The 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.
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!
Jackie and the rest of Singapore’s Team rEvo came over for a visit to Bunaken this week, with a last minute addition of their friend Ken from Canada.
Our new Tec50 student Karsten got the opportunity to put his newly learned theory into practise with a series of deep dives after certification. He was lucky enough to be joined by Peter who is already an experienced tech diver from Hong Kong, Peter joined him on his course deep dives and then they got to buddy up and do some real tech diving together.
Robyn 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.
What 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.
All the staff at Two Fish Divers Bunaken would like to say goodbye to Ina who has returned to Sweden. Ina, as well as performing her duties teaching recreational scuba diving courses in Bunaken, has been invaluable in assisting the technical department; in administration, as a support technical diver, and in keeping the technical instructor…
This week in Tec… Even old salty sea dogs can be taught new tricks. Dyed in the wool CMAS diver Ben from Switzerland has been coming to Bunaken for years and it looks like we may have finally persuaded him to do his decompression properly. Picture shows Ben with his “Biberon” of 50%.
This week in tec… Carmelo from Switzerland has spent so long with us now doing his PADI Divemaster course that we needed to find other ways to keep him busy. So after a couple of try dives on Sidemount and Twinsets he took the plunge and started the TDI Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures courses.
Last 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.
This week in Tec… Despite the volcano in Java grounding flights and preventing students getting to Bunaken for their courses, we still have had a busy couple of weeks. Oliver is visiting from Germany and decided to progress his technical training with us doing TDI Advanced Nitrox and Deco Procedures.
This week in tech… The past couple of weeks we have been giving our guides a familiarisation on sidemount tech diving and twinset configurations. The guys like to play on something different from time to time and it also makes them appreciate that sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get ready.
This week in TEC …. we were visited by Valerie from Australia who started training for cave diving in Bunaken! Valerie was bitten by the Tech bug after she visited the Oztech dive show and bought a Sidemount wing and reg set. She has her sights set on getting her cave qualifications later this year in Thailand, and visited us in Bunaken for her initial Tech certs.
Over 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.
This 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.
This 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?”
THIS 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.
This week in tec diving…. Dive-addicted guest, Victoria from Canada started Enriched Air Nitrox and Sidemount course with our Tec Instructor Sandy. She started diving last year and since then she has been diving non-stop. She thought it’s time she takes the next challenge and she was right about that.
THIS 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.
THIS WEEK IN TEC… Our CCR guest Rob from the UK took advantage of our rebreather rental package for the Poseidon Discovery MK6 CCR. He and Hiro descended along the spectacular walls of Bunaken without bubbles, coming very close to the unique marine life. All his rebreather needs were met and supported for his whole week of diving, in which time he completed 20 CCR dives!
THIS 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!
THIS 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.