Matching Your Gear to Bali
By James Donaldson
Bali, Indonesia, is a site famous for its coasts, temples, nightlife, food, shopping, and a whole lot of cultural spots. It also has some of the most interesting dive sites in the world.
Take note of what gear you should bring depends on what dive you want to take in Bali.
Muck diving is called what it is because the sites are muddy and the dives are shallow–you are literally looking for the critters that live and grow in the muck. These shallow waters call for summer wetsuits.
When you choose your gear, find something light and easy to move in. You don’t want to use too much force to propel yourself in the water–it might stir up the mud and make visibility poor. Light gear makes it easier to drift and propel yourself with less movement. It’s also a good place to freedive, unless your focus is photography.
There is one famous wreck in Bali–the World War II-era USS Liberty in Tulamben. It’s perfect for both recreational and technical divers. Those with less experience can dive around the shallower areas, while the more technical divers can drop to as low as 30 meters below the surface.
A full-body, 3 to 5 mm wetsuit is recommended to protect against any scratches. A torch is also good to bring for night dives or when you are within the wreck. It is close enough to the surface to form a kind of reef, so bring your own mask for better visibility.
Manta Ray Diving
Manta ray diving, much like shark diving, is an activity that requires some patience and technique. Use a comfortable wetsuit (it might be best to bring your own) that you can easily wait in. It is also recommended that you hover rather than touching the ocean floor, so you might want to bring your own fins to make sure you have good control.
Freediving is not encouraged, as your constant movement up and down might disturb the manta rays. When choosing your gear, keep lightness and buoyancy in mind so you can hover better.
Macro diving is diving focused on the small, less flashy (but no less unique) creatures that live in muck or in sand and rock formations. It is so-called because divers usually need the macro settings on their cameras to take clear photos of these tiny marine dwellers.
For night diving, you might need a low-beam light that helps you see but doesn’t cause the creatures to hide. A summer wetsuit is perfect for the shallow water and your comfort level.
Diving in Bali, Indonesia: Different and Fascinating
Bali has an unusual array of dive sites, from wrecks to mud. Study the different requirements of each dive and enjoy each different experience.