“Diving is the door to a new world. Enter the door that surely your life will never be the same again, “ borrowing the phrase contained in the introductory page from the book ‘Padi Open Water’.
There is a favourite beach by many tourists located in Weh Island called Iboih Beach. This Iboih Beach, whose real name is Teupin Layeu is located in the village of Iboih, Sukakarya, Sabang Municipality, Aceh. The Beach, which has been visited by many foreign tourists, who stay for weeks, has a coastal area of about 1,300 hectares.
For one day, there are about tens of divers who spend normally four days, regardless whether they are taking open water certificate or they have already got one. Generally they dive around 5 to 6 times. According to one diver from Banda Aceh, Rinaldi Ad, for one diving, the diver usually brings 3 to 10 people. In a single dive, Rinaldi and his friends spend about Rp. 4 million, “said Rinaldi who has a hobby as underwater photographer. The transaction of money in Iboih is quite fast and diving obviously is a fairly expensive hobby.
In Iboih’s area, the divers will enjoy the diversity of coral reefs and millions of amazing marine life. In addition, this area has ornamental and reef fish, such as angel fish, surgeon fish, parrot fish, and a variety of other marine fish that are rarely found in other several marine parks in Indonesia or abroad.
Iskandar, the owner of Rubiah Tirta Divers Centre said diving is an expensive hobby that has been popular among diving lovers. He mentioned that a month, there are about 100 divers served by Rubiah Tirta Divers Centre. However, during national holiday that number could be double. Diving Equipment Leasing
There has been an increase number of tourists visiting Iboih Beach and other beaches that have beautiful underwater marine life in Weh Island. As a result, the diving equipment rental businesses have mushroomed in this Island, especially at Iboih. With many of these diving equipment rental providers available extensively, it gives more convenience for foreign and local tourists who like diving.
“We sell the beauty of the underwater panorama of Weh Island. To enjoy it, a lot of diving activities provided, such as a diving course for beginners with certified instructors. This package is very beneficial to us, “said Iskandar who is the child of the late Mahyiddin (Dodent) to Aceh Tourism some time ago in Iboih, Sabang.
Rubiah Tirta Divers is one of the diving equipment rental centers that is quite popular among travelers who like diving. Not only in the Iboih, diving equipment rental businesses are also found in several beaches in Weh Island, Gapang Beach, Kincir Beach, and Mount Balek. In Gapang Beach, the diving equipment rental businesses is for example Lumba Lumba Diving, while in Balek Gunung, there is the Pade Dive Resort.
Diving is arguably a dangerous activity. Not many people can dive. But by taking some training for getting diving certification, one can eventually dive safely. In training, you will be taught safety procedures that must be followed. Because in the diving world, small mistakes are not tolerated because it could endanger their lives.
The level of diving in Weh Island varies greatly, ranging from recreational dive for openwater to professional dive such as deep dive and wreck dive. Recreational diving is diving with the purpose of recreation and fun, and it is therefore has very basic techniques. To master the techniques of recreational diving, one must undertake trainings that will be certified by an agency or organization that has the authorization for this. Iskandar stated that there are several international and local institutions which have authorization to issue diving certifications. These are, from international, for example PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors), SSI (Scuba School International), and NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors). While from Indonesia is the like POSSI (Persatuan Sport Diving Indonesia).
“At Rubiah Tirta Divers, we issue a certificate of PADI (international certificate) and ADS or Adventure Dive School (certificate of Indonesia),” said Iskandar.
The diving packages offered by Rubiah Tirta such as certified diving packages (fun dive/recreational dive). This package is preferred by many foreign tourists from Europe. This package is designed for divers who have diving certification, which is guided by a diving master. The package price is between Rp. 280.000 (local divers) and Rp. 325.000 (foreign divers). If there are above five divers, they will get a discount. And if the divers have their own diving equipments, they will get a 12 percent discount.
Another package is the diving trip. This package is the same price with a fun dive, plus additional costs about Rp. 15.000 to Rp. 200.000. This package is the most demanding by European travelers from countries like Germany, France, and Spain. While travellers from Asia are such as from Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia. The route is out of Sabang, which is to Rondo Island, Breuh Island and finally around Weh Island. This package provides the food and drinks for divers.
Another diving package is intro dive. This package costs about Rp. 500.000 and it mostly preferred by local tourists who generally cannot dive but want to enjoy the beautiful of underwater marine life of Weh Island. “Those who want to know and try learning basic things of diving. This diving package is sold for tourists to learn to dive in order to obtain a diving certificate, “said Iskandar. After the 2014 tsunami, Weh Island, which has been known as underwater paradise for divers, has become increasingly popular. As the growing number of divers visiting this Island, there have been many diving equipment rental businesses set up. The owners of these businesses could be locals and foreigners. These are for example Pulau Dive Resort, The Pade Dive Resort, Sea Sport Stephan, Rubiah Tirta Divers, Monsters Divers, Lumba Lumba Diving, Iboih Dive Center, and Scuba Weh. [Saniah ] foto : Rinaldi AD