Diving in Indonesia

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Stevie_W
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Post by Stevie_W » Fri, 04 Oct 2013 8:41 am

the lynx wrote:After 24 hours, I realised that this diving thread is about Indonesia. I misread it and suggested Borneo and Peninsula Malaysia dive spots instead. My bad.
No worries. But the places you mentioned are places that i do want to go to eventually. I've heard Perenthian is a fantastic place to dive, and if that really is the case i don't want to spend just a few days, i'd like to go for a bit longer.

But anyway, thanks for everyone's replies. It's given me a few things to think on, but not for too long as i really need to get my arse in gear and sort something out.

Cheers all

Stevie

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:03 pm

All IMHO.

If you're a beginner, then dive 'beginner sites'. Don't go off to Rajah Ampat or even Sipidan etc.

Get your experience up. 60+ dives, be AOW+, then you should have the skills to enjoy the more challenging destinations.

p.s. If you've the money, and want gentle but good dives, then consider 'Muck diving'. The Lembeh Straits off Borneo are pretty far out. I did them as part of a '2-centre' DIY trip that included Sipidan.... chalk and cheese... amazing!

p.s. as a newbie, Tioman or Phuket are your friends :)

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Post by Stevie_W » Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:24 pm

Thanks for all the responses. I eventually decided on going to Tulamben, Bali. I gave the dive center there my qualifications and dive history, and they have suggested a few things for me.

JR8, you mentioned "Muck diving". What is that? I've not heard of that one before.

Cheers

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 10 Oct 2013 12:57 pm

Thanks for all the responses. I eventually decided on going to Tulamben, Bali. I gave the dive center there my qualifications and dive history, and they have suggested a few things for me.

>> JR8, you mentioned "Muck diving". What is that? I've not heard of that one before.

Yes it confused me the first time I heard the term too :)

The idea stems from how we inherently seek and value 'Vis', visibility. 50+ metres, big stuff, OMG... awesome!!

There is a different philosophy. Slow is good. Vis of 50cm is perfect. Spending an hour, moving 25m is diving Zen accomplished. You spend 20 minutes doing sign language vs a shrimp [yah really - don't even get me going re: squid and those big squidy things (er, cuttlefish), and how chatty they are].

Muck diving, is diving in places with silty bottoms (example: Lembeh Straits, off Borneo). It's slow, very slow, and the vis can be very poor. You look for the micro stuff. The slower you go, the more you see (kinda contrary to the culture) You see the weirdest creatures you never imagined might even exist. I recommend it - but it's a bit of a mind-shift from the 'Kit on, get in, motor down the reef, pick up, beers on!' kinda day :)

i.e. Places to do it, tend be hard to get to and $$$. I'm not sure the cost is justified for newbies. Hence my suggestion, leave places like that until you're 60+D's/AOW. When you start, you want the drama. When 'You've got it' you have the time to take it easy.

In fact there are places (Marsa Alam, Egypt) they won't let you dive unless you've 60+D's (and I think Sipidan is 50+)...

Just take the time to dive. Aka, you can't be a one weekend a year diver, and expect to manage (be allowed on) the big-stuff.

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Post by Dert42 » Wed, 16 Oct 2013 2:47 pm

I dove Nusa Penida 2 weeks ago.
Fantastic coral. Tons of reef fish. We didn't see any cool sharks or mantas.
One sea turtle and one ray. Good dives though. I was there for 5 days. It didn't rain at all.

I'm looking at doing a live aboard next july around Komodo.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 16 Oct 2013 5:36 pm

Ooh nice!

I did the Gili's a couple of years ago... that was great.

Komodo ... you bastard (/jk)... that has been my dream destination for the past 5 odd years...!! :lol:

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Post by Stevie_W » Wed, 16 Oct 2013 7:15 pm

So, i ended up going to Bali. Some of you were saying it was the wet season, but unless i misunderstood, had fantastic weather out there and generally visibility in water wasn't too bad. Dived at Tulamben, Nusa Penida (Crystal bay and Manta point), and final day at Bloo lagoon.
Unfortunately no mola molas, but did see a manta for the first time live. Another first time sighting was also a sea horse, which i first thought was some kind of worm, and something that my dive buddy called a box fish. Is there actually a type called box fish? Or did he just make that up?
3 days of diving, and up till and including the penultimate day, my buoyancy has always been crap. But the last day? Wouldn't say it was perfect, but i was certainly much happier than i have been throughout all my other dives.
Looking forward to next trip!!
Cheers all

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 16 Oct 2013 7:33 pm

Boxfish ... cute looking things ... http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=box ... =QBIL&qs=n


sounds like you;re doing really good on spotting the macro stuff. Take it slow, take it easy, and you'll see 10* more than the hurriers.


:)

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Post by Stevie_W » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 1:16 am

Yep, looked pretty much like those in the link, but different colour.
Got a video clip of that, but my camera isn't as good as what i thought so the colours are quite off. Might have to invest in a new one............or maybe that's just an excuse to buy a new toy :)

Macro - is that just seeing the small stuff? Or is it more because you're taking your time and seeing things that you would have otherwise missed? Sorry, but i still consider myself as a noob diver.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 9:02 am

They come in several colour patterns. There is one found in the Red Sea that is dark metallic blue on its 'side panels', and dark olive green on it upper 'panel'. There are others which I've spotted, which ARE spotted :)

Here is something you can put on your Xmas wish-list...

Asia Pacific Reef Guide, 3rd REVISED EDITION 2007 [Hardcover]
http://www.amazon.com/Asia-Pacific-Reef ... s=debelius

It is not cheap, but is as close to comprehensive reef id reference guide as you'll ever need. If you do an Amazon search on 'Helmut Debelius', you will see he has published many other similar reference guides, on the various regions, and also specifically on corals, crustacea, and so on.

Underwater photography is not my thing, but I understand there are cameras that adjust the colour saturation [the 'white balance'?], relative the the depth of water, so the colours always 'look right'. The other consideration is that you can find buckets of macro stuff in say just 5m of water, so the colour there is pretty good anyway.

Yes 'Macro diving', is diving specifically to find the small stuff. It's often slow, very slow, not so deep, and very relaxed. The slower you go, the more you see. In fact I have a friend, a dive-guide, who does such dives, and carries a magnifying glass! Her thing is observing the polyps (tiny communal animals) that live in, and form, coral, and watching them feed. Other people I know have defined passions, nudibranchs (the very colourful sea-slugs), or shrimp. You need to go reeeally nice and slow to spot this stuff.

I think it's called macro diving, because to photograph it you need a macro lens. It is counter-intuitive in a way, as if anything, you'd have thought it might be called micro-diving.

Another variant is muck-diving, or critter-dving. This is tangentially the opposite of the 'white sands, azure seas, colourful reefs, big-stuff (sharks, rays, etc) diving'. It's macro diving, just with often very silty and dark bottoms at the dive locations. Places where you can do that tend to have the most bizarre creatures you would never have imagined existed on this planet. Every dive usually has one or a few 'What in Gods name is that.. that ... that THING!?' moments. Lembeh Straits off Borneo is the world class muck diving destination. I've only been once, but stayed here http://www.diverslodgelembeh.com/ The Gallery tab on that site might help illustrate my point :) There are maybe 5-6 other dive operations in the Strait... google on them if interested, I expect they'll have more pix too. 'Lembeh resort' and 'Two fish divers' were quite big operators, whose names I still recall ...

p.s. Feel free to ask questions, as you can see from the length of my reply it's something I enjoy discussing :)

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 9:11 am

The other thing that's nice with a place like Lembeh, is that because people tend to start out diving wanting the convenient 'White sands, big stuff' type of dive, muck-diving is usually something that gets left until a diver has had his fill of that kind of thing. Beyond that point, people will travel half way around the world to dive places like Borneo.

So, many of the people you sit down to dinner with are hard-core divers, from all 4-points, who've travelled all 4-points. It makes for some great evening conversation!

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Post by the lynx » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:41 am

JR8 wrote:(and I think Sipidan is 50+)...
I can confirm that you can go to Sipadan with 20+.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:20 am

Ah ok nice, thx!

Amazing place... it's like 'see everything you've ever really wanted to in one day'!

I stayed on the oil-rig ... http://www.seaventuresdive.com/

Pretty hard boiled, and no beach, your room is a shipping container... but you are there to dive, right? :lol:

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Post by the lynx » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:33 am

JR8 wrote:Ah ok nice, thx!

Amazing place... it's like 'see everything you've ever really wanted to in one day'!

I stayed on the oil-rig ... http://www.seaventuresdive.com/

Pretty hard boiled, and no beach, your room is a shipping container... but you are there to dive, right? :lol:
My buddies went there few days ago for Hari Raya Haji dive in Sipadan (I didn't join them). Bad timing, according to them. Visibility is bad due to a lot of undercurrent movement and rain. Schools of barracudas were spotted only once during the third day when the rain stopped and visibility was better.

They stayed in regular resorts but they spied on some really nice overwater bungalows nearby with sections of floor made of glass for underwater life viewing pleasure.

http://www.overwaterbungalows.net/water-villas-in-asia

Not sure which one is the one which that glass floor.

Add: I found out that one of the girls in the gang only had 10 dives before Sipadan trip. I think as long as you have OW, you're fine.

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Post by JR8 » Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:20 pm

the lynx wrote: My buddies went there few days ago for Hari Raya Haji dive in Sipadan (I didn't join them). Bad timing, according to them. Visibility is bad due to a lot of undercurrent movement and rain. Schools of barracudas were spotted only once during the third day when the rain stopped and visibility was better.
Like much of Asia, the diving is decidedly seasonal, and monsoon directed, so you have to pick your time to visit any specific place. But really, if you hated marine life, Sipidan during ‘on-season’ would be your absolute Chucky-horror-show, it is AWESOME! [Maybe I should transcribe a couple of dives from my notoriously comprehensive dive logs Smile]

the lynx wrote:They stayed in regular resorts but they spied on some really nice overwater bungalows nearby with sections of floor made of glass for underwater life viewing pleasure.
Oh, perhaps over on Kapalai, a nearby atoll. They’re poncey $$$ stilted rooms over water, targeted at Japanese honeymooners who can’t swim. We went and dived over there, and under their bungalows... hehe... some good stuff to see (loadsa frogfish)

the lynx wrote:Add: I found out that one of the girls in the gang only had 10 dives before Sipadan trip. I think as long as you have OW, you're fine.
It might be allowed, but as a Divemaster I would not encourage it. You need 50+ dives to dive Elphinstine reef offshore off Egypt, and I think the same should apply to Sipidan. They are both isolated pinnacles, and so liable to some pretty serious and unpredictable conditions: Divers with 10, just 10, dives likely cannot handle that, or profit is being put well ahead of prudence.

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