#1: Safety First
Of the 5 Tips for Snorkeling Menjangan Island I feel this is the most important. Go with the professionals.
We all understand what a budget is, but as the old adage goes
You pay for what you get.
Don’t let price be the deciding factor where your life and safety is concerned. Ask the questions.
- Are they legal?
- Do they follow the safety guidelines?
- Are the guides qualified, properly trained?
- Do they adhere to an environmentally friendly philosophy?
Just because there is a logo in the window of one of the well know organisations, it does not mean they are register dive centres. It just means that they have stickers.
Check organisation websites for a base near your hotel:
Being listed on these websites means that these dive bases have to adhere to and maintain certain standards. But also visit the base itself, email them, ask questions, check some reviews. Stay Safe.
#2: Diveboat or Rent’A’Wreck
Standards may vary.
For example, purpose built speedboats, with safety equipment, communication equipment, a first aid kit, maybe even a certified Captain. Or alternatively rotting chunks of assorted wood nailed together in the shape of a boat with a putput attached to its aft. I know which I prefer, which is why I like our boats.
Whichever you end up on simple rules apply.
- Remember boats have limited space, so stow your gear properly between use. Try an stow equipment so as you need it, you can take it out. As you finish with it, you put it away.
- Boats are unstable platforms. So avoid walking around in a swell, especially if someone didn’t observe the first point and left their equipment lying around.
- Do not walk around in fins. On boats or on land for that matter. Three reasons; They’re not designed to be walked in. You can break them and yourself if you do. Most importantly, you look stupid and no one likes to look stupid.
- Always careful getting in and out of boats. Again, not stable platforms. One at a time, stay out from underneath the entry point or ladder when someone is climbing in or out. Just incase they slip and fall.
- Pay attention to the crew and briefings
- Stay away from the blunt bit at the back where the engines are attached. Especially if the engines are running.
Following the rules of the boat and a bit of commonsense is the key to staying safe on a boat.
#3: Take Precautions
If like me, you grew up in a place a bit further North, where the sun is a legend told around camp fires on grey wet summer days whilst out hunting woolly mammoths. You’re probably well aware of what that warm round orb of legends can do to your skin if you don’t use a bit of protection. Sunscreen boys and girls, very important. Equally important is to use something that is coral friendly.
It has been proven that a lot of your standard, go to sunscreen options are not good for our delicate eco systems. The chemicals in the sunscreen can be toxic to the coral reefs. So if you’re planning some snorkeling or diving, be aware of this and buy something coral friendly. Also try to apply sunscreen at least half an hour before entering the water so it has time to soak into the skin. Be particularly careful with back and back of legs. Remember if you’re snorkeling, you’ll be face down for a while and the water is cool and deceptive. Same on boats. Being wet and because there is a breeze, tends to make people forget the sun.
Rashvests, are a good option in the water when snorkeling Menjangan Island. They add a layer of protection from the sun and also jellyfish if they are around. Not usually a problem, but it is the ocean, there are things in it. Which is why we keep vinegar on the boat.
Hats and sunglasses also recommended.
Stay hydrated! It’s good for you, good for your skin, keeps you healthy and this is the tropics. We are after all only 8 degrees South of the equator, its hot, you’ll sweat and speaking from personal experience, even mild heat stroke isn’t nice. You don’t need to drink gallons at a time, just remember to drink regularly and you’ll be fine.
#4: Protect it for the Future
Lets face it, as a species we are pretty naft at looking after the planet. But we could do better.
Which is why Sea Rovers has become a member of the Green Fins initiative. This is a voluntary oganisation that is helping to establish rules and guidelines for dive centre operators. Supplying materials and rules to help make them a better business environmentally. More about this in a different post.
DO NOT STEP ON, OR KICK CORAL
Watch your feet and fins at all times. Most damaging contacts to the reef come from your fins. Corals are very fragile and take a long time to grow.
DO NOT STIR THE SEDIMENT
If you are not careful, your fins can stir up the sediment and debris, upsetting sandy habitats and covering nearby corals.
We have all seen the images and videos by now of the mess of plastic polluting our oceans. Try not to add more, Marine debris can kill turtles, birds and coral. Show respect, dispose of trash properly.
NO FISH FEEDING
Food thrown overboard attracts fish away from their natural food source. This upsets the food web. Fish feeding also encourages unatural habits and can cause aggression in marine animals. Again DO NOT FEED THE FISH.
NO COLLECTING MARINE LIFE
If it is found underwater, it should stay underwater. This activity is often illegal and can leave species homeless.
DO NOT CHASE OR TOUCH MARINE LIFE
This can cause great stress to any animal. You can also transmit diseases or remove protective coatings on fish, invertebrates and other species. Look but never touch; try not to get too close.
These are amongst the important rules when out snorkelling with the Pirates Who Dive. Please follow them.
Menjangan Island snorkelling
#6: Its about the fun and a little bit more
Ultimately its all about you having fun in a safe and responsible way. We do our best to take care of the safety side of things so you don’t have to think about it too much. The safety, snorkeling equipment is maintained and looked after. Our licensed guides are properly trained, know what they are doing and are keen to find you the treasures that lie beneath the Bali Sea.
We provide you with environmentally aware guidelines to help preserve and protect what you’re here to see. So that you can come back again and again to see it with others. Who can also enjoy it too because you made an effort to do the right thing. By helping and supporting one of the legitimate businesses of North West Bali, who make an effort to protect the delicate eco system that is our lifes blood. You are helping us to maintain.a balance between tourism and the marine environment.
Remember. Be Happy and Snorkel Pirate