Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
I normally wouldn’t get up at 4.30 am on my journeys if it wasn’t for something really interesting. In the past, it has been for early flights and sunrise views. But after a few of those done, I needed a new reason. That day, I traveled at dusk with Turtur Dive Center just because I was a brat that really really (let’s hear it one more time) really wanted to dive Menjangan Island, Bali. By this visit to the island of gods, it was just too weird not to visit the island located on the west coast. We had to do a one day trip just because…, well because. 😀 I said I was a brat.
I was picked up by Diana and Nate (pronounced Nah-teh), two Indonesian girls, at 5 a.m. I’ve been corresponding with Diana to arrange this trip. She’s a sweet girl with a calm presence. She roughly informed me about the day planned ahead. She must be the arranger of the bunch, I thought. I was half asleep and ‘Oh’-ing my way through the brief. In the pitch dark, Nate hit the gas and headed straight to Menjangan. Just the three of us. Huh?
‘So who’s the DM (Dive Master)? Will we be meeting him there (at Menjangan)?’ I asked with eyes ¾ shut.
‘I’m the DM.’ Diana calmly answered.
‘HA?’ I squealed and burst into laughter, which came out as a mockery for the girls.
I apologized and explained that it was far from mockery. It was laughter of joy meeting another bunch of crazy young people. It’s uncommon to have a woman chauffeur during a dive trip, but even more bizarre to have a local female DM. Throughout my dive log to date there has only been 1 Indonesian woman DM that I’ve met, Abo from the Togeans, who was trained to be a DM because the lack of human resources there, only partially by choice. Like the time I found my first female ojek driver on Kisar, I was ecstatic to find a female DM by choice. Better yet, all female dive trip!
Which comes to the core of my experience, there were only the three of us and the captain on the boat. The girls were really friendly and assured me they had everything we needed. Water, snacks, snacks, lunch, gear, and snacks. No joke. They know what a girl likes, LOL! As we geared up on the boat to Menjangan, I was my bratty self as I usually am with dive centers. They usually gear me up. I just re-check. It’s not that I’m lazy; I just don’t trust myself with other people’s dive gear. It’s expensive stuff, you know? I never felt bad when guys prepare it, I’m a girl. I get away with it too :p But with Turtur, I realized I have to be more proactive and attentive to my gear because we were both girls. By the time I came to the realization, my gear was ready 😀
It was very empowering to be diving with 2 other girls. Sure Menjangan Island has no distinct threat compared to other spots in Bali but diving is still an extreme sport. Shit can still happen! So I felt proud to be in an all-Indonesian girl dive pod. And yes, Diana was very calm, collective, and aware of the divers she led. I was honored to yet find a girl capable of such a tough task. Our founding mothers would have been very proud. At the same time, the dive also felt more friendlier, like going to the mall or a slumber party with your girl friends but underwater.
I heart Turtur Dive! There is much hope having them as a Dive Center. They’re professional. They’re women (and apparently one guy, Eko, who wasn’t there). They’re Indonesians and ready to help local and international visitors enjoy the underwater world starting from Bali. Their gears were also fairly new!! Woot! So I would recommend them to support local businesses with competitive prices and because, on a personal note they gave me a different sensation in diving.
They’re different alright! LOL!
Drop them an email to dive Bali with fresh prices especially to those that have a tight budget at www.turturdive.com
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