zondag 15 september 2013
Drift diving around the 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. 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.