An update at last. If I thought that we were busy getting the Dive Centre built, I didn’t think about actually managing the first group! We had sixteen wonderful guests from Singapore, all with cameras. It was fantastic to have them here and an incredible help for us to be able to listen to what was working and what wasn’t….luckily most everything went very smoothly.
So we made it. The Dive Centre is 90% complete. The building work is finished, it’s now a matter of getting all the fittings, furniture, cold beers etc etc up and running. We have some furniture being made, but it’s yet to ship..so we are using some hotel tables and chairs for a while.
So, photos. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to do much diving, I think being an owner means I’m now no longer a divers, but a tank filler instead! The underwater photos and video will come, but for the meantime here are a selection of of the top side photos from the last week.
First of all, the Dive Centre. We are really proud of our home. Barb designed the building and we tried to make it as diver/photographer friendly as possible. We have 16 camera stations, plenty of rinse tanks for them, a wet and dry equipment area, giant TV for viewing your photos, completely international plug sockets which take plugs from any country, a large ‘chill’ area for relaxing, drinking and nattering about the day’s dives, an amazing bar (and soon tables) that we made from a giant piece of driftwood on our beach…hopefully you’ll enjoy your days and nights here.
We built our own private jetty in Ambon Bay, in a village called Lateri. This means no wading through the mucky, muddy Ambon Bay shore to get to our 18m meter boat, Wonderpuss. It’s an easy 12 minute drive from the Dive Centre and means we can get you in perfect comfort to the Ambon Bay critter sites.
Ambon, away from the city, is a beautiful place. The views from the boat are wonderful.
One your last day, one of the really fascinating land trips you can make is to the giant river eels and the eel ‘whisperer’. Just a short 20 minute car ride away is one of the most amazing things to see. A local village has an idyllic river running through it, shallow and crystal clear. In the river live giant river eels. The biggest is nearly 2m long. One of the villagers, the Eel ‘Whisperer’, takes you into the river, taps the surface with the fingers of one hand, a raw egg in the other, and entices the eels to come out of their lairs. These huge creatures are perfectly safe (the ‘whisperer’ still has all of his fingers, I checked!) and you can take your dome in a get some great splits of these wonderful animals. A great way to spend your last afternoon.
All of this would not have been possible without Barb and her tireless organisation, the Dive Team (particularly Franky and Fadly, my first two guides how have been totally wonderful, and Idrus, not only my captain but also my carpenter), Ella (the hotel’s owner rep, who you will all meet) and, of course, the people of Ambon who have made us feel at home.
And the final thanks to everyone reading this blog, booking their trips with us and supporting us with your words of encouragement. we are looking forward to seeing many of you here. More updates, more photos, will follow..