We were with Divine Diving for three weeks, and so are in a very good position to appraise the operation.
Booking via internet was smooth and transparent.
Day diving in Komodo is different to diving in many other places.Two factors have to be considered; the commute, and the currents.
The commute in a small boat would be onerous. This company's boat, Naring, is excellent, offering shade, a place to lie in the sun if needed, a large area for preparation, food which whilst not restaurant quality is about the best you are going to get on a dive boat, and enough size to not be rocked around too much by any swell on windy days. Best of all, they gave me a box for my camera, which I love more than anything in the whole world.
The currents range from zero to scary. All divers, from Divemaster to novices with fewer than 10 dives were put in groups of similar ability, taken to the appropriate part of the dive site (more or less sheltered), and given an excellent briefing. My feeling is that everybody felt safe, even in difficult conditions (we found on three occasions that Komodo can bite back, and your guide had better know what they are doing). The crew and dive guides have an excellent knowledge of currents, and are able to read conditions, plan dives accordingly, and communicate dive plans in many languages. This is done with humor and respect for the environment; no pushing creatures about with sticks so that they can be seen or photographed.
The atmosphere is warm and friendly.
I am sure that there are many good companies in Labuan Bajo. My advice would be that in Bunaken, for example, the quality of the boat and crew are immaterial as long as it floats, as the commutes are short, the dive plans simple, the chances of getting picked up excellent as the area is crowded, the currents predictable. Not so Komodo. The dive boat is everything, and safety is a real consideration. Divine Divers are excellent in these crucial aspects, a really safe operation. You are not having fun if you are scared.
Bring a book to read or a kindle. The levels of comfort are such that the commutes are a pleasure, so bring your camera (sunsets, landscapes) and expect to make some friends.
Thanks, Marij, and all the crew. We love you.
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