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Dive Safari Asia: Bali and Komodo Trip Report

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We were excited to meet our guests at Bali’s Ngura Rai airport as having traveled with most of them before I knew we were going to have a great trip. After some fresh air (albeit humid and hot) and cold water, we boarded a mini bus for the 2 hour transfer to Scuba Seraya Resort – home for the next week.

Upon arrival we were treated to iced tea and shown to our rooms where dive boxes were waiting to be filled with our gear. We completed all relevant paperwork and resort briefing over a delicious dinner. We were all knackered and in bed early. The rooms are scattered around the beautiful gardens, and each is air conditioned and has an open air en-suite bathroom. Waking up to the sunrise over the sea visible from bed was a treat in itself. Following a hearty breakfast we headed down to the dive centre to kit up and be briefed.

The resort, on the Eastern side of Bali, is set in a luscious garden right on the black sand beach making access to the boats and house reef incredibly easy. This meant that we were back at the resort between dives, and that one could easily do three dives a day without any sense of urgency. Scuba Seraya has two boats and very experienced crew and dive guides who were eager to find some fabulous critters for us to marvel at and photograph. The following days were filled with incredible muck diving, beautiful reef dives, delicious food and lots of laughter. Some of the critter highlights include mimic octopus, pygmy seahorses, ornate ghost pipefish, orangutan crabs and all manner of nudibranch, to name a few. The resort is a ten-minute boat ride from the famous USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, which we dived at sunrise and again during day light hours. Here we saw a school of bumphead parrot fish, barracuda, tangs, rays and too many critters to name.

After a fantastic week of diving we dried and packed our equipment and made our way to the airport and onto Labuan Bajo. Here we were greeted by the friendly staff of Komodo Island Resort. A short ride to the pier and we boarded our private boat for the 1.5-hour transfer to Sebayur Island. Here, on this otherwise deserted island, sit 16 beautiful air-conditioned on-suite luxury bungalows, an open-sided restaurant, a beach bar and dive centre. Surrounded by uninhabited islands and calm blue water, Komodo Island Resort is magnificent. All meals are included – a lush breakfast buffet, and lunch and dinner pre-ordered a la carte, all 4 courses! Yum.

Excited to get diving we did a relaxed afternoon dive on a nearby reef. The closer sites (3-10 mins away by boat) offer awesome critter hunting, pretty reefs and protection from current; perfect for later afternoon and night diving. The following day we set off on our boat for the hour long journey to some of the further Marine Park dive sites. The boat was extremely comfortable, with large bean bags and shade cover on the upper deck, and ample seating and kit up space on the lower deck. The crew loads equipment and rinses it for you daily and provide tea and snacks during surface intervals.

The week’s diving did not disappoint. The water was clear and mostly a comfortable 28°C. Some of the sites are prone to strong currents at certain tides, but the benefit of diving at these times is a greater chance of seeing pelagics and sharks. We were lucky enough to encounter manta rays on several of our dives, as well as black tip reef sharks and schools of jacks and barracudas, and countless hawksbill turtles. The reefs are in superb condition and teaming with fish. At times one could not even see the reef through the schools of fish!

After a fantastic week at Komodo Island resort we returned to Bali and spent the night in the Rama Beach Resort, a few minutes from the airport. Here we relaxed by the pool, ate delicious local food and enjoyed the last few hours of our trip.  With heavy hearts, wonderful suntans and incredible memories we bid our farewells. A fantastic trip, enjoyed by all.

dive-safari-asiaBernita is the Operations Manager and Tour Leader for UK-based tour operator Dive Safari Asia. to find out more, visit www.divesafariasia.com.

Born and bred in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. Traveled and instructed in South East Asia for the approx 10 years. Now living the dream working as Operations Manager and Tour Leader for UK-based tour operator Dive Safari Asia. Believes in mermaids.

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Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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