Deep Reef at Bunaken

Deep Reef at BunakenThe deep reef at Bunaken is what makes this area an ideal location for technical diving. A question that really puzzles me, but I get asked over and over, why do you tech dive here, there is so much to see? Does that not really answer itself? Perhaps people’s perception of tech diving is groping about in zero visibility on the end of a reel, and yes sometimes it is like that. However other than training dives where the object is just to accomplish the dive and put skills learnt into practise, and location and environment will dictate whether there is anything to see or not; a technical recreational dive, (we are paying for the privilege of these dives after all) should have an objective worth the time and expense of the gear and training that it took to get you there.

Hammerhead Time at Bunaken

Hammer time (1 of 1)Its hammer time at Bunaken! I have been very lucky with sightings this past year at Bunaken. A huge Mola Mola in the shallows at Fukui, thresher sharks both deep at Muka and during an open water course at Lekuan Tiga, dolphins at Tanjung Parigi, and surface and snorkel sightings of Manta, Pilot Whales, Black Marlin and Sailfish: but it was still a thrill to be checked out by a stocky Scalloped Hammerhead shark. The shark did a slow cautious swim by at 50m then edged off into the gloom. That was great! Myself and Danny were very chuffed, but felt a little bit bad for Rachel who had chosen that morning to take off, ouch! Then I hear an excited shout from Danny, the shark had circled around us and was waiting for us on the reef, between the two of us making sure each other had seen it and both of us grabbing for cameras it is no wonder the poor shark got a fright. Boom, off like a rocket into the gloom again!

Discovering what Technical diving has to offer

Scott&Robyn doing tec divingRobyn and Scott have been staying with us for a while, and were gently encouraged to discover what technical diving has to offer.

Robyn and Scott are going to take over the management of our sister resort at Lembeh Straits, but whilst all the paperwork is being taken care of, they are taking advantage of the local diving and familiarising themselves with the Two Fish operation: including Tech diving at Bunaken.

Decompression protocol; hang time or hang on time?

HiccupWhat to do when your hang time turns out to be a hang on time? Two Fish Divers’ technical diving instructor shares an experience with in-current decompression.

Our guests Emma and Anthony from Australia got to experience some quite different conditions whilst tech diving with us at Bunaken. During our preparations and briefings Emma asked me when I normally send up my DSMB. The quick answer to that is when I know I can or when I have to, I would normally wait until towards the end of the last stop to signal the boat; as long as I was ascending where I had planned. This surprised Emma as she had been diving in the Gilis and they had always used their DSMB as an ascent platform from depth.

PADI Divemaster Carmelo – Week 4

DMT Carmelo - Week 4Last week I tried some technical diving in the pool and the “tech-fever” caught me. So I decided to take some technical courses with Dom. I started with the TDI Advanced Nitrox course. The theory is really interesting. I also planned my first dive to 40m with a stage cylinder. During this dive I saw some big tunas and a black tip shark. Dom also practized a lot of tech-drills with me. I am looking forward to the next course which will be TDI Deco Procedures.

IDC candidates play on sidemount in the pool

TEC in BunakenOver the past couple of weeks we have had the place brightened up by the addition of a few girls. Marlies Lang CD has been conducting an IDC and IDC Staff course for Gwen, Mia and Claire (staff). Despite the girls having a lot of work on their plate, we managed to make time for a bit of a break and play on sidemount in the pool. This brought a smile to even the most fried of brains. Claire is already quite an experienced tech diver having done her Trimix rating in Sharm el Sheik but had not been in tech config in a while, currently working in Tioman.

PADI Tec 50 for diving instructors

PADI TEC 50 course in BunakenThis week in Tec … PADI Tec 50 for diving instructors – if you are a recreational diving instructor and have some time off, would you go off and do the PADI Tec 50 is the course for you? This week diving instructor Yvonne had some time off from her job in Bali and came up to Bunaken for the PADI Tec 50 course. We asked her to right a blog for us about her experience and this is her tale.

Tech try dive in the pool in Bunaken

tec try diveThis week in Tec .. it has been a bit quieter after the holidays which of course means that we offered a Tech try dive in the pool to the resort guests! It being a bit chilly only our hardy Australian guests, Tarn and Cara from Melbourne gave it a go, and I can think of no better indication that they liked the configuration other than the first words out of Tarn’s mouth, “How much is one of these?”

Learning to be a Sidemount Instructor

Sidemount Instructor TrainingTHIS WEEK IN TEC… We were really happy to welcome and train, Mark, an experienced recreational dive instructor from Holland, who spent time doing his TDI Sidemount course and is well on his way to learning to be a sidemount instructor himself! Not only was he relaxing and celebrating his wedding anniversary here on Bunaken and Lembeh, but he took the challenge to learn something new. After his free sidemount trial in the pool with Hiro and Sandy, he could not wipe the huge grin off his face and instantly went for the whole course.

Free Rebreather Try-outs in Bunaken

Free Rebreather Try-outTHIS WEEK IN TEC… Blue Label Diving Indonesia instructors Hiro and Sandy are back in action with free rebreather try-outs in Bunaken. Our guests have the chance to experience diving without bubbles and learning what it means to be breathing on the loop. This week we had Rachel, an experienced dive instructor from Australia, with us in the pool giving the Poseidon MK6 rebreather a go. She was quite impressed that she no longer had to hold her breath when getting a picture taken of her.

Rebreather Rescue Training

Rebreather Rescue BailoutTHIS WEEK IN TEC…. Ever wonder how rebreather rescue works? Our technical diving instructors Sandy and Hiro Yoshida spent many days this past week training all the local dive guides on Bunaken how to rescue rebreather divers from underwater. All of the staff participated in bailing out a rebreather diver who is breathing a bad mixture and also surfacing an unconscious rebreather diver. We had fantastic fun with our rebreather rescue training even though it’s a very serious topic, and we’re now ready to assist all our technical divers who come to us for diving!

Advanced Nitrox Helps Extend Divers Bottom Time

Advanced Nitrox CourseTHIS WEEK IN TEC….There has been a lot of gas blending of rich nitrox mixes for our students doing their advanced nitrox course on sidemount. Both Two Fish Instructor Stephanie and our latest divemaster Trine have been able to extend their dive bottom time with the use of extra tanks and mixes of nitrox over 40%. In total, these mighty women have been carrying 3 tanks underwater in order to optimise their dive time especially in the 20 to 40 meter range. Their tec instructors Hiro and Sandy have shown them a new way to plan multi level dives and understand the calculations behind their dive computers.