Protecting Our Ocean Planet One Dress at a Time
It was a beautiful sunny day at Bali Crystal Divers for the big second hand clothing sale fund raiser for Project Aware. The first task was to create a spider web of display line around the Santai Restaurant to hang the clothing from. We had hundreds of items of clothing, shoes and jewelry donated by Crystal’s amazing family, friends and staff. There was something for everyone! From baby clothes to leather skirts and a pair of blue shoes (maybe not from Elvis, but close!!).
We even had some tasty home-baked goods donated for sale at the fund raiser. Not only did we have great donors, we had fabulous buyers! We had buyers waiting patiently under warm sunny skies for the opening time to make the first dash for bargains. We held all buyers to the same start time so that all had a fair chance at all the bargains. Thanks to all who participated, over 11 million rupia was raised for Project Aware. It was an impressive accomplishment given that prices started at only 1,000 rupia. It was also an opportunity to spread the word about practicing re-use, recycle and re-purpose rather than just throwing things away. Bali is working hard to change this throw-away approach to life and Crystal Divers are doing their best to change attitudes one dive and diver at a time. Nothing went to waste! All the items not sold were donated to another charity organization to support the animals needing help and rescue around Bali. This was a win and good time for everyone involved!!
Read more at Project Aware http://www.projectaware.org/update/bali-crystal-divers-protecting-our-ocean-planet-one-dress-time
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World Ocean Day beach cleanup and Project AWARE fundraiser!
Crystal Divers Bali and Blue Season Bali are joining forces with some help from PADI, Project AWARE and D
World Ocean Day Beach Cleanup
During the daytime (from 930 to 1130am), we will be conducting a beach cleanup with 100s of kids from Sanur Independent Schools. During the cleanup, we will host some fun games and educational activities.
World Ocean Day Barbecue and Project AWARE Fundraiser Party
On the evening of June 8th 2012, we are hosting an enormous Barbecue and fundraiser event where we will be auctioning awesome prizes to raise a huge amount of money for Project AWARE. Last year we raised over $7000 so this year we are raising the bar and aiming for $10,000!
As well as raising money, we will of course have a fabulous fun packed night with great food, drinks, games and challenges… If you want to join us for this amazing evening you need to buy your tickets in advance from Crystal Divers, 100 000 for all you can eat Barbecue per person!
The more people that signs up NOW the better the prizes will be, so get your tickets TODAY ! email firstname.lastname@example.org to get you signed up !
Just to mention some of the prices:
- Titan LX Regulator from Divemaster
- Wine from Hatten
- Lots of drinks from Coca Cola and Carlsberg
- 2 nights stay at 16 Kejora villa for up to 6 people
- 2 nights stay at Villa Poulsen for up to 4 people
- Full IDC Crewpack from Padi
- Tickets to Gili’s from Get Away
- 1 day with Manta Trust for research
- Rafting tickets from Sobek
- Mountainbike trips
- Elefant ride from Bali Adventure
- 3 hours Royal Spa treatment
- 1 night at Rumah Cantik in Lovina.
- 2 day / 1 night trip to north Bali with Nick Tours
- 1 days of car rent from Nick Tours
- 2 nights at Bayu Cottages in Amed
… and there will be more!
Scuba Diving Summer Fun Kids Program
Beyond the events on June 8th, Blue Season Bali and Crystal Divers will be conducting a summer long Bubblemaker and SEAL Team scuba diving program for kids age 8 to 9 years old and Junior Open Water Diver courses for kids between the age of 10 to 14 years old. These special multi-day programs will run from June 16th to August 5th 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Imam, the thinker, he is a good person but at some times he tends to make simple things to be really complicated. Remember KISS imam and don’t think too much ok. He is a friend who is always there for you when you need it and he’s a hard working guy. Thank you for the bike and I wish you all the luck in Gili Air! You need to take me diving if I go there 😉
A desire to protect sharks and have fun led the Crystal Divers team to organize a massive month of fundraising for the Big Shark Shout Out.
Holly and Crystal Divers launched their Big Shark Shout Out month with a huge barbecue and shark themed drinks night. The shark shots proved very popular and 76 people enjoyed the amazing barbecue, with even more for drinks!
A try dive day in Crystal Divers pool with Poseidon’s new rebreathers raised more money and our yoga teacher Pinglan is very generously donating all of April’s class fees to the cause.
“Our sincere thanks go to Bali Crystal Divers. The Foundation relies on champions like Holly to go above and beyond and raise much needed funds for our ocean. Holding fundraising events is a great way to get your dive community together for a good cause,” said Joanna McNamara, Coordinator Project AWARE Foundation.
The Big Shark Shout Out is a shark month of action aimed at protecting sharks from overexploitation – overfishing, finning and bycatch.
This Earth Day and throughout April, Project AWARE and divers worldwide call on local communities to rally support for the protection of the world’s most vulnerable shark species by signing and organizing petition signatures to protect heavily traded species.
Well done Crystal Divers. Over 1000 signatures for the shark petition and over $1,200 raised so far to protect sharks. Keep up the fantastic work.
PADI Self reliant Diver Course with one of the few platinum Course Directors in the world, Minni Vangsgaard at Crystal Divers Bali
Do you trust yourself and your gear enough to become a certified PADI Self Reliant Diver ? This is not a speciality course for everyone, but is designed for divers who are often in circumstances when they do not have a buddy to rely on, in particular dive guides, photographers, videographers and instructors. Self reliant training involves emphasizes the importance of effective dive planning whilst incorporating elements of tec training in calculating your bottom time. Training dives focus on how to manage a range of problems and safety drills using an independent alternate air source, thus expanding a divers skill basis and developing a new perspective on their diving. Overall, self reliant divers gain more confidence during any dive regardless of whether they dive with a buddy or alone. Also you ones your certified your insurance is more likely to cover you if anything goes wrong, since insurances normally states that your covered as long as you dive within your certification level which both divers on this course now will be next time they go on their own.
Our latest students were Darren, a very experienced diver and keen underwater photographer , along with Holly our very own Course Director who wanted to expand her own experience and continue to teach the self reliant course.
Early morning on a sunny day we started with theory , focusing on air consumption calculations, equipment requirements and what to consider when planning and conducting a self reliant dive. Many of the points provoke interest and prompted discussions and anecdotes based on different points of views of diving which added to a very enjoyable theory session!
We then proceeded to plan for the logistics for our 3 Training dives in Tulamben the following day.
Awesome day, Sun was shining and visibility better than it has been for the last 4 weeks in Bali; I think we owe Darren a thanks for bringing some good weather with him to Bali. . . .
Dive 1: The Drop Off (Tulamben)
This dive was all about getting used to diving with the additional gear, practising buoyancy control whilst carrying an independent alternate air source and learning how to switch to a redundant air supply. Darren and Holly then performed a Surface Air Consumption (SAC) rate timed swim to determine their air consumption per minute whilst diving. To conclude the dive they made a safe ascent deploying a DSMB.
Dive 2: USAT liberty (tulamben)
The performance requirements in dive 2 focus on more on ‘diving your plan’ recording your depth and air consumption at pre agreed points throughout the dive. We also mask conducted a 2 minute swim without a mask, navigation skills and an out of air drill, all completed with no problems at all!
Dive 3: 5 Meter Reef (Tulamben)
Dive 3 was spent refining the skills practiced so far and applying the air consumption calculations from previous dives to establish turn around pressure.
All 3 dives was very relaxed and the students had absolute TOP Score on all skills, Crystal Divers are proud to certify them both as Self Reliant Divers!
So BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Darren and Holly!!!
As part of my continuing education in diving, not just the gaining of experience, I decided that I would rather enjoy undertaking the Self Reliant Diver Course, a relatively new course from PADI. My aim being that once qualified, I could complete the necessary qualifying dives to undertake the instructor qualification.
First let me say that self reliant diving is not Solo Diving. The self reliant dive training provides you with another skill set that increases your ability for self rescue, identify and anticipate problems before they become life threatening and equip you with the skills to extract yourself from a situation should it arise.
Diving without a partner requires you to be willing to make the required commitment to train and equip yourselves properly and to accept the added risks involved. You must have the right attitude and ability to dive independently. This is true in other adventure sport activities such a solo rock climbing.
Diving without a partner requires the right attitude and equipment. This includes, but is not restricted to redundant air sources, specific dive planning and management of independent diving problems and emergencies. However, no amount of redundant equipment can effectively back-up a diver’s brain better than another individual
In simple terms, responsible independent scuba diving is not for everyone; however it does have a place. So, who should develop self –reliant diving skills and why? The course will appeal most to photographers, videographers, traveling divers, wreck divers and TecRec Divers. This is by no means an exhaustive list and will appeal to anyone with the necessary course pre-requisites.
Having completed the necessary pre diving study and knowledge reviews, we traveled to Tulamben on Monday 10th October to complete the three qualifying dives. Having gone through some very thorough pre-dive planning and briefing we kitted up ready for the first dive. We were certainly carrying much more equipment that normal; redundant equipment that is either critical for survival or critical to the dive objective’s success. This included a backup 4.7 ltr cylinder, complete with regulator and SPG. This would allow us the opportunity to initiate an emergency exit from a life-threatening situation without undue stress and with a minimum of confusion in the event of a major equipment malfunction.
During the first dive we were required to complete a number of skills, which were, with all standard and specialized equipment, conduct a buoyancy check at the surface, complete a 200m surface swim, demonstrate neutral buoyancy by hovering for one minute, perform a relaxed, nonstop 200 meter surface swim, demonstrate the ability to switch to a redundant air supply system, simulating a regulator free flow and breathe from the redundant air source for at least two minutes, perform a SAC rate swim by swimming for approximately five minutes at a level depth, recording the appropriate information for later calculation and deploy a lift bag or DSMB from the bottom. All skills were completed without issue and one skill that was practiced a great deal was switching to our alternate air source, which had to be done one handed and within thirty seconds.
After our required surface interval, we kitted up again for dive 2. During this dive we would have to complete further skills, comprising of demonstrating time, depth and gas supply awareness by writing the depth and cylinder pressure on a slate at 10-minute intervals, swim at depth for at least two minutes covering a distance of at least 18 meters without a mask. We would also have to whilst continuously swimming, simulate an out-of-air emergency and change from our primary air supply to our redundant air supply system within 30 seconds, then breathe from the redundant air supply system for at least two minutes, complete two navigation exercises, perform a SAC rate swim by swimming for five minutes at a level depth recording the appropriate information for later calculation and deploy a lift bag or DSMB from the bottom. Again, one of the key components and something practiced repeatedly throughout the dive was switching from our primary to redundant air supply. Again, all skills were completed and there was even time to interact with the aquatic life, especially the turtle that seams to have taken up residency on the wreck.
After lunch, we began our third and final qualifying dive. For this dive we were truly diving alone but it was not just a fun dive. The instructor gave us our briefing for the dive and set us our tasks. This was to demonstrate time, depth and gas supply awareness by writing the depth and time on a slate for each 20 bar of gas consumed, demonstrate turn around pressure and time limit awareness when either the pressure or time limit established during the briefing is reached by writing the time (if pressure limit reached first) or the pressure (if time limit reached first) on a slate, demonstrate navigational control and return to the exit with no assistance from the instructor and while continuously swimming, simulate an out-of-air emergency and change from your primary air supply to your redundant air supply system within 30 seconds At the conclusion of the dive we then had to deploy a lift bag or DSMB and ascend to the surface, stopping at 5 metres/15 feet for a three minute safety stop and most importantly surface from the dive within the established time frame and with no less than the planned pressure remaining in the cylinder.
The third dive was a new experience, diving alone and with no buddy. We have all no doubt at some time or other been alone for a short while but to do a whole dive alone was something new. What was noticeable during this dive was that you checked your dive computer more often than usual and you became more aware of your surroundings and where other divers were, just in case.
At the end of the third dive we had completed all the skill requirements and were now qualified as Self Reliant Divers. Twenty more self reliant dives and instructor qualification beckons. The benefits of completing this course are not about diving alone. It is about being self reliant, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to be a better diver, able to self rescue if the need ever arose. These are certainly skills that anyone should have and teaches you how to manage situations where you may be separated from your buddy for extended periods of time.
If you want to do the Self Reliant Course, then there is no better place than Crystal Divers. Take a look at the Courses Section and see what is entailed.
Bali has its fair share of dive sites, located as it is in the Golden Triangle, where there is a spectacular array of marine life and bio-diversity.
Bali has some of the best diving in the world, often featuring in the top 10 dive destinations of the world. Whether you want to dive a wreck, see fantastic coral, dive with turtles and sharks or you just have a hankering for macro life, Bali has it all to offer.
One of the most strange aquatic visitors to Bali has to be the Mola-Mola or Sunfish as its often referred to; a name it got because of its habit of floating at the surface with its side facing the sun, almost as if it were sunbathing.
Mola’s are shy creatures but during the season are often seen around Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida and Candidasa to name just a few sites. They can be seen at the cleaning stations or just transiting through on their way back to the depths. Most often seen at 20 metres plus, they can be seen swimming at shallower depths; indeed only today, a group of divers on their way to Manta Point saw and snorkelled with a Mola at the surface. Stories of Mola breaching and leaping into the air have been heard on more than one occasion, the reason for which is they are attempting to rid themselves of parasites.
What can be frustrating to divers is the actions of others, who pursue and harass the mola, trying to get that ‘perfect shot.’ More often than not this results in the mola disappearing back to the depths, on occasion pursued by obsessed divers, oblivious to the danger they present to themselves and others. Or you get the odd diver that wants to touch the mola, often not realising that this removes the coating that covers all fish, causing immense pain, similar to third degree burns and which can result in the death of the fish.
Mola are a majestic, albeit odd looking fish and are best viewed from a calm and considered distance. There is no need to chase the Mola; quite often they are curious and will swim towards you, playing in your exhaled bubbles. It is down to all us divers to treat the underwater realm with respect, remembering to take only pictures and leave only bubbles.
If you want to see the Mola then Bali is the place to come and Crystal Divers has certainly a very good record when it comes to spotting these fantastic fish. With Toto, Asmui and Amin leading you, your chances are good as they have many years of experience and have seen many many Mola between them.
It is always special diving in Bali but its becomes magical when you see these amazing and yes, strange fish.
Please have a look at one of our videos of an encounter with this beautiful creatures
As part of the Interns and Dive Master Trainees (DMT) continuing education, one requirement is to undertake the Skin Diving Course. It is one of the many skill sets that form part of every Dive Masters training. Here at Crystal Divers a little fun is injected into the training and every participant is assigned with coming up with a skill or game that can be used during the course. Any number of games are thought up and whilst fun, they do have a great deal of added value.
The ideas for the games are varied and diverse and it never ceases to amaze the ingenuity of those that come up with them. Games vary from the simple to the more inventive. Examples of the games were swimming from one end of the pool to the other, swim through a submerged hoop and collect as many weights as possible before returning to the other end; diving from one end of the pool to the other, exchanging masks underwater, writing your name on a slate before returning underwater to the other end.
Other games played were swimming around the edge of the pool whilst keeping one fin out of the water. No easy task and if you don’t believe it, try it. Another popular game was two skin divers battling underwater to try and remove the others mask whilst keeping hold of your own. More often it would be a draw as each of the players lost their own mask. One skill game that brought out the competitive nature of those taking part was the longest breath hold, with some showing themselves to be as near to fish as possible.
But by far the most inventive game was one thought up by Wulan, combining ‘aquatic life trivial pursuit’ questions with skin diving tasks. She gave each diver a clue as to the identity of an aquatic life form and then the diver had to swim underwater to the far end of the pool and find the weight with the correct answer. Some wrong answers meant the diver returning with the wrong weight and an early exit from the game.
Whilst the games and skills were fun, there was added value, from breath holding techniques, finning techniques to buoyancy control when navigating though the submerged hoola-hoops. All skills that are important to the skin diver but also the diver in terms of buoyancy. Not breath holding of course as all divers know the most important rule of diving;
”NEVER HOLD YOUR BREATHE”
In all it was a most enjoyable experience for those partaking and is testament to the internship at Crystal Divers. I have no doubt that the interns will go from strength to strength, becoming amazing Dive Masters and Instructors.