• A collective vision
    A collective vision

The Journey

We understand you'd like to know who your new adventure buddies are. So get to know us. Here's a long story short about how we arrived to where we are now which has been, one exciting adventure.


as told by: Antony Crean

Okay so here is the story. It started in 1999, well 1980 to put you in the picture. The family moved to tropical Darwin from Melbourne. At school we made friends with Timorese who left East Timor in 1975. A few short years later we'd returned to Melbourne except for Dad who stayed and settled into the car industry and the tropics. Fast forward to 1999 to just days after the UN led referendum when the people of East Timor had just voted for autonomy. My sister, then working for the magistrate in Darwin had volunteered to scribe for UNCHR under the Geneva Convention in East Timor. Her task was to document first hand accounts of what was going down around the country. After a month of taking notes she was sent back to Darwin safely. Upon returning she announced she was going back to East Timor to give support and requested Dad to send over everything he could find as there was nothing left. From toilet paper, toothbrushes, generators, cars and car parts, it soon became apparent, tools were also needed. From there, with the first UN lease agreement, together they started a mechanical workshop, near the airport from a burnt out bus depot.

Seven months into 2000 I arrived from the chilly south to distribute fuel throughout the country for the UN peacekeeping forces. A year later I joined my father at the bus depot to service cars for the East Timor Transitional Administration. Shortly after the country was officially independent and became the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, In 2005, we acquired our first boat for recreation and we all learned to dive. Soon, other divers were chartering the boat to go diving in Atauro Island for the day. This transformed into Compass Charters & Ocean Adventures at the time when pioneering diving Atauro Island in Timor-Leste started. From then on, we committed ourselves to tourism and the development of Atauro Island.

In 2008 a new dive boat came online and the first boat became the official Water Taxi service for the public to connect the remote island to the mainland regularly and safely. Moving along to 2010 and a couple beers at the sailing club in Darwin, an opportunity came about with the owners of a local dive centre. Lamenting the downturn of interest in scuba diving and wanting to sell their dive shop, the money was on the bar and the next week, the dive shop and the owners were shipped to Dili. Once the dive shop was fitted out, the ex owners were shipped back, PADI was notified, and we were approved a new PADI Dive Resort. A few more boats in the Compass fleet, a couple of qualified PADI Instructors, we started teaching dive courses and guiding dives full time on the majestic island of Atauro.

In 2011, we opened Adara Ecocamp on the west coast of Atauro. It was a vision after surfacing from an amazing dive. We swam ashore and introduced ourselves to the humble Adara community. We explained our vision and soon after agreed to a lease on a small parcel of beachfront land. In no time the community were learning about hospitality and tourism. With a number gainfully employed women and men, the community are helping us to make your stay an unforgettable experience.

Gradually we implemented discussions on ocean conservation and ocean sustainability and what marine life means to divers and what divers mean to the community. Present day Adara now has it's own official Marine Protected Area, a 'Tara Bandu' where fishing is forbidden and penalties apply whilst divers and snorkelers are welcome to swim and dive among the World's most biodiverse marine life for a small contribution.

Today we continue to commit to ecotourism and scuba diving in Timor-Leste as the country and industry evolves. Encouraging new ideas and best practices to keep the reefs and the land in it's original if not better state than when we first arrived. We love teaching dive students, guiding divers and snorkelers and demonstrate what you can do to sustain a time-frozen exquisite place, not just for us, not just for the community but for the generations to come and the global community to see. As we build our name as sustainable operators and best choice for diver certification in Timor-Leste, we encourage you to see for yourself what is quite simply, another world.

To our new guests, We thank you in advance for choosing your adventure with Compass and to our long-term guests, we thank you for your support over the years. Without any of you, we know there is no us.


Our PADI Pros Team

tony team 2 

Antony Crean a.k.a Tony a.k.a THE Boss
The best PADI Divemaster and boat driver around.

He is your Atauro Island guy. Through his daily and consistent Water Taxi service, he brings Atauro Island a little closer to the mainland. Compass' regular water taxi passengers know well that even during the rough weather, he will strive to get you to and from the island safely. His love for the ocean and determination to develop sustainable tourism in Atauro Island has brought him working together with various international environmental and development projects and researchers.

With his extensive knowledge of the ocean around Atauro Island, he'll take you to every corner of the land. His hospitality and quirks will transform your simple Timor Leste holiday into an unforgettable travel experience. We even believe the dolphins and whales talk to him!

A long term resident of Timor-Leste, he is well-known in town. He's been dedicated and committed to the development of Timor Leste since the early days by providing various services to the people of Dili and the districts. From safe and consistent access to Atauro Island, importing better quality fuels, a vehicle and motorcycle workshop, convenience store with Australian products, to a bread bakery and the popular 24-hour pizza that the hungry residents crawl to after midnight. All at Tiger Fuel Centre.

This is his story.                               

story luke

Luke Colmer. Cool Hand Luke or Luku Luke (Luku=Tetun for Dive)

The Engineer. 
The best in packing dive trip esky - it is in his Australian blood. 
Ask him for cold beer after the dive. Also ask him what in the world you just saw, he'll have an answer.
Kind, smart, funny, friendly and really great to have around!

team fizz

Fizzy Moslim. The Fiz.

With her bubbly and Fizzy personality, she makes any dive course and dive trip the best fun you'll ever have! 
A strong commitment to animal welfare and environment conservation, from Malaysia she has been travelling around the world before landing in Timor-Leste to share her skills and knowledge. 
Loves loves loves dolphins and whales. Sings and plays guitar (to the dolphins and whales too).

team chris

Christoffer Andersson. Simply called Chris.
PADI IDC Staff Instructor 

Our very own Swedish Thor. Gentle, until you touch the corals.
NHL Ice Hockey. Manchester United. Rock and Punk Music. Movies. Macro Critters. Tec Diving of course.
Many years teaching and diving in Thailand.
On his time off, he likes to run and he runs pretty fast.

mermaid compass

Restuning Sandini. Unieng. The Compass Mermaid. 
PADI IDC Staff Instructor and Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainer. 

When out of water, she is most likely found doing headstand.
Splashing around in Timor-Leste since 2012.
Working together with Tony, they've  been building the Compass Tribe and Compass 5 Stars' quality, as well as providing highest quality training, bringing Aqualung Brand to the country, and taking divers to various destinations from Adara village in Atauro Island up to Jaco Island. They conducted the first Dive and Yoga retreat in Timor-Leste.
The first Indonesian female PADI Instructor in Bali.
Found in several publications related to PADI and scuba diving, including the latest PADI commercial video of Dive Indonesia.

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