Tag Archive: diving

Descending and Scuba Diving – Tips and Advice

Descending to the seabed is always an exciting experience, but while you may want to get there quickly, you must always descend in a controlled manner. The method you use will depends partly on the site and prevailing conditions, and partly on your own preferences.

Making Your Descent

Having met up with your dive buddy in the water, follow the preparatory steps below. If you find that you do not sink, cheek that no air remains in your BC (and drysuit, if applicable). If the problem persists, you probably do not have sufficient weight on your belt, and should return to the boat or the shore to get some more. It is a good idea to note how much weight you need each time you try a different equipment configuration record the details in your logbook for reference.

At a depth of 10ft (3 m) you should carry out a bubble check. This involves briefly stopping so that you and your buddy can check each other’s equipment for signs of air leaks for example, from an incorrectly fitted hose. This will allow you to return to the surface to resolve the issue before you resume the dive. By fixing minor problems now, you may avoid bigger problems during the dive that could lead to an emergency.

As you descend, you will feel pressure in your ears. Release this regularly by swallowing or holding your nose and blowing against the closed nostrils – a process called “equalization” or “ear-clearing”. If you feel you art-descending too fast, allow a little air into your BC. Your mask will also start to press on your lace; relieve this by exhaling gently through your nose. If you are wearing a drysuit, you will feel the water pressing it against your body, base this by letting air into the suit, but not so much that it alters your buoyancy too greatly and remember to release it again on ascent.

1. Meet up with your buddy on the surface, well clear of any boat cover. If using a snorkel, remove it, and switch to breathing from primary regulators.

2. Give an OK signal to each other when ready to begin the dive. If using a “buddy line” to link yourselves together (useful when one buddy is a novice), ensure now that you are both attached.

3. The “down” signal confirms your intention J descend immediately. If your buddy is a nervous, reassure them by holding their hand and helping them to descend.

4. Both you and your buddy should deflate your BCs and exhale together, so that you become negatively buoyant and start to sink simultaneously. If you have a problem sinking, address it now.

Scuba Diving South Lombok

Hi all, as I’ve been living and diving in South Lombok for 7 years now, I’ve read numerous articles, blogs, and forum posts about our region and many people think South Lombok is only for the “rough and ready” adventure diver, so I feel the need to clear up a few misconceptions about the south coast of Lombok.

South Lombok, in general, presents itself as a relaxed place (some people compare it to Bali 20 years ago), and travelers of all interests (not only divers) can find a very tropical and enjoyable region to visit. One will find beautiful white sandy beaches, simple to more luxurious accommodations, friendly locals, and lots of nature and relaxation.

There are 3 unique regions in the south of Lombok, Sekotong, Belongas Bay, and Kuta Bay:

Sekotong is a tropical little place with not much topside activity other than maybe renting a motorbike and exploring the coastline, snorkeling, swimming, or of course scuba diving. It’s quite perfect for couples and families who just want to relax and enjoy. There isn’t much touristic infrastructure (although it’s developing fairly quickly), but most accommodations have an adjacent restaurant so no one will need to go hungry (or thirsty). The scuba diving it’s relaxed, colorful reef diving at very intact reefs and lots of macro life can be found.

Belongas Bay, the place where the misconceptions actually come from, is truly only for the more adventures traveler and diver. The region is basically in the middle of nowhere, and the locals don’t see very much tourism there. So don’t be surprised if you are approached in a quite curios manner, for some this might even feel a little disturbing. The diving around this region can prove to be very challenging (especially during the dry season from July till October), but also can be very rewarding in a sense of pelagic life. Most certainly I would only recommend diving there only to the experienced diver.

Kuta Bay is comparable to Sekotong (from the diving aspect), but offers more infrastructure and topside possibilities such as, cafes, restaurants, and accommodations. The diving there is well suited for all levels of experience, and the dive shops there also have pool facilities etc. available for all levels of courses. But it should be mentioned that Kuta is best for diving during the rainy season (November till April), as during the dry season it’s subject to wind and waves (hence the time surfers love the place).

There are 2 or 3 dive shops located in South Lombok, and I’m sure they’ll be happy to give you some more detailed info about the general conditions for the particular regions.

Hope you guys come and visit, and have a great day;)

Explore the Tropical Sea by Scuba Diving

If ever there was an image that sums up the magic of diving, it is that of a coral reef. Although coral reefs are the most famous feature of tropical seas, these warm clear waters have much more to offer, such as mangrove swamps, sea-grass beds, and vast tracts of open ocean.

Warm Belt

Tropical waters occupy the region within the “20A�C isotherm”-the irregular hand of water north and south of the equator that seldom drops below 68A�F (20A�C). Although undeniably appealing to the diver, they actually present a less attractive environment for marine life. The warm equatorial sun heats the upper layers of the water column, creating a marked temperature difference between the surface water and deeper colder water. Such temperature stratification prevents mixing of the water column, so nutrients are not passed up from deeper water. Marine animals and plants have therefore had to adapt and evolve numerous strategies to cope with the lack of nutrients in the water around them. Perhaps the most remarkable of these is the coral reef. Primary production-the formation of organic compounds from inorganic material is up to 100 times greater in coral reefs than in open tropical waters, and although they cover only 0.2 percent of the ocean environment, they are home to 25 – 30 percent of all fish species.

The reefs of the Indo-Pacific are the richest marine environments on Earth. Their beautiful structure and bright colors, combined with the splendor and variety of animals that inhabit them, make reefs irresistible to divers, and it is no coincidence that many of the world’s best dive sites tire found on coral reefs.

Coastal Nurseries

Tropical waters are also home to mangrove swamps and sea grass beds, both arguably as important as coral reefs in the overall health of tropical seas. There are 10 species of mangroves – tropical trees and shrubs that grow in shallow and intertidal coastal waters – and they form flooded forests that act as nurseries for various reef and open-water fish species. The 50 species of sea grass form “meadows’ in shallow waters that are feeding grounds and nurseries for many fish species. The eradication of sea grass beds and mangrove swamps around the world is a real concern, with undeniable impacts on coastal ecology as animal populations are denied crucial areas for tire growth and development of their young.

Reefs Under Threat

Coral reefs worldwide are under intense pressure. The continued development of coastal regions has caused silty water to run into the seas, smothering these delicate systems, and, coupled with the damage caused by destructive fishing methods, it is thought that up to 90 percent of reels have been impacted by humankind. There is also evidence that rising water temperatures are causing a phenomenon known as bleaching, which is fatal to reefs. This occurs when the coral polyps eject the minute algae that sustain them as a response to stress.

Diving a reef can be the highlight of a diver’s life, but we have a very real responsibility when exploring reefs not to harm or disrupt them in any way. A considerate approach is vital if we are to preserve these wonderfully vibrant ecosystems.