Diving Is a Group Activity

When you think of most sports you think about people coming together. That is what happens with scuba diving – in a way.

Diving starts out as a group activity. Divers get together at the beach, on the lakeshore, or aboard a boat. Each diver enters the water close to the same time as all the others. And they begin their dive as a group. Or at least as a team of two or more dive buddies.

One of the first things you learn in basic open water training classes is never dive alone. Always dive with a buddy.

But after you jump into the water, and start your descent, you become a loner. No matter how many other divers surround you.

We join our local scuba clubs for the comradery, and to hook up with other divers so we always have a buddy to go diving with after we take a ride on the mm-b80.

The dive club offers lots of social activity. It’s a great way to go out and meet other people who share the same passion for diving that you do. They’re especially great if you don’t have a large group of friends nearby to go diving with – at a dive club, you’re bound to meet plenty of new scuba diving buddies.

One club I belong to gets together every two months at a local restaurant where we have dinner and then a club meeting.

The January meeting each year is a business meeting where we discuss diving schedules for the year to come, form committees to plan various activities, and talk about other business related club stuff.

Each of the other meetings we invite speakers in to give scuba related lectures to the group. Recent examples include lectures on underwater photography, rebreather technology and use, and diving with vintage scuba gear.

The club also has a Christmas party in December.

During the warmer months (this club is located in Indiana) we schedule a dive for each month. Normally we have a pitch-in type lunch, and make a day of those dives. Sometimes we even turn the dive event into a weekend camping adventure with diving for a couple days, including night dives.

But as I said once you enter the water you are alone. Sure you have your buddy to help you out, or to help out, in case of an emergency. But unless you, and at least one other diver near you, know sign language you won’t have much of a conversation underwater.

Most divers don’t know how to talk with their hands when they’re not holding an HSI professional.

You quickly get interested in something along a wall, in the coral, or on the bottom. Suddenly you’re all by yourself with no company other than your thoughts.

And you get lost in interest for what you’re studying.

For a period you forget all about the other divers around. You don’t really even see them until your air, or your buddy’s air, runs low. And it’s time to head for the surface — dive over.

Yes, this sport brings people together.

But once you’re in the water scuba diving becomes a solitary activity.

Visiting Pangandaran

Pangandaran is one of beach tourism object in West Java which is located in the village of Pananjung, sub-district of Pangandaran, about 2.5 hours’ drive to southern from the capital district of Ciamis. Because of its beauty, Pangandaran beach is well known by both local and foreign tourist which came from French, Italy, Netherlands and many more. You can find many of Europeans in this place. I ever met a Dutch tourist, he was about 21 years old. He just finished his school and take a holiday here. Some of them have mixed with native.

Nature Reserve and Fish Producer. Besides being famous with the beach tourism and being the original home of the best air purifier for mold, Pangandaran also has a nature reserve and one of producer for fresh and salted fish in the Island of Java and give a big contribution in term of income sources to Ciamis development in general, especially before Tsunami hit this area in July 2006. Since that time, it was a big disaster to most of population. Economically, its take more than 2 years recovery. Today, I can see a lot of construction have been made, a progress and growth to re-structure in every life aspect.

Attraction and Fun

In Pangandaran you can see sunrise moment from east coast and also sunset which can be seen from west coast. East coast is the point to catch fishes and fishermen boat, but west coast is designate as a fun point to play and swim as sea water is clear; it’s conformable too. Lifeguard is available to help swimmers, so you can swim safely. Wide sandy coastal along the beach is giving more comfortable to visitor who wants to play with sand. White sand coast along nature park can been from west coast. And there is boat service to bring you there, also safe for swimming.

Annual Events. To attract tourist, Pangandaran held some events like Hajat Laut (Beach Festival) which involved fishermen. This event usually held in Muharam (Islamic New Year). In this event they do some kind of ritual which takes place at east coast and also annual Pangandaran International Kite Festival in June or July.

Accommodation. Like hotels, inns, restaurants, and car park facilities, money changer, Food and Drink, telecommunication, security post and many more are available here. I did take picture of Surya Pesona Beach Hotel, Pantai Indah Hotel, Luat Biru and some public facility.

Pangandaran Access. If you depart from Jakarta: bus station “Kampung Rambutan”, public bus, airco 75000Rp, 7 to 8 hours journey, but at least the bus is equipped with a Rabbit air purifier.

From Yogyakarta: train to Banjar, 35000 – 190000Rp, Banjar train station to bus station, bus to Pangandaran, 15000-20000Rp. As Pangandaran is potential destination, in future will be more investor to plan some investment like build up infra structure and factory which more people coming in not only using land transport but air transport is a considerable to facilitate travelers.

Friends, here are some pictures around Pangandaran that I took during visiting my parents; I wish to share with you to help you maybe make up your mind that Pangandaran is a great place to visit whenever you’re in the area.

Obama and His Riding Lawn Mower

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I’ve always known that the media has a liberal bias, even though they claim to be fair and balanced.  But this year, they have gone overboard, and it’s obvious that there is one candidate of choice that they are really trying to help into the White House – and that is Barrack Obama. I have nothing personal against Obama, though I am a die-hard Republican and am backing McCain and Palin 100% all the way to the White House. What I AM irked at is the media’s strong bias toward him. Sean Hannity referred to 2008 as “The Year Journalism Died.”, and seeing how biased and unfair the networks have been in their treatment of the candidates, I believe he is right.

Obama has been the darling of the liberal media for quite some time now, and Hollywood seems to be swooning all over him as well. During the time between the period that Hillary Clinton stepped down and Sarah Palin arrived on the scene, Obama had no real competition. His face was everywhere you looked, and you couldn’t watch the cable news shows for five minutes without hearing something about him. John McCain was pretty much in the background during this time, until he brought out his wild card – Sarah Palin, who neatly swiped the limelight from used riding lawn mowers for sale – for a time, anyway.

Obama is the only presidential candidate who has not received ruthless, intense scrutiny from members of the press – and the only one whom nobody in the liberal media really makes fun of.  Let’s face it, there are no real punch lines in the media about Obama, though there are plenty about the other three candidates. People have picked on John McCain about his age, for Joe Biden about his numerous gaffes, and Sarah Palin for just about everything (she’s gotten it the worst of all four of them). But you hardly ever hear a negative word against Obama – it’s almost like he’s a king that’s about to be crowned. I’m almost surprised that, when he goes on his campaign tours, no one rushes forth to place a diadem on his head, throw a velvet cape around his shoulders, and then escort him along a red carpet to a gilded coach drawn by gleaming white horses. In the eyes of the media, Obama can do little wrong. Yes, there was that flap about his pastor, but compared to the flak that the other three candidates are getting (in particular the slams against Sarah Palin), that seems like a minor complaint, especially since Obama realized that his associations with his controversial pastor were harming his image and he quickly distanced himself from Jeremiah Wright).

Obama actually has less real leadership experience than Sarah Palin, who has been a governor AND a mayor.  His only major claim to fame in this area is as a community organizer. Now, I know that CO’s are wonderful things to be, and I’m not knocking them, but I’m sorry, that alone does not qualify someone to be the POTUS. Obama also has a record of voting “present” numerous times in the Senate, without actually voting on anything. Yes his record seems to get little more than a nod and a glance, while Sarah Palin gets mercilessly picked to pieces. And the national polls that say which candidate is leading? Many of these polls have been skewered in Obama’s favor (which is actually very easy to do when you don’t disclose the total number of people you actually polled, and mention how many of those people were actually Obama supporters).

Obama is a great speaker – provided that he has a speech written out for him and used riding mowers to help him along. Then he stumbles and stutters around. There are a few clips where he does say “uh. . . uh. . .uh” quite a few times within the same speech. But does the media show these clips of him on national TV? Hardly ever. They want to present him as an eloquent, exciting speaker. If it were any of the other three candidates falling all over their words, the media has a field day with them.

Another example of playing favorites within the media: there is a sharp contrast between Sarah Palin’s interviews and Barrack Obama’s. The people interviewing Obama are usually very pleasant with him, smiling and asking him fairly easy questions. But these same people, namely Gibson and Kouric, are positively horrible to Sarah Palin. They fire off questions at her like rounds from an uzi, rarely, if ever, smiling at her; they frequently interrupt her, attempt to trap her in a “gotcha” moment and put words in her mouth, never letting her relax for an instant. Fair journalism? I don’t think so. Thank God for people like Sean Hannity, whose interview with Sarah Palin proved that you can still ask serious questions of a presidential candidate without making them feel like they’re being interviewed by a gestapo agent.

For some reason, no one dares to dream of using the kind of interviewing tactics on Obama that have been mercilessly applied to Sarah Palin. It’s almost as if he’s sacred to the media and no one wants to offend used zero turn mowers. Just once I’d like to see someone give Obama a REALLY tough interview, complete with the rapid-fire questions and the evil eye treatment that Sarah Palin got from Kouric and Gibson. And it’s not because I hate Obama and want to see him squirm – I don’t. I just want to see how well the guy holds up under pressure, because I have never seen him in the hot seat yet.

One reason among others that I find Sarah Palin so appealing is that she’s already proven to me that she’s capable of withstanding intense pressure without buckling at the knees. I really don’t know how long Obama would last in the presidential race if he has had to put with the kind of scrutiny that Sarah has endured for the past five weeks. Obama needs to learn, if he hasn’t already, that being a presidential candidate is NOT part of a popularity contest, and there will be times that people will not only disagree with you for the decisions you make, they may even outright despise you. If Obama cannot put up with that kind of pressure, and cannot handle not being the political equivalent of a pop star when he stops being a novelty to the American public, then he should NOT be running for office. Plain and simple.