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Speaking to the fish with a pioneer dive master

  • Novia D. Rulistia

    The Jakarta Post

| Wed, June 26, 2013 | 01:09 pm
Speaking to the fish with a pioneer dive master Special talent: “For secrets uttered softly into pricked and troubled ears, these men were known as whisperers” wrote the singer Roger Taylor. Condo Subagyo is a fish whisperer. (JP/ Novia D. Rulistia) (JP/ Novia D. Rulistia)

Special talent: '€œFor secrets uttered softly into pricked and troubled ears, these men were known as whisperers'€ wrote the singer Roger Taylor. Condo Subagyo is a fish whisperer. (JP/ Novia D. Rulistia)The 51-year-old opened his regulator and started making a unique noise while we were underwater. A few seconds later, two giant trevallies appeared and swam around him.

Others who have dived with Condo in Komodo National Park say they have seen him make several sharks appeared.

'€œThat noise is the sound of the fish when they spawn, Chondo said to a group of divers while on the open water. '€œYou can do it, too. Just try.'€

None of us, however, succeeded.

Condo has been diving in Komodo since 1987. Together with his diving instructor when he worked in Bali, he explored and then opened most of the dive sites in Komodo. A week after his first diving lesson, Condo joined his instructor and accompanied guests on a dive.

'€œBesides becoming their guide, we also explored new dive sites, because most of my guests were diving instructors who liked to explore,'€ Condo, a former ranger at Komodo National Park, said.

In 1994, Condo was the local scout and assistant for a Discovery Channel team that was making a documentary about Komodo. He also worked with The Nature Conservancy, an environmental NGO, as a marine project leader in 1997.

In between his many gigs, Condo set up his own dive center, CNDive Komodo.

'€œAs I only had open water license, I had to upgrade my license if I wanted to open a dive center,'€ Condo said. He currently holds PADI and Indonesian Diving Association instructor certification.

At first, CNDive only served day trips, but since 1997, the dive center also offers live-on-aboard (LOB) diving trips and was a pioneer in introducing LOB to Komodo.

'€œBack then, we didn'€™t spend the night on the boat like now. After dinner, we set up the tent first on the beach. My old clients once told me that they missed that,'€ Condo said.

Besides calling fish, Condo is also known among divers for his habit of not wearing a wetsuit '€” no matter how cold the water in Komodo is.

Condo laughed. '€œIt'€™s simple. Besides, I feel like I'€™m really diving without wearing it.'€

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