Divemaster course in full swing in Bunaken and I must say it has been a wonderful experience so far. One of the first practical things another Divemaster trainee and I had to do was run through and practice 24 skills. These skills are ones that every student learns during their PADI Open Water Course. As part of our PADI Divemaster training, we need to be able to demonstrate some of these skills in a ReActivate (refresher) course or to Open Water Students when we are assisting an Instructor for pool training. Some skills I have completed over and over in my diving career and some skills I have not done in a while. It was a great way to relearn what I had forgotten and reassure myself on the skills I know. One of the many things I love about diving is every time I go underwater, whether it be in a pool or open water, it is always a learning experience.
Later we went on a fun dive to see the shy mandarin fish. It is at a dive site where nine times out of ten you will see mandarin fish. A beautiful fish with great character and beautifully colored. The location to find them is in about 5-6 m of water and you have to stay quite still to watch them swim between the corals. They are very hard to find on a normal dive so I jumped at the opportunity to go and see them. On the way to the dive site, we were graced with the presence of dolphins. They swam next to the bow of the boat as we admired them. Seven or eight dolphins swam next to and in front of the boat.
The next few days we completed more skills as part of our training. One of the days we were in the ocean doing a skin diving workshop. Once completing this we went for a fun snorkel above the reef. As we got on the boat one of the boat crew yelled ORCA’S and to everyone’s surprise, we saw a pod of orca swimming past Bunaken. I was excited to see them, even more, excited to be out of the water. As they pass we see that its a few full-grown orcas with some juvenile orcas. It was an amazing and unexpected sight to see. I did not know that orcas came through this area but found out they migrate through the national park at certain times of the year. Lucky me! All I kept thinking was what a great place. Dolphins and Orcas and I haven’t even been here one week.
Ten days or so into my training I am assisting with an Advanced Open water class. A great class to learn new skills and further your education in the underwater world. We went to a dive site on one of the surrounding islands and I was assisting for the fish identification adventure dive. An interesting adventure dive to learn about different types of fish you see when you are diving. As we are swimming along with the beautiful coral filled wall we spot a frogfish. Such a unique looking fish. They blend so well with there environment you can pass right over them and never notice. Some divers go many dives without ever seeing one and here we seeing a frogfish on a FISH ID class.
These few weeks have been amazing and I can’t wait to tell you more. On my next blog, I will talk about the Project Aware clean up I was able to take part in. Let’s just say we pulled a lot of rubbish out of the water. I hope you enjoy my blog and I look forward to writing about more of my adventures diving Bunaken at Two Fish Divers.