Saturday, June 2, 2012

Last diving day

More muck diving plus corals. Saw lionfish that looks like a mobile circus, stingrays, and lots more of those oddly named nudibranchs that look like many-colored jewels on the corals. Also a mimic octopus trying but not quite succeeding to blend into the seafloor, until it shot off to safety, away from all those big creatures noisily blowing bubbles and pointing cameras at it. Please refer to the Southeast Asia marine life identification chart: .

Friday, June 1, 2012

Muck diving

Sounds charming, does it, but it really means diving over a dark sandy seafloor. The guide pokes this and that with his pointer, and suddenly a small school of fish bursts out of the ground, or a warty Devil Scorpion Fish gives up its perfect camouflage and swims away, or a fish with tall fins somehow materializes from soft coral, or a stingray with bright blue spots flaps away. Mud diving is all about the little creatures.

But the first dive of the day was to the wreck of a big Japanese freighter at 16-30 meters, all overgrown with corals and little curious animals living in them: nudibranchs are the butterflies of the sea, in all sorts of bizarre shapes and colors. Like that bright purple slug with yellow antlers.

This was my first real dive that wasn't part of my training. The nice thing about those is that the dive center staff puts together the gear and cleans it afterwards.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Diving license

Gave myself a birthday present today: I am now a licensed open water diver, after completing the last set of training dives. All were out in the sea, none of that pool nonsense. You learn how to put the gear together, buoyancy, losing and recovering mask and regulator, emergency procedures, and dive planning. Plus practice dives down to 18 meters out on the coral wall.

Saw a huge turtle gliding along at 18m. Quite impractically constructed animal really but it clearly knew what it was doing. Diving is a lot of fun once you are properly equalized and neutrally buoyant; you just float effortlessly.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


So what do you do in a dive center? Dive, of course. I don't have a license but they have instructors. The reefs seem a little less interesting than the ones at Pulau Weh (see way down on this blog) but of course they don't let me dive the really deep places. Got to change that.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I so love getting up at three in the morning. Well, it got me out of Jakarta and to Bunaken, a small island off the coast of Sulawesi, which is a large Indonesian island northeast of Java. Bunaken is very quiet; there is just one tiny village. People come here for diving.

On unrelated news, Lady Gaga just had her concert in Jakarta canceled by some Muslim blockheads. The world would be a better place without that biblical bloodthirsty desert god from the bronze age.