Early the next morning, we’ve met for our boat dives and were assigned Pauli, as our dive guide. The resort operates several traditional Indonesian dive boats – each wooden, covered, comfortable boat is made locally, and each is 70 feet long. The dive boats offer lots of space for gear and an area to hang wetsuits. The dive team sets up each guest’s tank in there spot every dive, and they knew if you are using aluminum 80’s, 100’s, DIN or Yoke. The service is impeccable; every day the staff provided fresh, baked snacks, coconut, big towels, coffee, hot chocolate and water.
There were four divers per guide and three groups per boat, each with their own guide. Divers and guides were matched using a pre-trip survey that each guest completes prior to departure. We were the “slow” group with cameras and we wanted to see the small stuff. We never saw the other 2 groups in the water, because we were always dropped off on the wall with some time between us. The currents are fairly strong and generally run one way, yet on one of the dives we switched direction 3 times. The boat left the dock at 7:30am for two dives at two different sites, returned to the resort for lunch, and left again at 2:30pm for one additional submersion.
The dive sites are mainly composed of a variety of walls, slopes, ridges (my favorite), seamounts, overhangs and coral gardens. All of the dive sites are a 45-minute (or less) boat ride and we never went to the same site twice during our seven night stay. Most of the dive sites started just inches from the surface, allowing for a long safety stop at the end of all dives. Each dive is kept to a maximum bottom time of 70 minutes and over an hour surface interval between dives.