Today was a big day for us. Doug’s first real SCUBA dive outside of getting his certification.
Lynn had arranged with a friendly (if maybe a little too pirate obsessed) dive shop called Sea Rovers for a morning snorkel for her and dive for me. We woke up early and headed over to Permuteran, 45 minutes away, via a ride from Komang’s brother at 7.30. We arrived at the dive shop and they seemed confused as to who we were and what we wanted. Lynn clarified that she had been emailing someone named Paul as recently as last night. Paul, when we met him, had no recollection of this but was able to find the e-mails no problem and so we were set, though more than a little concerned about Paul’s short term memory.
After getting set up with our gear we killed a little time with a Canadian couple who now lives on Bali full time building schools and their neighbor, a very odd and sickly looking woman from California who was lying in the fetal position on the floor of the dive shop in a tie-dye T-shirt she used as a dress. It seems they had won a prize at the local Rotary Club for a snorkel out at Manjangan Island. They eventually departed leaving us with Paul and Wayan, who would be our dive master.
We loaded up the boat and headed 5 minutes offshore where I was given a quick run down of the dive. Lynn helpfully chimed in that I am a heavy breather and so we may not last the full hour that the dive was planned. He seemed unconcerned, as I was the only one with him, and we got our gear on and went overboard. As Wayan and I descended into the water, Lynn got some crude directions for her snorkel route which she would be doing alone.
“Head that way and then that way and you’ll hit the reef,” the boat driver told her.
After some initial issues with buoyancy control for Doug, we spent the next 50 minutes (I almost made it the full hour) separately looking at all manner of coral, fishes, and even a painted lobster for Doug. As I was getting low on air we headed up onto a coral shelf where we made our safety stop and then floated along the reef with the current a bit more until I really was almost out of air. We surfaced and the boat came and picked up Wayan and myself. Lynn, nor her bag were visible on board which made me more than a little concerned for a second until I saw her happily bobbing in the ocean a hundred yards away. Lynn had a little trouble navigating the open ocean but luckily the boat followed along with her and every once in a while she would hear a “Lady, that way lady” to correct her course. She even managed to find some four foot long needlefish and she followed for a while with fascination.
We headed back to shore and briefly considered another dive before we decided we had to go find decent internet somewhere and check on our flights for tomorrow. The WeeFee at the hotel was very poor indeed. Paul, instead, kindly gave us a WiFi voucher for the hotel that his dive shop was a part of Lynn looked up some things while I made conversation with him and German couple who were just hanging out. Lynn learned that our flight is, so far (fingers crossed), still on for tomorrow night but she did come up with an excellent back up plan just in case. I learned that Paul is a very interesting man, who is aggressively proud of being a beach bum and seemed to be challenging me to disapprove of him. I did not take him up on that.
After Lynn’s successful work, we payed our diving bill and headed out to the main road to find an ATM and lunch. On our way to the road we noticed our driver hanging out in the parking lot. It looks like he was just going to hang out all day until we decided we were ready to head home.
We walked in the dirt shoulder the length of Permuteran’s main drag before settling on a place for lunch. We split a mango covered in a balsamic, sugar, and lime dressing and then had a pork stir fry and seafood in a banana leaf. All of it was delicious, especially the mango sauce. After lunch, we headed back to find our driver who gave us a ride back to the hotel. During the drive we noticed that dark clouds were rolling in from further inland and after some thunder and lightning the rain really started. Despite evidence to the contrary the rest of our week here, it seem’s it is the rainy season after all.
We spent the next hour on our patio reading and watching the rain. After it moved off into the distance we hopped in the pool to cool off before walking to a local warung to buy some waters. Hot from our walk, we again dove into the pool and then continued reading the rest of the evening, broken only by a mediocre dinner in between.
Daily Walking Miles : 5.2
Flight Update : Jetstar ran 11 flights during the daytime today and our flight was confirmed as of 2 pm today to still be on. All of those were recovery flights though, and they had all regularly scheduled flights cancelled to make use of the planes. Lynn and I are both very surprised but not holding our breath.
- There’s talk of building a toll road through the center of Bali to make the north more accessible to tourists. Not everyone is happy.
- Paul, the dive shop owner’s, property has gone up 4000% since he purchased it in the early 2000’s, much to the local’s dismay. Take that Austin real estate market.
- Paul was also able to tell me the reason my GoPro took such blurry pictures underwater is because I have the older domed lens one. You can replace the dome with a flat lens and it works much better. He also recommended I get a red filter to cancel out the blue tinge of everything at depth.
- Everyone in Bali has the same few names. We have now met ten Balinese people whose names we learned. Two have been Wayan, two have been Komang, and two have been Gede.