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.
I 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.
While 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).
One 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.
This week, we were joined by Ismail from Jakarta, who specifically travelled to our Bunaken resort to get started on the route to technical diving. So far, so normal. Asked about his diving experience to date, Ismail said he had completed just under 30 dives, prompting the question what time is the right time for a diver to start technical diving training.
We 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.
Sometimes, what divers see from the surface can be as impressive as what we see underwater. This week in Bunaken, an extraordinarily large dolphin pod kept us company not once, but two days in a row. We estimate the pod of around 100 at times, circling both boats. And even seasoned dive guides get a little excited by that.
As 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.
After a few days of fun diving and completing his PADI EFR and Rescue course in Bunaken, Tristan has now embarked on his Divemaster course here at Two Fish Divers, which will also take him to our Lembeh resort in a few weeks. Until then, he’s getting to grips with dive logistics, among other things.
Two years ago, Simon completed his Divemaster course with Two Fish Divers Bunaken. This year, he returned to take the next step and become a PADI instructor. After his course, he decided to stay on for a couple of weeks and complete an instructor internship. Here’s how it went….
This 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.