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Diving with… Mike Bartick, Crystal Blue Resort, Anilao, Philippines

Asia DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…

In this post, we chat with Mike Bartick, one of the contributors to our latest publication Philippines Dive Adventures – download your FREE copy here!


What is your name?

Mike Bartick

What is the name of your business?

Crystal Blue Resort or Dive CBR

What is your role within the business?

General Manager – Background operations and client liaison

Global Marketing

Photo Pro – Im a professional UW photographer by trade and host a variety of different workshops based on photo skills, natural history and blackwater adventures. Photo coaching and working closely with guests is a large part of what I do day-to-day.

How long has the business operated for?

14 years of operation; 10 years as a resort dedicated to Underwater Photography

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I’ve been a diver for more than 16 years with 6k dives and counting, I’m also a PADI instructor but I don’t teach diving. Being an instructor though is crucial for the successful operation of a busy dive center.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Blackwater dives are my favorite but I also love reefs, and really love macro dives. If there are any kind of critters involved, I’m ready to go and explore.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

We’re a unique destination and a unique dive resort. Easy to get to, private, offer valet-style diving, family atmosphere, professional service, 23 bay camera room, trained dive guides, chef prepared meals, and small guest to boat/guide ratio’s.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

This is tough as I love all of our dive sites for different reasons. We have around 45 dive sites that include pinnacles, walls, coral gardens, sandy macro sites and of course Blackwater dives in open ocean at night.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Macro is the prime draw but we also have fantastic wide angle opportunities here in Anilao as well. We offer a specialized dive service at CBR with guides trained to work with photographers and either 2:1 ratio or 4:1 depending on the package designed for the guests.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

As a marketing person my work is global so it’s always nice to see the folks checking in from far off places, knowing that we’ve met and that they have come to see Anilao for themselves. Normally the guests are expecting a lot and Anilao never disappoints. What makes me even happier is hearing the positive feedback regarding the resort grounds, staff and dive operations, boats or guides.

What is your favourite underwater creature?

This is really hard but most of my friends know that I can’t help myself when I see a hairy frogfish. To me they are the absolute most awesome critter on the sand. Full of personality, photogenic and always up to mischief.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We’re looking forward to re-opening the resort post Covid. We have some exciting workshops planned for the remainder of 2021. We’re just waiting for the planet to heal.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Covid has been the biggest challenge. We are a destination for foreign travel mostly, so with the world in its current state, were not sure what the future of travel will be. The resort and staff are ready and we have passed our health dept. inspections and approved to re-open. The best news is that our community has not seen a single case of Covid since the start. We are ready to take guests when the world is ready for travel.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We do clean-ups in the community but we also pick up plastic or remove nets when we find them. We also help install mooring balls on many of the dive sites.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

What changes would you make?  I feel that nitrox should be a part of the basic open water training and diving on 21% should be a part of tech training. I feel these two are reversed by nature of how the industry has progressed. Nitrox diving is the safest way to enjoy recreational depth diving.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Anilao is one of the easiest places to travel to. The diving is easy and the resort offers an experience more then just a dive trip. Many of our guests have visited with us 5 or more times which I feel says a lot.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Our website is: www.DiveCBR.com
Email: mike@DiveCBR.com

I can be reached and followed on Facebook or through Instagram anytime. I’m happy to answer questions and to assist in any way that I can.

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DAN and Indonesia Ministry of Tourism advance commitment to Safe Diving

Asia DTA Team

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Divers Alert Network and the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism are moving forward with their commitment to promoting dive safety in Indonesia. DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle and COO Panchabi Vaithiyanathan met with Indonesia Minister of Tourism Dr. Sandiaga Uno on September 1 to further the two organizations’ Partnership to Promote Diving Safety

The meeting took place in Jakarta amid the opening of Deep and Extreme Indonesia, Asia’s largest outdoor adventure, diving, and marine tourism show, and followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year in which the organizations committed to working together to promote safe diving.

In the months ahead, DAN’s Indonesia team, led by Ronny Hertiadhi and Bayu Wardoyo, will be undertaking various initiatives including raising awareness for the new DAN Emergency Hotline in Indonesia (which is available in Bahasa Indonesia and English), training physicians through DAN’s Academies of Dive Medicine, conducting inspections and providing support for recompression chambers, training chamber operators, disseminating safety resources for divers (new and experienced), and supporting dive professionals and operators with free safety consultations, safety seminars, and risk mitigation measures.

“We are so pleased to be working with Minister Uno and his colleagues on this bold initiative,” Ziefle said. “Their enthusiasm — and the enthusiasm of the attendees at the DEEP show — was inspiring. The ministry has embraced the importance of safety in promoting Indonesia as a great place to dive, and we are excited to work alongside them to implement meaningful programs and strategies.”

While the effort is ongoing, the next major milestone in the collaboration will take place on September 13, when DAN Vice President, Risk Mitigation, Francois Burman and DAN Vice President, Medical Services, Matías Nochetto will travel to Indonesia to present a series of lectures and safety presentations to dive operators and medical professionals around the country.

Join the DAN community or learn more at DAN.org.

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Save on NEW Emperor Harmoni

Asia DTA Team

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The launch of Emperor Harmoni – Emperor Divers’ brand-new liveaboard in Indonesia – is just a few weeks away with the finishing touches currently taking place. And, to welcome her to their fleet, Emperor have put together an offer as magnificent as the boat herself.

Anyone booking a trip on Harmoni for 2022 or 2023 will receive a 25% discount if they book and confirm before October 1st 2022.

That means the first guests on board can not only explore and dive the Indonesian waters in the finest of style but do so at an incredible price. And sailing on Harmoni really is fine.

She is a 24-berth, traditional Indonesian phinisi-style vessel which has been bespoke made using a combination of Emperor’s vast experience of liveaboards and the expertise of legendary Indonesian boat builder Pak Haji.

Constructed almost entirely by hand using Sulawesi ironwood, Harmoni has been designed specifically to offer the finest diving experiences possible in spacious surroundings of the very highest standard.

The beautifully-finished cabins all have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning while the deck areas offer plenty of comfortable places to sit and maybe even enjoy a relaxing massage. The dining area is spacious and serves the high-quality food and drink you would expect from an Emperor Divers holiday.

The first trip leaves on September 16th and will cruise from Bali, taking in the wonderful scenery of Moyo Island, Sumbawa and Sangean Volcano before finally reaching Komodo National Park. 

The offer is valid on new bookings only and discount is not to be combined with group free places or any other discount or promotion.

Email reservations@emperordivers.com to confirm pricing and availability or speak personally to the Emperor Divers’ reservation team to find out more.

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