Monday, February 6, 2012

Pulau Sepa, Take 2

This past weekend Tim and I returned to Pulau Seribu (Thousand Islands), specifically to Pulau Sepa (again), this time for a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course...  After Komodo piqued our interest in diving, we were itching to head back out and under.  Additionally, we were hoping to improve upon our diving skillz and get some more diving experience after being thrown into some pretty intense underwater scenarios in Komodo.  The PADI course covered a lot of dives that we'd already done in Komodo, but we wanted to get the official introduction to these dives and to get our advanced certification in case future dive outfits are more conscientious about checking to make sure we're qualified to do the more adventurous dives.
Pulau's Sepa's reef poking out of the water during a very low tide...
We had a great weekend... 5 fun dives.  I hope to have more diving photos soon (we used the dive company's camera during the dives), but in the meantime I am linking to some cool photos I found online from the same sites.

1. A deep dive: Deep dives for recreational divers are considered those that go down to depths of 18-30 meters (60-100 feet).  Once we descended to those depths on our dive, the instructor had us do some small tasks to show the differences when you get down that deep- colors don't appear the same at deep depths as they do on the surface because the red part of the light spectrum is filtered out by the water.  We also did some minor math problems to potentially illustrate the effects of nitrogen narcosis

2. A navigation dive: We used a compass to navigate around underwater (in pretty bad visibility), and counted our kick cycles to estimate how far we were going.  

3. A night dive: We took torches out on the Sepa reef and dove around in the darkness... pretty trippy.  I definitely get a little bit of a claustrophobic feeling when night diving since you can't see a single thing outside of the light emanating from your flashlight.  Pitch black all around you, coral and fish sneaking up on you from all sides.  Kinda freaky.  But diving at night gives you the chance to see stuff that you aren't necessarily able to see during the day... crabs, cool anemone (we saw a ton of bright yellow ones that weren't visible during the day on the uprights for Sepa's docks), etc.

4. A wreck dive:  This dive was really cool... we dove down to check out Papa Theo, the wreck of an old shipping vessel that had crashed near Sepa in 1982Super eerie in the low visibility, the wreck is basically split in half, rusted over and covered in hard and soft corals.  Fish swim in and out of the doors and gaping holes in the wreck, and in certain spots you can still see the cargo that the ship carried- ball point pens, umbrellas...

5. A "peak performance buoyancy" dive:  This one was barely about buoyancy... we dispensed with the requirements right away (to my dismay, I was actually hoping to get some more tips on perfecting buoyancy) and rode a mild current down to another wreck, this time a small fishing boat.  On the way we saw a blue spotted stingray, some teeny tiny whipcoral shrimp, and the coolest thing: a juvenile batfish. 

In addition to diving, we also did some chilling on the island...
Tim, enjoying his first bag of real, American Cheetos (not roasted chicken flavor) since we moved here in October.
Mmm... warm sand, clear water.

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