Why Sea Rovers?
Well first: What is a Sea Rover? : noun
- One that travels extensively by sea.
- a pirate.
- a pirate ship.
A Pirate in the romanticised sense, a freeman, free spirit, with a love of the sea and not withstanding a lust for treasure. The Commodore, Captain and Crew of Sea Rovers Dive Centre follow this personal credo. We are freemen who love diving and seeking the Treasures beneath the oceans
(especially to photograph those treasures, The Captain)
And with this in mind, we set out to create a dive base to our liking.
Instant Pirates, just add RUM!
The Captain’s Tale
My story really starts in the North East of England towards the end of the Thatcher years. A time of recession and hardship for a young lad fresh out of college clutching diploma’s in design, photography & video in his hands. Three years of dole queues and volunteer work later my path crossed that of a crusty sea dog named Ernest and his wayward wench Kath. They showed me the ways beneath the sea, filling my heart and imagination with tall tales of distant lands and wondrous reefs.
But the day came when they could skipper their own ship once again and they left for distant lands.
Bereft of guidance I drifted in the doldrums of depression till word came “Come out and join our crew, we have a bunk awaiting you in Lombok.” So with nothing to hold me back, I set forth on a quest for adventure and new hope.
My apprenticeship on Gili Air as a divemaster gave me a thorough grounding in the art of skippering a divebase. I learnt the importance of professionalism, safety and above all having fun.
Inspired by my time in the Gili’s I returned to the UK determined to chart my own course and one day captain a base of my own.
Many years and thousands of dives have past since that time. I’ve crewed divebases in the Mediterranean and over the past lost-counted years I’ve captained and crewed dive centres for a mixed bag of merchants, rogues and adventurers in Pemuteran, NW Bali.
But I never lost sight of the star that guided my dreams, I’ve just patiently worked, learned and awaited my own tall ship.
Towards the end of 2005, I met Kerry, a kindred spirit and patron to the cause. Kerry understood the dream of ‘a tall ship and a star to sail her by.’ And thus a partnership was born.
It’s taken a long time to reach this point in my journey, with many adventures, trials and misfortunes along the way. To say I’ve lived through interesting times would be an understatement. But now the voyage continues and we captain a vessel of our own making. Sea Rovers Dive centre is our tall ship and the star that guides us is the desire to build a dive business that we ourselves would want to dive with. Where safety is taken care of and we don’t need to worry. A dive boat that is more space than divers with small groups and personal service. A place that cares about the environment I dive in as the norm and not just as a publicity gimmick. But above all this, a fun friendly atmosphere with people who enjoy what they are doing and it’s not just a job.
Paul M Turley, a Sea Rover and British diver in Bali.
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 part of a mechanical engineering course. Problem was my ears could not handle the cold water in the UK. Emigrating 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 look for 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 int less known regions all in the name of fun and adventure for us and our clients (brethren).
Kerry (Keiron) Keene, Pirate Commodore
Dive Centre Manager & SSI Instructor Wayan
Wayan Subratha moved to Pemuteran for work back in 95, working tables and reception for Pondok Sari Resort, Wayan dreamed of better things.
In ’97 I came to Pemuteran for the first time and opened the now also defunct Archipelago dive (note that the defunct bit always comes after I leave. Strange that? The Captain.)
Wayan joined the crew as the receptionist and soon became an invaluable asset and firm friend.
At that time however, Wayan could not swim let alone dive. But his abilities in handling guests and personality made me think this was a future divemaster. Now if I could just get rid of that look of terror when entering the water, we’d be quids in.
A couple of years later I couldn’t get him out of the water for love nor money. Since that day Wayan has been a keen diver and became a very experienced Divemaster.
In December 2015, Wayan became SSI Instructor No #72881. We’re all very proud of him.
When asked what he likes about diving he said: “Diving is fun, finding new stuff and meeting new people”.
Dive Guide Abdul
Ex-Nakhoda (or Captain) Abdul Rohim a salty sea lover since day one. In his own words “Since a small child has drunk seawater.” Father a fisherman and his fathers before him, born on the beach with the sea air in his lung on his first breathe. Do I need to say anymore?
From the age of 11yrs Abdul was out fishing with his father. From 2001-05 Abdul crewed on one of the large fishing vessels trawling the length and breadth of Indonesia. He’s sailed up to Sulawesi, through the Kangeans and across to Flores. But in 2005, which is when our paths first crossed, he looked for something better paid and closer to home in order to help his family.
I met him when I was doing the training for the ‘Pemuteran, Reef Gardeners’. Fifteen fishermen from the for local Nelayan (fishing associations) were trained to dive with funding from Aus Aid and initiated by local dive entrepreneur and good friend Chris Brown. The idea being to teach the local fishermen a new way of looking at the environment by teaching them about its protection. Which turned into a full-time job for six of the trainees.
Unfortunately, Abdul dropped out after doing his PADI open water diver certification. He’d been offered a land-based job at a local shrimp farm. But the love of the sea that flows through his veins won out and when I asked the local Nelayan to send candidates for the post of skipper for the ‘Vicious Guppy’ he applied. When asked why he wanted to be a Sea Rover he answered: “I love the sea and am not happy working on land, plus I want to learn a new career.”
“Good enough and welcome aboard lad!” Says I. Since then Abdul has proven his worth and risen through the ranks to the crystal clear depths of Diveguide.
Edi or Mr Hariyadi is the junior of the guides. Like Abdul a fisherman born, he grew up on the beach in Pemuteran and fished with his family.
Sea Rovers is his first real job and he’s doing it well. He started at Sea Rovers as a trainee and was kept on as a helper. Later he took over the role of Nakhoda (Captain) for the Cynical Seahorse.
But while leading snorkel groups and helping out he proved that he had the potential. Now he is now an experienced diveguide. Still bit wet behind the ears, but that’s normal in our line of work.
Watch this space to see how his career develops 😉
Senior Nakhoda Sahari
A saltier sea dog would be hard to find.
Fisherman born and bred, literally on the beach here in Pemuteran and one of the few remaining still living in Pemuteran Bay on the water’s edge.
Captain Sahari has sailed the NorthWest Bali coast for many a year and knows these waters better than the back of a salty mackerel to be sure. One time Captain for North Bali Dive prior to joining the Sea Rovers crew, before that he fished… A lot.
Recently promoted to Senior Captain he is now responsible for whipping all the other Captains into shape and making sure they tow the line. Look at that face and fear his wrath for you’ll know how ruthless he is at his job.
Captain Kadek Nista
Like Captain Sahari, our Captain Nista is the son of the son of a fisherman born. Also born in Pemuteran, Mr Nista has fished, crewed and worked from Bali, Sumbawa through to Flores.
Fishing, fish farm, Atlas pearl farm, aquaculture, transporting till finally back to Pemuteran as a Captain. Where he worked with Bali Diving Academy till joining Sea Rovers.
Mr Nista has spent his life by the sea or on it and now continues doing what he loves and does best for Sea Rovers.
Young Captain Toni
As of June 2015, Mr Toni finished his probational spell and a became full-time member of the Sea Rovers crew.
Originally born in the next village of Sumberkima, Mr Toni has been a Pemuteran fisherman for many a moon. Born on the bad side of the Aquarium trade, our Mr Toni has been brought over to the light that can be tourism and now joins us in preserving and protecting.
Prior to joining Sea Rovers Mr Toni worked as a Captain in Tanjung Benoa, driving speed boats for parasailing and water skiing tourists in the South of Bali.
Now happy to be back in the North and closer to his family. Mr Toni rounds our the tight-knit crew.
Reception Wench Ditta
Aah… the lovely Miss Nyoman Noviaditta Krishna Dewi, or Ditta to the family and Aunty to my kids. Yep, Nepotism, this is Bali after all.
Ditta has worked as a waitress in Kuta and Ubud, shop assistant, nanny to expat brats and any number of tourist-related jobs a young lass can have down the south of Bali.
But Sea Rovers needed a receptionist, someone whose smile could woo the guests better than this crusty seadog and the crew. Never short of that smile or friendliness, Ditta has become indispensable in keeping us shipshape and organised.