There aren’t many things more frustrating to a CCR diver than spending a lot of money on buying a unit, and then find that many dive resorts don’t accommodate CCR divers. Dive centres that support CCR divers should stock Sofnolime 797, 2 and 3L cylinders in steel or Al, and be able to provide any bailout mix you want. As the owner of Alba and our technical diving staff own CCRs, we know what you need to maintain and operate yours properly, and our facilities reflect that. For more information on our CCR facilities, click here.
Fun diving in Tulamben is perfectly suited to CCR diving. Diving is done from the shore, where the seabed slopes off easily all the way down to 100m. All local dive sites allow a gradual descent to 6m, making it very easy to perform a cell check at the start of a dive. The underwater topography is interesting, and the coral is home to a range of diverse marine life. We occasionally see reef sharks, blacktips and whitetips in the 40m range, but from 60m and deeper, divers sometimes report seeing larger pelagics; manta rays, thresher sharks, hammerheads, and mola mola (August and September is Mola season). We have even seen an oceanic white tip at 60m before.
We don’t generally get the kind of strong currents you see in places like Nusa Penida and Komodo, but do need to be mindful of tide times. Underwater topography creates circular currents in front of Alba that follow the countours of the sea bed. They are usually minor, but do require that you adjust your buoyancy to compensate. At some of the dive sites we must assess what the current is doing once we approach depths of 60m, as it can get quite strong. Apart from localised thermoclines (that indicate you are about to be hit by a current), the water temperature is a consistent 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) all year round, so a 3mm wetsuit is adequate for most divers.
Fun diving options
You have the option of using your rebreather to go diving with our local dive guides, or if you want to do very long shallow dives or deeper decompression trimix dives, our tech instructors can guide you. We charge cylinder rental by the day, and sofnolime by the kg. There are also porter fees at the dive site which we have no control of, and transport fees. When fun diving with a guide, customers must cover the gas, porter fees, and consumables for the guide. Costs assume that bailout will not be used. If it is then additional charges apply. For information on costs, click here.
Learning to dive on a rebreather is not a decision that you should take lightly. Whilst there are numerous benefits of diving with no bubbles and being able to undertake long dives with efficient decompression obligations, there are increased risks involved in diving on a CCR. You need to have a good understanding of these before committing to buy your own unit and pay for the associated training. To be ready for CCR training, you should already be a competent and experienced diver with good buoyancy, trim, awareness and positioning. Ideally you should have some previous technical diver training; if you don’t have good buoyancy on open circuit, you will find CCR training extremely challenging and frustrating. Moreover, if you are the type of person that likes to cut corners or are impatient to become competent quickly, CCR training is not going to be for you. Competence is a long and slow road. How you navigate that road depends a lot on the training that you receive. We are not intending to put you off CCR diving, far from it. But we do think it’s important that you come into it with your eyes open having made an informed choice.
Raid CCR training
At Alba we teach the Poseidon 6 & 7 through Raid. Courses offered include no decompression diving to 30m, decompression diving to 45m, and trimix diving down to 60m. Our courses are thorough, incremental, and designed to give you as much time on the unit as possible. A typical course takes 5 days and includes theory, equipment workshops, a pool session, and 6 long open water dives.
If you would like more information or have any questions about CCR Diving and Training at Villa Alba, please get in touch.