Rob's World

Tag: diving

Travel to/from Dive Trip in Indonesia

by on Jan.02, 2010, under Uncategorized

So.. I’ll start simple.. this is the story of travel to my Dive trip to Indonesia.

Left DC a little late due to a small snow storm (4-6″).  Flew straight to Tokyo,  barely made connecting flight to Singapore.  (Side note: folks on the airplane, when asked to stand aside so that we could get off in time to make our flight, actually did so!  Amazing! ).  In Singapore, we had 8-9 hours to kill before our next flight.  Henry decided to get a room at the transit hotel, while Mike and I were too awake, so we stayed up watching Discovery Channel in the airport (Side note: Singapore is a GREAT airport to kill time in.. tons of restaurants, TV’s with Discovery and Sports, comfy chairs, free X-Box 360′s to play, and free wifi and/or internet terminals). Finally, morning rolls around and we fly to Manado.

In Manado, we had two days to kill.. we stayed at a very nice resort (Cocotinos)  Except the Pool was closed, which sucked, and there was nothing to do near there, as we couldn’t dive due to the flight times we had.  We did get to see a Volcano, Local market, and eat a fantastic local meal. After staying there, the taxi took us back to the airport to finish our trip to the boat.

In the Manado Airport, we wait for our flight to Sarong.  and Wait.  and Wait.  (note: we land at ~11AM and our flight to Sarong is scheduled at 1PM).  After more waiting, the finally decide to let us board the plane (small turbo prop job).  While on the plain, we notice a guy arguing with the Pilot/groundstaff/etc rather loudly and unhappily. Once they close the door, we find out why: Our non-stop flight to Sarong has become a 1-stopper in Ternate, a small island en-route to Sarong. (Side note: airplane has ~20 passengers.. 15 are en-route to live-aboard dive boats in Sarong, and 5 are Milatary folks looking to stop in Ternate.. yeah, figure it out).  We stop in Ternate, and then discover the reason for the yelling.. turns out you can’t land in Sarong after 6 PM, as you can’t land after dark there… so we are told we are staying the night in Ternate.  (Side note: the 15 of us left all are supposed to be on boats for the night, traveling to the best diving areas, and each boat has enough other passengers that waiting is iffy.. plus we had all shelled out 4+K for these trips).

The airline (Lion Air/Wings Air) arranges taxi’s to take us to a hotel.  We all get there, and the hotel doesn’t have room for us all.. so a guy from our boat (Andrea, our life-saver) starts calling/talking to people to find us something else.  Turns out the entire island’s hotels are booked solid.  Finally… a hotel is found.. turns out they decided to allow their normally closed 3rd floor to be opened up for us.  Wow.  As we’d get to a room, they would spray in some Febreeze, and in we would go.  No towels.  No toilet Paper.  Water damage and mold EVERYWHERE.  The lucky folks would pull back their sheets and the cockroaches would run away.  The unlucky folks had some of the bugs run away, then had to sweep away the dead ones.  Yeah, lovely.  (They also tried to give us dinner.. KFC, which really was some white rice with a parakeet wing resting on top.  Luckily Andrea got a recommendation from a local so we at least ate Ok.  Needless to say, not much sleep that night.  We were told to meet in the Lobby at 5:30 AM.. I came down at 5:10, and was the 4th or 5th person down there.. as no one slept well.

6:15AM we took off, landed in Sarong, and finally started our vacation for real.  Little did we know that except for the hotel crap, this was the easy part of our journey.

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Strobe and tray/arms arrived!

by on Dec.02, 2009, under Uncategorized

So everything I ordered arrived, exactly as expected, and in perfect order. Now, I just wish I knew enough to use it all! Assembling on my desk wasn’t that hard.. though the setup is unwieldy on land.. I expect underwater it will all make a ton more sense.. (though I still have to take it apart, pack it nicely for the half way around the world trip and then assemble it properly while on a boat!)
Should be an exciting time, to say the least!

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