This was the final trip for the MV Giamani before she heads back to Thailand to do some technical diving trips.
This weekend was a Free Flow Divers Charter.
We dived around Mapur, Indonesia.
On Friday afternoon, I went to Batam on the MV Giamani and waited for the guests to arrive via the ferry from Singapore.
We arrived at Mapur to witness flat calm seas. It was like a mirror, just beautiful, well except for the smoke that filled the sky.
All weekend there was little, to no current, which made the diving very easy.
Unfortunately, the local fisherman had been busy the last couple of weeks and pretty much killed all the fish, particularly at Sentut.
We did two dives at Sentut and there were small dead fish everywhere.
I found out why soon enough.
I found a water bottle with a rock tied to it and a hole in the cap.
The local fisherman had been busy killing the fish with cyanide.
We could even see the coral damage this destructive fishing method was causing.
It was truly sad to see this happening and the dive site that had had the most number of fish the previous weekend now had none. It was even more odd to see local fisherman using hand lines to catch fish at the same site. Either they did not know about the cyanide fishing or they were there for other reasons.
All the dive sites were affected and we had to be happy with a few nudi’s and a couple of turtles.
Me, I was happy to be diving my Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) for the first time since February this year.
I did not have any students this weekend, so it was all leisure diving for me.
I bought the Evolution CCR second hand last year. It had hardly been used and was sitting in a box for about 4 years. At first it worked well, then things started to go wrong. Replace this o-ring, that o-ring etc etc. The last issue was the Over Pressure Value (OPV). The OPV was leaking air, so I ordered a new OPV especially from the manufacturer in the United Kingdom, only to find out that it still did not work. After much blood, sweat and Stuey’s cursing, we noticed that the plastic disc was too small. So a 2 cent part was causing the final problem. We put the old part back in and it worked like a dream all weekend. Finally…..
We surfaced after the fourth dive at Buddha Rock, only to find out it was pouring rain. What had happened to the sunshine and clam seas?
It rained for the next few hours and Sunday afternoon the seas where no longer flat calm. We had a little bit of a bumpy ride back to Batam.
Buddha rock was still a nice dive. The coral and fish life were ok. It appears that the cyanide fishing was only done at the islands off Mapur. Buddha Rock is a dive site off the coast of Mapur.
The best dive of the weekend was again at Bintan. The viz was great at 15m and the fish life excellent (well once we found the reef). The captain dropped us on a sandy bottom and for some reason my natural navigation (I had forgotten my compass) was not working so well. After 15 minutes, my buddy Simon pointed “that way” so I followed and sure enough we found the reef and spent the next 40 minutes there watching the fish.
We found a small cuttlefish too.
Although Mapur was not great, everyone had a good time and onboard the MV Giamani.
She is a nice stable boat, with good food and crew.
I look forward to using the MV Giamani again next year.
Glenda’s tip – Stop cyanide fishing.
Photos by Gary Savins