• Sunsets in Nusa Lembongan Bali

    How Did We Come To Own World Diving Lembongan?

    From Teachers to Entreprenuers!

    The simple answer to this is Bintang!  Yes that delicious cold libation readily available on Lembongan that instigates all sorts of crazy ideas that you have completely forgotten about in the morning.

    Turn the clock back twelve and a half years and you would have found Sue and I working in an international school in Jakarta, Indonesia.  We both had good jobs, a great life style and were even running a small diving club through the school. Like any job, there is always that question,
    “What Next?” but at this stage in our lives we were not looking to make any changes. Life was good.

    Holiday in Lembongan

    We had family over to visit and they were divers, so we made a plan to take them to our favourite spot in Bali, Nusa Lembongan.  Previously we had developed a great relationship with Mark and Shirley , the owners of a little place called World Diving Lembongan, so every trip was now to this dive centre.  We knew that they would take us to great dive sites with manta rays, fantastic reefs, a great dive boat and reliable divemasters. So without hesitation I went to their website and made a booking.

    Mola Bali Penida Crystal Bay
    Spotting Molas In Lembongan.

    We had a fabulous time and dived for several days showing our guests the very best of Bali diving. Our last day we had a double whammy, mantas everywhere at Manta Point and then a mola all to ourselves in Crystal bay. We were ecstatic, and invited our hosts to dinner.

    And so to the Bintang moment. 

    During dinner, we were told that the business was up for sale and we would probably be diving with someone else next time we came out.  You can see where this is leading. Beers had been consumed, we were still buzzing from our dives and the following conversation  ensued,
    “Oh that’s a shame!” Exclaimed John sipping from his frosted glass. “Why do you want to sell up?”
    “Needs must,” replied Mark, “We’ve got to plan for our kids.”
    Sue nodded sagely, decanting yet another bottle of beer into her now empty glass. Then she came out with the fateful words,
    “So, how much are you looking for?”

     

    We all laughed and chuckled at the idea and after a few more Bintangs, the whole concept faded into oblivion. So we thought.

    Then Came The E-Mail

    And, as the say,

    “The rest is history!”

  • New PADI Students

    A Word on Masks -Which mask suits you sir?

    A Word on Masks.

    There you are, a newly fledged PADI Open Water Diver, and you start looking at all the wonderful stuff you can now buy to go with that shiny new C-card.  So what is and is not worth buying? The first thing I would consider are masks.  There is nothing more frustrating than having a mask that leaks and there is nothing more repellent than a mask full of mould that with fraying straps and raggedy seals.

    Modern diving equipment
    For masks, comfort and a good fit is important!

    Comfort and Fit!

    As I said in the article about wetsuits, the most important thing about any equipment is a good fit.  Your mask has to be comfortable as you are going to have this thing on your face for at least an hour.  Masks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so the first thing to do is find masks that are the right width for your face.  This may even mean trying on masks for children if you have a particularly narrow face.

    Then you need to do the fit test. Without using the strap, put the mask against you face and sniff! You should find that the mask sticks to your face like a demented limpet and holds itself in place. Guys with beards may find this will not happen. Unfortunately air can get back into the mask via your 6 o’clock shadow!

    Where is the rub?

    Now that you have seen that the mask fits, just push it against you face a little more firmly and see if there are any parts of the mask that feels uncomfortable. Remember, water pressure can make the mask fit tighter. I find that certain makes have a hard plastic frame that pushes against the bridge of my nose.  After wearing one of these masks for a day I actually had a bruise where the mask had been pressing on my face. On another occasion, one guest had the firm imprint of a screw head at the end of her nose. This was where the drain valve of her mask was making contact!

    Little Black Number!

    Next is the style of mask. There are so many options out there, but you are ideally looking for a low volume mask.  That is a mask that does not have too much air space on the inside.  These are generally easier to clear. If you need corrective lenses, you will need to look for a twin lensed mask like the Technisub LOOK.  You can buy the corrective lenses for this mask and have the dive shop fit them for you.

    New PADI Students
    The mask sniff test in action!

    After all this you can now go about selecting the colour so that it synchronises with your beach wear! As most wetsuits are black, I decided that this would be my colour of choice, but I am an old traditionalist.  One thing about skirts….. the one on the mask!  If you are a keen photographer, a black silicone material is better as this reduces glare inside the mask and makes it easier to see the screen of your camera.

    So there you have it, fit and comfort, no funny screws and a dark skirt. What could be clearer?

  • Gearing Up

    A Word On Wetsuits or how to fit into tight rubber!

    Wetsuits. Rubber Straight Jacket or Sleek Dive Wear?

    IMG_6605

    Ok, so you have arrived at the dive shop and it is time to try on your equipment.  Most things go on pretty easily, boots, BCD, mask and fins just slip on, no fuss.  Then there are the wetsuits!  At this stage your inner contortionist comes into play, nails splinter, knuckles get bruised and potential hernias pop!

    Meanwhile, your divemaster or instructor just seems to glide seamlessly into their rubber straight jacket without even breaking sweat, goes off for a cup of tea, has a chat, answers a few emails and yet your wretched suit still has not got over your knees!  How do they manage to do this I hear you ask.

    Alternative dive gear
    Alternative dive gear

    Which wetsuits are right for you?

    The first thing is to have a suit that is the right fit. Strange it may seem but men and women do not have the same body shape. Men’s wetsuits are more generous in the shoulders and women’s wetsuits are more generous in the hips.  If your dive shop has both male and female suits then you are very lucky indeed!  Suits are generally sized from XXS to XXL and will stretch to accommodate a wide variety of height and width fittings.

    However, there is a limit to how much they will stretch! You want the fit to be comfortable but snug.  Remember, the idea is to trap a little bit of water inside the suit and then have your body warm that water. If you have a bath full of water swilling around on the inside of your suit, then you ain’t going to warm it up, likewise, if you have huge gaps at your neck, wrists and ankles, then all that warm water will wash away!

    Getting it on!

    You have found what you think is the correct size for you, so how can you glide into you rental suit like a pro? Solution one is plastic bags. Place a bag over your foot before sliding into the leg of your wetsuit and you will find that your foot does not snag half way through the foot hole.  The same with your hands going into the sleeves of the suit.

    Solution two is to carry a bottle of shampoo or conditioner with you.  Lather yourself up all over your arms and legs with shampoo or conditioner, wet the inside of the wet suit and you will find that the suit slips on like a second skin. If you wish to remain friends with your dive shop, do not use sun tan lotion or oil.  This trashes the wet suit in next to no time.

    Third, try to pinch the wetsuit with your thumb and fingers rather than grabbing a fist full of neoprene and tugging like a person  possessed. This will save your nails and knuckles. Ease the suit up a little bit at a time. Finally, get your buddy to help.  They can ease the suit over shoulders and also help pull up the zip.  Tears form in divemasters eyes as they watch divers playing tug o’ war with wetsuit zip cords, just waiting for the inevitable ripping sound as the zipper pulls away!

    A final though.  You may wish to invest in a wet suit of your own, that means you try on a range of suits and get professional advice of what would be right for you. You can even have your suit tailor made…

    ”Rubber?  Rubber? Suits you sir!”

  • Penida Manta Point Bali

    The Mantas are Back!

    manta solo manta PADI

    After a few weeks of absence our wonderful manta rays are back in full force.  After an extended period of big swells which kept us away from Batu Lumbung, Manta Point,  we ventured down the coast yesterday.  The waves were still crashing against the rocks on the way down, and recent reports had been not hopeful, so we did not know what to expect when we went over the side!

    We were not disappointed.  They were every where and had obviously regained their joie de vivre!  They were chasing, swirling, cleaning and even playing peek a boo with the divers behind the corals!  It still blows me away when I turn around and find a manta has snuck up behind me and is inches away with a huge grin on its face.

    After an hour of diving with these gorgeous creature it was time for us to get back on big boat.  We were all reluctant to leave and will be back as soon as possible as the sea is calm for the next few days.

    Why don’t you join us?

    Manta Ray, Manta Point Bali
    Manta Ray, Manta Point Bali