Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
August 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Arenui, Alor Archipelago, Indonesia

a unique critter haven, but a notch below luxury

from the August, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Subscriber Content Preview
Only active subscribers can view the whole article here

Dear Fellow Diver:

A whopping 13 Rhinopias sightings broke Arenui's record, besting the previous eight seen on a trip to Alor. Now, this may mean nothing if you haven't been to the Indo-Pacific, but the Rhinopias, a member of the scorpionfish family, is among the must-sees for divers seeking the exotic -- and why divers take out second mortgages to make these expensive trips. Rhinopias, camouflaged loners with limited range, walk about on their fins, an exotic sight. And to view the load of macro critters in these waters, I put my magnifying glass to a lot of use, especially to peer at the half-inch pygmy seahorses, the more common pink with red warts (it was first named in 2008 as Pontohi), white with yellow patches, and Denise's yellowish-brown one. I also ogled an ornate ghost pipefish, exotic in its spiked appearance when contrasted with the halimeda, which looks like a segmented green leaf with a long snout.

The ArenuiYes indeed, this April dive trip was designed to find unusual and fascinating critters, but they often live in not-so-beautiful places, so magnificent coral sites were at a premium, by choice of the tour directors. When I dived this area aboard the Komodo Dancer six years ago, we covered many more colorful coral sites, but then I saw far fewer exotic macro critters. Generally, the terrain varied from sloping walls to coral bommies, and mostly blacksand rubble with lots of hiding places for the critters and tiny fish. With water varying from 77 degrees in the south to 83 degrees along the northern route, diving was generally quite pleasant, though occasional thermoclines made it seem much chillier.

When I arrived in Maumere, Flores, to board the Arenui, the traditional Phinisi design tickled my senses. Built in 2009 from 70 percent recycled local wood, she is 140 feet long, with an ironwood hull. Her massive sails are only cosmetic, because they provide insufficient power. Once I boarded, I had to wait in the hot and humid dining area (no air-conditioning!) while the two cruise directors escorted guests by pairs to their rooms for a prolonged briefing. A cool drink was no consolation for the stultifying half-hour wait, but I was then pleased by my AC-cooled cabin, twice the size of cabins on other liveaboards I've traveled. One of four on the main deck, it had a large window, a desk and chair, wardrobe, twin beds kitty-corner to each other, colorful linens and even choice bed pillows. In the ensuite bathroom, the shower drained through wooden lattices, but it was not vented, so I needed to hang my towels in the cabin to dry. One deposited toilet paper (oh, those marine heads) into a lidded container which was, thankfully, emptied twice daily....

Subscribers: Read the full article here

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2019 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.