Choosing fins

They may look funny and make you walk like a penguin, but scuba fins are highly engineered pieces of precision gear. Different fins are designed for different types of diving, so a scuba fin that is appropriate for gentle drift diving around the Gili Islands may not work well for cave diving. There is a nice article about it: http://divebuzz.com/how-to-choose-dive-fins/.

Different kind of fins for scuba diving

Different kind of fins for scuba diving

Years of research have been devoted to developing different fin materials and designs to maximize fin propulsion while minimizing kicking effort. Learn about the different styles and features of scuba diving fins before deciding on a scuba fin purchase.

When choosing fins, always remember that with an efficient fin, there will be a direct correlation between how much oxygen and energy you use and how much air you use. This is particularly important for novice divers who will no doubt need to conserve air more than an experienced diver who is relaxed in the water and already has sound air consumption. As with masks, your primary concern when purchasing fins should be fit and comfort.

There is a vast array of fins on the market and you will need to consider your level of experience, kicking style and ability, leg power and type of diving you will be doing in order to determine which type of fin will best suit you. Diving fins should neither be too short (like swimming training or boogie boarding fins), or too long (like spear fishing fins). As a general rule, the stronger the leg, the longer and stiffer the fin should be. However, fins with rigid sides and a flexible middle made up of different materials will generally provide more thrust power with less effort. Many top end fins will incorporate a number of materials in the blade and foot pocket including carbon fiber, graphite and polymers to maximize the amount of energy transfer from the leg to the fin. Believe it or not, there is a great deal of science that has gone into the manufacture of fins!

As a general test for blade stiffness, if you turn a fin upside down with the foot pocket at your shoulder and fin tip held by your fingers and bend the fin 90 degrees, it should be reasonably difficult to maintain in that position. If the blade flexes too easily it will not offer enough power for you, whilst, if it is too stiff and difficult to maintain in a 90 degree position, the blade is likely to be too powerful and difficult to use. Note this test is not possible on a split fin blade, where split fin selection criteria should be based on rigid sides, a blade with at least 2 materials for flexibility and grooving in the blade to enhance water channeling.

Full foot versus open heel?

Closed heel fin for scuba diving

Closed heel fin for scuba diving

Despite the vast array of choice on the market, there are just two main styles of foot pocket – open heel and full foot. Both types of foot pocket will come with an array of options for blade.

Full foot fins are usually cheaper than open heal fins, easy to don and less bulky, however, if they are not a perfect fit for you will cause lots of friction issues and blisters. Never compromise, always go for fit when selecting full foot fins. Do not be talked into buying wet suit socks to ensure a proper fit for full fit fins or be tempted to purchase full foot fins where your toes feel cramped because they are on sale! Ideally, you do not want the top of the foot pocket to come too high on your instep as this may result in friction and chaffing. If the fins feel comfortable and a good fit, try standing up on your tiptoes whilst wearing them, if your fins stay on at your heel, they will not fall off in the water. Quite simply put, if full foot fins do not fit perfectly do not purchase, you are wasting your money and will live to regret your decision.

The downside of a full foot fin is that is the water is cold, they do not offer any thermal protection for your feet. Another negative is, if you are shore diving, you will need to consider where you will be walking as, without boots, your feet will be vulnerable over rock pools and similarly on hot dive decks.

As a result of the restrictions on full foot fins, most divers tend to go for an open heel fin type where a neoprene dive boot or dry suit boot is required to be worn underneath. Open heel fins are more adjustable, comfortable and versatile than full foot fins and provide cushioning and chafing protection, but tend to be bulkier, more expensive and can have complex strap adjustment mechanisms. An open heel fin worn with a dive boot will offer thermal protection in colder water and given that water is a much better conductor of heat than air is, I have never complained about my feet being too warm in tropical waters! Versatility is key with an open heel fin, the same fin being able to be worn with a pre-fitted dry suit boot or even a pair of trainers (yes, I have seen this!), eliminating the need for multiple fins being required in different conditions. Open heel fins also have the added advantage of providing additional stability and maximum propulsion.

In terms of fit, open heel fins need to feel as though they are holding the boot and the foot in the foot pocket. The foot should not feel as though you can wiggle it easily from side to side and similarly not too much of your boot should stick out of the bottom of the foot pocket. Whilst fit will vary between style and manufacturer, most manufacturers will provide a shoe size range as a guide for each fin size to make fitting a little easier.

Blade type – split fin versus paddle blade?

Split fins for scuba diving

Split fins for scuba diving

Ask any experienced diver or dive professional this question and it will undoubtedly provoke a lively discussion! Whilst paddle blade fins have been around for many years, split fin technology is a relatively recent addition to diving.

The whole idea of a split fin is that the blade causes a vortex in the water as you swim along. Also, on the divers upward fin stroke, where minimal propulsion is achieved in any fin, the split blade opens up and allows water to easily pass through. These features essentially provide excellent propulsion for less effort and ensure that a split fin is more efficient than a paddle fin. In essence, split fins are easy to use and as a result, many divers find that they can conserve up to 40% more air with a split fin over a more traditional paddle blade. People who suffer from cramping, are injured or have weak knees, ankles or back problems will benefit from using split fins because they are so easy to use. Splits also make an excellent snorkeling fin, allowing you to conserve energy and ultimately stay out longer and see more!

Many new or inexperienced divers have ineffective fin techniques (“the bicycle kick”) or are simply not good swimmers. Regardless of your fin technique, with a split fin, you will get somewhere efficiently and this makes the split fin an excellent option for novice divers.

With all these positives for split fins what is the catch I hear you say? Well, whilst split fins may be more efficient than paddle blades, they are not as powerful. What this means is that whilst split fins may be easy to use when the conditions are good, when the conditions turn, you simply will not have the power that a paddle blade fin can offer. In any sort of current, give me my paddle blade fins any day over splits! Because of the extra grunt that a paddle blade will offer, they tend to be the preferred option for most dive professionals when power is key for chasing students, conducting rescues and so on.

Sail Indonesia 2013 in Gili Air

The first boats of the boat rally Sail Indonesia 2013 arrived yesterday in the harbor of Gili Air. And more are coming. The harbor looks beautiful with all different kind of yachts.

Sail Indonesia Gili Air in front of Ocean s 5 dive resort

Sail Indonesia Gili Air in front of Ocean s 5 dive resort

The rally begins every year in Darwin late in July and for 2013 the departure day was July 27. The departure from Darwin is the beginning of a three month program of linked events across Indonesia, these events are supported by the Indonesian Central Government and the Local Government Centers at the destinations the boats will visit as they cross the country.

Sail Indonesia is managed using the internet and email only and this English language web site is to promote, co-ordinate and organize the rally.

Sail Indonesia Gili Air in front of Ocean s 5 dive resort

Sail Indonesia Gili Air in front of Ocean s 5 dive resort

Sail Indonesia 2014 will leave Darwin on July 26 and will include some exiting new destinations, if you would like any information or plan to join the rally next year please email Sail Indonesia at mail@sailindonesia.net.

Hundreds of yachts have joined the rally across Indonesia during the past twelve years, please see their Stories page where you will find links to many yacht web sites, blogs, guides, diaries and accounts written by some of these our participants from previous years. Sail Indonesia website: http://www.sailindonesia.net/home/home.php

Sinus squeeze, what is it and what are the symptoms?

Sinus squeeze, what is it and what are the symptoms?

A lot of divers get scared when after a dive they have blood in their mask, but should they be, what is it? Nice article from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/wilderness_sinus_squeeze/article_em.htm.

Sinus squeeze, a condition where pressure inside a sinus cavity causes pain, commonly occurs when a scuba diver cannot equalize sinus pressure due to nasal congestion. This is also called (sinus) barotrauma. There are four pairs of sinuses in the skull.

sinus squeeze

sinus squeeze

Each sinus has a narrow connection (air passageway) into the nasal cavity, which allows air to move back and forth and keep the pressure equal between the inside of the sinus and the outside surrounding area. If air pressure cannot equalize during a divers descent then a vacuum develops in the sinus cavity. The frontal sinus is most commonly affected; sinus squeeze can occur in other conditions that cause rapid changes in pressure such as sky diving or in individuals that enter pressure chambers (for example, hyperbaric oxygen chambers).

The presence of a “cold” or upper respiratory tract infection increases the risk of developing sinus squeeze. Also those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum (the wall that divides the nostrils) can increase the chances of developing sinus squeeze.

Sinus Squeeze Symptoms:

• Pressure or pain in the forehead or around the teeth, cheeks, or eyes may occur.
• The nose may bleed.
• Pressure and pain increase with increased diving depth due to swelling of the lining of the sinus (mucosal lining) and also bleeding into the sinus.
• When a diver ascends (goes back to the surface) the remaining air in the sinus expands and may force blood or mucus into the nose and mask.

Sinus Squeeze Treatment:

The following guidelines are suggested in treating sinus squeeze:

• Apply warm compresses to the face.
• Pain medications such as acetaminophen (or stronger if prescribed by a health care professional) may be needed to treat symptoms.
• Avoid diving until recovery is complete.
• Oral pseudoephedrine and topical nasal sprays (such as Afrin) should be used. Oral steroids (such as prednisone) for 3 to 5 days can help to improve symptoms.
• Relieve pain with acetaminophen tablets or ibuprofen tablets (Advil, Motrin), taken as recommended by the manufacturer.

Oral antibiotics are usually recommended only if sinus pressure persists or if thick, infected discharge from the ear, nose, or mouth develops. If a patient uses antibiotics and needs to be exposed to sunlight, the person should use sunscreen (15 SPF or higher) because the antibiotics may make the skin sensitive to sunlight.

For more information: http://www.oceans5dive.com

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are famous for their turtles! Every dive there is a change to see one of these amazing turtles. Maybe after a dive you will have the following questions:

1) What kind of Sea Turtles are there?
2) How do you identify them?
3) What do they eat?
4) Why are there so many Sea Turtles around the Gili Islands?
5) What kind of turtles are around the Gili Islands?

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

To answer all these questions it is maybe a good idea to start a Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5. But what are the goals and prerequisites of this course?

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

The Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty course introduces divers and snorkelers to basic sea turtle identification and conservation.

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

Sea Turtle Awareness Distinctive Specialty Course Gili Islands with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

The goals of Sea Turtle Awareness course training are:

• To familiarize students with the role of Project AWARE in preserving the aquatic environment.

• To introduce sea turtle species common in temperate or tropical waters.

• To provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to identify turtles and record sightings.

• To inform students about decline in sea turtle populations, importance of sea turtles to marine biodiversity and what they can do to reduce the loss of sea turtles worldwide.

Prerequisites for Sea Turtle Awareness course:

• Student must be PADI Junior Open Water Diver or equivalent. Equivalency is defined as proof of entry level certification with a minimum of four open water scuba dives. Instructors must ensure divers can perform the skills required of PADI Open Water Divers.

• Minimum age requirement: 10 years of age. For divers age 10-11, both a parent (legal guardian) and the diver must both watch the Youth Diving: Responsibility and Risks video or thoroughly review the Youth Diving: Responsibilities and Risks flip chart. Both parent (legal guardian) and diver must also read and sign the Youth Diving: Responsibility and Risks Acknowledgement Form.

The course consists of two scuba dives or snorkel dives.

For more information about specialty courses: http://www.oceans5dive.com or our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oceans5.dive.resort.gili.islands

Drift diving Gili Islands

Drift diving Gili Islands.

Drift diving around the Gili Islands. The Gili Islands are famous for their turtles, Hawksbill and Green Sea turtles. But the Gili Islands are also famous for their currents. Perfect places for a nice drift dive are Halik Reef, Shark Point and Soraya.

Drift Diving with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

Drift Diving with IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air

But have you ever experienced a drift?

This amazing kind of dives where you are taken by the currents and allowing you to feel that magical sense of ‘flying’ underwater, while making the dive cover a lot more distance than a standard dive, passing by big and small fishes, and literally flying over reefs!
The greater distance over a shorter period of time can be benefit to cover more ground, see a reef on it’s full, but on the other hand there is chances of missing out on the interaction and observation of marine life and scoping out the area in more detail.
Currents are a continuous directed movement of water generated by forces on the water like wind, the Coriolis Effect and breaking waves. Other factors for the cause of currents is the temperature, salinity and cabbeling of the water itself, but the greatest cause of a current is the tide, which is caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun.

The Gili Islands have stronger currents in the months: July, August, December and January.

The best time to dive for beginners is at ‘high slack’ tide. At this stage there is little or no current to be seen or felt.

If you are opting for a drift dive you are depending on the current to be there. Don’t forget to research the water conditions and patterns of the area you wish to dive to allow yourself the best chance of an amazing drift dive.

Although drift diving can be known as the ‘lazy’ man’s type of diving, it is not to be undertook lightly. Drift diving does require a level of training with specialty courses specifically there to teach you in drift diving. As you do your Advanced Open Water Course you can pick some specialties as part of the course, one of them being drift diving. If that doesn’t satisfy you, there is also a specialty course dedicated to drift diving, and once completed you will be qualified as a Drift Diver. This course requires you to do 4 Drift Dives and complete the training manual with a qualified Specialty Instructor.
As with the uniqueness of this type of diving, Drift Divers need to be careful about buoyancy and safety measures, like the surface markers bouys.

Scuba Masks, what should you know about It?

What do a Nemo, Shark, and a Bumphead Parrot Fish all have in common? You’ve see them through a mask. One of the most important pieces of diving gear, a mask must be equalized, defogged, and fit properly. In other words, there is more to scuba masks than meets the eye.

IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Islands has all kind of different masks.

IDC Dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Islands has all kind of different masks.

Masks are important and for everyone a mask should be comfortable fitting. Not being an extra stress factor Underwater. Especially around the Gili Islands because the Gili Islands are part of the famous Coral Triangle.

1. What Is a Scuba Mask?:

Scuba masks are different from other kinds of masks. Created specifically for scuba diving, they are made of high quality materials like tempered glass and silicon, materials tough enough to withstand the underwater environment. Snorkeling masks and other masks designed for surface water sports may be made of inferior materials, such as plastic lenses that can fog and scratch easily. Such weak materials could break during a dive. Although scuba masks may work well for snorkeling and other water sports, masks created for surface water sports generally do not work well for diving.

2. Divers Can Not See Underwater Without a Scuba Mask:

A mask helps to keep water out of a diver’s nose, which is nice. However, the primary purpose of a scuba mask is to allow a diver to clearly focus his eyes. A diver can breathe and swim underwater without a mask (student divers practice this in a scuba certification course). However, he can not see well enough to read a pressure gauge or clearly distinguish hand signals without one.

3. Swim Goggles Can Not Be Used For Scuba Diving:

A scuba mask must enclose a diver’s nose. This feature increases a diver’s comfort by allowing him to empty water from a leaky mask and preventing him from getting water up his nose. However, the reason it is absolutely essential that a mask covers a diver’s nose is that it enables the diver to equalize the air pressure in the scuba mask as he descends. This prevents the mask from painfully suctioning on to the diver’s face, and in an extreme case, sucking his eyeballs out.

4. A Mask Is a Mask, Right?:

Wrong. Many different styles of scuba masks are available to recreational divers. Purge valves, optical lenses, and side windows may be useful or annoying to a diver. It is important to understand the different kinds of scuba masks, and to have a clear idea of what type of mask you want before making a purchase.

5. Not All Scuba Masks Fit all People:

Many new divers do not realize that scuba masks need to be fit. People have different head and face shapes, so it makes sense that fit is important. No matter what the price or aesthetic value of a mask, do not buy a mask if it does not fit correctly. An improperly fitting mask can leak or press uncomfortably on a diver’s face. For this reason, it is important to determine a mask’s fit before purchasing.

6. All Scuba Masks Fog Up, But There Are Ways to

Prevent Fogging:

Experienced divers know that a foggy scuba mask can ruin a dive. Not only does a foggy mask block a diver’s view of the incredible underwater world, but it impedes communication and can be disorienting. All masks will fog up if not treated correctly. Any foggy mask can be fixed.

For more Information http://www.oceans5dive.com

ODEX, Sydney, Australia

Diving is not only being underwater. Oceans 5 was at the ODEX to show Australia how beautiful the diving is around the Gili Islands.

ODEX Sydney Australia with IDC dive resort Oceans 5

ODEX Sydney Australia with IDC dive resort Oceans 5

The ODEX is not one of the biggest, famous dive expos in Asia but it is based in a beautiful surrounding the aquatic Olympic park of Sydney.

During the show there were free diving contests, introduction dives, rebreather try outs, photography seminars and more.

ODEX Sydney Australia with IDC dive resort Oceans 5

ODEX Sydney Australia with IDC dive resort Oceans 5

Oceans 5 was happy to be there and explained a lot of people that Indonesia has more than only Bali. Especially because there are starting now direct flights from Perth, Australia to Lombok, Indonesia.

Oceans 5 likes to thank instructor and good friend Pablo who helped the during the show.

For more information about Oceans 5: http://www.oceans5dive.com

Diving around the Gili Islands

Diving around the Gili Islands have everything what you like as diver. Especially when you are diving with IDC Dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air.

Diving around the Gili islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

Diving around the Gili islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

1) It doesn’t take long to get to the dive sites. The dive sites are between the 5 and 10 minutes away from the dive shop.

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

2) Don’t you like it to stay a whole day on a boat? After every dive the dive boat comes back to the dive shop.

3) IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dives 3-4 times a day, starting at 8.30, next one at 11.30 and a afternoon one at 14.00. Every day you can do a night dive starting at 18.00.

4) IDC dive resort Oceans 5 has only small groups. Oceans 5 stands for quality, fun, and new experiences. A guide or instructor has maximum 4 divers with them, so everyone has a beautiful dive. Also for the fun divers Oceans 5 dive resort makes differences in guiding for different certification levels and nitrox. There will be difference made between guiding Open Water Divers and higher certification levels.

5) The dive sites around the Gili islands are made for beginner and experienced divers. The dive guides of Oceans 5 dive resort can show you everything what is around. You can always ask a guide what you like to see and he tries to find it.

6) The guides of Oceans 5 will give you for every dive a proper briefing what you as diver can expect at that specific dive site, and after the dive they will show you all the marine life you have seen with the books. In between you will have a coffee, tea or water for free.

7) Fun divers don’t have to carry their equipment to the boat. Oceans 5 has the policy that a dive should be fun. So Oceans 5 is taking care that the equipment will be on the boat or leaves the boat after the dive.

8) The Gili Islands are famous for their Sea Turtles. Around the Gili Islands you will find the Hawksbill Sea Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle. There are dive sites were you will see for sure 10 different turtles.

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

9) Are you a beginner diver and you like to see Nemo, Dory, Captain and more. Oceans 5 will not disappoint you, We have it all!

10) Another big attraction around the Gili Islands are the Bumphead Parrot Fish. In the weeks before and after full moon they are around the Gili Islands, sometimes we see more than 20-30 at the same time.

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air Indonesia

Diving around the Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air Indonesia

11) If you are an experienced diver and you have see it all? Oceans 5 dive resort loves Marco and we have some beautiful, special macro places for you where you can see the Mandarin Fish, Frog Fish, Ribbon Eels, Seahorses, Pygmy Seahorses, Nudis, Mimic Octopus, all different kind of pipefish and more. So don’t forget your camera!

Diving around the Gili with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

Diving around the Gili with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

For more information about diving around the Gili Islands: http://www.oceans5dive.com or our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oceans5.dive.resort.gili.islands

What to do after a PADI IE?

What to do after a PADI IE?

PADI IDC Gili Islands With IDC dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

PADI IDC Gili Islands With IDC dive Resort Oceans 5 Gili Air Indonesia

You just finished your PADI Instructor Examination (IE), and you become a PADI Instructor, still you have to wait 10 working days to become in teaching status. So what to do? Drinking, partying or different things?

Here at IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air have some different options for you.

1) After the IE you can start team teaching with experienced instructors. You will get experience in organizing and conducting a course. The experienced instructor helps you to find the standards, the schedule, and more that make it more easy for you to teach in the future.

2) After the IE you can educate yourself more by taking the next step: Master Scuba Diver Trainer prep (MSDT prep). If you are doing your master scuba diver trainer program you can teach at the end of the program 5 PADI Specialty Courses. IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive offers 15 different Instructor Specialty rating, like nitrox, night, deep, sidemount and more…

For more information about the PADI IDCs: http://www.indonesia-idc.com or our facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/Padi.instructor.development.courses.indonesia

New PADI Instructor Gili Islands

It is official! The Gili Islands have got another 6 new PADI Instructors.

IE Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air

IE Gili Islands with IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive Gili Air

The training of the instructor has be done by Trawangan dive on Gili Trawangan and IDC Dive resort Oceans 5 Gili Air on Gili Air. Both PADI course directors Holly and Sander are very pleased that their students became a PADI Instructor.

The next couple of days is for the fresh new instructors waiting till they will receive their teaching status sign, and the real instructor world begins.

IDC dive resort Oceans 5 dive like to congrats her candidates Margot and Lewis to receiving their goal to become a PADI Instructor. Also Oceans 5 like to thank Examiner Marc for the relaxing days, and creating a nice atmosphere for the candidates.

For more information about IDCs: http://www.indonesia-idc.com or our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Padi.instructor.development.courses.indonesia