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12 Apr 2018, Nigel Cass

dive Indonesia, diving Manado, Bunaken, Maluku, Derewan

77 Days, 3 Island Groups and 133 Dives for One Intrepid Regaldiver!

Regaldiver Tony Gibbons recently returned from a marathon 77 day trip around Indonesia. On his adventures he visited three island groups, travelled 1,000s of miles and logged a whopping 133 dives. Phew! We are exhausted just thinking about it!

Tony started his adventure at the Derewan Dive Lodge, before moving on to the Mercure Manado Beach Resort, Eco Divers Resort Lembeh and finally Cape Paperu Dive Resort.

This is Tony’s amazing report…

"As this was to be my first visit to Indonesia, I was a little unsure as to what to expect. I had read about how good the diving can be, but thought that I should keep an open mind and just enjoy the adventure. As it happens I enjoyed every single dive that I made (133). There was always something different to see, from mantas and fast drift diving at Derawan Island to wall diving at Manado, muck diving at Lembeh to unspoilt coral gardens and fish life at Cape Paperu resort on Saparua Island.     

The transfers and ground arrangements were excellent, though at first I thought them to be rather ambitious; 77 days; 3 island groups; 3 overnight hotels; 4 resorts; 6 ground transfers; 4 water transfers and 11 flights, something was bound to go wrong. In the end, apart from a 20 minute wait for a vehicle at Berau Airport, all transfers and ground arrangements went according to plan.

The accommodation varied from fairly basic to luxury (In my eyes); every room that I stayed in had a ceiling fan and air-conditioning, which after a day’s diving, was really appreciated. For me, making the best of what was available at each of the resorts was all part of the ‘experience’.  

Not being the sort of person who expects high cuisine, I found all of the meals that I was offered more than adequate, sheets and towels were all changed on a regular basis, and the rooms were clean and tidy.

I like diving; just being in the water is a pleasure for me, and I can always find something of interest to look at. Because of the amount of time I spent at each resort it was inevitable that I would visit a dive site more than once, which in some ways was good because I knew where to spend time looking for things of interest.   

I found all of the dive centre staff, and in fact all of the Indonesian people that I met and talked to, to be very helpful, cheerful, and it was a pleasure to be amongst them.

I have so many wonderful memories of my trip, but a particular highlight was one of the first drift dives that I made while staying on Derawan Island. At the dive site, after hooking on to the reef and floating off the bottom in the current, I was slowly engulfed in a huge school of Barracuda, so close I could have reached out and touched them. I was completely surrounded by them on either side, below and above me. The school was so dense that it was as though the sun had gone in and clouds had darkened the sky.

I was extremely happy with Regaldive; you answered all of my queries promptly and were most helpful in every way. I will certainly book with you again."

What an amazing experience it was for Tony, who is now back at home and planning another extended trip. If you would like Regaldive to organise your next adventure please call us on 01353 659999. Who knows where it could lead…

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