Somewhere in Time

Author: Dwi Widyati Agustiningsih
Trip report on Diving Krakatoa - Volcano Dive Trip 2004

 

Prelude

The journey for Eric and me started from Singapore, where we were trapped in the most unusual traffic jam on the highway to Changi Airport. It was quite unusual since there was no accident on the road, but the traffic was just as slow as baby crawling. Fortunately we have made enough buffer time arrangement, so we were not that panicked. We reached the airport at almost the same time, the check in line for Cathay Pacific, the flight we used, was not that bad and they had the luggage scanned at the check in desks, saving us time and effort from queuing at the luggage scanning post!!

Everything was very smooth after that, although during the immigration check, some kiasus cut ways in front of Eric. We managed to get Tom?s wanti-wanti i.e. 2 huge bottles (okay, they?re standard size, but still, they?re huge!) the Absolut?s Vanilla. I was starving since I hadn?t had anything for lunch, so we sat at Coffee Bean?s counter where I had a sardine puff. For a hungry growing woman, it tasted nice, even though under normal condition I would have preferred to wait for a more decent meal.

It was a full flight. I had a middle seat, and Eric had the aisle seat. The girl who sat next to me, at the window seat (we both think) was a bit nut, or else a real nutcase! She sighed loudly all the time, and sang loudly as well! Pretty scary I must say! We felt so blessed that it was only 1 hr and 20 minutes flight. Anything longer than that we would have required duct tape and some earplugs.

Oh well, finally we reached Cengkareng Airport. My sister and her hubby were there, waiting for us. I asked them to come over to Cengkareng to pick up some of my stuffs that I did not want to carry all the way to Anyer. So we chatted a bit, while waiting for Melanie and Mike and the Kapal Selam team. I called up Tom, and he said he?s on the way, ?But Jerry should be there by now. He?s huge and wearing Kapal Selam?s shirt?.. So there I was, looking for a huge guy with Kapal Selam?s shirt? There was this really really HUGE guy, wearing red shirt, but no sign of Kapal Selam on it at all.. I was lurking around him, trying to spot the KSDC?s logo on any part of his shirt.. Apparently I scared him off, cos I saw him ran away from me ? But I had made sure there wasn?t KSDC?s logo on his shirt and no, he?s not Jerry, therefore I let him go anywhere he pleased :D I made another phone call, and there Tom walking towards us.. And then I was introduced to Pak Tjokro, Cesil and Jerry. Great! Everyone was there.. We only had to wait for Melanie and Mike then. Suddenly I lost Eric? Made another phone call to him? Geeez, he was actually standing 1 meter from me!! I must have been too tired!! The KSDC team made another introduction and handshakes blablabla to Eric again ?

Couple of minutes later, Melanie and Mike popped up from the custom?s exit door.. We waved at them vigorously, afraid that they might miss us. Yes, there was that possibility due to the fans crowd welcoming Mike, even though we had the so-called HUGE Jerry with us!

Team were split into two cars, Melanie, Mike, Cesil and Jerry in one car and Eric, me, Pak Tjokro and Tom in the other car. The journey to Anyer was smooth again, considering the common Jakarta?s ever famous traffic jam. I fell asleep most of the time with lullabies was provided by Incognito at some point, except when we passed by Cilegon, where I used to have my college apprenticeship. Then I was between dreams, zombified by my needs of rests and nostalgic in Cilegon.

We arrived at Oka?s villa after few short stops and phone calls from Tom to the Tantes (Oka and Mia, I presumed). I was amazed and a bit norak. I really loved the villa!! It reminded me how much I love Indonesia?s houses. They?re just full of characters!

One of our diver from Singapore, Federico, had arrived earlier, and he just couldn?t wait to boast about him being picked up by three goddess.. So there he was telling us over and over again about his once in a lifetime experience.. Well, I assumed he can be norak as well, hehehe?

We sorted ourselves out that midnight, and went to bed early am.. I crashed in the sofa in front of the telly cos I just couldn?t move my lazy bum anymore.

It was 8am sharp, when Mia woke up, all sorted and about to prepare us breakfast. Wow!!! How energetic a girl she is!! I was so malu, I woke up and got myself ready too? We had decent breakfast, and then kicked ourselves out of the villa for a journey to Krakatau!! We?re comiiiiing?..

Second Dive - Moray Point, Krakatoa

After the first dive on that first day, we had lunch break at a pretty virgin beach.. It was a luxurious experience, especially since most of us live and work in hustle bustle cities. The atmosphere there really blew my stressed mind off! We had some cold drinks, fruit juices (no brand shall be mentioned here :p) and some mini cup jelly as desert.. Lovely!! But I went a bit berserk when I realized that Tom never meant to help me opening that jelly!! However since he seemed to enjoy it way too much, I had to pretend that I was okay! Tough, I know? We had some more snacks, kacang putih, juices and some of us laid around resting?

Moment later we got ourselves ready for our next dive, which then was decided to be Moray Point. To be honest, I was a bit pessimistic when I heard it?s called Moray Point. I was sure there wouldn?t be any moray to see.. After all, the shark point at Phuket did not show any sign of sharks at all during my visit there. Nevertheless I was still enthusiastic for the dive? It?s THE KRAKATAU!! How many people on earth can have the honor to dive there, an active volcano?

So we geared up, eager to dive again.. Eric, my then dive buddy, plunged into the water and donned on his backplate MC setup there. I preferred to don everything on while I was on the boat.. Then HOPLA.. I was in the water too!! We had to swim a bit further, where we would then descend. The sea was a little bit unfriendly and my pathetic legs were getting exhausted by the minutes. After struggling for quite a while, we descend together with other divers. The visibility was only approximately 5-7 meters, definetely not the best the site could have offered, but again.. It?s KRAKATAU! Yes, I AM norak!

Eric and I stayed closed together due to the limited viz.. When we?re lurking around for critters, we suddenly saw nobody else but us there! We stayed calm, and continued our dive slowly.. Me, the sad navigator suggested to Eric that we should keep on swimming with the wall on our left. After swimming few meters in vain, Eric realized that we were lost. Ooops.. I did it again! Eric signed that we should swim back from where we came from, so we did? After few kicks, we saw a pretty large jellyfish buoyantly swimming just about 2 meters above us, it was moving up heading for the surface! It was one of the most beautiful sights I?ve ever seen! It was magical.. The tentacles swayed up and down, and in each sway, there seemed to be some electrical activity going on.. Or maybe it was just my eyes? I was almost hypnotized!

Few seconds later, the image of the jellyfish disappeared into the abyss. We continued our dive towards the newly intended direction.. VOILA! We saw some bubbles from a distance!! Yep, there they were, our dive team! I felt silly for a moment, if only Eric did not make a good decision and let us kept on swimming, we might end up somewhere far away! Note for next dive trip: BYO compass!

Hey, there was a BIG moray eel hiding in the coral.. Hmm.. This site is ?honest? after all with it?s title. We met another not so huge moray eel again after that. Eric managed to take some shots on the moray eels, and we moved on.. We met some exotic nudi branches (sorry guys, I am not good in names, but pics will be available so you can refer it there soon) Some commonly found nudi branches similar to those at Tioman were scattered around this site! If only the viz was better, we could have seen many more stuffs there!

After approx 47 minutes bottom time, we found that we were left with 50 bar air.. I signed thumb up for ascend to Eric, and he agreed. We did a 3 minutes 5 meters safety stop, with a horizontal trim position DIRF style, facing each other. At 50th minutes, we reached the surface. It was rough current again. The boat picked us up, but it was hard even to hold onto the buoy and rope. I managed to get my left leg crammed nicely and had to wait for a while to relax it, before I jumped back on to the boat...

Ugh, it was a tough site for me, but it was all worth it.. I brought back many fond memories, specially the sight of that unforgettable jellyfish?

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