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Thread: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

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    Probably sleeping Dr.Yen is an unknown quantity at this point Dr.Yen's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    I'm about to split south-bound for the winter and have 4 months to kill. I like diving and I don't like cold. I'm also a tight bastard and can't be paying shop prices to go diving on a boat everyday for 4 months, I'd have to sell my kidneys.

    I usually have a sweet as setup on a tiny island in Borneo where I have my own one-man tek operation just for myself and there's plenty of unexplored stuff. I was really having fun with that the last couple of years, but this summer the pirates started kidnapping and shooting at us and we had to leave. Doesn't look like it's getting better anytime soon so I'm looking into other options. So far I have:

    - Bonaire: pretty awesome diving considering it's not Asia and all shore diving with cheap gases and consumable. ATROCIOUSLY boring above the water though.

    - Playa del Carmen / Tulum / Cozumel / Cancun: caves would make a good change of scenery and AFAIK most sites are accessible by shore. Cheap living, lots to do, great food.
    Cons: I think I may get bored just doing caves, I'm more of a wreck guy. I'd imagine it's hard to get occasional work to supplement my stay?

    - Dahab / Red Sea: Plenty of tec going on so gases/lime easy to get, close to home, cheap to live in.
    Cons: bit colder than I'd like, can't work and if I have it right you can't dive without a local dive. I'm also averse to being beheaded.

    - SE Asia (Indonesia/Philippines/Malaysia/Thailand: I LOVE Indonesia so would love to find a similar setup to what I had in Borneo, but shore diving is limited and getting gases and sorb is a mission (and they're not cheap). Philippines are good for sites and consumables but viz isn't great and food is crap. Thailand I have the least experience with - love the food, but haven't had great diving there. Is Koh Tao any good deep? Last I did it on singles it was mainly looking at triggerfish and boulders.

    Any other suggestions welcome.

    Yen

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    RBW Member Goferrin99 is an unknown quantity at this point Goferrin99's Avatar
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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Tulamben in Bali has very good shore dives and drop off to 120m. Gas and lime available from Vila Alba as well as budget rooms (tho not $10/night budget...). Plenty to do and see above the water

    Puerto Galera in PHP has cheap diving and accommodation and some good sites in the 30-50m range. Mix and lime easily available

    Both would be good for a few weeks but 4 months would be stretching it...

    Maybe roam between a few different places?

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    Banned CGOUGHN is an unknown quantity at this point CGOUGHN's Avatar
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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    The caves in Mexico are outstanding. I just spent about 3 weeks diving around Akumal and Tulum. I am not a big fan of Playa del Carmen. It's like a concrete parking lot. Too many tourists and it's stupid hot from all the concrete. I did like it a little further south, where most of the caves were. 4 months is a long time to be diving there. There isn't much to dive off the shore, but, Conzumel island is fantastic for sea life.

    I was just in Curacao, which, has better deep diving than Bonaire. There is one outfit there, Goby Divers, in which you can get sorb, helium and O2. You'll have to look them up ahead of time. Replacement parts for the Rebreather's would have to be procured ahead of time. I took a couple of shore dives there. One to 82m and another to 122m. Both shore dives. There are a couple of wrecks, but they aren't that deep, with the exception of the Stella Maris at 150m. As for staying for 4 months, I'm not sure. Getting a rental property isn't very expensive, but they had pretty strict labor laws from what I understand.

    Good luck to you finding something that you find interesting and fantastic. The Red Sea is obviously fantastic as well, but, I've always liked the Caribbean much better.

    I hope you find what you're looking for.

    Cheers - Chris

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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Or you can join us in Grand Cayman for our 3rd Expedition Seminar :)

    3rd Annual Expedition Seminar – Grand Cayman February 1-6, 2015 | Add Helium

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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    We already talked on the phone when the connection broke up. Send me an e-mail as said and/or Skype ID if you have

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    Probably sleeping Dr.Yen is an unknown quantity at this point Dr.Yen's Avatar
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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goferrin99  View Original Post
    Tulamben
    Puerto Galera
    Done and done :)
    I love Bali (I've lived in Indonesia for 2 years) and the diving off Sabang is good (if not a tad colder and slightly less visibility than I'd like), but I fancy something new... That said, I always end up back in Tulamben for a few days and haven't done PG is about 8 years. I'd gladly revisit for a while, Capt'n Gregg's offered outstanding tec support. Not too sure about the underage ho's though, I hope it's changed in that respect...
    PS: send my regards to Dave!

    Quote Originally Posted by CGOUGHN  View Original Post
    The caves in Mexico are outstanding.

    I was just in Curacao, which, has better deep diving than Bonaire. There is one outfit there, Goby Divers, in which you can get sorb, helium and O2.
    Thanks Chris, I did give Bernardo a call just now and we had a chat before we got cut off, nice bloke and if I can make Curacao work financially it will definitely be a good candidate.

    Quote Originally Posted by dreamdive  View Original Post
    Or you can join us in Grand Cayman for our 3rd Expedition Seminar :)[/URL]
    Sorry but I'm not sure how a $4k / 1 week expedition fits into anything I said in this thread? I know you own RBW, but there is a dedicated forum for advertising your commercial expeditions... Unless of course you're inviting me along for the company, in which case I apologise and will gratefully accept :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanookh  View Original Post
    We already talked on the phone when the connection broke up. Send me an e-mail as said and/or Skype ID if you have
    Hi Bernardo, I already did soon after we got cut off, sorry I ran out of Skype credit. Let me know if you didn't receive it and I'll resend it.

    Cheers
    Yen

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    Probably sleeping Dr.Yen is an unknown quantity at this point Dr.Yen's Avatar
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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    On a side note, one mildly annoying pattern is when I get in touch with an operator to inquire about potentially diving with them and I mention I have a rebreather. There's usually a pause, during which I can hear the proverbial noise of hands rubbing and a calculator tapping, before I hear a "oooh, you're diving a rebreather? Well, in that case..." and all kinds of extras start poping up (It's worth noting that Bernardo was an exception to this and came across as a straightforward guy with a genuine enthusiasm).

    Does that happen to everyone else too?

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    RBW Member dreamdive has disabled reputation dreamdive's Avatar
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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Hello Dr. Yen,

    just for the record, I don't own rebreather world!

    I am one of the presenters at the Expedition Seminar.

    You can check out Dive Tek yourself. They are very rebreather friendly.

    Claudia

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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Yen  View Original Post
    On a side note, one mildly annoying pattern is when I get in touch with an operator to inquire about potentially diving with them and I mention I have a rebreather. There's usually a pause, during which I can hear the proverbial noise of hands rubbing and a calculator tapping, before I hear a "oooh, you're diving a rebreather? Well, in that case..." and all kinds of extras start poping up (It's worth noting that Bernardo was an exception to this and came across as a straightforward guy with a genuine enthusiasm).

    Does that happen to everyone else too?
    +1 for Bernardo.

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    Re: Good CCR-friendly places in the tropics to spend a few months?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Yen  View Original Post
    I'm about to split south-bound for the winter and have 4 months to kill. I like diving and I don't like cold. I'm also a tight bastard and can't be paying shop prices to go diving on a boat everyday for 4 months, I'd have to sell my kidneys.

    I usually have a sweet as setup on a tiny island in Borneo where I have my own one-man tek operation just for myself and there's plenty of unexplored stuff. I was really having fun with that the last couple of years, but this summer the pirates started kidnapping and shooting at us and we had to leave. Doesn't look like it's getting better anytime soon so I'm looking into other options. So far I have:

    - Bonaire: pretty awesome diving considering it's not Asia and all shore diving with cheap gases and consumable. ATROCIOUSLY boring above the water though.

    - Playa del Carmen / Tulum / Cozumel / Cancun: caves would make a good change of scenery and AFAIK most sites are accessible by shore. Cheap living, lots to do, great food.
    Cons: I think I may get bored just doing caves, I'm more of a wreck guy. I'd imagine it's hard to get occasional work to supplement my stay?

    - Dahab / Red Sea: Plenty of tec going on so gases/lime easy to get, close to home, cheap to live in.
    Cons: bit colder than I'd like, can't work and if I have it right you can't dive without a local dive. I'm also averse to being beheaded.

    - SE Asia (Indonesia/Philippines/Malaysia/Thailand: I LOVE Indonesia so would love to find a similar setup to what I had in Borneo, but shore diving is limited and getting gases and sorb is a mission (and they're not cheap). Philippines are good for sites and consumables but viz isn't great and food is crap. Thailand I have the least experience with - love the food, but haven't had great diving there. Is Koh Tao any good deep? Last I did it on singles it was mainly looking at triggerfish and boulders.

    Any other suggestions welcome.

    Yen
    Hello Dr Yen, I concur with your above characterizations of SE Asia, and it's been a while since I made it over to the Pacific, but if you have so much time on your hands, I wouldn't sweat a little logistics. A 2 month lead time should be enough to ship gasses, booster and sorb, no?

    As for SE Asia places with good shore diving, here's what comes to mind:

    Apparently almost all of the area around Dilli, East Timor is good shore diving. They only do boat diving to a few spots. The challenge would be the logistics. If you know somebody who works for an NGO, they might be a good resource for logistics advice. Dive Timor Lorosae is one of those tec/rec padi outfits, and they might be somewhat helpful and will almost certainly be enthusiastic about hosting a CCR diver for long stay.

    Kri Eco Resort in Raja Empats looks like it has some shore diving right out front. The owner and I exchanged some emails and he was happy to help me set up O2 for my potential trip.

    Dive Alor the Eco resort on Pantar Island is another place with a very long shore diving area right in front of the resort. They too said they could arrange O2 with enough lead time. I dove with another outfit in Kalabahi, and the diving was cheap and spectacular, but all by boat. Got my O2 from the hospital with the help of the dive shop owner. There are frequent cargo boats to Kalabahi if memory serves.

    Other places of shore diving interest:

    Selayar Sulawesi: Another place with a house reef that looks like a wall and lots of deep water nearby. They claim that all the boat rides are short. I also spoke with them about O2 and it shouldn't be a problem as Makassar is not far away.

    Solomon Islands: There is a tech outfit that does CCR on Honiara, and mention of shore diving at other resorts elsewhere in the country. Should be cheap and the tech guys have a booster and HE IIRC...


    Leyte PI, which will be certainly be damn cheap after the typhoon, and has lots of deep water and steep drop offs right up to the shore, though not much mention of shore diving on the web, but I think there's a tech outfit somewhere there that dives Malapascua with CCR...

    Just a starting point, I am envious! Good luck.. -Andy

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