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Bali Dive Guide Featuring My Photos!

Bali DIVEmApps logo

Are you a scuba diver? Are you planning to dive in Bali? You need the Bali Dive Guide from DIVEmApps!

DIVEmApps recently released the Bali Dive Guide featuring photos from my travels in Bali! (Yay!)

The guide is built by divers for divers and gives you access to information about the most popular dive destinations and dive sites around Bali, Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Use the app to search dive sites, common fish and coral libraries. 

“The Bali Dive Guide by DIVEmApps is an indispensable tool for divers. It is an essential Dive Guide for anyone interested in diving Bali’s best sites. “
– Robert Scales, DIVEmApps’ Publisher

Plan your dives, explore new sites, check out the fish and coral sections, local emergency action plans, view detailed hand-crafted dive site maps created by experienced local guides and instructors, read the Mola and Manta codes of conduct, and learn about local conservation initiatives, review relevant fish signs and hand signals, and much more.

Bali Dive Guide Features:

  • Relevant information about Bali’s history, culture and point of interests
  • Pre dive information: Briefing, buddy check, hand signals, conservation, and code of conduct
  • Emergency Action Plan with local contacts
  • Searchable dives sites, fish and coral libraries
  • User friendly universal App (optimized for iOS 7, iPad Retina and iPhone 5)

My images are featured in the ‘About Bali’ section of the app:

In-App Purchase:

(Unlock all content on this DIVEmApps with a one-time payment $3.99) 

  • 30+ dive site descriptions with occasional tips, depth, and suggested experience level.
  • 30+ quality hand-drawn maps of some of the most popular dive sites around Bali, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida, Indonesia
  • 50+ common fish, coral, and invertebrates images and descriptions

The Bali Dive Guide is a great interactive tool for divers.

The Bali Dive Guide is available for FREE in the App Store.
* The Android version is expected to be released in June 2014.

Be sure to follow Bali Dive Guide on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other useful diving information.

For more photos from my travels in Bali, please visit my Flickr page

Have you used the Bali Dive Guide? What did you think?

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali – Your Paradise in Paradise

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali is the most beautiful villa I have ever stayed at. I visited Bali for the first time in the spring of 2010 to photograph this gorgeous paradise. The home is built on an old mango orchard, on a mountain with a 180 degree view over Lovina and the ocean. It is more of an estate than a villa really; there is the Main House, the Guest House, and the Sunset House.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main entrance

Welcome to Villa Kembang Kertas – Bali

The Garden

There is a rice paddy on the grounds which they harvest throughout the year, as well as a full garden boasting fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables year round. They grow their own peanuts, mangos, lemongrass, beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, lettuce, corn on the cob, citrus fruits to name a few. The kitchen staff serves fresh home grown ingredients whenever they are available. It’s so wonderful to know that you are eating fresh, local, organically grown produce while staying here!

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Grounds and Garden

The Main House

The Main House is a 2-story home plus a basement with laundry and storage facilities. It has three bedrooms (2 upstairs and one downstairs), which each sleep two people. Two rooms with king-sized beds and one room with twin single beds and each room has its own private ensuite with toilet and shower and the two king bedrooms have giant stone bathtubs.

The Bedrooms

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Ensuite Villa Kembang Kertas Bali Ensuite Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Master bedroom with ensuite bathroom including giant tub and shower. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Master bedroomVilla Kembang Kertas Bali - Twin Bedroom Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Twin Bedroom Ensuite

Both levels of the house have a gorgeous deck with an incredible ocean view and sunsets that are out of this world. On the main floor is a kitchen that a chef’s dreams are made of. The main indoor area is open concept with a living space, dining area and a lounging area. All of this opens up to giant sliding glass doors onto a beautiful deck. Outside is an outdoor living room and dining room, which (when I wasn’t in the pool) is where I spent most of my time at the villa when I wasn’t photographing it. In front of the house, below the deck, there is a big mango-shaped infinity pool, with lounge chairs and a gazebo in case guests want to get out of the sun.

The Living Spaces

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main house, upper deck Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Upper deck Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas. Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Main floor deck and lounge areas.Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Swimming Pool

The Guest House

The Guest House is much smaller than the Main House, but is a lovely cozy place to call home. It is a single level house and sleeps two. The house consists of a bedroom/living space with king-sized bed, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with an enclosed outdoor shower. The main living space is on the deck with a view similar similar to that of the Main House.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Guest house

The Sunset House

The Sunset House was closed when I visited, but it is equally beautiful. I was only able to photograph it from the outside while they were renovating.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset House Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset House

More Information

For more information about the villa or to reserve your own stay at this private paradise, please visit the website at VillaKembangKertas.com.

To see more photos of the house and the grounds, please visit the set on Flickr.

Villa Kembang Kertas Bali - Sunset View from upper deck View from upper deck.

Travel on the Horizon

There is travel on the horizon, so close, I can almost touch it! T minus 6 days and I will be leaving Vancouver for 46 days!

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali 040 I’ll be flying from Vancouver to Bangkok, Thailand. I’ll spend a month exploring Thailand and then will make my way to Bali, Indonesia for some more exploring and hopefully some diving! I don’t have much on my itinerary at this point and am somewhat planning on a “no-plan” plan and talking to people once I arrive there as to what the must-sees are in their personal experiences. The few things that are on my list however, are to do my advanced scuba diving course on Koh Tao, to experience the Songkran Festival for Thai New Year in Chiang Mai, to visit an elephant rescue sanctuary, to spend a few days on a liveaboard diving boat off Phuket, and of course to visit many temples. And of course, this goes without saying, I plan to photograph the entire experience!Ubud Wanderings 17

After about a month in Thailand, I’ll head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to catch a flight to Bali, Indonesia.  This is where I’ll spend my last 10 days of the trip diving, and seeing sights that I did not get to the last time around. As an added bonus, I’ll be spending a few days in Lovina in Northern Bali, at my aunt’s home, visiting with friends that I met on last year’s trip to the island.

So far, in preparation for the trip, I’ve booked my flight, purchased travel medical insurance, applied for and received my Thai tourist visa, and have ensured that my travel vaccinations are up to date. The main vaccinations my doctor said to concern myself with were: typhoid, tetanus, cholera, travelers diarrhea, and hepatitis A and B. Most of these were already up to date due to my travel to Bali last year, but the cholera/traveler’s diarrhea required a booster dose, so I did that, and the doctor also gave me some all purpose antibiotics (cipro) as a “just in case” solution to some potential problems that I may or may not encounter.

Ubud Wanderings 9 Having to deal with a house move before my departure has not helped my stress levels, so make things a bit simpler, and to save some cash on a month’s rent, I’ve chosen to put my life in storage until I return from the trip… It feels a bit strange to put it all back into a storage locker only six months after pulling it out of one, but somehow it feels like the right choice for the moment…

So there you have it… I’m booked and preparing for an adventure of a lifetime! I realize that many people never have the opportunity to make such a trip, so I plan to live it to the fullest and experience all there is to experience. The travel bug has bit me, and I have a feeling that this is only the beginning of my globe trotting adventures!

 

 

Daily Photo: Off the Beach in Sanur, Bali

On my last day in Bali, Indonesia, I visited Sanur on the way to the Denpasar airport. This was one of the views I was faced with. Bali is truly beautiful island, I look forward to the day I will visit again.

Sanur, Bali 24

2010: A Year in Review

Another year gone by, and an epic year it was…

The year started off preparing for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Seeing 2010 on the calendar suddenly made it all a reality and the mad rush to get organized and a site up and filled with content began about a month before the Games actually opened. I was very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of talented folks who teamed up to create the VancouverAccess2010 website. With BCIMC accreditation, we focussed on the fan’s view of the Games and the team of us set out to attend as many events as we possibly could. We photographed and reported on them via this great resource site that we collectively created. Posts were also featured on Canada.com’s VanFans2010 blog.

USA - Norway Olympic Hockey Game

Jasey Jay Anderson, Canadian Gold Medalist Snowboarder

The Gold Medal Party at the Hockey House

The Paralympics was an even more amazing experience for me. With IPC photographer accreditaion, I was able to get up close and personal to shoot the amazing athletes and their inspiring performances in sports ranging from from sledge hockey, to sit skiing, to vision impaired downhill skiing, to curling, to incredibly emotional medal ceremonies! Unbelievable!

Paralympic Alpine Events in Whistler BC

Bronze Medal Sledge Hockey: Canada vs Norway

Paralympic Medal Ceremony in Whistler B.C.

During the Games, I was invited to join a media day trip to Whitehorse, Yukon. Yep, that’s right, a DAY trip to Whitehorse! It was crazy! Caught a 7am flight, toured Whitehorse, met a 2006 silver medalist Olympian, visited  a nature reserve, tasted coffee from a local eco-friendly coffee roasting shop, soaked in some hot springs, drank a Sour Toe Cocktail, and enjoyed a banquet dinner celebrating the annual dog sledding racers. The Yukon is such a beautiful part of our country! I would love to head up there for some summer camping to see what’s under all that snow! I imagine it to be absolutely breathtaking! Another amazing adventurous experience!

Lynx at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

Me and Christine Larsen and her silver medal

SourToe Cocktail

When the Games were over, I was caught in the Olympic hangover, felt by much of the city, and many of my colleagues and partners in crime throughout this great world event. This got me thinking what I should do next and I came up with the idea that I wanted to do more traveling…

So, in March, I flew to Austin Texas to shoot a wedding for a friend who was unable to make it, due to a car accident. Never having met the bride or groom, nor having ever spoken to them directly, it was an interesting experience. The couple were amazingly welcoming and we got along instantly. I am happy to now call them friends. Their jewish wedding was held in Houston, so there was a bit of a road trip mixed into the trip (and of course some tasty Texan BBQ!). Unfortunately, there was not much time for site seeing with the short timeline, but I hope to make it back to Texas to see and photograph more of it!

Less than 2 weeks after returning from Austin, I was in flight yet again! This time for a month long adventure to Bali, Indonesia! Wow! It was an amazing month full of culture, food, site seeing, crazy drivers and photography! I spent the majority of my time on the northern side of the Island in Lovina. I spent about a week in Ubud as well. My trip to Ubud included a motorcycle adventure through the rice paddies, a walk through the Monkey Forest, a cooking class, and a Kecak and Fire Dance performance. It was an amazing month indeed, and I came home with gigabytes photos of the trip which can be viewed on Flickr.

Air Panas Hot Springs, Banjar, Bali 025

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali 040

Ubud Wanderings 78

Upon returning to Vancouver, mid-May, the city was gearing up for summer. I was excited to do as much camping and music festival-ing as I could! The first camping trip of the season was the first weekend in June, at Golden Ears Park. Always awesome camping there, one of my favourite provincial parks! No cell phone service, great hikes, campfires and of course tasty camping food (and drink)!

My first music festival of the summer was the Vancouver folk fest. I was fortunate enough to get 2 free Lifetimer, all-access passes to the festival from a friend who was unable to use them (thanks Lulu!) and me and a friend enjoyed a weekend of music, sun and family atmosphere at the beach!

Vancouver Folk Festival 2010 16 Vancouver Folk Festival 2010 35

Vancouver Folk Festival 2010 5

Next on the list was a whale watching adventure with my family out of Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island with Ocean Ecoventures Whale Watching. Again, amazing! You will find a full summary of the adventure in this blog post.

Whale Watching 28

Whale Watching 10

Komasket Music Festival in Vernon, during the August long weekend, was the next road trip. Teaming up with @Scales and @Uncleweed for some social media coverage of the event was great fun! Got some great shots, met some great artists (including Fred Penner and the Wailers), and as with most summer music festivals, came home with a sun burn!

Komasket- Bocephus King 23

Delhi2Dublin 53

Later in August, I took a week long trip to my home town of Duncan, on Vancouver Island to spend my birthday with family and friends. Good times had by all with boating/tubing on Lake Cowichan, and floating in the Cowichan River, a day trip to Port Renfrew and Botanical Beach, and no Island visit in summer would be complete without a fresh local crab fest! The perfect birthday it was!

Botanical Beach 2

In the fall, things finally wound down a bit. The last trip of the year was one out to Ucluelet and Tofino, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. I had not been out this way since I was about 12 years old, so I was very excited to go enjoy and photograph the beaches, especially with storm season just setting in! I was not disappinted! We lucked out with beautiful sunny weather the first day, including a gorgeous sunset on Long Beach. And the next day we enjoyed a storm and some great big crashing waves on the rocks in Ucluelet. And of course no trip to Tofino would be complete without a stop at Cathedral Grove and Coombs to see the goats on the roof on the way back!

Long Beach, Vancouver Island 18

Long Beach, Vancouver Island 46

Wikininnish Beach, Vancouver Island 33

In the fall things became quite busy. I moved out of the downtown core at the end of September, to East Van. Although I have always had a dog on a part time basis, in November Roxie came to stay with me full time as @Scales departed for Thailand. I love having her and love that she gets me out rain or shine (or snow!) for two hour-long walks a day! Having started a fulltime position at 80 Elements Entertainment in October, I have fallen back into a full time job routine. Also, I have been shooting weekend events for Estee Lauder. I started doing Bikrams Yoga three times a week in November, which I have become ridiculously addicted to. So the end of the year has found me to be quite busy.

I was happy to spend Christmas on the Island with family and friends and will be spending New Years Even there as well to ring in another (hopefully) adventurous year full of travel and surprises!

Childhood Friends with the New Generation

My new years resolutions are these: Travel more. Photograph more. Build my photography kit. Learn more about social media. Do more Bikrams! More is MORE!

Cheers to 2010 and all of you that I have met and befriended in the past 365 days! You have made an impact, and (whether good or bad) you have helped shape who I am and who I am to become. I thank you and look forward to another amazing year in 2011!

Cheers and Happy New Year!!!

Photo of the Day: Dogs Playing in Kuta

This was my last day in Bali. On my way to the airport, we made a quick stop in Kuta on the beach, where I saw these two dogs playing in the water, playing chase.

For more photos from this set, please visit Flickr.

Kuta, Bali 18

Photo of the Day: Air Panas, Hot Springs in Bali

The Air (water) Panas (hot) hot springs are located in Banjar, on the north side of the island of Bali in Indonesia. The “holy” hot springs are set in the midst of the jungle in a beautifully landscaped tropical garden, close to Lovina Beach, and it consist of three public and one private pool.

For more images of Air Panas, please visit the Set on Flickr!

Air Panas Hot Springs, Banjar, Bali 024

Photo of the Day: Dec. 10th

My favourite photo from the Monkey Forest, in Ubud, on the Island of Bali, Indonesia.

Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali 041

For more photos from this adventure, please visit the Set on Flickr!

Photo of the Day: December 2nd

Ubud Wanderings: Rice Harvest (Bali, Indonesia)

Ubud Wanderings 76

Balinese Kecak Dance

Kecak is a form of Balinese music drama, originated in the 1930s and is performed primarily by men. Also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant, the piece, performed by a circle of 100 or more performers wearing checked cloth around their waists, percussively chanting "cak" and throwing up their arms, depicts a battle from the Ramayana  where the monkey-like Vanara  helped Prince Rama  fight the evil King Ravana. However, Kecak has roots in Sanghyang, a trance-inducing exorcism dance.

Kecak was originally a trance ritual accompanied by male chorus. German painter and musician Walter Spies became deeply interested in the ritual while living in Bali in the 1930s and worked to recreate it into a drama, based on the Hindu Ramayana and including dance, intended to be presented to Western tourist audiences.

The performance lasted about an hour and a half. It was amazing to hear so many voices singing “kecak, kecak, kecak” in unison. The dance tells the story of Prince Rama and his rescue of Princess Sita, who has been kidnapped by the evil King of Lanka.

Balinese Kecak Dance 008

Priest blessing the lantern and dance area.

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More than 100 men singing and participating in the Kecak Dance.

Balinese Kecak Dance 013

Balinese Kecak Dance 015

Balinese Kecak Dance 027
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Balinese Kecak Dance 053

Balinese Kecak Dance 048

Balinese Kecak Dance 056

Balinese Kecak Dance 059

More photos available at mariskar on Flickr.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kecak


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