Sidemount diving is the current craze!! With sidemount, the tanks are mounted on either side of the diver instead of on the back of the diver. It is a popular configuration with advanced cave and techincal divers, as smaller sections of cave and wrecks can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease.
Its not just for cave and wreck penetration though. As you kit up have you ever thought ‘this hurts my back/ legs’ or ‘geez these are heavy’ or even ‘there has to be a better way’? Sidemount diving is growing in popularity with recreational divers:
The downside? You have 2 SPGs to monitor but this is easy to learn. You also need 2 regs, but isn’t that better than an octopus?
Try-it in Bunaken!
We have just acquired 2 sets of side-mount harnesses and guests are welcome to try a dive with them. If you want to take it further, PADI have just introduced the PADI Sidemount Diver Course and we can offer this course if you want. You need to be an Advanced Open Water Diver with at least 30 logged dives, and on the course you learn sidemount skills in a confined water session and four open water dives. Great fun! Check out this video to find out what its all about.
Highly sought for their fins, meat, oil, teeth and cartilage, sharks have a high price on their heads. Demand for shark fins, lacking fishery management and virtually non-existing regulations for almost all shark trade are pushing many shark species to the brink of extinction.
The heat is on to give decimated shark populations the protections they deserve. And Project AWARE is targeting the power of one of the world’s largest, most effective wildlife conservation agreements to do it – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
While CITES has helped to save a myriad of terrestrial species like the African elephant, the effort to add sharks and marine fish to CITES is still relatively new territory, resulting in difficult battles.
Help by Signing the Petition! You can join tens of thousands of AWARE divers and shark advocates who are serious about shark protection. Sign the petition and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same. Sign the Petition here
Help by Joining us for Shark Shout Out 2012 Activities in Bunaken and Lembeh – we are running a number of things at our resorts that allow you to be involved.
Get educated! We show a Special Shark documentary or Shark Quiz in the evenings. We also have a weekly Shark Guardian presentation, below is a trailer/introduction to this presentation.
Take a course! Two Fish Divers have already donated USD500 to PADI to certify all our instructors so that they can offer the new PADI Shark Conservation Course, this donation has been handed over to the Project AWARE – Sharks in Peril project.
(Note – we were the first PADI center in Asia Pacific to make 100% of their instructors able to teach Shark Conservation Speciality courses! Check out the event on Facebook here)
The PADI Shark Conservation Course costs €20 for 2 dives & manual PLUS €30 for the PADI certificate. All proceeds from the certification will also be donated to the Project Aware – Sharks in Peril Project.
On our Instrcutor Course (IDC), we are also including the PADI Shark Conservation instructor speciality course for FREE. This means that all our new instructors can teach PADI Shark Conservation Courses themselves wherever they end up working, thereby helping to “spread the message”.
Make a donation! Brendon (our Course Director) and Liz (our resort manager in Bunaken) are running an organisation called Shark Guardian, this is dedicated to the conservation of sharks by reaching out and giving presentations at schools. Be the first to become a Shark Guardian Member by donating EUR20-50, you will:
We hope that you will join us in Bunaken or Lembeh and get involved in Shout for Sharks!
The mandarin fish is one of the most beautiful fish in the ocean and their special mating display can be seen right here in both Bunaken and Lembeh waters!
• Scientific Name: Synchiropus Splendidus
• Found: Indo-Pacific Ocean (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia)
• Size: 1 -2 Inches
• Diet: Carnivore – feed on small worms, protozoans and small crustaceans
• Habitat: Broken coral rubble beds or under dead coral
• Depth: 1 – 18 metres
We are seeing alot of Robust ghost pipefish in Lembeh at the moment so we thought that we would tell you what they are.
Ghost pipefish belong to the family Solenostomidae. They are closely related to Seahorses and Pipefish, are from the same order and share the long tube like snout. They live in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate waters from Indian to Western Pacific oceans.
Spending most of its time in a head down position, they tend to make their homes in shallow areas or close to coastal reefs that are current swept and therefore have a steady stream of food. In many regions Ghostpipefish are only seasonal visitors, settling on the reef for only a few months each year to breed.
If you ask any Rescue Diver they will tell you that its the most challenging course they have done. The training provided by rescue certification is not so much about actually rescuing people but more about increasing your own comfort level in the water, it therefore teaches divers how to be better divers.
To feel comfortable helping others is to really feel comfortable with yourself in the water. You could achieve this comfort level over time with hundreds of dives, but taking a good rescue diver course will get you there much sooner.
Took too long but now only 2 days
Despite these obvious advantages, why are most divers not Rescue Divers? We have been running dive operations in Indonesia (Bunaken & Lembeh Straits) for over 12 years. I have often questioned guests about why they are not yet a rescue diver and the most common reason is that it takes too long.
True, traditionally it would take 4-5 days to do the rescue course: there is a book to read, a video to watch and an exam. There are also water skills to teach and assessments to be done in the open water, and the theory and water skills are integrated so you can’t run the water skills until you have done certain theory topics.
However, now you can do all the theory with PADI Rescue Course Online via eLearning from the comfort of your own home before you leave for your holiday, and the water skills and assessments will take just 1-2 days. So now there is no reason to avoid this course!
We run this course in both Bunaken and Lembeh, and can add a few specialities for your Master Scuba Diver certification.
Structure of the Course
Students will complete 12 Open Water Training Exercises which emphasize a divers ability to be flexible and adapt to personal and environmental conditions. In the end, all 12 exercises will be practiced in real-life scenarios.
Course topics include:
By the end of the course you will have expanded your knowledge of diving, increased your level of diving skill and be more aware of what is happening in the diving environment. Most importantly, rescue training can help you to save lives and increase safety by preparing you to properly respond to diving emergencies.
As a prerequisite, you must be CPR / First Aid certified. You can do a fist aid course through PADI called Emergency First Responder (EFR) that covers the same material, but you can get any first aid course (eg Red Cross or St John’s Ambulance) as long as it covers artificial ventilation and chest compression.