So there I finally was, arriving in Nusa Lembongan, to begin my much anticipated journey on the divemaster course. After planning the trip for months, and packing up everything I had in the States, I was ready to start what has so far been a delightful yet challenging adventure. The first couple of days were absolute paradise. I started with fun dives in the morning witnessing some of the most alluring marine life I have ever seen, then spent the afternoons reading by the pool, and watching the harlequin sunset over the beach. But of course, this couldn’t last forever, some work had to be involved in getting my divemaster certification.
I still needed to get my dive number up, so we started with some PADI specialty courses including the deep diver. I had been to 30 meters before, but now I would be able to go an extra ten meters deeper and add another PADI specialty title to my list. Honestly, I was most looking forward to this so that I might be able to feel the effects of gas narcosis that I have learned about so many times in my diving studies. To test this, my instructor Rowan gave me a simple task to complete on land. I was to simply look at a slate of randomly placed number from 1 to 30 and point to them in order. He would time how long this took me on land, as well as at 40 meter. Now I was not very good at this on land, but it was much worse underwater. Sadly, I did not feel the narcosis much, but I was much slower in my response, and was very vocal about how poorly I was doing while laughing uncontrollably. So for me, it was a pretty fun dive.
After the deep dive, we went out to Manta Bay for a fun dive guided by two of my splendid instructors, Rowan and Fred. Now this site has become one of my favorites, as diving here is almost a guarantee to witness the splendor of the majestic reef Manta, but this dive had even more to offer. As soon as we had descended, I hear Rowan’s muffled yell into his regulator as he begins racing away from Fred and I. We follow close behind, and were fortunate enough to spot a pod of 12 dolphins swimming in front of us in all their beauty and grace. Once they were out of sight, we continued our dive through beautiful canyons of rock and coral displaying every color you can imagine. Just as we were passing through a canyon I spotted a banded sea snake swimming out of crevice below me. Mesmerized by his miraculous swimming capabilities I floated mid-water to watch him, until I realized he seemed to be swimming right at me. Now in most cases I really do admire snakes, but of course, being the girl that I am, the snake gets too close for comfort and I scream out (as much as I can in my regulator). The snake calmly swims past unimpressed with my freak out, but for me, it was an exhilarating close encounter with my first sea snake. As if all that wasn’t enough, we were also able to spot about 8 different reef Mantas, in all their glory.
Overall, spending my mornings out on the reefs everyday has felt like a never ending paradise, but the afternoons are just as enjoyable. Most days I dedicate the majority of my time to learning the ins and outs of the dive world, whether it be reading in my manuals, working with rowan in the pool or completing skills. But there has also been plenty of time to share stories with guests and staff. I have already met many amazing divers, who have broadened my scope of the dive world with their shared experiences and advice. I have also tried to pick up some of the native language most of the staff speak, although that’s more difficult to learn than all the dive theory that has been thrown at me. This experience has already been so fulfilling and rewarding, that I cannot wait to see what the rest of the program has in store. So next up, will be the journey to Bunaken!