“Hi one and all, my name is Alex, originally from England. I am part of a company called Conservation Wise and for the next six weeks I’ll be blogging, vlogging and posting stories about my experiences on this once in a lifetime trip to realise my life goal of becoming a PADI Divemaster here at Two Fish Divers Bunaken.
My first week here at Two Fish Divers Bunaken has been pretty full on. I’ve got back into the swing of diving after a couple of years’ surface interval, completed my PADI Rescue Diver course, got the Divemaster training well and truly underway and already nailed a couple of PADI Specialties.
PADI Rescue Diver Course in Bunaken
After completing the theory, the pool sessions for the PADI Rescue Course were brilliant fun and I began to develop the in-water skills I’d need in open water and for examination. Learning the techniques to deal with such scenarios test your abilities as a diver and your ability to stop, think and act in the situation you’re faced with. Diver, diver are you ok?… is the initial contact we make to the suspected victim and the catchphrase of the PADI Rescue Diver course.
The team here set an incredibly high bar, which is a credit to them as this really leaves you with a feeling of confidence that should you face a diving emergency you have the skills and ability to deal with it.
After completing the PADI Rescue Diver Course I was officially introduced to the staff at the resort as the new Divemaster Trainee (DMT) which means I have some responsibilities as part of my training. The day starts at 6:30 am with checking the daily diving board to see what the guests, guides, students and instructors are doing and how many tanks we need for the day. Then I help take the tanks to the steps where we load them onto the boats. We pack the equipment to put next to the tanks and then it is breakfast time. Whilst eating and saying good morning to the guests we still have to be ready to go and help the team to load the boat when the captain finishes his preparations but the banana pancakes and nasi goreng make it worth it; they taste amazing!
After a couple of days, it all starts to happen like clockwork.
One of the specialties I took was PADI Enriched Air Nitrox and after completing the theory, running over how to calibrate and analyse we head out for the first of two nitrox morning dives which were great fun with loads to see (there are over 60 sites and they all have something special about them).
Another was the PADI Deep Diver Specialty where we went deep on the Molas Wreck, close to Manado. It is on a sloping sandy bottom with the tip of the bow at 22m and the prop at 40m. The wreck itself is a Dutch freighter that sunk in 1945, so it has had ample time to be colonised by marine species, and as we descend on our reference line the visibility is about 10-15m. Following the shotline down, all of a sudden the shape of the wreck begins to appear out of the deep blue ready to be explored, It’s pretty incredible and I thoroughly enjoyed the Deep Diver Specialty.
With some spare time, I head out the front of the resort and go for a snorkel on the wall which is absolutely breathtaking. I find lizard fish, nudibranchs, moorish idols, sweet lips, as well as an array of corals – not a bad way to spend some time in the afternoon – this place is awesome!
During the week I had some problems with my ear so decided to stay out of the water and study for a couple of days. I help get the tanks and gear ready for everyone before hitting the books and helping with a beach clean up. I also get to know the three hounds on camp, Cosmo, Fixit and Simba a bit better as well as determining which is my favourite hammock – all essential skills to harness as a DMT on a beautiful tropical island.
So, there you have it, my first week at Two Fish Divers Bunaken. It’s been fast-paced, challenging but most of all it’s been fun! Ever since I dived for the first time over 12 years ago in Indonesia I always wanted to return to do my Divemaster and here I am. If you’re undecided all I can say after week one is take the plunge, this is a special place with great instructors and facilities, it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life!”