Browsing articles tagged with " Life in Bali"

The Self Reliant Diver

okt 11, 2011   //   by supernova   //   Blog, Crystal Divers, Divemaster  //  No Comments

Kitted up and Ready to go

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.

Entry for Dive One

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.


Swimming without a mask

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.

Swimming without a mask

Ready to go our seperate ways

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.

Through the Wreck

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.

Deploying the DSMB whilst on redundant air supply

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.



Mola-Mola. The Sunfish

okt 9, 2011   //   by supernova   //   Blog, Crystal Divers  //  No Comments

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

Crystal Divers – Mola


Bali… Bali… Bali…

sep 17, 2011   //   by supernova   //   Interns Blog  //  No Comments

New life… words to describe about me now. I was an education consultant from Jakarta who decided to take scholarship program from PADI to become a diving instructor. One chapter of my life begins here…

Like the other 2 blog previously you can see my activity in the classroom. But I can describe my life in Bali is combining between study and vacation. I feel life in Bali so peaceful and everyday is weekend :) Wakes up every morning with the bird sing calmly, no stress with alarm – always use it when in Jakarta; full of spirit; new things to discover; learn about the culture; taste the original Balinese food – its not expensive as I thought before; new place to visit; new friends and of course many story about Balinese.

One of the stories about Balinese woman I came to know when accidentally I went to some small restaurant near the crystal diver.

Ibu Made, she is a woman who gave so many donations to the Bali development. She was born in fisherman family. She was a contractor who built the airport, hotels and


main road in Bali. I really amazed with her story. I saw her picture with one of the government staff’s wife (I forgot who :p). She was retired after several years become a contractor and she bought a house in Sanur. She wanted to retired but since the first time she always work then after 8 months she felt not so good and she started to work again. Now she did anything she wanted to do such as open a small restaurant and warung, sells canang (a bunch of flower for praying in Bali). She also opened some job opportunity for Balinese people because of this. It’s a noble thing to do.

After met Ibu Made, I met one of my friend from UK ( I met him online) and we go to Kuta beach. I meet some of his friends from all over the world- Australia, Holland, and UK. We spend the day in the beach with bottle of Bintang ( Indonesia Beer ). We shared story and from their story I found out that many of them wanted to spend their old (retired) in Bali. Some of them also have Indonesian Boyfriend or Girlfriend. I cant agree more that lifestyle in Bali is really peaceful and comfortable. One thing is disappointed me that day : THE KUTA BEACH FULL OF RUBISH! OMG!! What happen with this beach?? It because the wind blow to the west and all the rubbish end up in west shore of Bali ( KUTA-SEMINYAK-LEGIAN).. We need to take care our environment by a simple thing first – DON’T LITTER! But we got a good laugh from that disaster also. a guy who wanted to have sun bathing lay down in the middle of the rubbish.. Gosh dont you have another place sir :p

Time to study again! We all study from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5 pm (more or less). We were studying together both theory and practice with assist from Minni and Holly. Step by step should be learnt not only memorize them but the important is understand it! So slowly guys, we can make it!

After the class, we still have time to go some places and I choose Mangrove Forest near Mall Galleria. We – Vintty and me- went to that place by motorbike 😀 arrived there, we pay for the ticket fee ( 10 times more expensive for foreigner) and entered the forest. It’s almost 6 pm when we entered the forest. They made a wood bridge so the tourist can easily explore the forest. It is nice place but like the Kuta beach case, I’m so disappointed because so many rubbish in the forest ;(

What I can say from this journey, we need to pay attention more to our environment. God gave us beautiful country –land and sea- and all we need to do are protect and conserve them . Many foreigners like to stay in Indonesia especially Bali because the culture and beautiful places, why don’t we as Indonesian also act the same or more as they did to our country? It is not hard to do right ^^