Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Underwater Countdown

 click picture for more photos

 

It all started during the drunken last night of 2005 Manado dive trip in early November. I was attacking the Menadonese food that Cesil’s parents kindly donated to us, Tom and Mia were downing tequila and Mul was laughing continuously while trying to kiss another guy (can’t recall who). In one corner Martin tried hard to convince a very drunk Erwin that having the New Year countdown celebration underwater would be a great experience. Apparently in the end he managed to extract Erwin’s promise to coordinate a diving in Bali on 31 December, but we weren’t sure that Erwin would even remember anything about it, drunk as he was that night. So it was a surprise when he texted us a few weeks later about a New Year’s Eve dive trip!


31 December 2005 morning dives

We arrived in Bali on the late evening of the 30th December, staying at a hotel across from Bali Scuba. Early in the morning we were all organised into different cars and drove to Padang Bai.

Using Waterworxx boat with Mister Wolfgang himself to lead us, we headed to Gili Biaha for the first dive. It was a cloudy morning and the sea a bit choppy. The water temperature, fortunately, wasn’t too bad. It was 27 degree Celcius, a lot friendlier than the last time I dived here. However the visibility was not the best, it was only 10 meters, way below the visibility of the last time I was here, which reached 30 meters.

But still, the underwater was nice. We dived to 20 meters. As always, I like the volcanic wall with its coral covered pillars. We saw several sharks, huge lobster, an octopus, lots of squirrelfish and several nudibranch. The current was mild though there was quite a surge.

The second dive was at Gili Tepekong. It was a shallow dive, 14 meters at the deepest for me. Visibility was worse but we saw the sharks and the dive through the cracks and caves of Gili Tepekong is always fun, that we dived for more than an hour.

After the two enjoyable dives we said goodbye to Waterworxx and headed for Tulamben.


31 December 2005 the New Year countdown dive

That night the sea roared violently in Tulamben. The wind was beating ferociously, and the wave surged fiercely against the gravelly Tulamben beach. I stood shivering in the back verandah of Matahari Tulamben Resort looking with doubt at the white froth of the wave that almost reached my toes. The sky was dark with clouds and it drizzled lightly. Plus we heard that the river had flooded again – this could mean that Tulamben water would be like cappuccino – thick with brown mud. Are we crazy enough to dive in this cold night, I wondered.

At that point I thought that if everyone decided not to dive I’d be glad to also cancel the dive. But then again, I thought, this would be a rare chance, doing the count down to the New Year underwater. Plus before leaving I had announced to everyone - at home, in the office and all over the world - that that’s what I was going to do: celebrate the New Year underwater. What would they say if later they found out that in the end I didn’t do that?

Only Erwin, Martin and me were left in the verandah that night after dinner – the rest went to their rooms to have a bit of sleep before the dive. I decided not to take any nap because I thought I would feel too comfy in bed and would be too lazy to brave the cold water later :)

Apparently Kapal Selam divers ARE crazy. The weather wasn’t improving, but an hour before midnight everyone was up and scrambled dazedly around where the gears were hung. I hate donning my wet wetsuit in a cold night like this but with everyone ready to dive, there’s no excuse for me not to go :(

Then another bad news arrived – no porters will be available to help us since it was late already. We all groaned – the thought of walking along the gravelly beach carrying the whole gear in the dark was just too much. But Pak Oka, the owner of the resort, was nice, several of his staff appeared to help the females with the gears. Haha… sometimes it’s nice being a woman. Saying sorry silently to my feminist friends, I enjoyed the pampering :)

Still, walking gingerly along the beach in the dark while carrying 5 kilos of weights was not an easy thing to do. Swearing every time I stumbled, I asked myself again and again: “Why am I so stupid to be here and suffer like this?”

We stopped at the supposedly calmest point in the beach that night, just off the mouth of the river, near where all the jukungs (little wooden catamarans) were parked. It wasn’t calm at all. After struggling in the dark to don the gears, we struggled again to enter the water against the waves which determinedly tried to keep us from getting into the sea.

Finally, we managed to get in, and the water felt warmer once we were underwater. But next came another problem – there’s nothing to see. The water was dense with mud – so murky I couldn’t even see my buddy, who was right next to me and holding my hand! Even with the big torches we had to be very near each other so as not to be separated. So this is what it’s like diving in coffee, I thought.

I tried hard to follow a patch of light which I thought belong to Erwin. The patch of light slowed at a point which I thought was still not very far from the beach. My dive computer showed a depth of 17 meters. It was in a gently sloping sandy-silty bottom. We should be turning right if we wanted to go to the drop off as agreed. But instead the patch of light that I followed just dived around and around and around in the area.

I was hoping whoever it was; the patch of light had not lost direction. Some Kapal Selam diving professionals have been known to lost direction sometimes when they are ‘not at their peak condition’ (i.e. when they’re having hangover)  :) But I remembered that we have not been drinking that night, so this wasn’t one of those situations. Maybe this is the location intended to be the point where we would celebrate the New Year. But I thought we would dive at drop off, which would be to our left?

Then the water became somewhat less murky so we could see in the torch light to about 2 meters, and I began to recognise those in the group. One was Erwin; so I was following the correct patch of light, or so I thought. My beloved buddy Martin, of course, was following me faithfully. Monica from Mimpi Resort was buddying with Erwin. Then there’s Erika and Cynthia. I didn’t see Tom or Mia. Pak Oka, Theres and Pak tjokro were also nowhere to be seen. They were probably separated from us earlier.

There we were in that cold dark night, diving around and around in a circle in the murky water, with nothing much to see. Sometimes, when somebody inadvertently kicked the bottom, the water became thick like porridge with the sand, silt and mud swimming along with us, and there were even less to see. And it began to feel a bit boring and stupid, and I was waiting impatiently for the midnight to strike.

Wait a minute, how would we know when the midnight will struck, I thought. Martin was supposed to indicate when it’s midnight but I wasn’t sure how he would do it since his dive computer was in the dive mode and there’s no indication of time in that mode, except to indicate the length of the dive. Oh well, I shrugged, he could probably estimate the midnight from the time we entered the dive and the length of the dive. Later on I learned that this was exactly what he did, and then we both learned that actually even in the dive mode our identical dive computers can be used to indicate time, by pushing one of the buttons. Duh! Talking about knowing one of your most important gear!

Anyway, in the end Martin bang his tank and we all followed suit, banging with all our might. The fishes must have thought we’re mad. Torches were made blinking and we groped here and there to shake hands. (And by the way honey, that wasn’t my hand, and hopefully you didn’t do the same to any of the other girls :) ...)  So this was it, our underwater countdown celebration. Too bad we didn’t have any drink with us. It would have been nice probably to have champagne in a Ribena-like packaging, to accompany our celebration.

Mission accomplished, we immediately started to ascend. We struggled again to get to the shore and walked with all our gears back to the resort (Alas, no pampering for the ladies this time!)

Later we learned that Tom and Mia had to abort the dive because Tom has a problem with his equipment. Also we learned that Pak Oka had dived with Theres and Pak Tjokro to the drop off – as per original plan – and found that the visibility was good there. Hah, so I wasn’t following the correct patch of light after all!

1 January 2006 morning dives

It was difficult to wake up in the morning. But thinking that now after moving to Singapore I can’t dive as much as before, I persuaded myself to get up and get into the wet wetsuit again.

The two morning dives were nice. The waves weren’t as ferocious as during the night and the sun was shining. The early dive was at the Liberty wreck. We saw the huge grouper, the barracuda, a mantis shrimp, the garden eels and many sweetlips having breakfast. The second dive location was right behind Matahari Tulamben resort, a gently sloping sandy bottom covered with lots of soft corals. A nice calm dive with lots to see, that without realising it we dived to 31 meters! We met several unique nudibranch, a school of jacks, lots of anemone fish, a cuttlefish and lots of sweetlips. The gentle morning sun was streaming into the water and I thought it was a perfect anticlimax to last night’s adventure.

That afternoon we drove south to ‘Kapal Selam headquarter’, Hengky-Thea’s house in Kerobokan. As usual, the dive trip ended with an eating and drinking party. Barbequed fish, chicken, shrimp and many bottles of alcoholic drinks were the menu of our above water New Year celebration, and we laughed at our experience the night before. It wasn’t a spectacular dive but hey, at least I can say I have celebrated the count down to 2006 out there in the sea - underwater!

 


Posted at 11:59 pm by koeniel

koeniel
April 7, 2006   12:13 AM PDT
 
PS: on reading this Erwin commented that he intentionally not go to the drop off because he thought that the area would be more murky then the site we went to. :) Ok Erwin, don't worry, Martin and I will still follow you and you're still our favourite coordinator :D
 

Leave a Comment:

Name


Homepage (optional)


Comments







Previous Entry Home Next Entry


me:
female, Indonesian
geologist, diver
bookworm
photography hobbyist
Jakartan
lives in Singapore







Travel Photo Album



Book Collection



All About Diving



Movie Page


All About Dog




kotak sapaan:



   






Home


Previous Entries

  • About Books and Films
  • From Diving Trips
  • Travel Notes

  • Sepakbola! Ole Ole Ole!
  • Gempa, Tsunami & Bencana Geologi

  • Tentang Jomblo, Jodoh & Perempuan
  • Tentang Bangsaku
  • Saat Merenung....

  • Keluarga, Teman & Hidup Sehari-hari
  • About Dogs and Puppies
  • Di Negeri Orang

  • Dunia Kerja
  • My Offshore Life

  • Kala hati bicara....


  • Written in English





    'Neighbours'

    Bule Irish
    All About Chocolate
    Krisna
    erwin@terong
    Dongeng Geologi
    Ekonomi Migas
    Indonesia Today
    Bataviase Nouvelles
    Planet Singapura
    Mimbarnya Pak Mimbar
    A Little Bit of Everything
    Beritakan
    Lamunan Sejenak
    Busy Brain
    Di Suatu Hari
    Warung Kopi MpokB
    Razar Media
    Irene's Journeys
    Carpe Dieblog
    Mi Familia
    Deedee's World
    Mia's Lounge
    Qeong Ungu

    'Lounges and Coffee Shops'

    Kapal Selam Underwater Photography
    Kapal Selam Dive Club
    AREK KAJ
    Sahabat Museum
    Sahabat Museum @ Friendster






    Old Musings & Stories


    Dive Notes
    Balinese Underwater Monster
    Butterfly & Layang Layang
    Underwater Countdown
    My First Mola mola
    Mola mola
    Tergila-gila Pada Kehidupan Bawah Air
    Sanghyang, Where Underwater Deities Dwell
    Tentang Penyu
    Life Wins
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Not Just A Shark Tale
    Dari Dasar Laut
    Dari Dasar Kolam


    Travel Notes
    Di Tanah Kering Bebatuan
    Minus
    Beijing
    The Moon Over Alton
    The Way To Travel
    A Rainy Day in Ambon
    The Irish Experience
    Bukan Hantu
    Kota Bata Merah
    Tentang Penyu
    Kampungku Indah
    Persembahan Untuk Para Sahabat
    Lawang Sewu dan Fullerton, Semarang dan Malaka
    Plesiran Tempo Doeloe
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    Kalau Ingin Menyepi...
    Barcelona
    Coretan Musim Semi: 10. Akhir
    Coretan Musim Semi: 9. Menang
    Coretan Musim Semi: 8. Romansa
    Coretan Musim Semi: 7. Hantu
    Coretan Musim Semi: 6. Sacre Triduum
    Coretan Musim Semi: 5. Granit
    Coretan Musim Semi: 4. Pulau
    Coretan Musim Semi: 3. Matahari
    Coretan Musim Semi: 2. Hujan
    Coretan Musim Semi: 1. Semi
    Monument Valley
    Grand Canyon
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 11. Business Class
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 10. London
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 9. York
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 8. Salju
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 7. Aberdeen lagi
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 6. Edinburgh
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 5. Aberdeen
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 4. Ke Utara
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 3. The Field Trip
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 2. Derbyshire
    Kisah Musim Dingin: 1. London
    from the Peninsula: 17. An enlightening trip
    from the Peninsula: 16. War and other things
    from the Peninsula: 15. Back in Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 14. A night on the bus
    from the Peninsula: 13. Back to Malaysia
    from the Peninsula: 12. The City of Angels
    from the Peninsula: 11. Palaces & Dead Soldiers
    from the Peninsula: 10. the train journey
    from the Peninsula: 9. About Penang
    from the Peninsula: 8. The Drive around Penang
    from the Peninsula: 7. About KL
    from the Peninsula: 6. About Malaka
    from the Peninsula: 5. in old Malaka
    from the Peninsula: 4. Green Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 3. About Museums
    from the Peninsula: 2. the amazing Singapore
    from the Peninsula: 1. my 1st trip abroad
    White beaches, Coconut trees, Gorgeous sunset
    Wild Whirling Wet WhiteWater Adventure!
    Gunung Gede


    Book and Film Reviews
    Bobby
    Babel
    What The [Bleep] Was That?
    Joining The Throng - The Book Baton
    Manusia Kesepian
    Horor
    Mencari Tuhan
    The Last Samurai
    Coretan Musim Semi 7: Hantu


    Kisah-Kisah Bumi
    Negeri Bencana
    Dongeng Tukang Akik Tentang Gempa
    Bukan Supranatural
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Sekilas Tentang Gempa dan Tsunami


    About Dogs and Puppies
    Home is Where the Heart is
    The Hunter
    The Little Dog and The Sea
    No Puppies for Chocolate
    All Dogs Go to Heaven
    Aku Jatuh Cinta


    Football!
    16 Besar
    Tangguh
    Bola Lagi
    The Underdog
    Euro 2004: Lebih baik menyerang
    Euro 2004: Non Partisan
    Euro 2004: Bukan Dongeng Yunani
    Euro 2004: Kursi Panas


    Tentang Perempuan
    Hari Perempuan
    Bencana
    Kartini
    Jodoh
    Sekuhara
    Katakan Aku Cantik
    24
    Dark Energy
    Oret-Oret Seputaran Valentine
    Masih Banyak Lagi
    Lagi-Lagi Tentang Diskriminasi
    Perempuan dan Lelaki
    Bahagia Menurut Para Ilmuwan
    Si Lajang
    The Last Samurai
    My Frist Shalwar Khameez


    Tentang Bangsaku
    Negeri Bencana
    Jakarta, The Next Atlantis
    Potongan
    Natal Di Kampungku
    Berebut Cepu
    Milik Siapa?
    Indo? Indon? Indonesa? Indonesia?
    Anak Yang Hilang
    A Dark Cloud Over Bali
    Manusia Kesepian
    Bukan Anak-Anak Yang Salah
    Masih tentang Sopan Santun
    Sopan Santun
    Lampu Hazard
    Macet!!
    Pisang
    SMOS SMOS
    Kampungku Indah
    A Thirst for Knowledge
    Berita dari Aceh
    Bumi Berguncang Lagi
    Ini Bagian dari Kita Juga
    Persembahan untuk Para Sahabat
    Lawang Sewu dan Fullerton, Semarang dan Malaka
    Tanah dan Air
    Pemilu di Kampungku
    TKI vs TKF
    Pemilu yang Membingungkan
    Plesiran Tempo Doeloe
    Orang Indonesia belum layak punya kebun binatang!
    Kalau Ingin Menyepi....
    Sekali Lagi....
    Sesaat
    Damai
    Dunia Yang Marah


    Work Work Work
    Marah
    Belajar Sabar
    Thank you, SQ
    Minus
    Beijing
    Cosmopolitan
    The Way To Travel
    Topi Sombrero
    A Block in The Blog
    Anak Yang Hilang
    To Jump or Not To Jump
    Mencari Tantangan
    A Thirst For Knowledge
    A Prison In the Middle of The Sea
    Lagi-lagi Tentang Diskriminasi
    Tentang Kerja Fisik
    Graveyard Shift
    Tentang Ruang Pribadi
    Tanah dan Air
    Perempuan dan Lelaki
    My Frist Shalwar Khameez
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    One Usual Grey Afternoon
    Yang Terbaik
    Ketidakpastian
    Comfortable With Uncertainty
    Sunsparc or Sunflower
    Exciting!
    Sudah Tertawa Lagi
    Marah
    Sepi
    Tidur
    Capek
    Masih Tentang Kehidupan di Rig
    Serba-serbi hidup di rig...
    Bad Day
    Sebelum drilling dimulai
    Pride Pennsylvania
    Takut
    Pasca Kebakaran
    Kebakaran!


    Home Away From Home
    Hot Whiskey
    Miskin
    Jauh
    Cosmopolitan
    Balada Si Dengkul
    Kempes
    Bencana
    Menunggu
    Rumah Hantu
    Indo? Indon? Indonesa? Indonesia?
    A Block in The Blog
    The Kuatir
    Tidak Sendiri
    Nostalgia
    Berubah
    Bukan Hantu
    My First Shalwar Khameez
    Masih tentang Pakistan
    Sekelumit Tentang Pakistan dan Islamabad
    Assalamualaikum & Shukriya
    Jenggot
    One year Flew By...
    Setahun Berlalu Bagai Angin....
    Sepi
    Temptations
    Hari Ini Dunia Tiba-Tiba Berwarna
    Lent
    Dingin Tapi Sehat
    Hartland-Kilve Field Trip
    Masih Miskin, dan lain-lain
    Mahasiswa Miskin
    Jadi Mahasiswa Lagi
    Dari Kampus
    Terdampar...
    Tragedi



    Family and Friends....
    Untuk Pak Ton
    Home is Where the Heart is
    Juara
    Kopdar
    Hot Whiskey
    Jauh
    All Dogs Go To Heaven
    Cinta Jilid 1
    Potongan
    Natal Di Kampungku
    Aku Jatuh Cinta
    Balada si Dengkul
    Kempes
    Bencana
    Menunggu
    Kartini
    Rumah Hantu
    Kuatir
    Tidak Sendiri
    Jodoh
    Sekuhara
    Melindas (Flu) Burung
    Tanpa Listrik
    24
    Dengkulku Somplak
    Dark Energy
    Pisang
    Jetlag
    Oret-Oret Seputaran Valentine
    Masih Banyak Lagi
    Si Lajang
    Pemilu di Kampungku
    The Last Samurai
    Mandi Ditemani Pelangi
    Bukan Kacang....
    Setahun Berlalu Bagai Angin......
    One Usual Grey Afternoon
    Dunia Itu Memang Kadang Sempit
    Pagi Setelah Wanarek
    Duka










  • ©2000 Koeniel


    Contact Me


    If you want to be updated on this weblog Enter your email here:


    since 25 March 2006
    rss feed

    Blogdrive





    You can copy or forward these writings, but please mention the source and provide the link to this page

    Silakan mengkopi tulisan-tulisan ini tapi sertakan sumbernya dan link ke halaman ini
    http://my-musings.blogdrive.com








    Clip arts courtesy of Barb's Pic, Barry's Clipart and Microsoft Office Clipart Gallery






















    My Favourite Films:












    CURRENT MOON