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Scuba Diving in Pulau Weh, Indonesia
Dive Site: Sophie Rickmers Wreck
Location: Pulau Weh, Indonesia
Depth: 55 - 70 metres (180 - 230 feet)
Visibility: 30 metres (100 feet)
A beautiful wreck starting at 55m down to 70m, swim through at 65m. Sitting upright on the bottom due to the skipper pulling the plug.
Only for experienced divers! Although it is in warm waters, there are many surprises down there! Firstly at 25m there is a HUGE school of batfish, literally hundreds of them. Then at 45m we came across a V large grouper that followed us around the dive for the whole dive. Even the native guide was slightly unnerved! Absolutely mind-blowing dive, completely unaffected by the tsunami.
Daniel Honeywell, PADI Dive Master
I've been down to the Sophie Rickmers and it's still at the top of my list for favourite dives (of 300+). It's a really beautiful wreck, amazing because it's sitting upright and has good vis. I was a bit apprehensive about the dive never having gone so deep but it went flawlessly. This was due in large part to the great briefing and thorough explanation of cautions on the dive and safety procedures by our guides.
I was diving with Lumba Lumba dive shop on Pulau Weh, Gapang Beach, which I'd heard about from several friends who'd been there. Not easy to get to but well worth the trouble!
Angela Anderson, PADI Divemaster
This wreck is one of the reasons that Pulau Weh is one of the best dive destinations in SE Asia. The other reason is that it's so cheap to dive there. I used to teach diving on Pulau Weh in 2001 and have dived the wreck many times. With experience you can easily penetrate the large open holds where you will be able to see things like crates of dishes, and even a room full of toilets. I also heard from Lumba Lumba that a mega mouth shark was spotted on the dive site. Anyway, if you're travelling, don't miss out on Pulau Weh. Believe me you won't regret it.
Aaron Orlicky, PADI MSDT
I woked with Aaron as an instructor in Pulau Weh and agree completely with his impressions of the island. Outstanding diving, some of the best I've done in Asia. The wreck in question is one of my favorites, and I've been lucky enough to dive the Repulse, Scapa, Truk and the Red Sea wrecks - this wreck is in that league, for me anyway. Not to be taken lightly, she's deep but the viz is usually excellent and no currents to contend with as she's in a secluded bay. Deco is mandatory and you should do some work up dives to gauge your air consumption at 50m depth and how badly you get narc'd.
PADI would NOT approve of this dive unless you're a techy but that being said, it is very do-able and relatively safe. I did probably twenty dives on her and just used my Aladin Pro for deco with an extra 10 mins at 3 metres. Don't get lost and come up the same line you went down, you'll need the deco tanks if you're not diving doubles.
Excellent fish life on the wreck as well, saw too much to mention. If you're not sure if you're up to it, talk to Tom at Lumba Lumba and he'll give you an honest opinion.
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