Yenkoranu Homestay's Dive Centre Raja Ampat Reviews
A much-welcome affordable diving option Jun 28, 2014
I did two dives with Yenkoranu Homestay even though I didn’t stay with them. I stayed with Koranu Fyak next door because they replied to my enquiry and at that time (due to a mistake in Yenkoranu’s webpage) their boat transfer was overpriced.
The two dives were part of a package to Fam Island organised by a group staying at Yenkoranu and we piggy-backed on them.
We had cakes at breakfast at 0630 at Yenkoranu as our breakfast doesn’t start that early. Then we set off soon after 0700.
It was a wet and bumpy ride towards Fam Island. We stopped briefly at Manta Point where the crew had spotted some mantas. We hopped in and I saw some dark shadows in the deep. Others had a slightly better glimpse but it was fleeting.
From there we went to a high lookout at Pianemo which gave us a view described as mini Wayag. Wayag is the iconic landscape of Raja Ampat as seen in many brochures but it is rather more difficult to access.
The first dive was at Fam Wall which was a very beautiful coral wall. There were plenty of reef fish but most impressive was the huge triggerfish and parrotfish.
After a lunch break on an island where a couple of monitor lizards were hanging out, we proceeded to Melissa’s Garden for our second dive.
Again the coral wall was great. Quite impressive was the triggerfish, parrotfish and pufferfish, all of which were huge. I also liked the few barracudas hanging out, all facing the same direction. We finished in a huge area of branchy type coral where I was surprised to see very clearly segregated zones where they had different colours (purple, yellow, green).
During the second dive, one of the diver’s regulator failed. The divemaster attempted to fix it underwater but without success. She had to sit out that dive on the boat and was given a replacement dive next morning. All the gear looked in good shape so I guess it was a freak incident.
Visibility at neither place wasn’t great at only about 15m. While the coral was good, the sea life was somewhat ho-hum for me having been spoilt by my several dives at Sipadan.
On the way back, we stopped at Arborek Island which appears to be a base for the conservation work conducted by the Umbra research vessel (the mothership is very distinctive looking while the little offshoot is very cool looking). They are searching for and tagging mantas. Dream job for scuba junkies! Arborek was extremely well kept unlike most badly-littered Indonesian villages. I could quite easily live there!
We finished with some photos on the white sandbar near Pulau Kri.
Overall, I felt the divemasters took care of us underwater. They also had some social skills to make customers happy like taking us to scenic spots and encouraging us to take playful photos amongst ourselves. That’s not often seen because of the language and cultural barrier.
Part of the 2014 Europe via Papua travel blog
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