from 1 reviews
PADI Dive Center
Manta Dive - Gili Air
87 Jalan Koperasi
25th August 2011 by abigail04
I've dived with some great shops, but this was the best!
Visit Date: August 2011
We dived with Manta over three days. AOW.
This is a really fantastic dive shop. The premises is clean, comfortable (hammocks are a particularly nice touch), well organised, with good facilities (dive pool, cafe, boats), and in a great location. The equipment, while not top-notch, is perfectly good, and they are generous with air (I had at least two tanks of 220bar, and never one below 200).
Their instructors, however, are Manta Dive's crowning glory: they are wonderful. (We dived with Suno and Johan, but the others seem to be of the same high quality.) Very knowledgeable, very experienced, highly safety conscious while also really fun. There are never more than 4 divers to a dive leader. They take dive briefings very seriously (for example, sometimes with maps and fish books!), but the result was that one understood the sites we were diving, and what we were likely to see and where, to a far greater extent than usual, which was really interesting. They clearly love their job, which is inspiring; we often sat around in the dive shop discussing the dive for some time afterwards! It's also a very welcoming place - even after we had finished diving for the day/holiday, we were welcome to come and hang out.
The arrangement of the dives is unusual. All boat trips take single-tank dives, return to Gili Air for lunch, then go out again. This means that if you want two dives a day, it's really a whole day activity (but in the end the diving on Gili Air is probably the most exciting thing to do there). It also means, on the other hand, that you can just do a single dive a day and be back by about 10am, which is particularly good if you're travelling with non-divers. They follow the tides to a greater extent to anywhere else I've seen, so there are several different dives happening every day. On some days, different groups dived one at 6am, one at 9am, one at 9.15am, one at 12.15...and then an afternoon dive at 3.30pm. On other days, the two boats just took all the groups out at 8.30, then again at 3.30. The fluidity meant they were also very relaxed about confirmations - one could turn up 20 mins before a boat left, and be allowed to join the dive.
I'd love to come back and do my Rescue here!