Pindito Indonesia 1997

 

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Bali is a magnificent vacation spot known for beautiful Beaches, Interesting culture and Art. Well the Beaches and art are not really my thing, but the diving in other places in Indonesia was supposed to be good too. After reading an article in undercurrent about the live aboard dive boat Pindito, I had to give it a try.

 

The incredibly long flight to Bali was very pleasant in first class on Cathay Pacific airlines (thank god for frequent flier miles). I stayed in UBUD in Bali for 3 nights to adjust to the time change and to experience the Bali culture. Ubud is not the traditional Bali beach resort, but a much more laid back artist colony. I visited the art galleries and museums, but they were really not for me. It was the people that I enjoyed and their approach to life.

 

From Bali I had to take a connecting flight to Ambon where the Pindito was moored (as of the date of this posting Ambon is very dangerous for Americans, but then it was not a problem; the Pindito is based in Bali now). We boarded the Pindito without incident and proceeded north toward the equator. We had a long open ocean crossing that was supposed to take 12 hours, but the weather was bad and the crossing was very rough and lasted for 24 hours; not the best way to begin the trip.

 

The Pindito was a Swiss owned vessel catering mostly to Swiss and German divers. At that point the owners were very concerned about American liability issues and treated me and the other American on board differently than the Europeans. I do not know if any of that has changed. The large Indonesian crew did not speak English or German and did not interact with the passengers. Dives we limited to 2 or 3 a day; other activities were offered to keep people occupied. One day there was a cave exploration trip offered to see the bats. Another day we had a 2 hour snorkel at the edge of a mangrove swamp; I really enjoyed the snorkel and shot a lot of Video. Fortunately I signed up for a trip that included a fish identification course we keep us busy between dives (course was in German roughly translated into English). Most of the guests spoke limited English so the social interaction was less that I have usually encountered on other live aboard Dive boats.

 

The diving was very good if you did not mind not seeing any sharks. There was always some current present, and on several dives too much current for Video (Please pardon my failure to keep the camera steady, but I was fighting the current). The nutibranchs were everywhere - Many different species including a Spanish Dancer. We encountered large octopus on a couple of dives, pipe fish, ringed pipe fish, and a pygmy sea horse. Most spectacular was the pastel colored soft coral we encountered toward the end of the trip. This Video is over 26 minutes long much longer than most others, but I really did not want to cut it down any more. We finished the trip at Sarong on the western tip of Irian Jaya. There was a bit of a rebellion going on there so the boat moored right at the airport and we were accompanied from the boat to the terminal by soldiers. I think this is the area that famed dive master Larry Smith was developing when he died.

 

 

For more information on the Pindito Click here.

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