The curse of the clueless

Spending a week on a live-aboard at Sipadan turns out to be every bit as awesome as it sounds, but also an exercise in utter frustration, largely with our fellow divers.

That isn’t to say that we haven’t wildly enjoyed our 20-odd dives; Sipadan is most certainly deserving of its reputation as one of the 10 best dive destinations in the world. Before Sipadan, we hadn’t really seen sharks, and turtles, cuttlefish, and octopus were a rare treat indeed. Here, we must have seen a dozen sharks on every dive, and so many turtles that occasionally we were worried one would swim into us. And if the daytime submarine activity was magnificent, the night diving was downright magical, with oodles of species and experiences we’ve never had before. Truly fantastic. Continue reading

Lembeh Strait & Muck diving

So we’ve had a tumultous couple of days; When we feared we might get stuck in the Togean islands, we decided that perhaps it would be prudent to get the hell out of there while we could, so we made our way back to Manado. Which put us close to Lembeh – only about 90 minutes west of Manado, which is a world renown location for muck diving.

“What”, I hear you ponder, “the ever-flipping hell is ‘muck diving’?”.

Well. Imagine a very busy shipping port, where, at any given time, there are a dozen oil tankers, container ships, and other boats floating about. The shipping channel is completely devoid of coral, and the years and years of garbage from the busy shipping port (Bitung Harbour, in case you were wondering) and the surrounding villages were all dumped into the water. Continue reading

The Togean Islands

After our time in Bunaken, we decided it was time to move on to the Togean islands. That, I will have to admit, is a hell of a lot easier said than done. On our way there, we flew from Manado to Gorontalo, before catching the twice-a-week, 12-hour ferry from Gorontalo to Wakai. From there, we had another 45 minute transfer to get to the Black Marlin dive resort.

We arrived on Wednesday (I think…), and were having a great time doing not much other than diving and reading; There was electricity from 6pm to 11pm, but no warm water, and running water only for 2 hours per day. And, needless to say, no internet to be had in many miles radius. A rather fabulous experience! Continue reading

Vanishing for a bit

I know we’ve been updating this blog quite frequently over the past few weeks, but from today on, we’re heading to the Togean islands.

It’s an awesome, rather secluded part of Indonesia. So secluded, in fact, it’ll take us the best part of two days to get to.

Part of it being secluded, however, means that there is only power two hours per day… And it’s extremely unlikely that there’ll be any internet etc, so there’s going to be not-a-lot-of-updates from us for a while. We should re-surface at some point, but after the togeans, we’re heading straight to Borneo to hang out in a rain forest, and after that, it’s straight off to the northwestern part of Borneo to start our liveaboard.

All in all, we’re not sure how much time there’ll be for blogging and such… But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean we’ve been eaten by sharks! When we re-surface, no doubt we’ll have tons of stories, pictures, and other fun things to share.

See you soon,

~ Haje & Ziah

What’s this ‘BAR’ stuff all about?

So, my dad asked a rather clever question, after I posted my recent post about my 100th dive, in which I included the stat that I had used on average 138 bar per dive. Of course, if you’re not a diver, that figure may not make a lot of sense, so I figured I’d post a quick blog post explaining what that means.

Can you do me a favour and translate the 138 bar in in something I can understand.

Why of course… Strap yourself in for a rather long, rambling, and slightly technical post that has nothing to do with travelling, so feel free to skip this post unless you want to know more about Scuba diving… Continue reading

100 dives!

Our second dive today was my 100th dive! Hurrah!

Of course, I thought it was my 99th, because I failed to log one of yesterday’s dives, so I wasn’t able to do any shenanigans (Traditionally, the 100th dive is done in the nude, or, failing that, at least do something silly).

But, even though I didn’t do anything downright daft, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a memorable dive…

Continue reading

Back in the water!

We finally made it to Bunaken, where we were warmly welcomed by Mia at Living Colour. We were faced with a choice: As the rain was coming down, did we want to do our refresher course right away, or leave it until tomorrow?

One quirk in the plan was that the dive instructor who would have taken us out was slightly busy; one of the local staff at Living Colour had been half-way up a tree, clearing some branches, and then chopped himself in his wrist with a machete. Cutting his tendons for his thumb and several important blood vessels, meaning a swift round of first aid and a quick trip to the nearest hospital was (rightfully) a higher priority than getting a couple of divers back in the water. Continue reading