I ain’t afraid of no shark

Reef shark, Roatan, Honduras

Unusually close because it was a baited shark dive in Honduras

If you’re like me, one of the first things most people ask when they find out you scuba dive is, “aren’t you afraid of sharks?” I always answer “Oh no, I so rarely see a shark; it’s always exciting, and I swim towards them to get a photo.” They eye me skeptically, so I follow up by saying that I’m more afraid of the stray dogs that live on my street than I am of sharks. So, here are some interesting statistics to share with these dubious folks.

According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), between 1958 and 2016 there were a total of 548 fatalities from sharks. That is an average of 9.45 fatalities per year. Of those fatalities, only 8% were snorkelers or divers (more than half were surfers).

So, what kills more people each year than sharks? Here’s a list that may surprise you:


Mosquitoes – 800,000 worldwide

Hippos – 2900 worldwide

Bees – 100 in the US

Ants – 50 in the US

Jellyfish – 40 worldwide

Dogs – 30 in the US / 25,000 worldwide

Cows – 20 in the US

Horses  – 20 in the US


Texting (while driving) – 2900 in the US

Falling out of bed – 450 in the US

Falling coconuts – 150  worldwide

Popping champagne corks – 24 worldwide

Taking selfies  – 18 worldwide

Falling icicles – 15 in the US


So, now that you’re armed with some statistics, go out and convince all your friends to discover scuba diving!

Menjangan Island Underwater Clean Up

Sunday at West Bali National Park a team of 60 divers (Sea Rovers included) assembled to collect the plastic waste that had got stuck on the reefs around Menjangan island.

Apparently a whopping 128 kilograms of plastic waste was removed from around Menjangan Island in West Bali National Park over this weekend.

The divers came from West Bali National Park, East Java’s Alas Purwo National Park, the Perancak Marine Observation and Research Agency, plus divecentres around the Northwest Bali area, particularly Pemuteran bay.

Most the waste was food and drink plastic packaging. The rubbish was collected and transported off Menjangan Island by boat at the end of the day.

“Within an average week, the total amount of garbage transported out of Menjangan reaches approximately 300 kilograms which doesn’t even include the trash removed from the reef,” Tribun Bali.

“The total garbage collected from February to May 2017 reached three tons for Menjangan Island. The entire West Bali National Park area reached five tons,” West Bali National Park Manager Wiryawan told Tribun on Sunday.

Sad that much of the rubbish that tourist complain about also comes from the tourists doing the complaining. Sometimes directly and more often indirectly. Dispose of your waste wisely and use companies that do the same.

Here at Sea Rovers all our plastic bottles are collected for recycling, our lunchboxes are Tupperware style reusable and softdrinks come in glass bottles, which we own and just buy the refills for. A common practice here in Indonesia. As Pirates we wipe the with our t-shirts and drink from the bottles. No plastic straws for us!

So next time you’re at Menjangan Island and you see trash, do your bit. Pick it up and bring it back for proper disposal. Be part of the solution instead of mourning about it online.

New treasures arrive for retiree photo wench Kat

A joyous day for local retiree and friend to pirates Kat Ramage as her new toys were delivered to the Sea Rovers the other day (not having a street address of her own). So we all got the pleasure of watching in envy as she unboxed all her new goodies.

We look forward seeing new images of the undersea treasures of NW Bali in the months to come. Once you figure out what goes where and have read the manual that is. 😉

Guide for the Metrically-Impaired–Weight

Weight belt with weights

If you use a weight belt

Weight pockets for integrated BCDs

If you use an integrated BCD

To finish up this series, let’s discuss what is probably the easiest conversion to make–pounds to kilograms. A kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so a good rule of thumb is to take the amount of weight you use at home and divide it by 2. Most people usually dive with a little extra weight anyway, so this should work out just right.

Having said that, if it’s your first dive in a long time, or if you have a brand- new wetsuit, this shortcut might not work for you. If it’s your first dive in awhile, you will probably be just a little bit unsure/anxious, your breathing will be affected and you will need more lead. After a couple of dives, you will be back in the groove and can take off the extra. If you have a brand-new suit, the neoprene bubbles haven’t been compressed yet. In both of these instances, make the conversion and add 1 more kilo.

If you are someone who has perfected your buoyancy and you have been diving recently, ask the DM if they have weights in half-kilo or one-and-a-half kilo sizes. Together, you’ll be able to come up with the right combination for you.

So, my metrically-impaired brethren, I hope you have enjoyed this series and found it helpful. Happy bubbles everyone!


Guide for the Metrically-Impaired – Temperature

Speaking as an American, when I hear the water temperature is 29 degrees, I momentarily freak-out until I remember that this is in Celcius. But even then, I’m not exactly sure what that means (if I don’t have my trusty Smartphone to make the conversion for me). So here’s a guide, plus some exposure suit recommendations from scubadiving.com.

above 29° above 84.2° bathing suit or dive skin 1-2mm shorty or full suit
27° – 29° 80.6° – 84.2° dive skin or 1-2mm shorty/full suit 1-2mm full suit
23° – 26° 73.4° – 78.8° 2mm shorty or 2-3mm full suit 3mm-5mm full suit
19° – 25° 66.2° -77° 3mm – 5mm full suit 5mm-7mm full suit
15° – 18° 59° – 64.4° 5mm-7mm full suit 7mm full suit + 2mm shorty
below 15°  below 59° You are not likely in Bali Brrrrrrrr!

Currently the water temp in Pemuteran is 28-29 degrees. Only once in Bali have I experienced the 15-18 degree range–September 2015 down in the south at Crystal Bay to see the mola-molas. Last year it was much warmer and apparently not many molas were found due to the higher temperatures.

You can always contact the Sea Rovers office before your trip to decide what exposure protection you need to bring. Here’s a tip for those easily-chilled: invest in a hood; it’s small and light-weight and can make a big difference in your comfort level.


Guide for the Metrically Impaired – Tank Pressure

3 types of pressure gauges

Both systems in one plus color coding–I like it


Today’s topic in our series ‘Guide for the Metrically Impaired’ is tank pressure. Those of us familiar with the Imperial system measure tank pressure in psi while the rest of the world uses bar.  So if the divemaster says that you need to turn around and head back to the boat when you have 125 bar, or you need to be back on the boat with 50 bar, how do you comply if your gauge is in psi? Most importantly, listen to the dive briefing and pay attention to the guidelines and hand signals. Here are some handy conversions:

Full tank                                                               3000-3200psi                     200-250 bar

Turn-around point or start

ascending to a shallower depth                      1000-1250 psi                     100-125 bar

Safety stop / low on Air                                     750 psi                                 50 bar

Low on air / Very low on air                             500 psi                                 30 bar


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