IDC Bunaken Bunaken, north Sulawesi, the Liveaboard on land, the “retreat” for divers! Sounds like a perfect place where to go for an IDC and guess what, yes it is!On the 9th of February, we started our Instructor Development Course on this little paradise. Having one program a year here, it is always the…
Divemaster course is a really hard work to me as it deals with many tanks and equipment every day. Having a petite frame, these hard works can knock me out sometimes, nevertheless, it’s still a great experience. I have reviewed open-water skills in the pool with my instructor and learned some new techniques, such as filling cylinders, managing the boat, and doing my first briefing on the boat.
The environment here is good, the food was yummy, the staffs are friendly, and there are 3 lovely big dogs. Everything is simply just brilliant. Except if it could rain slightly less but we are in the raining season. Despite the rain, the visibility is good underwater.
So Here I am in Bunaken Island and after a little over a week and I can tell you I have survived! You can say I have thrown myself into the deep end with this my first days of diving were straight to learning a rescue course then starting on my Divemaster training with Instructor Markus and the other DMT Romana (who is at a similar level of experience to myself).
Nusa Lembongan: (Nov 1st-21st)
3 weeks into our divemaster course and we are already saying goodbye to Nusa Lembongan, for now at least, to fly onto Manado and join the two fish crew in Bunaken. What an action filled, learning curve this past 3 weeks has been!
Today, I celebrated my 100th dive and the 3rd week of my divemaster training. Yeepee! Waking up at 5am to go to a dawn dive! That’s when you know you are really a diver. It was well worth it. The sunrise was bathing the sky in a soft pink color while the remnant of last night’s full moon was fading over the palm tree tops.mean, seriously, what more can you ask for your 100th dive? (apart for a shark and an eagle ray)
As training continues, I feel I am getting more autonomous every day. It’s really nice to feel your knowledge, skills and confidence level growing – both in the water and on land. I now have a more precise idea of how the dive center operates, what there is to do with divers from check-in to check-out. I also realize I know the diving spots better – I gained in spatial awareness underwater and I’m better at finding stuff.
Hello Two Fish friends, Tom here again for another dive masters trainee blog.
I’m progressing slowly but surely through the course, and am in the last quarter now..
I’ve assisted on four discover scuba’s and one bubble maker, both great as they are designed for people to access the world of diving, quickly and without much learning.
All good stories have an end and this end was a struggle with theory! So you have this smart people who tell you ‘at the start of the course go through the book and do the exams immediately so you have that out of the way’ Perfect idea no?
When I first arrived in Bunaken I was stunned by the peacefulness of the place.
A boat ride across from Manado along crystal blue water and rolling, lush green mountains, and flashes of the reef from below.
Going into my sixth week of the divemaster course. Time flies when you are having fun! ? I’m happy with the choice of spreading the course over 8 weeks. It increased the amount of experience I earned by having time to do fun dives where I am able to learn from the dive guides or to guide several dives myself.
Hi there! My name is Lilly and I just spend my first week of my 7 weeks total as a divemaster trainee. Diving has always been my passion and after studying 5 months in cold (but beautiful) Northern Ireland as my gap semester I decided to take my diving “career” (if you can call it that) further by becoming a Divemaster before heading back home to Switzerland. I just came back from learning how to fill tanks and spend my morning assisting a PADI Open Water diver on his first two dives. Now I have 40 minutes to write this blog after which instructor Dion will show me how to use the compass so I hopefully won’t get lost during the night dive this evening.
This weeks ‘dive against debris’ at our adopted dive site Muka Kampung in front of the Bunaken village was very successful. 10 guests and 7 staff joined in to collect in total 18 kg of debris. The strangest piece of debris was a bike tyre. It was a beautiful day and most of us went snorkeling as most of the debris is found shallow on top of the reef or on the surface. Everybody had a lot of fun drifting on a mild current above this beautiful dive site with amazing corals.
Compared to the last ‘dive against debris’ we collected two trash bags less but heavier items instead.
We have a lot of courses going on in Bunaken at the moment! Our instructors Dion and Markus have their hands full currently…
We welcomed four new open water divers to the underwater world in the last ten days. Ten year old Finlay just finished his Scuba Diver Course yesterday and he is very excited to explore the amazing coral walls in Bunaken. We also had four Advanced Open Water course, two Rescue courses, two nitrox specialties, one night diver and one sidemount specialty course in the last few days. In our very popular Divemaster course, we have four dive master trainees in Bunaken at the moment.
We became an ambassador in the ‘Project Aware’ initiative and adopted the dive site in Bunaken, ‘Muka Kampung’.
Marine debris is the rubbish of our everyday lives, it travels over land, down streams, rivers and storm drains to the ocean. It can drift thousands of miles leaving a wake of destruction in its path. Every year, debris kills thousands of marine animals and sea birds, chokes coral reefs, smothers critical environments and contaminates our beaches and recreation sites. Better information about sources and impacts is extremely important to drive changes in infrastructure and waste management policies. Who is responsible? All of us. Together we can help prevent and clear up this mess for a clean, healthy ocean planet.
Bunaken Dive Site “Muka Kampung”, the turtle city!
Everybody loves turtles and at here we see them all over the shop and they certainly are not of the shy sort! If you get hit on the head by something it might not be your buddy struggling with his buoyancy, it could also well be a turtle pushing you out of the way to settle on its favourite spot on the reef!
Bunaken resort update and info about the national park! After we had it a bit quiet in the last few days we have a full house again and there is a great buzz in the resort. We are diving with two boats which go to different dive sites.
We also have three students in open water courses who will be spoilt forever to do their courses on the amazing coral walls of Bunaken Island. Isabel saw an eagle ray one her first open water dive today.
Are we teaching orang-utans to dive underwater in Bunaken? Not just yet, but we’ve been spotting plenty of orangutan crabs (picture by Alex Schade) this week. And what a busy time it has been, thanks to an Indonesian bank holiday. Instructors and dive guides got plenty of in-water time and all of our boats were called on, too. The result? Lots of smiling divers and many congratulations all around as we’re adding more certified divers to the underwater world.
In Bunaken this week, we couldn’t decide where to look – the blue for big stuff or the reef for small creatures. There have been plenty of both, including another Mola-Mola sighting! And just as our dive manager and instructor Dion is off to get to know our Bali and Lombok dive centres better, we’ve been busy teaching PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses.
This week has been fantastic for both large and small marine creatures in Bunaken with a particularly lucky group seeing a pod of ten eagle rays on one single dive! All around the island we’re seeing plenty of ornate ghost pipefish on many of our favourite dives. And there is a new face around as well!
I am about to finish my time in Bunaken, and again I am not at all ready to say goodbye. Although, I have almost finished checking all the boxes for completing my Divemaster program! With my last two weeks so near, I really have no idea where the time went, and I am not ready for it to end. The past two weeks have been quite action packed, finishing up more specialty courses and assisting with guiding and other courses.
It’s been a very lucky week for sighting big stuff in Bunaken with Mola-Molas and Dugongs being seen by our guests. In fact, one lucky open water diver student saw not one, but two Molas right at the end of her very first open water dive! How do you top that?
Well, the last week of my divemaster course in Lembongan was bittersweet. I was so excited to finally journey to the breathtaking Bunaken I had heard so much about, but could not shake the melancholy I felt for leaving Nusa Lembongan Island. I did however get very lucky, as my last week there was full of guests and scuba diving courses, which meant a lot of daily fun diving for me! I thought eventually I might get tired of the reef walls along the north coast of Nusa Penida, or eventually my wonderment for Mantas might dwindle but I am now quite sure, that is impossible.
Bunaken is home to Asia’s best wall dives, making it easy to marvel at the sheer length and depth of them whilst overlooking the smaller creatures that live underwater in Bunaken – but this week, we’ve been fascinated by a tiny little marine dweller called candy crab or soft coral crab. Hard to spot as they mimic the soft coral they live on almost perfectly, it’s down to our guides’ amazing eyes to find them.