Dear friends / buddies / fellow divers,
We’re already half way through the year and a lot of us have been on some amazing trips this year. I’m happy to share some of my photos below in the updated galleries.
I’ve also got a few trips coming up with some of you that I’m very much looking forward to there’s even a few openings still if anyone is still looking for their next adventure.
See below for more news about:
- July 28th to 8th August 2019 Space opened up onboard Samambaia
- April 4th to 14th 2020 Special Fiji trip onboard the Naia
- Graham in a Podcast interview
- Updated galleries
- 2021 trip dates
- Getting back into teaching
PS. There have been a few changed to our mailing system, if you’ve been addressed incorrectly or do not wish to be on the list please let us know.
Oh, and you should also listen to the podcast, it was actually good fun…
Diving 4 Images Update
Even though I have not been in contact for a while, I can let you all know that Diving 4 Images is still going strong. I have had a few health issues, which has meant less diving. However, I am still leading liveaboard and resort trips, seeking out new marine life, guiding on the odd yacht and doing recces around SE Asia.
An added bonus is now having Katrin (Kat) helping out with admin, answering emails and making things much more efficient.
It has been a long time since I sent one of these very rare newsletters, though there will be more to come…
Flores Alor Liveaboard July-August 2019
Space has opened up on Samambaia from Flores to Alor. One of our favourite routes.
This expedition route starts in Maumere, northern Flores, heading east to Alor and back to Maumere. The route is excellent for macro lovers with chances of all the wish list critters one could ask for, and some you’ve probably never seen before too. There are many reefs with awesome scenery and lots of colourful corals. We will also be showing you some of the more unique upwelling reefs this area has to offer. Along this route we have chances of big fish sightings and we will be offering visits to villages along the way too. The locals on this route are so friendly, and often the children will paddle out in their canoes and even swim with divers.
Another great draw for this area is that we will be diving without any other dive boats around and with no other divers too! More often than not this area has very few, if no other dive boats at all, and if we do see any boats we make sure we are not diving on the same sites. This is now not so easy in other parts of Indonesia, however, Flores Alor still remains off the radar of the masses.
A little History of this area…
It was the great Larry Smith that first started to make Alor really well known for its awesome macro life. For sure there were other guides that dived here, though none really focused on what makes Alor truly unique, which, aside from the amazing macro life is also the unique upwelling reefs that have unique marine life that is different to most other destinations within Indonesia.
As soon as I started to dive around the Flores and the Alor Regency back in 2001, I too had that same special soft spot for the Flores – Alor route. The diving is really varied, the people are ever so warm and friendly. The critter life can be amazing and the coral life here is very unique, in places really different from many other parts of Indonesia!
Alor has lots of very different dive sites to choose from. There are sites that people still dive such as Kals Dream, it’s really hard to catch that dream here and there is even a site known as Sharks Galore where it’s not all that common to find sharks galore, for sure sharks can be found in Alor though not commonly seen. However, what we will be focusing on will be the great variety of different habitats this area has to offer. We will be looking for interesting marine life and the unique reefs that makes this area of Indonesia so special. We will also spend quality time around the island of Pura island and other locations where the children and fishermen often come out to welcome divers and enjoy swimming down to say hello too.
28 July Denpasar – Maumere by Nam Air, Flight IN660, Dep. 10:40 Arr. 12:05
08 August Maumere – Denpasar by Wings Air, Flight IW1821, Dep. 08:35 Arr.10:25
Liveaboard $4,972 + $314 flights + $300 fees & fuel surcharge.
Transfers to and from boat in Maumere, onboard accommodation in 4 double, 2 twin cabins below deck & 1 master cabin on main deck extra$50/night, meals & snacks, 4 dives/day, Nitrox for those certified, weights, belts.
Alcoholic beverages, gratuities, personal purchases or dive rental equipment,as mentioned above $300 for marine park fees, fuel surcharges, harbour fees.
Contact us for more information…
Fiji Liveaboard April 2020
We have a great chance to offer a few lucky divers a trip to Fiji onboard the best boat in the area.
￼Fiji has always been one of the hottest dive destinations and we are able to lead a group onboard the best operation in the area. By far the best way to see Fiji is by a dive liveaboard. With a liveaboard we get to dive the very best sites all around the Islands of Fiji. There is only one operation that had been really successful in this area. The Naia have been operating in Fiji for 23 years and know the area better than any other operation.￼
Fiji is known for colourful reefs, diverse fish life with a few unique species. There are some great dives for bigger fish with chances of big sharks too!
4th April 2020 to 14th April 2020 starting and ending in Lautoka, Fiji
Trip price – US$5973
Tax, scheduled transfers (1:00pm pick up) to the ship from the airport or hotels in the Nadi area, scheduled transfers (8:00am departure) back to Nadi at the end of the charter, all meals aboard ship, double occupancy accommodation, tanks, weights, and unlimited air refills.
Gratuities, alcoholic beverages (other than the house wine served at dinner), NITROX, gear or camera rentals, and sundry personal purchases from the ship’s store.
Contact us for more information…
Yes, really! We have some trips to a few incredible destinations coming up soon. These are tried and well tested destinations away from the masses like we enjoy most…
More news on these will be coming up in our next newsletter or if you are super keen already to get in early contact us for a sneak peak into what we’ve got for…
Underwater Tribe Podcast
I was asked by diver friends Mike & Luca if I would be willing to take part in a podcast. Usually I would be far too concerned about being in front of a camera to even think about this. Though recently I’ve been working on getting rid of all those petty concerns and now feel open to anything. Not only was it interesting being interviewed, it was actually fun and felt great sharing dive stories and interests with Mike & Luca from Underwater Tribe. Click on the image below to check this out:
Or click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPJ2ZPCWGqI&t=2071s
Click on the photos or links to view updated galleries below:
I was recently asked to do a dive recce within the Banda Sea for a special filming expedition. During this I managed to take a few new photographs of this very great part of Indonesia.
I’ve been fortunate and had the great pleasure of diving Raja Ampat since 2001, I still love going back to this area, as I do many other areas. There are lots of updated images here to check out.
In my mind the top new hotspot of SE Asia with only one resort, no other divers and totally awesome diving. As you will see here, the colours of this area are truly incredible.
If you haven’t already seen this page, here you can find a few of the unknown and rare species we have been lucky enough to find on our dive trips.
Getting back into teaching…
Yes, it really is true! I keep getting signs inspiring me to get back into teaching diving.
I always enjoyed teaching, especially when I had students that really wanted to learn and recently a few great experiences that have led my heart back to teaching.
About 9 years ago I had a award winning National Geographic photographer friend/client Tim Laman ask if I would teach his son Russell to dive. When the time came when and Russell was old enough to get his open water diver certificate the family came back to Bali. We had a full 10 days staying at Scuba Seraya Resort in Bali. Here we were able to shore dive with good enough conditions to do even the confined water sessions in the ocean. As I know Tim very well, I knew he would often be diving with his camera and I needed to do a much more advanced course for Russell. A long time ago I opted out of PADI to teach Scuba Schools International (SSI) which offers a greater degree of flexibility and freedom for their instructors to teach courses how they see fit for their students. I opted for a full 10 day open water course. Even though Russell was only 11 years old, he was a natural in the water and reminded me of myself as a child, very adventurous and somewhat fearless. I included lots of self awareness so he would always be aware of where he was in relation to his father, lots of rescue techniques so he could always get out of any trouble in a worst case scenario. Aside from the usual buoyancy exercises I give students to ensure they truly understand buoyancy I was teaching lots about marine life and rather than moving away from Tim while he might be photographing a subject he learnt how to find photogenic subjects, rare, unusual and cryptic marine life. The whole family came to Bali regularly where we worked on various photographic stories and more teaching about marine life. I taught Russell his junior advanced open water and the years later when Russell was old enough I taught him and a few school friends their advanced course. Only a few months ago I received an email asking if I could email his future lecturer giving my opinion on his diving skills as he wanted to do marine sciences as his main study subject.
Soon after I received the email from Russell, Tim sent an inspiring email:
“I am so happy looking back that I was able to hook you up to teach Russell to dive, and inspire him with his love for the ocean and curiosity about marine life. We’ll see in the years ahead where he goes with it, but I definitely owe you a huge thanks for being his mentor and inspiration! Really… THANKS! (can’t really express it properly in an email….). It is just great to see a young person excited and passionate about something. I personally think that is the key to success and happiness in life is to be passionate about something, whatever it is.”
And there’s more…
I’ve also had friends living in Bali who love diving though they’re partners were too scared to even try. One such lady a bad first experience she was very reluctant to even try ever again. I’d asked her to allow me to take her and when I eventually I had the time to take her for a dive, she loved it, she was hooked, we managed to do a few more divers together which have her the confidence to do her own water diver course.
Very recently a new friend’s wife loved the ocean and was so interested in environmental issues that I was super keen to get into diving too. She said she’d only try free diving as the thought of being under the ocean was far too intimidating. After a very keep it simple briefing we were underwater in Amed, east Bali, we were looking at lovely coral, reef fish and even ornate ghost pipefish. When she came up after the dive right at the shore she stood up with the biggest smile one could ever smile, gave me a huge hug and said she wanted to the course.
Then, even more recently I met a lady at a friends home gathering who had such an incredible adventurous spirit and shared with me that couldn’t swim at all though was really keen to try scuba diving. This also happened to be her first time outside of the USA (and it’s surrounding islands) so I was really super keen to give someone this incredible opportunity. After telling me all about not being able to swim, within minutes of being in the ocean in north Bali I had her snorkelling in circles around me. She was so good and the most appreciative beginner diver I’ve ever experienced that I offered to take her the next day on 2 reef dives. She jumped at the chance and the next day she was wall diving on the gorgeous coral reefs of Menjangan island and eventually scuba diving on her own, even mimicking me with my palms together.
So, I’m back as certified Scuba Schools International diving instructor and open for teaching, only for those who really want to learn. Not only beginner courses, also all other courses, including my version of the Naturalist course that goes into a lot about marine life and how to find your own cool cryptic, rare and unusual species, and who knows maybe these students will go on to find their own new species one day too…
Thank you for reading through and look forward to catching up and seeing you soon.