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Scuba Diving in Gili Air, Indonesia

My first scuba diving expertise: I used to be only seventeen and had just accomplished my Padi Open water course with my Mum, Dad and two brothers in the grey murky waters of Weymouth on the South Coast of England. We took the course in preparation for a two week diving holiday in the Purple Sea, Egypt.

I keep in mind my first dive in the Pink Sea prefer it was yesterday, the contrast from the chilly murky waters of weymouth to the nice and cozy crystal clear waters of the pink sea with thirty metres visibility.

The colours have been so vivid and vibrant, it was like getting into one other world. Briefly, it blew my thoughts, and I used to be hooked. I beloved it so much, I keep in mind telling my Dad I’d moderately not go university and would like  to take a niche yr for travelling and turning into a Dive Grasp. He shortly talked me out of that idea, and pushed me to go university before travelling. In fact mother and father are so smart and that’s what I did.

After that trip during each vacation the place I had a chance to dive, I might. Then as years handed my other pursuits and priorities took over. I then didn’t dive for over 10 years, however nonetheless yearned to be underwater.

Manta Dive in Gili Air

Then on our return journey to Bali this yr, a implausible opportunity arose to do a refresher course and write about my experience diving on Gili Air with Manta Dive.  It was like a dream come true, in fact I jumped on the probability.

In reality this is able to be our second go to to Gili Air  as household, we visited final yr, and have been excited to be returning. One of the many causes we beloved the Gili’s a lot was the shortage of automobiles and scooters. It’s a dream come true for young households, strolling around the island with youngsters is very easy and really protected; the one factor to be careful for, are the odd bikes and horse and cart.

We took a simple switch by quick boat from Amed in East Bali straight throughout to Gili Air, the journey took an hour and half. Manta Dive Resort is 10 minute walk or 5 minute horse and carriage experience from the harbour.

The situation of Manta Dive centre was good for us as household, due it being so shut proximity to the perfect seashore on the island, with shallow and calm waters. Our women love swimming pools, but on Gili air they really asked only to swim in the sea. They referred to it as their huge swimming pool, the water in fact are crystal clear and calm, with the added thrilling bonus of seeing some tropical fish.

Marco and I have been each to see the island after the current earthquake, it stunned us how nicely the island appeared to be functioning. The only obvious disruption close to Manta Dive was the alternative of the underground electrical energy and web cables. Plus the earthquake had affected the recent water supply, which meant showers have been a mix of recent and salt water, which was a light inconvenience and is because of be fastened shortly.

The Manta Dive Resort

Manta Dive is an organised little arrange, with the dive centre and Dive pool and restaurant at the entrance of the resort then leading to the back are the fashionable air-conditioned bungalows, with outside showers, simple minimalist design in good protecting with the island surroundings.

We slipped easily into island life, with a fast snorkel and swim on our first day, then a shower and dinner with our ft in the sand and waves lapping under us. Island life was undoubtedly good for the soul.

Manta dive

The Refresher Course

After a very good nights sleep and wholesome breakfast at Manta Dive restaurant, I used to be launched to my instructor, Al, who can be taking me via my refresher course.

After meeting Al, I instantly felt comfy: a Yorkshire man who has been working on the Gili Islands for five years and the earlier 5 years in Rotan, Honduras as Dive instructor.

It was reassuring doing my refresher course with someone with a lot experience. I’ll be trustworthy I was feeling nervous, as it had been such a long time since I final dived. I hoped and praying that each one the talents and technical information would come flooding again as soon as we received started.

After a quick recap video explaining some of risks and security elements of Scuba diving, we went straight into the technical stuff, going via the hand alerts and security procedures after which on to the gear set up and buddy verify procedures. Al, made this straightforward to remember with humorous acronyms like this one BRUCE WILLIS RUINS ALL FILMS – For the the Buddy Verify procedure.

Before getting in the pool, Al reassured me, that it was superb to let him know something I didn’t feel snug doing. My gut extinct informed me, I’d be ok as soon as I used to be in the water.

We started in the shallow end of the pool kneeling on the underside, going by means of some expertise principally involving filling my masks with water, dropping my regulator and using the right method to seek out it, in addition to taking my masks off and putting it back on with my eyes shut and training an important hand alerts.

Al, all the time defined what he was going to do on the surface and advised me which hand alerts he can be using. He reassured me that if I felt uncomfortable at any time, all I wanted to do was get up!

As I had rightly predicted I felt nice once I was in the water, my nerves subsided and I went by means of the procedures and expertise with none issues. We then moved to the deep finish and repeated the procedures. Al, all the time defined clearly what we have been doing prior to going beneath water and let me know what to do if I felt uncomfortable at any time.

Being in the deep end of the pool, did feel strange and took slightly getting use to; I knew Al had my again although. We went by means of the final technical part of the refresher course  which was  mastering neutral buoyancy a key talent of scuba diving after which the final safety process was going back to surface utilizing your buddies regulator, this procedure is for use when both yourself or dive buddy run out of air.

With the pool aspect of the course carried out and dusted, Al informed me he was impressed how a lot I remembered contemplating it was such long time since my final dive. He advised me I was great in the water and had mastered all the key technical expertise to use in open water. I’ll be trustworthy this made me really feel great and most importantly confident to go out in open water for the afternoon dive.

Isabella and Maya had been watching me from the edge of the pool and have been intrigued to study more concerning the unusual gear. Al, kindly let the women leap in the training pool with me, to have play ith the regulator and make bubbles. Additionally they needed me to go underwater again to the underside of pool, clearly still making an attempt to get their head around me respiration underwater.

Previous to the afternoon dive Al, completed the briefing letting me know the situation of the dive which was Hans Reef.  Al, was very relaxed and pleased to elucidate the fish and marine life we might be seeing to our women as properly, who have been very to know whether we might be seeing Nemo, in addition to studying the hand signal for clown fish and turtles.

Diving in Gili Air

After the briefing I couldn’t wait, to get in the water. Hans Reef was a short 5 minute journey on the boat, our gear was already prepared and waiting on the boat for us we just wanted to carry our weight belt, mask and fins.

I felt reassured doing my first open water dive with simply Al, my teacher. Although it seems a bit selfish it was good to know if I had a problem he solely had me to cope with. There were different individuals on the boat with us, however they might be diving in separate teams with their very own instructors and dive masters.

Al, I have been the second divers to enter the water, having already warned me he would maintain on to me as we descended as he explained novice divers typically overlook to equalise their ears. I was glad he did, as I did have a couple of issues with my ears and couldn’t equalise properly so we went again up a metre to release the strain.

It was a bizarre sensation being in the open water, I used to be undoubtedly extra nervous. Nevertheless about fifteen minutes into the dive, I started to chill out and felt like I knew what I was doing. We had a superb dive, seeing an enormous number of marine life from clarks anemone fish, peacock flounder, yellow infantile box fish, blue spotted ray, longhorn cow fish. Plus inexperienced and hawksbill turtles, my private favourite.

Simply Before ascending to the floor and through our safety cease, Al made me run by means of taking of my mask and  placing it back on and taking dropping my regulator and placing it again in. This was to provide me the ultimate reassurance that I might cope with these sort of situations in open water and with that dive completed so was my brisker course, I used to be thrilled and excited to be diving the following day performing some fun dives.

A Day of Fun Dives with Manta Dive

The following day I used to be raring to go at 8.30am for my enjoyable dives. I used to be introduced to my Dive Master Moly who was from Lombok and most significantly who can be my dive buddy, it turned out to be Sandrine from France.

Sandrine and I immediately related by means of a shared a love of journey. We talked and exchanged journey stories for a few minutes. Afterwards, I felt relaxed and completely satisfied to be diving with Sandrin.

Moly, went though the dive briefing and advised us we might be spending loads of time near the ocean bed looking for tiny critters like sea horses on this dive. The dive website was aptly named Seahorse Bay, so it was necessary to maintain our eyes peeled. The dive website was situated off the island of Lombok a few 20 minute boat journey.

Photograph by Aaron from Wanderdeeper

Most dives off the Gili islands are classed as drift dives, on account of robust currents, so entry and exit factors are totally different.  It takes a number of talent by the boat captain to drop off and decide up divers safely manoeuvring  the tailored fishing boats is sort of a talent.

After jumping in the water, we descended and Moly wasted no time in looking and recognizing these small elusive sea creatures. It was obvious he knew the dive website just like the back of his hand and shortly  demonstrated his information, mentioning probably the most exhausting to see, sea creatures.

I’m satisfied if I had been doing the dive alone, I wouldn’t have seen a thing. The dive went properly and we noticed an entire host  marine life from; vibrant Ribbon Eels, Long finned batfish, yellow boxfish, Spiny Devil Fish, Peakcock, manta shrimp, scorpion and lion fish, plus five totally different sort of seahorse, one wanting a lot a like a sea plant you might simply miss it.

Second Dive

Our Second and afternoon fun dive was with Moly and Sadrine again, there was no have to get to know a knew dive grasp or dive buddy. In sharp contrast to our morning dive, Moly explained in the course of the diving temporary we have been going to see plenty of turtles and large ones, which was very exciting for me, although I had already noticed a number of turtles snorkelling I never grew uninterested in watching these sleek creatures.

This dive website was referred to as Marlin Hill situated in entrance of Gili Meno.  As quickly as we have been in the water Moly our diver grasp demonstrated his information of the reef instantly recognizing arduous to see moray eel hidden in the rocks and and a day octopus hidden in the sand with just his head above the sand.

In fact we obtained to see the gorgeous turtles, so many in reality, that we misplaced rely each inexperienced and hawksbill, a few of them big with their shells measuring virtually a metre of throughout.

We have been fortunate to be diving with Manta Dive resident images Aaron from Wanderdeeper who snapped some great photographs of the turtles together with one with myself and Sandrine in the shot. This made me so joyful as turtles along with whales are my all time favorite marine mammals.

Photograph by Aaron from Wanderdeeper

Considering Nomads Verdict

I had implausible time diving with Manta dive and I might extremely advocate them for each fun dives and for any technical programs, the employees are pleasant and professional, with correct safety and working procedures in place. All the gear is new and good condition and most importantly clean. The teams are small and divided by competence.

I additionally really appreciated that Manta employed native Indonesians as dive masters and instructors and obviously taken care of their employees nicely, as most of the instructors had been working at Manta for more than 5 years.

Also Manta Dive are very eco-conscious and conscious of the delicate setting they’re operating in and are proactive in their efforts to teach and inspire their visitors to do the same.