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Volcano Freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2001
I just got back from Danau Mananjau, in Sumatra Barat, Indonesia. It's a 17km by 8km by 450 metre deep lake in the mountains and jungle of Sumatra. It was formed by a volcanic explosion, which resulted in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Very undeveloped, and really very litle in the way of tourists, as it's out in the jungle.
The lake was about 32C at the surface, and not much colder at 15 metres deep. I was staying at a small hotel that is situated right on the lake, with steps into the water....no beach. Just a giant stride into this massive and clear bathwater!
I did not bring a fin or a gun, but I discovered that at 10 to 15 metres deep, there were big freshwater clams. My girlfriend told me that they were edible, so I spent a few hours diving with a bag strapped to my waist. I would breath up, dive, and search for the shells, stuff 4 or 5 in my pack, then swim to the surface. I did not have a dive computer and my watch flooded the first day I was in the water, so I had no instruments at all, which is a first for me! I know the depths just by feel, but the times I spent breathing or diving, I have no idea. Just that I was diving purely by feel, and that I knew I was catching my dinner!
Later, the clams (100 or so) were fried up, Sumatran style, and we had a big feast.
Erik Y.
Anyone else suffering from the disorder known as "Erikenvy"? Good grief man, great story! All aboard the vicarious train.

Ted :)
Great Stuff Erik

That story really warms my heart. It reminded me of similar experiences: back in 1979 I toured through Australia as a hippie. When I arrived in northern Queensland some very nice folks took me in and showed me around. One place was a crater lake called Lake Eachum, about 40km's inland from Cairns, hid in a rain forest.

The diameter of the lake was about 1 km, shaped in a perfect circle, 64mt deep at the center. The water was as blue as the ocean. The jungle reached right into the water. I had a rusty piece of iron tied to a string and let it hang down to 30mt. That was a new freshwater record for me back then. Needless to say that I didn't feel any thermocline, it was a bathtub from top to the bottom.

Hope we see each other soon, may be next winter in Dahab?

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Very nice!

Any photos Erik? It would be great to see a couple!

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Aww yeah sweet Erik reminds me of summer diving 32C water :cool: Beats the hell out of the 25C water at the moment. Were you diving to 15m with no fins then collecting clams ?? if so very impressive

Nice story Erik, I think I've just added something to my to do list :)
Thanks for the nice words everyone. Ivan, I was diving to a max of approximately 15 metres with no fins. Mostly around 10 metres, where the food was though :p
Cheers all, hope you`re all doing well ,
Erik Y.
aaahhhh, sooooo I seee. That's where you been gone.....:D

Nice to hear u enjoyed ur visit to Sumatra my friend.

Very cool story Erik! Must have been an awesome experience. Not having fins actually makes the story better!


and here I am stuck behind a desk working my butt off - :head

Nice story Erik!
I was looking in the archives and saw that I never posted a pic of the site.
The attatched pic is taken from the hotel steps.
The lake is at about 1 mile altitude, so the weather was very pleasant: no need for AC.
Erik Y.


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Beautiful Erik!
I'm sure just going through the pics bring bring back alot of plesant memories... Especially with the snow starting/about to start!

All the best,
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