Returning to Lembeh
It’s been a long time for most of you, here are some tips to anticipate and prevent stress when you finally get back to diving with us.
Start doing a bit of moderate exercise now!
Go for a walk a few times a week, and try walking a bit faster than usual up a hill or up some stairs. This will help simulate the activity you’d get during a leisurely dive with the occasional surprise current (not likely in Lembeh, but you never know!). We’d really like to avoid any heart attacks in Lembeh, so get it out of the way at home 🙂 Throw in a few stretches as well, you don’t want to go pulling something on that first backroll…
Check all your batteries.
Do at least 2 charge cycles on anything with a battery in it, and if you have computers that need to go in for service to change the battery, do it now even if it looks OK. Batteries discharge in strange ways when not used for 2 years. Bring a spare battery for your camera leak-alarm and computer (CR2032 and CR2450 usually). Nikon camera batteries were hard to come by for a while, check yours are still good.
Service your dive equipment.
It’s not that expensive to do and will save you being annoyed when you get to Lembeh – when you pick up your reg ask them to put it on a cylinder in the shop and listen for any leaks or dip it in some water to confirm it’s good to go!
Get your eyes tested!
You may find that your eyesight has got worse and you need a prescription mask.
Declutter your carry-on.
Flying long haul during COVID is less fun than before. So much of what we take in our carry on is not essential. You’re going to have a bit longer in the airport when you arrive – no point lugging around a bunch of stuff you haven’t used the whole flight.
COVID rules prep.
Indonesia has some rules that will be different to your home country, so be ready for them at the airport as that’s the place you’re most likely to get in trouble. Have spare masks and a small bottle of sanitiser, have your forms printed out as per this checklist. Have the Peduli Lindungi App downloaded and be familiar with how it works. It’ll speed things up in the airport a lot if you’re not fumbling around.
Dive slow and check your air often
2 years is a long time, you’ll have lost some skills and forgotten some things. Go slow on the first few dives and check how your breathing rate, buoyancy and things are. If you’re having trouble with buoyancy – stay away from corals, if you’re breathing more than you used to – stay shallower. If you’re kicking up a lot of sand – stop flapping your feet!
Avoid carrying excess diving weight – keep your camera light and your weight belt light too. Do a buoyancy check after your first dive, and adjust your weight position so your trim is correct. Too many gadgets on your camera will feel awful to begin with.
Practise your photography on boring stuff
Please, please, please practise all your settings and techniques before you arrive at the important subject in the dive, do it in the shallows where you’re not burning your air. Just a few test shots to familiarise yourself with which way the power knob turns on your strobe and to confirm a few settings will save a lot of frustration for you and your fellow divers if you have things ready when you get to the good stuff…
Don’t huddle the ladder!
As we dive in small groups this has never been much of an issue for us, but just in case let’s remind ourselves that no one enjoyed being peed on or having snot flicked about before COVID, we can’t imagine we have become more tolerant.
The travel industry took a massive hit when covid struck as almost all insurers hid behind force majeure policies. Now there is actually insurance to protect you and us from financial obligation if you do come down with COVID before or during your trip, please don’t think we are being mean by insisting on this.