So, who are we, and why Sea Rovers, you might wonder?
Let’s start with the fundamental question: What exactly is a Sea Rover?
1. Someone who extensively explores the vastness of the sea.
2. A swashbuckling pirate.
3. A ship inhabited by pirates.
Now, when we think of a pirate, we conjure up images of romanticized adventurers—freethinkers and lovers of the open ocean, driven by an insatiable passion for both the sea and the pursuit of hidden treasures.
With this notion in mind, the Commodore, Captain, and Crew of Sea Rovers Dive Centre wholeheartedly embrace this philosophy. We are a collective of free-spirited individuals who share an unwavering love for diving and a relentless quest for the ocean’s hidden treasures. (Especially when it comes to capturing these treasures through the lens. The Captain.)
In line with this spirit, our journey began with the intention of establishing a dive base tailored to our preferences. We envisioned a dive centre that we ourselves would eagerly choose, one tailored for intimate groups and characterized by personalized service. You could say we’ve blended a playful pirate persona with the utmost dedication to maintaining a secure and enjoyable diving environment.
So read on if you are keen to learn more about us.
Instant Pirates, Just add Rum
The Captain’s Tale
My journey began in the North East of England as the Thatcher era drew to a close. It was a period marked by economic downturn and adversity for a young graduate, clutching diplomas in design, photography, and video. Three years of navigating the unemployment queues and volunteering passed before my path intersected with that of a weathered seafarer named Ernest and his adventurous companion Kath. They introduced me to the mysteries beneath the waves, filling my heart and imagination with enchanting stories of far-off lands and magnificent coral reefs.
However, the day arrived when Ernest and Kath were able to command their own vessel once more, and they set sail for distant shores.
Left without guidance, I drifted through the doldrums of depression until a message arrived, “Join our crew and find a berth waiting for you in Lombok.” With nothing to tether me, I embarked on a quest for adventure and a fresh glimpse of hope on the horizon.
My apprenticeship as a divemaster on Gili Air provided me with a solid foundation in the art of running a dive centre. I absorbed the significance of professionalism, safety, and, above all, the importance of having fun.
Inspired by my time in the Gili Islands, I returned to the UK with unwavering determination to chart my own course and, one day, command a dive centre of my own.
Many years and countless dives have unfolded since then. I’ve served at dive centres in the Mediterranean and taken on various roles, from captain to crew, for a diverse array of characters in Pemuteran, NW Bali.
But I never let go of the guiding star that fuelled my dreams. I patiently worked, learned, and awaited the day I could have my own ship.
Towards the close of 2005, I crossed paths with Kerry, a kindred spirit and supporter of the cause. Kerry shared the vision of “a tall ship and a star to sail her by.” And so, a partnership was forged.
It’s been a long and eventful journey to reach this point, filled with adventures, trials, and setbacks. To say I’ve lived through interesting times would be an understatement. But now, the voyage continues as we command a vessel of our own creation.
Sea Rovers Dive Centre is our majestic pirate ship, and the star guiding us is the aspiration to run a diving business that we ourselves would want to experience. A place where safety is paramount, where worries dissipate, and where the dive boat offers more space than divers, emphasizing small groups and personalized service. A sanctuary that prioritizes environmental stewardship as a norm, not just a public relations gimmick. Above all, it’s a haven of conviviality and joy, populated by individuals who relish what they do, for whom it’s more than just a job.
I am Paul M. Turley, Captain, Sea Rover and a British pirate diver in Bali. Garr!
The Commodore’s Story
Like the Captain, my interest in diving started in England a bit earlier than Paul’s in the days. When twin hose regs were still around and the closest thing to a BC was a Fenzy – pull the tab and shoot to the surface! . I learnt to dive whilst studying underwater technology as part of a mechanical engineering course. The problem was: My ears could not handle the cold water in the UK. Immigrating to Australia gave me the chance to renew my association with diving, in much more acceptable water temperatures and clarity. It was in this period the idea of operating some sort of dive operation was born, with the aim of helping people de-stress by immersing themselves in the undersea world. I then pursued other interests like sailing and raised a family, but still loved to dive.
Some years later, I came to Bali again to follow a calling (that I got on a visit 16 years earlier) to visit Pemuteran. During that visit, I connected with the energy of the area and thought it would be good to have a reason to come back here. Which I did the following year, with the intent to seek opportunities, that was when I met Paul, and a brief chat on the beach, along with the feeling of instant connection, led to the launching of Sea Rovers. With the intent to focus on people, to look after them, help them to enjoy their time with us, whilst the Sea Rovers crew also enjoyed the work.
Whilst most of the time, Paul is the western face of Sea Rovers, I know that he holds the same values around people and the environment as I do. Sea Rovers, for me, is an extension also of the other work I do as a therapist and teacher in the ‘less mainstream’ aspects of Life. The next stage of Sea Rovers, marked by the new website and new head office, signals the start of some new projects and maybe a way I can combine two of my water-based passion, Diving and Sailing. And to also take Sea Rovers into new territories. So stay tuned as we fly our Pirate flag onwards into less known regions, all in the name of fun and adventure for us and our clients (brethren)
Kerry (Keiron) Keene, Pirate Commodore
Meet Wayan Subratha, our Dive Centre Manager and SSI Instructor.
Wayan came to Pemuteran in 1995 to work at Pondok Sari Resort, initially handling tables and reception. But deep inside, he nurtured bigger dreams.
In 1997, I (the Captain) first arrived in Pemuteran and started the now-closed Archipelago dive (it’s strange how things always seem to close down after I leave, isn’t it? Probably better not leave Sea Rovers for too long). Signed, The Captain.
Wayan began as our receptionist, but quickly became an indispensable member of our team and a cherished friend.
Back then, Wayan couldn’t swim, let alone dive. However, his exceptional guest management skills and winning personality made me believe he had the potential to become a future divemaster. The only thing standing in the way was his fear of the water.
A few years later, you couldn’t keep him out of the water. Since that turning point, Wayan has become a passionate diver and an experienced Divemaster.
In December 2015, Wayan achieved the impressive status of SSI Instructor No. 72881, an accomplishment that fills us with pride.
When asked about his love for diving, Wayan simply said, “Diving is a joy—exploring new wonders and meeting new people.”
Edi – Dive Guide
Meet Edi, also known as Mr. Hariyadi, our dedicated and no longer junior guide.
Edi hails from a family of fishermen and spent his formative years by the shores of Pemuteran, honing his fishing skills.
His journey with Sea Rovers began as a trainee, and his commitment and talent earned him a spot as a valuable helper. Eventually, he assumed the role of Nakhoda (Captain) for the Cynical Seahorse, showcasing his growing expertise.
While leading snorkel groups and lending a hand wherever needed, Edi demonstrated his potential and has since blossomed into an adept dive guide. He may still be wet behind the ears, but that’s par for the course in our line of work.
Meet Senior Captain Nakhoda Sahari,
A more experienced seafarer would be hard to come by. Born and raised as a fisherman right on the shores of Pemuteran, he is among the last to call Pemuteran Bay his home, living right at the water’s edge.
Captain Sahari has spent countless years navigating the rugged coastline of Northwest Bali, and his knowledge of these waters rivals that of the saltiest mackerel. Before joining the Sea Rovers crew, he once served as the captain for North Bali Dive, and before that, he dedicated himself to fishing.
Promoted to the role of Senior Captain, he now holds the responsibility of ensuring discipline among his fellow captains and maintaining strict adherence to the rules. Just one look at his stern countenance is enough to make even the most seasoned sailors fear his unwavering commitment to his duty.
Captain Kadek Nista,
like Captain Sahari, hails from a lineage of fishermen, being the son of a fisherman himself. Born in the coastal town of Pemuteran, Mr. Nista has spent his entire life intimately connected to the sea, traversing the waters from Bali to Sumbawa and all the way to Flores.
His journey has been a maritime odyssey, spanning various roles including fishing, fish farming, working at the Atlas pearl farm, engaging in aquaculture, and even captaining vessels for transportation. Ultimately, he found his way back to his beloved Pemuteran, where he teamed up with the Bali Diving Academy before becoming an integral part of the Sea Rovers team.
Captain Nista’s dedication to a life intertwined with the sea remains unwavering, and he continues to pursue his passion, showcasing his exceptional skills for the benefit of Sea Rovers.
Young Captain Toni
In June 2015, Mr. Toni successfully completed his probationary period and officially became a full-time member of the Sea Rovers crew.
Originally hailing from the neighbouring village of Sumberkima, Mr. Toni has been a seasoned fisherman in Pemuteran for many years. He was born into the challenging world of the aquarium trade but has since transitioned to the brighter realm of tourism. Now, he stands alongside us in our mission to preserve and protect the marine environment.
Before joining Sea Rovers, Mr. Toni served as a Captain in Tanjung Benoa, operating speed boats for tourists engaged in parasailing and water-skiing activities in the southern part of Bali.
Today, he is delighted to be back in the North, closer to his family. Mr. Toni is the final piece that completes our close-knit dive crew.
Receptionist Ditta, our Balinese Gem
Allow me to introduce you to the delightful Miss Mrs Nyoman Noviaditta Krishna Dewi, affectionately known as Ditta within our family circle and fondly referred to as Aunty by my children. Yes, one might say that nepotism occasionally has its place in the vibrant fabric of Bali.
Ditta has had her fair share of diverse roles in the bustling locales of Kuta and Ubud, serving as a waitress, assisting customers in various shops, caring for expatriate children who might sometimes be a tad bit challenging. She engages in a multitude of tourist-related occupations typical for a young woman working in the southern parts of Bali.
However, it was Sea Rovers that beckoned her to don the role of a receptionist, a position that requires a charm capable of outshining even the most weathered seafarer and his loyal crew. Never once has Ditta’s radiant smile or warm friendliness failed us, and she has indeed become an irreplaceable asset in maintaining the smooth operation and organization of our maritime endeavours.