Jukung Dive

By Rochmad Setyadi (February 19, 2003)

I'm still curious until now, whether Jukung Dive can be promoted as PADI Distinctive Specialty certification :-). This is one of Bali specialties, like its spicy food, its idyllic atsmosphere or others like crafts, paintings, statues, clothes, everything. Bali is very special, because it has many specialties. At scuba diving area, one of them is the Jukung Dive (I will try to hold explaining what the Jukung is, until the end of the article). Others are like the Mola-mola dive at Nusa Penida, the TPS (Tulamben Porter System) and the fact the Bali is located at an ideal place where it hubs other dive destinations in Indonesia, like Lesser Sunda, Komodo, Tukang Besi, Selayar, and even Bunaken. Last but not least, doing scuba diving with Kapal Selam members maybe become one of the Bali specialty also in the future :-). Deeper And Get Drifted.....

You can easily try Jukung Dive at many places, like at Tulamben (e.g. to reach Batu Kelebit), Lovina, Amed Area and Padang Bay. The prices is so cheap, to hire Jukung you only need in average IDR 100.000,- for two dives. There are some technical and non technical stuff that you need to aware-of to do Jukung dive.

First of all, for non technical stuff. No guarantee that the Jukung Man can speak English, even Bahasa Indonesia so better if you take local divemaster with.  The jukung is parked on the beach by just by doing full throat on the engine and hit it to the bank of the sand, so to  bring it back to the sea will be little bit difficult, here you need to help the Jukung Man to push the Jukung back to the water. Also, don't order jukung for longer distance, maximum one hour distance.

The technical stuff are about how to store the equipment, when you have to set your gear, how to do entry, how to do safety stop and the last one is how to locate the boat (or how the Jukung Man can locate you).

  1. Prepare Your Gear

    You need to setup your scuba unit before you get in to the jukung. Set the BCD and regulator to the tank, depend on the distance you can keep the valve open or close it. Also wear the wetsuit before you get in (well you may it keep upper part open). There is no enough space and Jukung stability to possible doing this right before you jump in.

  2. Store the Gear

    There is small cavern inside the Jukung where the Jukung Man will help you to put the thank, weight belt and the fins. Please wear the fin right before jump in for convienience reason. If you bring the camera, usually there is small "table" that you can put the camera there. Basically, it is a wet boat, therefore, do not bring any stuff that you want to keep them dry.

  3. Jump in

  4. Having back-roll or giant jump entry is almost impossible with jukung. So, you will wear the gear on the surface. Jump to the water first, then the Jukung Man will bring down the gear for you. Don't forget the mask, weight belt and the fins. You wear the fins while you in the Jukung. It is difficult to entry and ready  at the same moment among buddies, so you have to wait each other before decide to descend. If you bring camera, the Jukung man will take it to you after you completed your gear installed. Beware of propeller blades and Jukung wing bar.

  5. Safety Stop

  6. Looks no chance to hold rock or dead hard coral do safety stop. You need to have a good buoyancy control to do this. While hovering, please keep in eye the surface to see any Jukung traffic. Using a bouy marker is highly recommended.

  7. Locate the boat and back to the board

  8. Just using the normal procedure when you ascend, the boat will come to you, so having buoy marker is very helpfull. Bring the whistle if you feel can not yell in loud. Have you ever trained to get up from the side of the pool? If yes, this skill will be usefull. To go back to the jukung, first release the BC from you body after you get closed to the Jukung. You can hang on the Jukung wing bar or the body. Give it to the Jukung Man. You may help it by pushing from bottom. Then your weight belt. After this, hold the Jukung banks, kick your fin and try to get in. For this reason Jukung dive is not recommended to the one who overweight.

Jukung Dive is not recommended for drift-dive in strong currents. No guarantee that the skill of the Jukung Man as well as the power of its engine can allow them to chase you when you got drifted away.

Jukung is a small wooden boat. It is fishermen boat. The boat is powered by out-triggered small gasoline engine.  You can not use a trawl to catch the fishes, because the boat is too small. The fisherman is only doing fishing with this boat and only can reach a coastal are of of the sea, may be only few hundreds meters from the land. It is not designed for scuba diving. Fishermen will be happy to take you to the dive site, in fact the income is better by taking you to do scuba diving than doing fishing all night long. You might give the tips also to Jukung Man, just make the IDR notes little higher than agreed rate. In Tulamben, Amed and Padang Bay, the jukung was under coordination by local resident to avoid unfair competetion between them.