First, here's a photo that my instructor, Ari, took during our last Decompression dive to 45m. You can see the twinset (two tanks connected by a manifold on my back) as well as my small stage bottle (83% oxygen) on my right side to breath during decompression stops to accelerate decompression.
This photo shows the line that currently extends down to 176m which Will Goodman will use for his ascent in Jan or Feb for a record attempt for the deepest dive 330m. I am at 45m deep in this photo.
In shallower waters the diving has been excellent. Last week I saw the following awesomeness:
1) three cuttlefish which were not shy and allowed us to observe them for about 10 minutes from only about 1m away.
2) two adult Whitetip reef sharks on one dive, another adult Whitetip on another dive, an adult Blacktip reef shark on a third dive on which we also saw two baby sharks snuggled up under a small coral, and we saw a Manta ray near the surface while we did a 3 minute safety stop at 5m.
3) on one dive we saw a school of 23 Bumphead Parrotfish and then later in the dive we saw anothe r school of around 30! Bumpheads are huge, growing up to 1.3m (4'3") long, they are prehistoric looking fish with big bony heads used for breaking coral (for food).
Bumphead Parrotfish. Not sure who to credit this photo to but it came from Blue Marln's website - thanks!
Not a great photo but one I took with a turtle in the foreground and some Bumphead silhouettes in the background.
4) on a very surreal dive, myself and two divers saw an adult Blacktip reef shark so we got close to the bottom to stay still and watch him swim around. Then three large Tuna swam overhead and it got really dark. I thought a boat or a cloud had passed over us. When I looked up to see what had blocked out the light I saw a huge school of tiny fish, each fish was only a few inches long but there were 100's of thousands of them. The school formed a long tube, probably 100m long and 10m wide and took ages to pass over us. It was one of those strange experiences that burns itself into your mind and memory.
Two moreDMT's finished their training and are now Divemasters. Kelly and Lay are ridiciculous and hilarious. They decided to do their naked dive, traditionally the 100th dive, on their last day and borrowed my camera to capture the moment. So silly and well worth the pictures! Congrats girls!
This is what mermaids really look like LOL
Sadly, my time in Indonesia is coming to a close but it is time to move on. I have only 10 more days here before taking a boat to Bali, then flying to Singapore for 3 days of shopping and sightseeing before I fly to Cebu, in the Philippines for the next chapter in my adventure.