This site is dedicated to those Indonesian ‘dive guides’ and divemasters those support have made it possible for people like me to further enjoy and experience the wonderful life within our oceans. Without these folks in the diving community, many foreign visitors would be lost souls searching for the marine life not common to other areas of the world.
I have recently retired as a professional geologist working in Jakarta, Indonesia. Through the years, I have developed quite a diving network and a passion for UW photography. When friends question why, I explain that the excitement of taking underwater shots is something that slowly evolves. Good diving technique and variability is paramount. It is a little like cave photography, as you don’t really see your complete environment while doing the sport. Just look at the critter photos within this site and you can see for yourself.
As with many adventure sports, dive safety is paramount. After living and diving Indonesian
waters for 14 years, I have come to realize the bare truth is that many official dive guides are
completely untrained and not certified. I don’t know the statistics but probably less than 10%
of the guides are even rescue divers or higher certification from training organizations such as
PADI, SSI, NAUI, etc.
Recreational diving has exploded within Indonesia in recent years and this has been a financial
and environmental god-send for the ‘golden triangle’ of Indonesia. The influx of tourist dollars
has replaced that of traditional abuse of marine life by local fishermen. Fishing boats are now
geared for diver transport and support rather than bomb and cyanide fishing. The return of
many healthy reefs is now ongoing. The Indonesian government has also taken a step in the
right direction in the development of protected areas such as Raja Ampat, Bunaken, Wakatobe
and others as National Parks. This is all good for the environment but the rate of diver related
incidents is on the increase. Indonesia has no regulatory body which consistently enforces dive
safety for the tourist diving industry; as It is self-regulated. Historically, to the chagrin of many,
it has been a ‘diver beware’ situation. In my opinion, this situation is not sustainable. Every year there are diver fatalities and injuries which are avoidable and most of these incidents within Indonesia are not properly reported. The global Divers Alert Network (DAN) will support such a statement.
For the reasons I plan to open an Indonesian Dive Guide Scholarship fund in the United States and will be placing seed funds in it for the proper training of these ‘dive guides’ we all love. Once all this is properly set up, 100% of donations will be directly distributed to training program scholarships, with an immediate focus to those guides in Bali and Gorontalo, Sulawesi. This is a direct aid methodology which will both support the individual as well as the diving community. Postings of monetary collection and distributions will be kept up to date. Stay tuned for developments in this regard.