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Posts posted by dirtydave

  1. Mithere, I've spent some time traveling, working in Aus. The culture doesn't seem to support tipping and guess what? Service sucks! The service providers all have an attitude that service is beneath them! Having worked in the service industry for many years (put myself through uni delivering pizzas) I never expect a tip but I am sure going to tip when I want.


    I well remember the great feeling I got being appreciated for my labour. Yea, the employer should be paying the staff a fair wage but often the little guy at the bottom is not paid. I hate the idea of sharing tips. I want the individual who gave me the good service to get the money. These days I am grateful that I am able to help the little guy at the bottom of the pay scale. I don't tip the captain or officers but the guy who sees to my equipment every day, who humps my tanks in and out of the boat. The underappreciated local guy (or woman) who makes my life a little better. These people need every penny they can get and I am pleased that I am in a position to give a little.


    I also don't try and get the cheapest service or goods I can. I'd much rather know that I'm helping the local economy rather than saving a million idr What goes around comes around. I am shocked at the attitude many westerners have towards tipping when traveling. I hear from dive guides/service providers of certain people from ( insert country here ) who are the most demanding yet never tip. Cheap priicks who should stay at home and abuse their own countrymen.

  2. Unfortunately Bali customs does have some problems, in my experience. Nothing a few hundred thousand rupiah can't fix though, just like the police stops for breakfast money. :drink:


    Drew,I think you are confusing Canada with Australia. Australia is the one who blindly followed the US into Vietnam and Iraq. I hear that worked out as Canada had suspected. Even the Australians were pissed off at their governments a** kissing politicians!


    Canada is the one with the commie, pinko, socialist government. Oh yeah, we have the free health care, social programs, no drug war and stable banks. Oh, and we don't spend a major portion of our GDP on the military, mind our own business and have that strong dollar, plus we don't have as many people in prison. What a nutty free for all eh?


    Sorry for going off topic. ;)

  3. I look upon tipping as something I am blessed to be able to do. I am earning more than 95% of the worlds population, mostly because of the happy accident of being born in a rich country (Canada). I am able , and willing, to give back to the less well paid people who work their butts off, often for very little reward, to make my life even better. This is the absolute minimum that we should be doing, if we are able. The greed and stingyness of some well to do people is a curse uon them. Money is just a medium of exchange, it comes and goes, I'll have more tomorrow. Maybe I\m just worried about my Karmic debt load, but I want to make sure that I spread my blessings around. It is the absolute minimum I should be doing. Plus who can be unmoved at the expression on the recipient's face when they are given an unexpected bonus. That being said, I think that only good or extrordinary service deserves a bonus. Tipping well is our duty and pleasure. Be happy that you are able to have the money to tip.

  4. Novmber is great time,fewer tourists, very good visibility, lots of macro opportunities, better hotel rates. See above recommendation for hotel. I use Bali Dive tours to find critters, aewsome service. They found Harlequins for me last week in Ahmed when everyone said they couldn't be found ( and they couldn't at Seraya). They can arrangehotel etc if you want. I have a trip booked to Secret Bay to see Manderin fish, can't wait.

  5. saw two small pnk Harlequins in 5 meters just off Ocean View Resort in Tulamben June 27, also 2 in Ahmed (sorry secret spot of Bali Tours) last week. Contact a good guide who will be able to find you some. that's their job and why we pay (tip) them extravagently!

  6. I would stay at Liberty Dive resort, very good accomodations, guides etc. they can take you to all the good dive spots in the Tulamben area. For private guides contact Bali Dive Tours.com I have used both of these companies for years and made 100+ dives with them. You won't regret it!

  7. I have made many trips with fishfinders to sites around bali. We dove the well known sites (such as Seraya and puri Jata) as well as many sites that are unknown to the average diver. These secret sites were awesome, saw wonderpus, boxercrabs, harlequins,sea horses and on one particular trip 9 different frogfish.


    I can't say enough good things about these guys. No big groups of divers, usually just two of us, very personal attention to detail. Besides treating me well underwater they treat you like a friend. We chatted and ate together, got suggestions about my dive technique, and was shown dozens of rare critters.


    We did macro dives, wideangle dives, night dives, drift dives, wreck dives. They knew where stuff was and more impotantly when to visit the sites. We visited sites that I never would have guessed were going to be so good. They obviously have tried these spots and knew when they were possible to dive and when critters would be out and about to photograph. As photographers they know what to look for and where the particular critters you want will be found. I certainly wasn't disappointed and will be back in Bali this summer diving with them again. You will have a memorable vacation if you go diving with them.

  8. I think the reason ikelite is lessexpensive is that maching an aluminum block is way more expensive than a molded plastic box. Ikelite uses a fairly universal box that only needs a few controls added to customize it for a particular camera. The parts for the Ikelite are simple and can be customized by any reasonably handy user. The maintenance is minimal and leaks, in my experience, are invariably user error. Add in the ability to use ttl ( for those who like that) is included in the reasonable purchase price. While I do hope they include optical firing ability soon, this will probably require a housing redesigned and would make the whole rig larger.


    again, my main point was that digital cameras are traded or sold frequently. A newer, better design is just over the horizon and most of us seem to trade every 2-3 years(or more often if we have tolerant wives). Why buy a housing that can last a hundred years when you'll get rid of it in two? Just my two cents worth.

  9. Johnspierce is right on. Back when you kept a camera/housing combo for ten years it made sense (maybe) to get an aluminum housing. Now when cameras change evry 2-3 years (or less) an Ikelite housing makes far more sense. They are more rugged than requied (if you are banging your housing around enough to crack an Ikelite housing you're doing something wrong) and have the advantages of low cost , good ergonomics and ability to see o-rings.


    I've seen more aluminum housings leak because the owner didn't seal them properly than Ikelite housings. Some of the cheaper housings seem to have poor orings/surfaces so they seem to leak occasionally.


    Add to this the great customer support that Ikelite is famous for and you have a winner. No contest in my world.

  10. Let's remember that nobody wants to strike. The workers are using the only weapon they have against what they see as unfair practices of the government. Think what you like about socialism, but cuts need to start with the people at the top who have wrecked the system, not the poor embattled middle class.


    Yes, Spain is bankrupt, just like the States, but for different reasons. The US spent more than it could afford on the military, which has bankrupted the country. Spain spent its money on social programs. Unfortunately in both countries corrupt poliiticians and business people sucked the system dry and now the price must be paid. The rich just want the poor to shoulder the blame. Lets see the politicians drop their pay/benefits to $50,000 /year and then tell us to tighten our belts. Seems that the rich feel their lifestyle should not be impacted by the disastrous mess they made. (To say nothing of the criminals who brought down the US banking/investment system). Obama got in with a promise of sweeping change, US got "more of the same".

  11. I've bought from them and found them to be fast, good price, well packaged (shipped to Canada) and helpful (showed me that the lens I wanted could be had in a different size so that a stepping ring was unnecessary). Will deal with them again in the future.

  12. i love to get out of Kuwait for a few days and chill out In Dahab. Much more relaxed than Sharm. I stay with Blue Realm and they have always treated me well.


    The opportunities for ohotography are great and the whole atmosphere laid abc.


    Relaxing in a Bedouin tent on the shore drinking coffee sounds pretty good to me. If I wasn't so lazy I would get a liveaboard to The thistlegorm but everytime I go to book it I end up just needing the R&R


    Dahab is mostly shore dives with boat trips up and down the coast as well as trips to ras Mohammed etc but as I say I am very lazy.

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