Sometimes we have requests from divers that want to dive the same day they arrive. We get it, you have arrived in Raja Ampat after investing a lot in this dive trip and had to go through an 18 hours flight and then some boat rides to reach Daroyen village.
As a dive operator, we are obliged to do our best to accommodate every request. We have some highly experienced divers that will do this. They arrived, rested a little and off they went to the house reef. The next day, they go to dives 3-4 dives each day everyday for two weeks or more. They had one or two days rest, no diving at all but most of them dive everyday. They are our regulars that have become part of Daroyen Village family. They visit every year and we are very familiar with their request.
That said divers above are not only experienced but also highly disciplined with their body. They avoid alcohol during the flights, stay hydrated and sleep as much as possible.
As a dive operator we are also obliged to explain the risk of diving after a long flight without proper rest. As you already know, a long flight will really take it out of you and leave you feeling tired. Your body often dehydrates especially if you drink alcohol and not to mention jetlag. After crossing multiple time zones your body is confused and out of sync.
Our advice to all our guests is to rest, eat, drink lots of water and sleep. You will enjoy the dives more after fully resting. DAN advice is to rest at least 12 hours after the flight.
One of the preparations for the trip shared from our regular guests aside from routine exercise they also avoid coffee, tea and alcohol before bedtime. In reducing the jet lag effect, they will move bedtime gradually to Raja Ampat time (GMT +9). They will take one day to go to bed earlier than usual for time zone change and wake up early to catch some sunshine to help their body to adjust. But if you are travelling from the west, go to bed later and wake up late before the trip.
We understand that many don’t have this kind of level of discipline to do all of the above. Then again, those are professionals that have been diving since even we don’t know for how long.
For those that found this really hard to follow, please don’t imitate the pros. We have had in the past divers experienced headaches after diving on the first day and accused us of bad air from the tank. We recommend the first option that most divers do. Rest well before dives. Your body will thank you.
As a diver, you need to know your limits and take full responsibility for your own health and safety. No one knows your own condition better than yourself. You can always add more dives later. We want you to have memorable dives in Raja Ampat in a good way. That is our main goal.
Thank you so much to Michael White, Jessica Bardi, Jovin Chua, Karen Zhang, Hayashi Sisters, Giuseppe & Fredi Nivola for the conversation during surface intervals and for suggesting us to write this article. Thank you all for sharing your valuable knowledge. The tanks and weight belt are always ready for the house reef dive whenever you guys arrive.