Trip Report 7 – 9 September 2012

I can’t remember the last time I did a single tank air dive on a wreck called Seven Skies in Indonesia. I guess it’s been several years. All other dives I have done there in the past have been technical diving with multiple tanks and multiple gases.


I was surprised how short air dives are at Seven Skies and reminisced at how much I used to love doing this a long time ago, now it’s kinda like – what was I thinking?


I was teaching Jim PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course.

I also had some Advanced Divers  following me.  Mr Angry and Revo Roat did 2 Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) dives together until Revo needed the num num (100% O2) as a precautionary measure.



Karen was on holidays and joined the trip and dived with JB.

They were diving big 14L singles using air and a 5 1/2 L stage tank of 50% oxygen.

They were doing short decompression diving using air and advanced nitrox.





Karen complained that JB swam to fast and too far. I saw them swimming out to what was left of the section in front of the wheelhouse.  I was happy when they did this because all the fish came back to the super structure.

Big barracuda, big pinjalo snapper and the school of resident bat fish.




Jim was also taking the PADI Enriched Air Diver Course.

So the second dive was meant to be on nitrox, but the boys blended my tank incorrectly and I pretty much had air again.

Jim had 28 % nitrox.




As it turns out nitrox was not much help, as Jim had never dived this deep before and he chewed through his air before his no decompression limit (NDL) on his dive computer got anywhere near deco.

I ended all dives with 120bar and the longest dive was 29 minutes.



I tried to talk Jim into some tech courses (as we carry alot more gas) and gave him some breathing technique hints. He confessed that he was very thrilled to be diving such a beautiful wreck and had trouble controlling his breathing due to his excitement.


We did three dives at Seven Skies, although short, they were fun. Loads of fish, awesome viz and no current at all. I spent a good 10 minutes hanging onto a broken hand rail hoping a big fish with white spots would come visit me, but no such luck.

The pinjalo snapper that appeared at Seven Skies a few years back as baby snapper are now adults and they swam under me a few times.


I could not resist to ride Mr Angry on the third dive.  He was right below the line taking photos. I grabbed the top of his rEvo CCR and shook him like I has riding a horse. He did the same to me a month ago. I was laughing so much my mask kept flooding and every time I cleared it, it flooded again with my laughter. Karen said she even heard me laugh underwater and enjoyed watching. Revenge is sweet.


I lost my two favorite masks a while ago jumping off the front of the Mata Ikan, which is a good three meter drop. Hold my mask tight and jump, mask gone. It did this twice. So I bought myself a Scubapro Frameless Mask. Sorry Scubapro, but it sucked. Every time I turned around to check on my students it would flood, any movement of my head and it would flood.  No matter how loose it was on my face it always left a mark.


This trip I was using my new Poseidon Phantom Mask.  Once I got over the initial fogging it turned out to be a damn good mask.

No flooding (unless in hysterics), great view and very comfortable and it didn’t leave a mark on my face.

So comfortable, I sometimes forgot I was wearing it.




For the first time ever JB skipped the night dive.


Karen, Jim and I jumped in at 7.45pm at Damar, a little rock covered in bird excrement in Indonesia, about an hours cruise from Seven Skies. The seas were flat with zero current.  We descended down to 14 metres and started to work our way a bit shallower.

We saw healthy coral, loads of morays, a turtle (well Mun’s group saw the sleeping turtle under some table coral) and a fews shrimps.



Karen was taking a million photos of something as I was passing the time trying to sleep, my favorite activity during night dives.

I decided to go see what all the fuss was about. I had to squint my aging eyes to see this tiny little crab of sorts.

Not one bit of rusty metal in sight!




Saturday night we had a vote as to what wreck to dive on Sunday.  I voted for Igara, but Dave convinced the rest to agree to a new wreck as long as all GPS devices where handed in.


The new wreck turned out to be the Djrgantara, a wreck I have looked for in the past. According to Dave it was 25 metres to the deck.

Well it turned out to be 35-37 metres on the top deck.

So two short single tank air dives again.





The Djrgantara appears to be a small coaster freighter and it had been there for a while, it is covered in soft and hard coral.

On the second dive a school of barracuda circled around Jim and I along with some bat fish, as we ascended on the rope. Just sensational.



There were some massive jelly fish caught on the wreck, but these were easy to avoid and lovely to observe.





Glenda’s Tip – Hot water can scald your hand. Using a glass to make a cup of tea is not a very clever idea, especially when the glass decides to crack in your hand, then explode as you bend down to put the cracked glass on the ground.  Note to self – use the smaller coffee cups when onboard The Ark and making tea.  Your hand will thank you for it.


Congrats to Jim for passing the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Course and the PADI Enriched Air Diver Course.

Cheers, Gary

Photos taken by Karen Savins and JB.  Additional photos can be viewed in Facebook – click here to view the album