22 Jul How to deal with currents?
Most dive destinations in Indonesia are influenced by tides and it means divers can expect currents. There are dive sites where we do drift dives and just follow the current until it slows down behind a corner, but there are some dives where it becomes trickier.
Drift diving – what does it mean?
Drift dives are usually quite easy, and we just must maintain good buoyancy and sometimes slow down not to separate from the group. The closer to the bottom, means the currents is slower. Usually there are some bigger coral formations and if we swim behind them we can stop and wait to get some rest or to rejoin the group. In such dives the most important is not to go in front of the guide. Some less experience divers have habit to drift too high above the reef and it makes them go faster than those who stay lower. It is important not to paddle with current but only perpendicularly to the current. Of course, if you stay too far from the group you can swim with a current to speed up and join the rest. The reef can be very rich with many fragile corals so it is very important to avoid crushing with them. Some drift dives can reach even speed of 5 knots which is already a very fast drift. It gives a lot of satisfaction and feeling as if we are flying – but safety first. Always pay attention and to stick to your buddy.
Drift diving in Indonesia
In each trip we organize, we do drift dives. We do such in Bali at Nusa Penida Island, Gilis Islands, in our trips from Alor to Ambon, Komodo Island and Raja Ampat. There are some special destinations where we do some crazy drifts. The most famous and amazing is a drift in Komodo Island at dive site called: Shotgun. There are some spots during this dive where we have to take more concern and be more careful. Important is to listen carefully to the briefing to avoid mistakes and get yourself in wrong swirl of current. Maintaining good buoyancy and having a good fin technique is crucial. We strongly recommend to have minimum 20 dives and previous experience when you join Liveboard in Indonesia just because some dives have strong currents. It is also wise that when you feel not certain about your skills and afraid that some dive sites can be too difficult, to just skip them. We always do a very detail briefings for those dives which are more difficult. We never start our trips with most difficult sites so you build up some skills and get prepared for those more complex.