Posted by: rlearmonth | March 2, 2008

Diving in Timor-Leste

Diving in Timor-Leste is spectacular. Before relocating here, I had taken the minimal instruction to get an introductory dive, and made three dives. I was hooked. The water is clear, clean and warm, with a profusion of fish and colorful coral reefs.

I arrived here in the rainy season – perfect for doing the classroom study to get a diving certification. I finished that last week, and did the confined water tests immediately thereafter. This weekend, I crammed the four requisite open water dives into two days – maybe not my smartest move. But I’m now a certified open water diver – a tired one.

Much of the diving here is from shore. That is, the water gets deep so close to shore that divers can wade into the water and go down to at least 12 meters within 50 meters of entering. The little Timorese island of Atauro is only thirty kilometers from the north coast. The water depth between the Timorese mainland and Atauro is 3,800 meters. Whales, dolphin and other big sea animals can be seen just off shore. The first time I saw a whale here, last November, I heard it blow before I saw it. It and three others were no more than 50 meters off shore.

At the end of todays last dive, my companion and I freed the fishing net of a fisherman in a dugout on the surface. It had become hopelessly tangled in an old anchor at about 12 meters. He watched from his canoe, and was most grateful.




  1. I thought you were there to work!? I am glad that you are having a good time learning and enjoying something new. I’m envious. Peace.

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