Bunaken’s new divemaster trainee – Lilly

Candy Crab by Divemaster trainee Lily 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.

Dive against debris off Bunaken village

dive against debris off bunaken villageThis 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.

Lots of dive courses happening in Bunaken

Updates from Bunaken divesWe 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.

‘Muka Kampung’ dive site in Bunaken adopted

Two Fish Bunaken adopted the dive site ‘Muka Kampung’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.

Updates on Bunaken Resort and National Park

Bunaken resort update and info about national park!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.

Orang-Utans underwater in Bunaken this week

Orangutans in BunakenAre 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.

All Creatures Big and Small When Diving in Bunaken

Big and small creatures in Bunaken this weekIn 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.

Last few days in Bunaken – Marissa’s Divemaster course

Divemaster course in BunakenI 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.

Week Three – Marissa’s Divemaster course in Lembongan and Bunaken

Divemaster course in LembonganWell, 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.

Lots of candy crabs spotted underwater in Bunaken

Candy crabs in BunakenBunaken 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.

Week Four – Tristan’s Divemaster course in Bunaken

Divemaster course in BunakenI had the pleasure of doing my Wreck and Night Diver specialities this week. Having not been on a night dive for over 5 years, I was reminded of why I loved it so much. Bunaken night diving is amazing; enormous crabs lurking in the reef, mandarin fish hiding in the corals, and beautiful Pleurobranch displaying their splendid purple colour in the torch light. On the final dive, when I was required to turn my torch off for 3 minutes, I was lucky enough to be diving on a near full moon, and found that my body movements activated the bioluminescence. This made the three minutes rather enjoyable, this also served as entertainment for a student taking her advanced course night dive who commented on the light show she witnessed whilst all was dark.

Lots of diving courses this week in Bunaken

Diving courses in BunakenWhile things around the resort calmed down a bit after Easter, our instructors Dion and Yvonne have been busy teaching right across the spectrum of PADI courses for the past few days. They’ve been introducing first time divers to the underwater world, explored shipwrecks and worked with our divemaster trainees to perfect their skills both underwater and on land. And they even managed to re-introduce a guest to the underwater world after a 13 year break who was most impressed by the number and size of turtles on our walls (picture by Alex Schade).

Week Three – Tristan’s Divemaster course in Bunaken

Divemaster course in BunakenOne of the first things my instructors mentioned to me when I arrived at Two Fish Divers is that in the diving industry plans change all the time. Safe to say that’s been very true for my Divemaster course. It’s not just down to dive centre logistics either, it can be simple things like a sinus infection which mean you spend rather more time with your books. Now that I’ve been back in the water for a few days, let me tell you what’s been going on.

Keeping our eyes open for plenty of seahorses and pipefish this week in Bunaken

Pygmy seahorses in BunakenWe might not have been hunting for Easter eggs or chocolates, but we’ve been lucky enough to spot plenty of pygmy seahorses and ornate ghost pipefish around Bunaken this week. It’s definitely been a week for macro photography fans (thanks for the picture, Alex Schade) with our guides spotting numerous pregnant Pontohi Pygmy and Severn’s seahorses as well as ornate ghost pipefish all around the island.

PADI instructor course and internship of Roya in Bunaken

Roya's Instructor course and internship in BunakenAs my PADI instructor course and internship at Two Fish Divers in Bunaken comes to a close, I can’t help but look over this past month and realize how much I’ve learned and experienced in such a short period of time. In a lot of ways, it feels like it’s been so much longer than a month. But of course in other ways it feels like it’s been only a couple days.

Diving during the solar eclipse – this week in Bunaken

Solar Eclipse in IndonesiaThis week in Bunaken we had the unique opportunity to dive during the full solar eclipse. And, as a double treat, senior dive guide Fenly picked a rarely visited site which usually offers a good chance for larger marine life. But that’s not what happened on this magical dive…

To witness a full solar eclipse, you really have to be in the right place at the right time. Turns out, Bunaken was the place to be this week as we had a chance to see a 98% solar eclipse just before 9 am. Some of our guests opted to dive later, but a few hardy ones wanted to know what it might be like to dive when the sun disappears.