelling, much more big fishes in some shalow waters, not so many sharks (probably due to over shark fishing).
Ashley if you'r looking for diversity of marine life : always remember marine life as started, devellopped and spread all around the oceans from a large triangle in between Very North Sulawesi/Maluku down towards the Nusa Tennagara. It's within this triangle you'll find the biggest diversity of marine life in the the World.
Remember Florida waters does have less - 70% marine life diversity compare to this specific Indonesia triangle.
As per example in Indonesia : Komodo area : out or in the National Park you can find some Top Class sknorkelling spots, and isn't yet that much develloped for snorkeller's spots, espcecially in the remote areas of North and Ouest Komodo, as well as the southern part of the Marine Park with the other islands.
Some spots are better for diversity of softs coral, or hard coral, or mixt of them. Same for fishes, depending if you're looking for big stuff or small ones.
3/4 of the best spots I free dove or snorkell there where not the ones given by the boat captains, or scuba divers masters. They were the ones found by myslef, giving instructions to the Captain to stop the boat in some hazardous places or places he never went or stop by.
This is called : prospection
Spear fishermen and fishermen know well what that does mean.
Frankly, prospection isn't much done by snorkellers and neither by local boat captain which always rely on their routine and go on same spots.
Prospection can bring great surprise as well as some deception (mainly loss of time).
Conclusion : we often can found more or better to what it's told to be there. Just need to go and look for it with experience, strategy, tide time table, safety.
Komodo area offered me some of my best ever scenari and big fishes experiences.
Sometimes in only 4 meters depth of water. Other times with sea bottom at 25/30 meters.
To do prospection in Komodo area I would recommand you must be Skilled snorkeller or free diver with appropriate free divers or spear fisherman long fins. Currents there can be extremly dangerous on some spots.
Some of these spots can be snorkelled or free dove only about one hour time a day at slake or low tide. But what an experience !!!!!!
Mid october I'm heading to Indonesia again with wife and young son. We will try over 2 weeks Banda Islands. Hope to find there a "good boat" as well as a captain, and we'll go for Prospection, as well as the classic diving and snorkelling spots. We'll see if it's as good as it's told to be, or if we can find some better surprises.
Sep 4, 2012 8:14 AM
27Since we are going to be in Bali fort 4 full days again before the liveaboard we were going to have a guide take us to West Bali. There are said to be some pretty good reef formations a sunken boat at 20ft, a wide variety of fish and because it is that shallow we can see seas horses and possible nubi branches. Considering only a few days later we will be in the live about does it pay to take a change of close and go in a speed boat $40 for 1 hour out 1/4-1/2 mile to a reef with Seas Rover with a guide. Sea Rover has a hotel so it is easy to make a closes change. From Unufd it will extend our toour dat from about 9+ hours to mear 11 hours. Does it pay considering we will be on the liveaboard 4 days later?
Thanks for all your help.
Sep 5, 2012 9:08 AM
28I didn't understood all your meaning.
If you land in Bali and get 4 days off before going live abroad.
You should rest, go easy and assume the jet lag.
East Coats of Bali offer few good sknorkelling spots.
The ones in shallow waters are much more for muck diving and soft coral or so.
But waters does have usually poor visbility (can be only 3 to 4 meters some days)
The ship wreck (East Coast) is a MUST be done with permanent good to very good visibility and no currents.
Thoses spots on the East Coast are usually over croweded starting 10 am.
You must go there very early morning or late afternoon, before the crowd.
The trick : spend and stay over night at hotel just next by the Wreck (plenty of choices nowdays), and rent your own car to do so. The drive from Kuta to the ship wreck is nice, with lovely landscapes at some stages, and not much dangerous, neither too busy for most of it.
The wreck named Liberty Ship with US Flag was sunken in late 2sd WW by the japenese (if I'm not wrong).
it'is a MUST be done scuba diving and no matter your skill, experience and Padi level.
It's a splendid dive with plenty of colors and fishes of all sizes from surface to down bottom of the wreck.
The trick again : be the first in morning for diving (with diving club next by the beach wreck, booking little in advance) or the last in the afternoon.
This spot is worst than Saint Tropez....just over crowed with scuba divers.
Booking directly one dive with the local dive shop of the wreck is normally negotiable and cost 20/25 US $ including gear. Maybe they will start to ask 30 or 35 $
Hope it will help.
Sep 5, 2012 9:49 AM
29I think I know what she's talking about quai. She has a daytrip planned to West Bali national park, and she has the option of adding a snorkel tour to Menjangan Island at north Bali to this itinerary for an additional $40.
What I think is that $40 isn't the real issue here. The drive from south Bali to north Bali along that road takes 4 hours without even stopping, each way. If you stop at the twin lakes area or the mongoose-poop coffee plantation or anywhere at all, the trip will then be longer than the 8 hours it takes to get up there and back by whatever amount of time is spent at the stop.
So the issues for me would be:
1) Will it be too long a day? (for me the answer would be yes; I'd never choose to even do a tour like that, so adding in an activity to make it an even longer day would seem like torture to me).
2) Do I want to do anything beyond ride in a car all day long? (again, for me the answer would be yes, if I had no choice but to do the tour, it would be worth the extra 2 hours to just be outdoors moving around).
Whether to spend the $40 would be the least of my concerns given the distance and the number of hours on the road.
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