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La Galigo Liveaboard Review

Having dived in South East Asia and enjoyed amazing dive sites in North Sulawesi and Komodo, I planned a Liveaboard Safari in Raja Ampat to complete my dive experience in Indonesia. Over the last ten years, Liveaboards in the Caribbean, Thailand and the Red Sea have always been an exceptional highlight, enjoying beauty of the ocean, easy life on the boat, fellow divers, diving four times a day and getting out to places difficult to reach from the shore. Despite the high costs the experience was exceptional and extremely rewarding!

Finally the big day is there: ‘’La Galigo - A luxury sailing dive cruise according to travel agency and company homepage’’

Traveling 20 hours overnight to Sorong, I arrive on the boat at 8:00 am on time according to the travel plans of Diviac and the company. Fellow dive mates travelled up to 36 hours from the United States, Europe and Asia.

After the regular check in, I am shown to my cabin. The first impression is a strong toilet smell and water in the sink not running. I share my observations with the crew.

According to our schedule, we are planning to set sail around 10:00am after the last passenger arrives on the boat. We have two dives on the first days ahead of us. Everybody is exited!
Unfortunately, nothing happens the crew hanging around the deck giving no explanation. In the meantime since there is nothing to do, I am dazing on the deck as well. At 16:00pm the diesel engine of the boat finally awakes with an uproar and the ship slowly departs from the harbour.

Summary of the first day: No dives, no running water, toilet smell in the cabin, no sailing

We arrive in South Raja Ampat. The first impression of the dive operations is desolate. People choose between nitrox and regular air. I choose regular air but soon observe that there is not always 21% oxygen level in my tank. My fellow divers on nitrogen have the same observations. There is an unpredictable variance in the level of oxygen between 21% -36% in the tank. The nitrogen analysers are not reliable as they are thrown around on the deck without proper storage in boxes. This is causing malfunction of the devices due to the high humidity level in tropical regions. Nevertheless, ignoring these safety concerns I start diving. Corals, fish and the entire underwater world in Raja Ampat is awesome!

Back on the boat, I wake up from the dreams of the underwater world around 3.30am in the morning with water in my face dropping from the ceiling in the cabin. Water everywhere! Outside it is strong rain due to the monsoon season approach in late April.
My room mate and I realize soon that water is flowing from the upper decks into our cabin. We immediately relocate from our cabin in the lower deck to the salon/dining area to get at least some sleep. However, even in the salon water is everywhere.

On the next morning we move back to the cabin after heavy rainfall in the night. Soon we realize the smell of diesel exhaust engines in the cabin which is mixing with the excrement odour from the toilet in our cabin. Diesel exhaust fumes exposure might be caused by a leakage in the exhaust piping system of the engine. For us it is crystal clear that this is not only a comfort issue due to the smells and water in the cabin but more important a safety risk. Carbon monoxide which is part of diesel exhaust gases causes death while sleeping. We have to sleep in the salon area over the next days. The crew is very disappointed and trying to camouflage and hide things from other guests even agitating us without success. This ultimately ends in a solid dispute amongst crew and us.
Amongst those safety topics the sailing never happened and the boat was covered in diesel exhaust engine fumes during the entire trip.

On the last day we request the dive guides to prove dive certifications. After arguing back and forth, finally they admit that nobody is in possession of any certification (Fenny, Nico etc…they even do not want to disclose their full names). This comes as last hit to us.

We are asking where the owners of La Galigo ‘’A Danish Couple – Tom Simpson et al’’ are to currently located?! Nobody has seen them for months.

The La Galigo Liveaboard is not safe. It is fraud considering the advertisement and amount of money spend for a luxury sailing dive liveaboard. It is negligent as to how dive operations and the boat is run ignoring all safety standards.
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