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IDC Day 14

IDC Day 14: open water presentations, DSD workshop, adventures in diving

Today was our last day of IDC.  We spent the day diving in Nusa Penida!  Our first dive was a drift at SD.  It was amazing to be back in the water again :)  During our next dive we went to Lembongan Bay to practice doing the discover scuba diving program.  The water was freezing that day, 18 degrees C (64 degrees F)!  Tomorrow we start the mock IE.  This will really show me if I am ready.  Check back in a couple of days and I will let you know how it went!

IDC Day 9-13

IDC Day 9: confined water presentation, teaching open water

I did my first confined water presentation! It was really cool getting a chance to run part of a course. I was able to manage the group well and got a decent score on my presentation. I still have more work to do though! We also did a presentation today on teaching open water courses. It was really useful to get more information on how to organize and sequence a course. I know that I will use all this once I start teaching.

IDC Day 10: knowledge development 2, theory exam, confined water presentation, rescue practice

We are trucking right on through IDC.  Today we worked more on theory and did another confined water and knowledge development presentation.  It is great to practice and get so much feedback from Jon and Stefan.  I know that I will be more than prepared when we get to the IE.

IDC Day 11: open water presentations, standards exams

Today we did our first open water presentations and boy was I nervous!  It was completely different controlling students in ocean and there were so many more things to thing about!  I had to present 2 skill and I passed both :) Lets hope the same thing happens in the real IE 😉

IDC Day 12: presentations on adventures in diving, rescue, and divemaster, confined water presentations

Henley and Me

The best divemaster mentor ever!

Today we spent time talking about how to conduct the adventures in diving, rescue, and divemaster courses.  I think the most interesting was the divemaster slideshow.  I found myself thinking a lot about Henley and my own divemaster experience.  I am really lucky to have been through such a great program.  Henley is a fantastic mentor and continues to support me as I work towards my goal of becoming an instructor.  Thanks Henley!

IDC Day 13: knowledge development presentations, 4E’s, risk management, confined water presentations

Wow, we are almost done with IDC!  Today we did a knowledge development and confined water presentations.  We also talked all about the duty of care for PADI professionals and managing risks as dive instructors.  I already knew how important it was to follow PADI standards as a diver and instructor, but now I am even more convinced.  I am lucky to be doing my internship at a place like Blue Season Bali that puts such a high value on safe diving practices and following PADI standards.  It is really important when you look for a dive shop or somewhere to further your diving education that you find a place that is professional and puts diver safety first.

Tomorrow is our official last day of IDC.  We are heading out to Nusa Penida to do a few workshops and have a little bit of fun together.  I can’t wait to get back in the ocean and do some diving!

IDC group

Almost finished with IDC!

August IDC Day 6-8

IDC Day 6: orientation, theory exams, pool sessions

Today we officially started the IDC!  We started the day with Jonathan Cross giving us an orientation about the components of the IDC and the IE (Instructor Examination).  It was good to take time to really understand what would be required of us during the IE.  I am also totally confidant that we will be prepared after completing the IDC here at Blue Season Bali.  We also took some more theory exams for practice.  I passed every section this time!  Now I know which areas I am weakest in and can take time to study more about them.

Taking a dive theory exam.

Taking a dive theory exam.

IDC Day 7: CESA/descents/ascents workshop, knowledge development prep

Today we go to go out in the ocean, yay! We spent some time practicing the CESA skill in open water. It is proabley one of the most difficult skills to control and asses properly out in the ocean. It was really nice to be able to practice and get feedback from our instructor.

IDC Day 8: knowledge development presentations, confined water presentation prep, rescue workshop

Today we did our first knowledge development presentations in class. I felt really comfortable and it was nice to be up teaching again! We also prepared for our confined water presentations that we will do tomorrow. I have to demonstrate regulator clearing. I have everything all set but I’m still a little nervous about tomorrow. I hope it goes well! I will let you all know what happens. Talk to you soon :)

August IDC Day 5-7

IDC Day 5: e-learning

Today Stefan presented the e-learning presentations to the August IDC.  It was very interesting to think about all the ways I can apply my training as a PADI instructor.  One of the coolest things about becoming a PADI instructor is that it allows you to draw from all your past experiences.  Worked in business? Great!  Worked in marketing? Fantastic!  All these skills make you a more valuable employee and allow you to market yourself.  Diving is a such a diverse industry and it allows you the chance to really highlight your strengths.  I already have some ideas, keep checking back and I’ll let you know how they play out!

IDC Day 6: e-learning, EFR instructor training

Today we took some time to finish up the e-learning presentations and begin our EFR instructor training.   We learned about marketing EFR, a introduction/refresher to primary and secondary care as well as care for children.  Despite being a long day in the classroom we still had a lot of fun :)

Refreshing my skills.

Refreshing my skills.

IDC Day 7: EFR instructor training

We added a new member to our IDC team today.  Meet Carlos, our infant CPR mannequin.

Carlos and Marcel

Carlos and Marcel

Today I officially became an EFR instructor!  We spent the day practicing what it would be like to teach the course.  It was great fun!

We're EFR instructors!

We’re EFR instructors!

We also learned more about providing O2 to divers.  Here are a few pics.

Learning how to provide O2.

Learning how to provide O2.

August IDC: Day 3 and 4

We are moving right along in the IDC!  After a nice long study session with some of the instructors and my fellow IDC candidates I think I finally understand dive physics!  If was tough figuring it out but hopefully I’ve got it now.  My next study hurdle? Physiology.   Here is a little about what we have been doing here during our IDC days.

IDC Day 3:

CV, Equipment, Compressor, and Project Aware Workshops

We started off our day talking about Project Aware and how we can use it as a tool for environmental outreach in our community.  As we all know our oceans are facing some terrible challenges, such as pollution and shark finning,  and the more we know about them the more we can do to change them.

Next we learned how to disassemble and reassemble basic dive equipment such as regulators and BCDs.  This skills are very useful if you encounter basic equipment malfunctions while out on a dive trip.

Putting together our equipment.

Putting together our equipment.

Afterwards we had a compressor workshop with the very talented Dayne Pigors :)  He taught us all about filling tanks, bleeding the compressor, and even some information on filling nitrox tanks.  Thanks Dayne!

Me and Dayne

Me and Dayne after the compressor workshop.

IDC Day 4:

Open Water Workshop

Today we had our first day diving during IDC.  We headed off to Sanur to do an open water workshop.  We spent the morning focusing on how to conduct open water dives 2 and 3.  It was nice to practice out in the water.  Environmental factors made teaching that more more challenging.  I am really enjoying learning with our IDC group, we work very well together :)  It was also the first time I used my new Aqualung wetsuit in the water.  I loved it!  It fits me great and it was really nice to be wearing a 5mm.  No more shivering!

Blue Season Bali August IDC Candidates

Blue Season Bali August IDC Candidates

August IDC at Blue Season Bali

 

Well, I have finally made it!  IDC has begun.  Here is what we have done so far:

Day 1 of IDC:

There is a group of 7 candidates from different places around the world participating in the August IDC.  The first day was very exciting and we were all a bit nervous.  We had some time to get to know each other and to learn more about what we will be doing for the next 28 days.  In the afternoon we jumped in the pool and practiced our skills.  I was really happy that I had the chance to perfect my skills during my divemaster program!  I can tell that I have a lot of work ahead of me but that I will also be learning tons!

Day 2 of IDC:

Today was another information packed day.  We started off our morning with an exam, EEEEKK!  After taking the exam I was really happy that I am doing the 28 day program, I still have a lot to learn.  Luckily Stefan reviewed all the answers with us and taught us how to do the problems and explained the concepts we didn’t understand.  In the afternoon we got some real live instructor training.  We jumped in the pool and practiced control and organization during open water confined sessions.  It was fun having the chance to practice being an instructor.  I can’t wait until I can do this for real!

Cavern Diving Speciality

I took another step in my diving education this week.  I was lucky enough to be enrolled in a cavern diving course with the very talented Tom West.  Juliette, Aoibheann, Lucy (other DMT’s) and I spent 3 days improving our diving skills and learning how to penetrate caverns.  This course was really interesting because it forced me to take a long hard look at my diving skills.  When entering overhead environments it is very important to be streamlined so that you don’t disturb the bottom.  Tom is like a diving god.  I was amazed at the amount of information he was able to teach us in just 3 days.   I can’t even imagine how much you would learn doing tech with this guy!  Going into the cavern was unreal.  It feels so small when you are in an inclosed space, but also calm.

Cavern Dive!

Setting up our equipment for our first cavern dive.

Mystery Rocks

Entering the water for our first cavern dive at Mystery Rocks.

As luck would have it we had perfect conditions at Crystal Bay a couple of days after finishing our cavern course.  What does that mean?  We got to go inside the bat cave (I guess it should be called bat cavern)!!!  Most of the time it is not safe to go inside because of the current and waves, but on this particular day conditions couldn’t have been better.  We swam upp through a swim through that started at about 14 meters.  When you get to the top you surface inside a cave that is filled with bats!  Light streams in from a hole leading outside.  Pure beauty!

Inside the Bat Cave!

Inside the Bat Cave!

Exiting the Bat Cave.

Exiting the Bat Cave.

Water Park Adventures!

What is the best thing to do on your day off?  Head to Water Bomb, the giant water park in Kuta!  Last Sunday Jules, Aoibheann, Tegan, Laura, Lucy and I decided that we needed a few more water filled adrenaline rushes.  We made some vodka drinks to go and jumped in a taxi to spend the day riding water slides.  This place is great!  My favorite slide was called the Climax.  You stand at the top on a trap door and it  drops out from under you sending you down a huge tube.  Pure awesomeness!

Aoibheann and me :)

Aoibheann and me :)

The Water Bomb Crew

The Water Bomb Crew

Aoibheann after riding the Climax.

Aoibheann after riding the Climax.

Chillin in the lazy river :)

Chillin in the lazy river :)

I made it to 100!

Getting ready for my 100th dive!

Getting ready for my 100th dive!

Guess what?  I finally made it to 100 dives!  The tradition is to do your 100th dive naked, but I was assisting on an open water course with a very nice family and thought that might be a bit inappropriate 😉  So, the decision was made to wear fairy wings.  I felt like a princess underwater 😀  I think that everyone should dive in costumes all the time!  It was good fun and lots of pictures were taken, here are a few.

My fairy dive!

My fairy dive!

 

Guess who’s officially a divemaster?!?

DMTs Hardy's Challenge

DMTs Hardy’s Challenge

That’s right, I made it!  As of Sunday I am officially a PADI divemaster (along with Juliette and Hermie)!  During our weekly Sunday BBQ all the interns celebrated by what was dubbed the Hardy’s challenge.  What is the Hardy’s challenge you ask? The interns were placed in buddy teams and each person was given 100,000 rupiah to pick out the most ridiculous outfit possible for their buddy.  Not only did we get outfits, we got props.  All of this fabulousness (see above picture) ended up in Kuta dancing the night away.   It was perfect :)  Now for the next couple of weeks I will be working as a DM.  In August I move on to start my IDC!  Check back soon for more updates :)

Me dress for the the Hardy's Challenge

Me dress for the the Hardy’s Challenge

Divemaster Training: Guiding Workshops with Wayan and Ketut

Wayan and Ketut leading Guiding Workshops

One thing that makes Blue Season Bali really special is their local guides.  We have some guys on staff who have been diving in Bali for 10+ years!  They can tell you anything from reading the currents to finding local marine life.  A couple of days ago the divemaster interns were lucky enough to do a guiding workshop with Wayan and Ketut, 2 of our very experienced local guides.  They took us out to Nusa Penida and spent time teaching us how to read the currents, in what conditions we are likely to see Mola Molas, and good spots to find other local life such as pygmy seahorses and ornate ghost pipefish.  We had a great time and I feel really lucky to be gaining so much knowledge from these guys!

Chilly Penida

Jules and I all bundled up!

Jules and I all bundled up!

Brrrr, Mola season here in Bali means chilly water (which is a good thing because it means we see Molas)!   All the DMTs have been going on warm gear shopping sprees so we don’t freeze out in the water.  Check out Jules and I all bundled up :)

Divemaster Training: Specialties

Me, Aoibheann, and Lucy searching for Molas!

Me, Aoibheann, and Lucy searching for Molas!

Well it’s been another busy week at Blue Season Bali!  This week I knocked out 3 more specialties, including Project AWARE, Coral Reef Conservation, and the brand new Mola Mola Diver specialty created by our very own Stefan Schneider.  Let me fill you in on what these are all about.

First I learned all about Mola Molas, also known as the Oceanic Sunfish.  First, let me give you an idea of what a Mola Mola is.  These guys are huge!  They weigh around 2,000 lbs and can be up to 10 feet tall.  If you look at a Mola Mola straight on all you would really see is a thin line of a body with a large dorsal and anal fin.  But when they turn to the side they are gigantic!   They are quite funny looking and never close their large mouths.  Nusa Penida is one of the few places in the world where you can see them regularly.  They come up from the depths of the ocean to be cleaned and can be seen around 20 meters.  During this specialty we learned about the anatomy of the mola mola, it’s behavior patterns, and how to approach them in the wild.  I am excited to apply these new skills when I see one of these guys in real life!

Next we moved on to the Project AWARE and Coral Reef Conservation specialties.  We are really lucky because Blue Season Bali has their own marine biologist on staff, the extremely talented Niels Rijneveld.  But really, Niels is awesome.  Not only does he have ridiculous amounts of knowledge to share but he can make classroom learning fun.  I now know more about coral than I ever thought I would know, and it’s cool to be out in the ocean and have a more in depth understanding of one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth.

This week I am trying to finish up my divemaster studies.  Check back soon to see how it’s going!  Peace :)

Malaysia International Dive Expo

Blue Season Bali booth at MIDE

Blue Season Bali booth at MIDE

This week was very exciting!  I got to take a little trip outside Bali and head to Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysia International Dive Exposition (MIDE). We spent 3 days promoting Blue Season Bali and meeting some wonderful people.  It was really cool to spend time at this event.  I have never seen so many divers in one place before!  I loved being able to talk to everyone about their experiences diving, where they were working, and just generally swapping stories about the things we all love.  I checked out lots of places to dive and am excited about setting up some upcoming dive trips.  And an extra bonus, I got to see the beautiful Jadelyn Goh, my best friend from college in San Francisco :)  What an awesome couple of days.  Thanks Blue Season Bali for taking me to MIDE!

Divemaster Training: Fish ID

Humpheads on the wreck

Can you name those fish?!? I can! Humphead Parrotfish.

We spent the last few days doing an overnight trip at Tulamben.  Tulamben is a diving area that is about 2.5 hours north of Sanur.  It is home to the USAT Liberty wreck, a 125 m ship that was beached after being hit by a Japanese torpedo during World War II and then pushed back into the water when Mt. Agung exploded in 1963.  Juliette and I joined Henley, Baz, and Tom MacKenzie on an overnight to assist them with some Advanced Open Water courses.  It was a lot of fun and great company!

We also completed our Fish ID specialty while we were there.  T-Mac and Henley spend a lot of time going through fish books and drawing pictures explaining to us how to identify different species of fish.  Then we completed 2 dives with out slates and wrote recorded all the different species that we could identify.  I learned a lot and am now much more comfortable identifying the fish I see while diving.  My new favorite, surgeon fish!

 

 

Chicken Attack!

Seraya Beach

Seraya Beach

Seraya.  One of my favorite dive sites.  A macro lovers dream.  The only bad thing about Seraya?  The chickens.  Seraya is beautiful.  When you arrive you set your gear down on tables in little huts on a deserted beach.  And then the chickens come.  They’re not so bad when you are gearing up.  But when lunch comes it is on.  They will do anything to get your food!  This one stole my chicken club sandwich.  Everyone else was rolling on the ground laughing.

The killer chickens.

The killer chickens.

Divemaster Training: Guiding Workshops

Guiding workshop with Baz and T-Mac

Guiding workshop with Baz and T-Mac

The last few days I have had the chance to work with the infamous Thomas Barret (Baz) and Thomas McKenzie doing guiding workshops.  Basically these workshops consist of them showing us good practices for guiding guests and then we have guide them around while they critique our skills.  I have learned a ton in the last few days, especially some tricks for spotting some cute macro critters like squat shrimp and various species of nudibranchs.  I have also learned how to predict diving conditions and judge currents.   I will be spending the next couple of days doing an overnight in Tulumban with these guys and am sure I will learn even more.  Check back in in a few days to see how it goes!

Divemaster Training: Mapping

Mapping Seraya

Working on a map of Seraya.

Today I worked on my mapping project for my divemaster training.  Juliette (another intern from New Jersey) and I worked together to map out a dive sight called Seraya.  Seraya is a muck diving site and is known for macro including lots of nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, and the occasional frog fish!  We spent a total of 4 dives writing down landmarks, distances, topography, sites of interest, marine life, depths, and other information about the dive site that would be helpful to someone who is diving there for the first time.    It was cool to take a closer look at the site while thinking about what types of information other divers would find useful.  I also enjoyed navigating the site by myself, it gave me a chance to apply the navigation skills I have been learning.

 

Diving at Padang Bai

Cuttlefish Swimming

Cuttlefish Swimming

Today was my best day diving so far!  It is amazing to me how ever dive here just gets better and better!   Today we went to an area called Padang Bali which is about half way between Sanur and Tulamben on the east coast of the island.  The first dive started out a little rough with a pretty strong current.  After the current passed the dive was incredible!!!  It was almost like the reef became even more alive after the rough waters.  I saw my first cuttlefish!!  This little guy was about a foot long and looked like an alien.  I was so intrigued by him that I spent about 10 minutes hoovering over him and just watching as he shifted colors.  Cuttlefish are part of the Chephalopoda family just like octopuses and squid.  They are usually from 15-25 cm long and can be up to 50 cm.  They live mostly in shallower waters but can go to depths of up to 600 m.  The coolest thing about cuttlefish is their ability to camouflage!  As they swim across the reef their skin changes to match their surrounding.  It is amazing how quickly and drastically they change.  Cuttlefish are also some of the most intelligent invertebrates.  When I was watching the fist cuttlefish we saw he was definitely watching me back!  You know when you get that feeling and know someone is looking at you?  We were making eye contact and I could just tell that he was thinking about me, it was awesome!  On our next dive we saw 2 more cuttlefish, a turtle (also a first for me!), a cow fish and a lot more cool nudibranchs.  This day was perfect :)

First dive in Padang Bai.

Very happy after our first dive in Padang Bai.

Divemaster Training: Peak Performance Buoyancy

Checking out a barrel sponge.

Checking out a barrel sponge.

I am moving through my divemaster program at Blue Season Bali and loving every second of it!  I am lucky enough to be taught by the talented Mr. Henley Spiers and it is the perfect mix of fun and learning.  In the last couple of days I have be signed off on quite a few skills.  Yesterday we took care of our Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty.  We spent 3 dives adjusting our weights, hovering, swimming through hoops, and practicing controlling our movements through breathing.  I now feel much more confidant with my buoyancy and feel more comfortable getting very close to things underwater.  This means that I am finding much more to see!

 

Gearing Up at Divemasters

The day I had been waiting for finally came.  I got my own Aqualung diving gear!  The staff at Divemasters opened up an hour early to give me first class service when I was choosing my new equipment.

Special Hours

VIP treatment at Divemasters.

When I walked into the store I felt like a little kid in a toy store!  I looked around and I couldn’t believe all the stuff I saw; I wanted to buy everything!   I started off looking at computers and decided to get a Suunto D4.

Looking at Dive Computers

Looking at the Suunto D4.

Next we moved onto BCDs.  I already had an idea about which one I wanted to buy so I tried on the Aqualung Pearl i3.  The Pearl i3 is special because it is designed for women, this makes it much more comfortable in the water.

New BCD

Trying the Aqualung Pearl i3 BCD.

After that I moved on to regulators.  After a lot of thinking I decided to get an Aqualung Legend LX.  Everyone told me I would feel the difference breathing underwater.  I knew that it would be better than the regulators I had been using, but when I got in the water I was blown away at how easy it was.  Breathing out of this reg is almost easier than breathing normally!  I also decided to buy Aqualung Slingshot fins.  You can adjust the stiffness on these guys so it makes them compatible to many different diving conditions.

Slingshot Fins

Trying on my new Slingshot fins.

Once I got all the essential gear sorted I bought some extras including a dive knife, an extra mask, smb, and a torch.  Thanks Blue Season Bali for all this great stuff!!!

New Mask

Testing out my new mask.

Right now I am on a weekend trip diving in Tulamben.  We are doing 6 dives while we are here which gives me a chance to practice with my new equipment.  It’s always a little strange when you switch gear and takes some getting used to.  Hopefully with the help of Blue Season Bali I’ll soon be a scuba ninja.  I’ll let you all know how it goes!

World Ocean Day Beach Clean Up

Visiting Schools to Teach About Project Aware

Our Group for the Clean Up

My group for the beach clean up.

This week has been truly inspiring.  I took a couple days out of the water to participate in an educational outreach project and beach clean up with four independent schools from around Sanur.   On Wednesday I went with Holly from Crystal Divers to one of the schools to talk about Project Aware and the environmental problems they are combating, such as ocean debris and shark fining.  The students we were teaching were 3rd and 4th graders.  These kids were crazy smart!  They were really engaged and aware of the problems we are facing.  They asked tons of questions and came up with some great solutions to battle ocean debris.  Being back in the classroom reminded me how much I love working with kids.  It is so important to get the next generation thinking about the problems that our planet is facing.  These kids are already changing their habits and attitudes, which is what will really start to make a difference.

Beach Clean up with Sanur Schools

Collecting Data

The students weighing the trash they collected and recording the data to send to Project Aware.

After a week of educational outreach came the main event: a beach clean up at Mertaseri beach in Sanur.  There were 250 kids from Sanur independent schools helping the staff from Blue Season Bali and Crystal Divers clean up the beach.  We spend two hours picking up trash while the kids tallied the types of garbage we found so we could send the data to project aware.  We had all kinds of contests for the kids including who could pick up the most trash (we weighed the bags) and who could find the weirdest piece of garbage.  Everyone had a great time and spirits were high.

World Ocean Day Beach Clean Up

World Ocean Day Beach Clean Up

A night of FUNdraising for Project Aware

That night we had a fundraiser BBQ at Crystal Divers.  There were tons of different activates to raise money for Project Aware including silent auctions and a jail where you could pay to lock people up.  It was a great night with lots of laughing and dancing, and the best part is we raised $10,127 for Project Aware!

Stuck in Jail

Jon, Desi and Niels stuck in jail.

MANTAS!!! Swimming with Mantas with Blue Season Bali

Manta Sighting with Blue Season Bali

Today we were at Manta Point.  I was super excited to get into the water and when we did the visibility was great.  Usually it is a bit difficult to see at Manta Point due to the high amount of plankton in the water (which is part of what attracts the mantas), but not today!  We got in the water and could see a good 15 meters.  We started out Manta search and within 10 minutes we had spotted them!  We were lucky enough to see 2 giant manta rays swimming together.  And what was even better was that we were the only divers around.  Charlie got a great video of our Manta Ray Sighting.   It was the most magical experience.  The mantas look like giant birds flying underwater.  It makes you feel so small when you watch them.  As we continued the dive we got to see 3 more mantas making a total of 5!  What a great day :)

 

Becoming a Rescue Diver with Blue Season Bali

Rescue Diver Course: Day 1

Our instructor Niels and divemaster Dayne.

Our instructor Niels and divemaster Dayne.

I arrived at Blue Season Bali yesterday morning ready to start my rescue diver course.   For those of you who don’t know a certified Rescue Diver is someone who is trained to handle diving emergencies.  Becoming a rescue diver gives you the skills and knowledge that you will need to be a leader should you ever encounter a problem while diving.

Day 1 began in the classroom where we did some theory and completed our knowledge reviews.  This gave us the foundation that we needed to start practicing our skills.  We spend the next couple of hours in the pool practicing everything from approaching panicked divers in the water to surfacing an unconscious diver.  It was great practice and I found it more difficult than I expected to react quickly during the practice scenarios.

Rescue Diver Course: Day 2, Out in the Ocean

Day 2 was when the challenges really began.  We spent the day diving at Sanur and practicing all the skills that we had learned.  The idea is for you to experience as close as possible what it would feel like to be in a real situation.  With this in mind our instructor sends out divemasters Tegan and Dayne to play the victims.  We had to practice doing search patterns to find unconscious divers.  We also practiced surfacing them and giving them rescue breaths while towing them back to the boat.  It was a long day and super tiring but also really fun.  We really had to be on our toes, knowing that a diving emergency could happen any time.  Now I feel like a much more capable diver.  It is nice to know that I will know what I can do to help if an emergency should ever happen.

Soon to be rescue divers!

Soon to be rescue divers!

First Dives at Nusa Penida

Diving Nusa Penida: Manta Point

Me pretending to swim like a Manta Ray.

Me pretending to swim like a Manta Ray.

Today’s dives were amazing!  We headed out to Nusa Penida for my first time.  Since Penida is only about a 45-minute boat ride from Sanur beach we were lucky enough to get in 3 dives.  Our first dive was at Manta Point.  Manta Point attracts manta rays all year round due to the fact that the waters are rich with plankton on which the Mantas feed.  The Mantas are known to be friendly and often come very close to divers.  Unfortunately on this dive we didn’t see any Mantas, but I can’t wait to go back and go Manta searching again!

Charlie and Me fun diving :)

Charlie and Me fun diving :)

Crystal Bay Fun Dive

Our second dive was at Crystal Bay which is a shallow bay that drops off into a coral garden.  This is also the site that is famous for Mola Mola sightings (usually August-October).  The Giant Sunfish come to Crystal Bay to allow cleaner fish to peck away at their parasites.  My first dive at Crystal Bay was one of the most fun dives I have had so far!  Charlie (another DMT) and I had the chance to fun dive and just explore the reef.  We played around with our buoyancy and just took time to explore the reef in a relaxed manor.  It was awesome!  We also took a lot of silly pictures.

Sakenan: Drift Diving!

Me and Charlie on a drift dive.

Our third dive of the day was a drift dive at Sakenan.  This was my first drift dive so I was both excited and nervous.  Drift dives are great because it is very little work for the diver.  The dive boat will drop you into the water at one point and you will drift along the reef with the current.  When you reach the end of the dive you but up your safety marker buoy (SMB) and the boat will come and pick you up.  Piece of cake! When the dive started I found it a bit difficult to control my speed and buoyancy.  By the end of the dive I was much more comfortable.  It was awesome being able to drift along and look at all the reef life, I felt like on of the turtles in Finding Nemo!  At the end of the dive I had a chance to practice putting up my SMB.  It was a bit challenging at first but I got it up on my first try. That is something I am going to have to keep on practicing.  It is so incredible being here!  I am learning so many new things every day thanks to my teacher Henley and the crew at Blue Season Bali.  It is so cool studying something that I love so much, I don’t even mind waking up before 6 every morning!  I will be starting my rescue diver course next week.  Stay tuned and I will update you guys on how it goes.

 

A Trip to Paradise: Blue Season Bali at the Menjangan National Park

Beginning our Trip

It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of Menjangan in words.  This place is breathtaking!  We jumped in the Blue Season Bali van around 7 am and began the 4-hour drive up to the resort.  We stopped along the way to see some of the gorgeous scenery that northern Bali has to offer and also picked up our team mascot for the trip; a giant pink bear we named Mandy.

Henley and Mandy

Henley and Mandy admiring the view.

Day 1: Arriving to Menjangan Resort

Menjangan Resort

Menjangan Resort

When we got to Menjangan resort I was overwhelmed with how peaceful this place is.  There was a nice warm breeze and the only sounds you could hear where coming from the jungle.  We had a delicious buffet lunch and then checked into our rooms.  After getting all our stuff set up we headed down to the dive shop.  Our first task would be a beach clean up.  We split up and spent about 2 hours cleaning the beaches.  I was shocked by the amount of trash that had washed up on the shores in paradise.  People don’t think about the fact that all the trash they throw on the ground ends up the ocean.  We took notes of the types of trash we found and will send the data to Project Aware.

After finishing the clean up everyone was ready to get in the water.  We set off for a night dive in Bajul Bay with the goal of finding some Madarinfish.  Mandarinfish are small (up to 6 cm) neon colored fish that generally dwell in reefs.  Menjangan is special because it is a Mandarin fish breeding

The BSB crew after our first beach clean up.

The BSB crew after our first beach clean up.

ground.  Around 6 pm in the evening these guys pop out of the coral to get freaky for a few minutes.  And guess what?  We saw some!!  We arrived a little late so didn’t get to see the Mandarinfish above the coral but with some torches we were lucky enough to locate some inside.  These guys are very cute!

 

Day 2: Diving and Beach Clean Up

Sunrise on the Dock

Sunrise on the dock as we get ready for the days dives.

The next morning we headed out to Menjangan Island for some more diving.  Our first dive was at a site called Eel Garden and was a wall dive that reached about 40 meters.  The conditions of this dive were the best I have experienced so far!  The water temperature was 28 degree Celsius (82.5 Fahrenheit) when we jumped in and the visibility was 25+ meters.  The vibrancy of the reefs was incredible.  There were so many species of coral and fish that I was unable to keep track of what I was seeing.

After our first dive we went to Post 1 for another beach clean up.  This time we spent about 2 hours.  It is amazing what a few people can accomplish!  When we got to the beach it was covered in trash.  By the time we left it was clean.  It felt great leaving for our second dive and knowing that we had given something back to the ocean.  When we were loading the trash we picked up onto boats we met a local named Nono who has come up with his own project to combat the pollution we are seeing in our oceans.  Nono has started a project where he teaches locals to make handbags by recycling plastic waste.  This has a great impact in educating the local community because it not only brings awareness to problem of pollution but also provides a skill that local populations can use to support themselves.

Our second dive in Anchor Wreck had similar conditions. Because of the size and age of the ship all that is left of Anchor Wreck is a few poles.  The wreck is thought to have been an 1800’s trading vessel or possibly a slave ship that anchored at Menjangan and sank soon after.  To find the wreck you follow the anchor chain down and find the mast at about the 30 meters.  What surprised me about this dive was the amount of light you could see between 30-40 meters where wreck lies.  I am talking clear blue water!

Our second beach clean up.

Our second beach clean up.

As I hovered around 30 meters I could see all the way to the wreck as well as all the way up to the surface.  These are dream diving conditions!

Later that night we went to the local bar and had a barbeque and a few drinks.  It was really nice to spend some more time with the BSB crew.  I got to talk with people and find out more about them.  It’s a good feeling to be building a little family here.

Day 3: Final Dives and Saying Goodbye to Menjangan

Ready to go diving!

Ready to go diving!

Our final day at Menjangan was similar to the first two.  We woke up in the morning and went for a beautiful dive at Temple.  Next we went to the beach at Post 2 and spent another couple of hours cleaning.  After lunch we went on our final dive at a site called The Bat Cave.  When arriving to this site on the boat we could hear all the bats that were living in the cave (hence the name bat cave).  It was cool when we took a peak inside and saw that some caves had over 150 bats hanging from the walls.  During the dive we could even hear some of the bats underwater!  Conditions for the dives were just as great as the fist two days.  The water temperature was around 29 degrees Celsius and the visibility was 20+ meters.  On this dive I even got to see a big Moray Eel swimming which is something I hadn’t seen before.  It was a fantastic way to end an amazing weekend.  I feel so grateful to have spent such a peaceful weekend exploring the beauty that Bali has to offer.  I am already counting the days until I get another change to dive Menjangan!

My first Scuba Diving Certification at Blue Season Bali

I am on my way to becoming a rescue diver!

It has been a busy few days at Blue Season Bali!  I have officially started my training towards becoming a rescue diver and am now certified in EFR.  The course was way more fun than I anticipated!  We started the morning learning about primary response care.  I learned how to go through the cycle of care as a emergency responder.  As the day progressed “accidents” happened around the shop and we were in charge of handling the situation.  It was cool to get the chance to apply all the skills that I had learned.  Since the accidents were unexpected it felt a bit like a real situation forcing me to think of my feet.  After finishing the course I feel much more confident in my emergency response skills should I ever encounter a real emergency.

 

EFR Practice Scenario

Practicing saving lives!

Adventures around Bali

Today was my first day off.  My friends Erin and Charlie and I decided drive around the island on our scooters and do a little exploring.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this place!  We headed down south to Ulu Watu.  It took a little while to get used to the Bali roads the reward was worth it; we found some of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen!

First drive around Bali

Stuck in traffic during our first scooter adventure around Bali.

It was an incredible feeling driving on the scooter with the beautiful scenery in the background.  I felt so free.  The magic of this place is already showing itself and I can’t wait to spend more time exploring the Island of the Gods.  Once we got to the beach we spent the day swimming and relaxing.  Next time I will have to remember to bring my mask and snorkel.  After our day at the beach we stopped at a cute little island restaurant and had dinner.  It was the perfect day, the only thing that would have made it better would have been diving!

Beautiful Beaches

The first beach we found.

 

My dream dive: Menjangan

I am super excited about what is in store for me in the next few days.  Blue Season Bali is taking the interns and some instructors to the famous Menjangan Resort.  It is located on the northern part of the island in the West Bali National Park.  This place has world-class facilities to enjoy plus the diving is supposed to be some of best on the island! Menjangan is famous for having Bali’s most beautiful wall-diving. The walls descend to depths ranging from 20m – 60M+.  It is also the breeding grounds for Mandarin fish.  I am crossing my fingers that I get the chance to see some of theses beautiful little guys!  I’ll be gone for the next couple of days diving at Menjangan, but when I get back be ready for an update about how wonderful it was.  I am so excited I don’t think I will sleep tonight, this is even better than Christmas!!

 

My first days in Bali – Meeting the Blue Season Team

My first day in Bali

Well, I am finally here!  After about 24 hours of travel I reached Bali.  My first day was a bit of a blur.  I arrived in Bali at about noon on the 16th.  The BSB crew picked me up at the airport and brought me back the shop to meet everyone.  On the drive they gave me a nice little welcome packet that helped get me oriented.  It also had information about all the dive sights, which was super exciting to read!

After I met everyone in the shop the team brought me back to my accommodation.  I met some of the other interns who are living in the same home stay as I am.  They were nice enough to invite me to dinner and start to show me the ropes.  Afterwards we went out for a few drinks and I met some more of the BSB crew.  We went to the local hangout, a cute little bar with giant comfy beanbag chairs and live music.  First day in Bali was a total success!

My first dive in Bali

The next morning I got up bright and early and headed to the shop around 6 am for my first dives in Bali.  After the morning dive brief we jumped in the van and for the 2-hour drive to Seraya, our dive site for the day.  You all know that I am not a morning person, I passed out the entire drive, I think I might have even drooled a bit.  Seraya is known for its muck diving sights.  It is a stunning isolated beach where you can find everything from beautiful nudibranchs to blue spotted stingrays, to mimic octopi.  We entered the water from the beach, which was very different to the giant stride entry I am accustomed to.  I was nice to be able to walk right into the water and also made navigation a bit easier.

Check out this video taken before my first dive in Bali: First dive at Seraya

Muck diving was a really cool experience.  At first glance the site looks like boring brown sand.  When you look closer life starts to appear all around you like magic!  I saw all kinds of things that I have never seen before.  My favorites were the toby puffer fish and the shrimpgobies.  Shrimpgobies are really cool because they always come with a shrimp.  The shrimp digs out a hole while the goby protects it.  If a predator comes near the goby will dive into the hole and push the shrimp behind him.  They are cute little buddies!  I sat and watched a pair for a good 5 minutes.  Toby puffers are officially my new favorite fish, I might even start a “toby count” to see how many I can find during my stay here in Bali.  They are tiny little guys who range from about 1 ½- 5 inches in length.  They are really funny to watch because they swim around awkwardly so they look pretty silly.

Well, that’s what’s going on here in Bali.  I start my EFR and Rescue Diver courses on Sunday.  I will let you all know how those go!  I should also be getting an underwater camera soon so expect some pictures.

My journey to Bali – From Koh Tao to Blue Season Bali

Saying Goodbye to Thailand

The time has finally come for me to say goodbye to the land of smiles.  As I write this I am on a bus on the way to the airport in Phuket.  By noon tomorrow I will be starting my new life in Bali.  I couldn’t be more excited!!  So lets catch you up on my last week in Thailand.  I left Chiang Mai on the 12th.  It was hard to say goodbye to all the wonderful people in my life there.  I had made a lot of close friends and it is hard to leave not knowing when you will be able to see them again.  They sent me off in style with a wonderful weekend at the houseboats.

Next I went down to Koh Tao to visit all my friends at Sunshine Divers.  I am so grateful to them for showing me my passion.  I got to do some fun dives with some great people2.  It will be nice to have everyone come visit me at Blue Season Bali.  So now the final leg of the journey.  Chiang Mai- Bangkok- Koh Tao- Phuket- Bali!  I can’t wait.  Diving again this last few days reminded me again how much I love being under water.  I am so excited to be a student again and to be studying something I love with every fiber in my body!  Heading to Bali has me excited and nervous all at once.  It is bitter sweet leaving Thailand.  I have never been this happy about the next step in my life but it is always hard to move away from something you have become comfortable with.  Thailand has been a really personal journey for me and it will have its own special place in my heart.

What’s coming next?

As I write this I am on a ferry heading from Koh Tao to Surat Thani.  When I get to Surat Thani I will jump on a bus and take the 5 hour drive to Phuket.  From there I get to spend the night in the airport waiting for my 6 am flight.  ETA in Bali is 11:45 am.  The Blue Season Bali team is going to meet me at the airport and bring me to my new home.  I can’t wait to get there and settle in.  I’m going to sign off now, take some time to reflect on where my life has taken me in the last year and dream about what is in store for me in the next 7 months.  So many adventures await!

Here is a picture of me arriving at the airport, tired but happy!  Check back soon to read all about my first few days in Bali.

Arriving to Bali International Airport

Arriving to Bali International Airport

The excitement of moving to Bali for the best Dive Job in the World

As my date of departure for the Island of the Gods nears I am bubbling over with excitement!  Bali has started to consume my every thought.  There are so many things I am excited for.

The Diving

The first, and most obvious is the diving!  I have been dreaming of diving non-stop since the first time I sunk under the waves and now I am getting the chance to become a diving professional at an incredible dive shop!  Is there anything more exciting than that?!  Not likely.  I can’t wait to learn more specific skills (the one going through my mind at this moment is back finning) that will make me a much better diver.  When you find that thing that you are really passionate about you just can’t get enough!  Every little thing you learn inspires you.  I am excited to be challenging myself every day.  I can’t wait to experience all the wildlife that I will encounter.  Mola-molas, turtles, sharks, nudibranchs, manta rays, octopi, mandarin fish, the list could go on forever so I will have to stop here.  When I look back at this list it seems unreal that I will get the chance to experience all that life!  I am also excited about meeting everyone at Blue Season Bali!  I know that the staff there will become my family for my 7-month stay and I can’t wait to get to know each quirky personality.

Bali Island Life

One of the most exciting things about Bali is that the magic doesn’t only exist under the water.  The more I read about Bali the more enchanting it becomes.  It seems that magic is everywhere in this little paradise.  I can’t wait to see the beautiful rice fields and artsy cafés in Ubud, try to learn to surf in Kuta, visit Hindu temples, and experience Hindu festivals, and just kick back and relax with some locals.  I have heard that the Balinese are lovely!  They have a rich culture and everyone tells me they are more than happy to share it.  I can’t wait to be taken to people’s favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants, dive bars, and their favorite secret viewpoint.  It is the day-to-day experiences in a new place that are the most exciting.  The things that you stumble into that you never thought could happen.  That is what I am the most excited for.  To become a part of Bali.

Well, I head off to Bali it 2 weeks!  Check out my next post hear about my journey there.

 

Preparing to move to Bali

Packing it in a 70 liter bag:

The task of moving to a new place is always daunting.  I am finishing up my last month or so of work.  I am officially finished on May 4.  I have already started thinking about all the things I need to prepare to head to Bali.  First off I need to find someone to take over my room in the house I live in.  It’s going to be sad to say goodbye but I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in Bali.  I already have my ticket booked, but it flies from Phuket, so I still need to figure out the logistics of getting from one side of Thailand to the other.  I will most likely head down south and visit some friends for a week before going to the Island of the Gods.  Of course I need to figure out my visa before I can get one the plane!  That means booking tickets, gathering documents, and generally making sure that I have everything in order.

One of the biggest challenges will be trying to fit my life into my 70L backpack.  I know, 70L sounds like a lot, but it is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in a year!  So this means sorting, lots of sorting.  I am not very good at getting rid of things so this may require so help from my oh-so-dedicated friends.  Good thing I won’t need most of my “land” necessitates under the water.  Although the task of whittling your life down into the things that will fit into one backpack is daunting it is also cleansing.  We have so many things in like that we don’t need.  Our lives become filled with material clutter that seams important but in reality is unnecessary.  I was talking to my friend last night about the amazing freedom of moving to a new place.  It all starts with putting your whole life into that one backpack.  Being able to let go of all the junk that has piled up in your current life and move into the unknown with only the things you can carry on your back.  So here I come Bali, ready to start again, just me and my backpack.

I am so excited to be moving to Bali and there are so many reasons why.  Check out my next post to see just a few.

*  Well, I gave the backpack a good try.  Turns out with all my scuba gear I couldn’t fit it all into one bag.  One backpack and a suitcase, same thing right?

 

 

Marlies Tumolo – Best Dive Job in the World 2012 WINNER

Marlies Tumolo - Winner of the Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Marlies Tumolo - Winner of the Best Dive Job in the World 2012

It has been one year since we announced Kenzo Kiren as the winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2011.  In the meantime, Kenzo has come and gone, having spent seven months with us fulfilling his dream of becoming a PADI scuba diving instructor.  We now look forward to welcoming Marlies Tumolo to Bali for a seven-month scuba diving internship as the grand prize winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Choosing a winner this year was no easy task, and Jonathan and I have been discussing it for quite some time.  Like last year, we understand that this decision will have a big impact on someone’s life and while we wish the possibility existed to help everyone, it is just not an economic reality.  For those of you who have so positively influenced and participated in the contest, we’ll stay in touch with some special information about developments for next year’s contest.

It has been my personal pleasure to gain insight into the lives and personalities of you interesting people and I thank you for that opportunity.  Once again, I extend the gratitude of our entire family here at Blue Season Bali for your support and participation.

Please congratulate Marlies Tumolo as the winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Sincere thanks,

Tom West
Jonathan Cross
Blue Season Bali

Best Dive Job in the World 2012 Winner – Marlies Tumolo!

It has been one year since we announced Kenzo Kiren as the winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2011.  In the meantime, Kenzo has come and gone, having spent seven months with us fulfilling his dream of becoming a PADI scuba diving instructor.  We now look forward to welcoming Marlies Tumolo to Bali for a seven-month scuba diving internship as the grand prize winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Choosing a winner this year was no easy task, and Jonathan and I have been discussing it for quite some time.  Like last year, we understand that this decision will have a big impact on someone’s life and while we wish the possibility existed to help everyone, it is just not an economic reality.  For those of you who have so positively influenced and participated in the contest, we’ll stay in touch with some special information about developments for next year’s contest.

It has been my personal pleasure to gain insight into the lives and personalities of you interesting people and I thank you for that opportunity.  Once again, I extend the gratitude of our entire family here at Blue Season Bali for your support and participation.

Please congratulate Marlies Tumolo as the winner of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Sincere thanks,

Tom West
Jonathan Cross
Blue Season Bali

Second Prize Winner – Joe Zeiler

Joe Zeiler – congratulations for winning the second place prize in The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 competition.  It is my pleasure to invite you to join us in Bali for one months to complete your Eco Diving Conservation Internship with our team here at Blue Season Bali.

It’s time pack your bags and get ready for some fun in the sun as you will be joining us here in beautiful Bali.  Your efforts during the competition have been amazing and you should be very proud of what you have achieved.  We are looking forward to seeing you again in Bali as you dive alongside our in house marine biologist, Niels.

We will give you a call later today to see when you would like to come out and join us.  You might expect some contact from press as well due to the huge following you have in the contest.

In the meantime, congratulations Joe.  We will look forward to diving with you soon here in beautiful Bali!
Jonathan Cross
Tom West

The Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Blue Season Bali
PADI Career Development Center 6570

A big thank-you before we announce the winners.

Well, well, well…  Today is the big day and I would like take this opportunity to break the suspense and thank everyone on behalf of our team here at Blue Season Bali for all the outstanding support we have seen in this year’s competition.  To all of the fantastic entrants, I offer my sincerest congratulations on a contest well fought.  As with the inaugural  competition last year, we have met some very interesting people with some very interesting entries!

One of the things which surprised me last year as the competition drew to a close is how lucky most of our entrants are to have so much love and support of their friends and family.  As you know, much of the program is based on activity in social media such as Facebook.  Regardless of the results, today would be a good day for you to pause and give some thought (and even a quick word of thanks) to all the people in your lives who have taken the time to comment here on the blog, on Facebook, help with video production and just provide general moral support. You are some very lucky people.

I would like to extend my personal thanks for the (once again) positive and supportive vibe we have been getting from day one.  We will be announcing our second place winner shortly, and then the grand prize winner.  Thank you once again for your support of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Tom West,
Jonathan Cross,
and the entire Blue Season Bali family

Announcement – Second Prize for The Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Good morning from our team here in beautiful Bali. After the first ten days of the month  I have taken a much needed day off and we’re now ready for the final phase of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 competition. Today marks the announcement of our second place prize.

Some weeks ago, we sat down and had a chat about all the great feedback we were getting from the entrants and their supporters in this competition. We had planned to give only one prize this year, compared with last year, but make it much more special.  However, we realized that there were too many great applicants to pick just one. We decided that all this great support meant that we should offer a second place internship prize as well this year.

Naturally, all of our fantastic Top Ten finalists are in it to win the seven months of instructor training, including equipment and materials with us here on the Island of the Gods. Well, only one person will win that prize, so please have a look at our announcement for the second place scuba diving internship being given away:

1 month BSB Eco Internship (starting from any level)

It is now a scientifically indisputable fact that human beings are having a profound effect on our environment. On an individual basis, we can all take small steps to start improving the situation, and ourselves in the process. Our Eco Internships can benefit you in a number of ways:

•             Eco internships are increasingly important for divers looking to gain employ in the diving industry and looks impressive on your resume. As an Eco-Intern you’ll be involved in the day to day Eco Internship in Bali.

•             Eco Internships are designed to help divers put their training into practice in a real-life environment and see how they can be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

•             Learn more about coral, fishes and the marine environment.

•             Show future employers that you are environmentally conscientious.

•             Contribute to a global dataset on corals, marine debris and other marine environmental issues.

•             Be a more well-rounded and traveled person.

•             Plus… hey, it’s cool.

Our Eco Internships are run by our own marine biologist who will ensure that your Eco Experience is educational, effective and most of all, enjoyable.

For each of our Bali Eco Internships, we include all of the following:

 

Airport transfers (return).

Four (4) weeks’ single accommodation in a local Balinese losmen.

Five days of Eco Internship diving each week – total of twenty days research diving.

At least two (2) dives each day – location of dives depends on the projects ongoing at the time.

Lunch and soft drinks are included on every diving day.

PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Specialty course

PADI Project AWARE Specialty course

PADI Coral Reef Conservation Specialty course

One extra PADI Dive course – Open Water / Advanced / Rescue or PADI Specialty courses (depending on your current certification level)

 

This Eco Internship is completely free (normally (USD2900) and is a big “thank-you” from our team here at Blue Season Bali for your participation in the program.

If you’re one of the Top Ten, please post here or email us if you would like to be considered for the second place prize (of course, that is, if you don’t win The Best Dive Job in the World). Tom and I are still poring over the awesome entries from all of you, so everything is still up in the air. One thing is sure, we have committed to publishing our decision on the 15th, and we’ll let you know both winners on that date. In the meantime, thanks once again from all of our team here at Blue Season Bali for your outstanding support for The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.

Keep diving!

Jonathan Cross

Tom West

The Best Dive Job in the World

Blue Season Bali

PADI Career Development Center 6570

www.idc-bali-internships.com

 

Best Dive job in the World 2012 – Five more days to go!

So now we have the top ten finalists and only a few more days to go until we announce the winner of The Best Dive Job in the World competition.  Right now we know the top ten but we still have not decided on a winner.  Here is your chance ladies and gentleman to have that final push towards winning this competition.

How?  Well what Tom and I would like to see is something unique, something we haven’t seen before.  Go out and do something that is going to make you stand out in this competition.  Perhaps that will tip the scales and help us decide who will win.

As if you didn’t have enough stress already.  Have fun!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Allie Keen

Today marks the tenth and final announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition.  For all of you included in the top ten, well, a huge well done.  For those that did not make the top ten I want to thank you so much for your efforts and tell you not to give up on your dream of becoming a PADI Instructor.

Today’s announcement confirms Allie Keen as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Allie your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Allie, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Allie:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
When I was 18, in love and travelling the world! I experienced things I never thought I would do and had I not of gone travelling I don’t think I would of ever been brave enough to get in the sea let alone scuba dive!

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
Kuredu Express, Maldives. I love this dive site as it is has 2 large overhangs teaming with fish and it’s the perfect place to watch sharks cruising by in the blue. The current is usually very strong which adds to the adrenaline rush.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?I would have to say a flint so that I can make a fire and cook my catch of the day, my iPad so I can listen to music, watch movies and play games, and a gorgeous man of course!

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
I would have to say pollution. As population has risen so has pollution. Cars, boats, toxic waste and oil spills are all major factors affecting our oceans.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
Open mindedness – Willing to give anything a try and can always adapt to any situation

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would love to click my fingers and be a size 8, sadly no matter how much I work out in the gym I can’t get that small! The only time I have is when I travelled around Thailand for 8 weeks…perhaps living in Bali would help me J

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Why did you change your life to become a PADI Dive Instructor and what is the best thing about it?

I had to make the choice of doing the nine to five in sunny blighty (England) or travelling the world.   It wasn’t really a hard choice!  The best thing about it………well I guess that could be that I am constantly surrounded by happy people.  You never see unhappy PADI Instructor, plus I get to live in paradise.  I am sure there are more things but hey…..this Best Dive Job in the World 2012 competition is keeping me pretty busy :)

Ok, so that’s it for the top ten.  Well done to everyone….now the hard work begins!

Dayne Smith One last Chance

Shew waking up everyday the first thing I check on my phone was did I Make it, did I make it ??? and everyday its like a piece of me is falling away … I have been sooooooo excited since this competition started and I really did try my best Im so proud of everyone that has already made the shortlist and I wish I could actually describe in words how badly i want to win It would be the best thing that has ever happened to me ever !!!

Its my dream to make a difference in life and help people achieve their dreams , and come on lets be honest: there is a HUGE number of people who’s dream is to Scuba Dive and I would love to be that person to help them achieve their Goals.

There is one place left in the shortlist and Im praying so hard that I can be that last person. I know I can make a different this truly and sincerely is my passion and I would do ANYTHING to get an opportunity like this. Its like a calling: Diving makes me alive , wildlife and the outdoors make me alive, meeting new people and most importantly seeing a persons smile after a great dive , even after a dive trip.

There is only one place left in the shortlist so I thought well hey let me give it one last chance , I really need this I feel I’m so passionate about diving but its so hard and expensive to get somewhere in it , This would be The PERFECT opportunity for me !!!

Thank you and God Bless To everyone Kind Regards

Dayne Smith

 

Top Ten Finalist – Alec Hynek

Today marks the ninth announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition.

Today’s announcement confirms Alec Hynek as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Alec your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on his entry. Congratulations, Alec, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Alec:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
The most amazing experience of my life is what I am currently doing right now. For the last 3 weeks I’ve been touring around Europe with my cousin, who is a musician. We have been staying in hostels and couchsurfing for the majority of the tour, and we have been meeting the coolest people along the way. I’ve been filming our adventure to make a documentary of the tour, and I’ve also been rocking out on stage with him sometimes with my ukulele.

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
I have actually never scuba dived in my life before. I have been wanting to scuba dive for years, and that’s how I found this contest when I was researching certifications and jobs in the field. One place I need to scuba dive at is on the north shore of Lake Superior, it was here when I was a little kid that my interest in scuba diving first started when I talked to some scuba divers getting ready for a dive.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?First thing would have to be an axe. From watching tons of survival shows I’ve learned that an axe is probably the most versatile and efficient tool you could have. Next would be a hammock, because they are awesome for taking naps in. And lastly and probably most important would be a stereo with satellite radio and unlimited battery life, so I can throw awesome beach parties… for myself…

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
While there are several things threatening the oceans, such as over fishing and climate change, I have to say pollution is the worst. It’s been going on for centuries and the effects go across a very large spectrum. Also, it is often the most expensive and time consuming problem to take care of.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
I would have to say my most positive attribute would have to be how open-minded I am. I love getting to know new people, learning about and experiencing their different cultures. I am always ready to try things that I haven’t done before, and also to teach people the things I know. The world is too cool to stick to the status quo.

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
The thing I am trying to get better at is initiating conversation. Once I get started talking I will talk all day long, but I find it tough to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation.

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Can I drive the dive boat?

Can you driver the boat?

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Emily Bowles

Today marks the eighth announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition.

Today’s announcement confirms Emily Bowles as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Emily your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Emily, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Emily:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
Without a doubt going down in a cage to see the Great Whites in South Africa, due to my passion for sharks from about the age of 8. I finally got to see my hero of sharks up close and personal, August 2008 best time of my life.

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
This is a hard one as i have been blessed with many great dives. In memory of a great friend Adrian Tiller, and my first cave dive, it would be ‘The Apartments’ off Manly Beach Australia in 2001.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?Stone Flint (for practical reasons,) mask, fins, snorkle (counts as one) and Lord of the Rings (it took me 3 months to read in Oz)

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
Shark Finning would be up there for me as i am a huge shark fan! I get so enraged by it. Of course there are plenty of issues which need to be addressed, too many to put into 50 words in fact.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
Patience

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My career, become a Dive instructor………..no really, confidence would be the answer.

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
What are you waiting for?? (get me out there) ……..Just joking – What would you be doing if you were not in Bali in your current role?

I have never imagined not doing what I do…..I would just hope that it was not doing something away from the ocean.  Good question, it has made me think!

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top ten Finalist – Dawn Doell

Today marks the seventh announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition.

Today’s announcement confirms Dawn Doell as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Dawn your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Dawn, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Dawn:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
Being my sister’s coach when my Niece was born. I got to cut the cord, hold, feed and bathe her first, I think that is pretty amazing because it is as close to having a child I will be and I have a special bond with my niece….ahhhh the miracle of life…. (learning to dive was pretty darn amazing too!!!)

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
I’ve dived some exceptional locations, Cozumel, Fiji & Canada. Bali’s my favourite because I’ve been fortunate the have the best buddy. I met Wally Siagian, who has taught me about sealife, conditions, environment, sites & much more. The best was starting Batu Kelebit & ending the Coral Garden.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
a flint to start fires, mask/snorkel for fishing and another person to keep me sane!!

Ok if I could, I would take all my scuba gear, a compressor and solar panels for power…..

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
Pollution- sewage, industrial waste, garbage, oil spills, I flew over the gulf, the spill was clearly visible, you could even see the black cloud from trying to burn it.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
I HAVE PASSION!!!
In everything I do, I’m positive & passionate. With drive & determination, I chase my dreams, careers & follow my heart. I will jump in with both feet & give 110%. Being friendly, honest & caring while have a commitment to safety and having fun!!

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I AM the Queen of procrastination…. if it’s not important & I can do it later, I probably will… sometimes I get an adrenaline rush from the pressure of leaving it to the last minute and can think & act quickly on my feet, but I do like the feeling of just getting it over and done with too….haha

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
what is Jonathan Cross’ story? e.g., where are you from and how did you get where you are??

Oh wow…that’s a really big question.  If I didn’t have hundreds of comments to approve and emails to reply to I would answer that one right now.  Get yourself to Bali and I will tell you the whole life story :)

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Juanma Lopez

Today marks the sixth announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition. We are really getting close to the top ten now…..keep up the hard work!

Today’s announcement confirms Juanma Lopez as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Juanma your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on his entry. Congratulations, Juanma, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Juanma:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
It started when I boarded the plane for my 8 day all round trip to South Australia. With one final destination in mind, Neptune Islands.
After travelling half the world, 5 flights, 6 airports, 48 hours later, I finally got on the boat that would take me to meet her.

The boat had no sooner anchored when along came the hottest babe I’d ever set my eyes on…
She glided along, strong, powerful, full of confidence.
I couldn’t wait for a close-up encounter, to look into those piercing black eyes.

The location of our rendezvous was through the bars of a reinforced metal cage, 1 meter below the surface.
The first second she swam up close was electrifying!!! It was breath taking, pure adrenalin, big-league impressive, totally mind-blowing!!!!
I was blown away by her deadly smile!!!!
Tinker was her name, she was a 4,2 meter, 1,5 ton pure bred great white shark… awesome!!!

My date with her was undeniably the most amazing experience of my life.

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
Sipadan, Borneo.
The perfect prototype of a paradise island & a real underwater orgy!!!

Turtles everywhere, white tips, leopard sharks, schools of bumphead parrot fish, napoleon fish, barracudas, bait balls, macro life and… the ‘Turtle Cavern’.
Truly overwhelming!!!!!!!!!

Somebody said once: ‘I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago. Now we have found an untouched piece of art.’
I totally agree with you Captain Cousteau… Hope it stays the same for future generations.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
1- Astronaut food, you know the type, lasts a life time, comes in air tight packets & with a whole variety of flavours (it’s making me feel hungry just thinking about it!!).

2- My surfboard of course, what a waste otherwise… stuck on an island, there’s bound to be waves, right?? & maybe later I could use it to paddle off to my next adventure.

3- My ipod with it’s seaweed powered rechargable battery (has anyone invented one of those yet???).

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
This one’s being the most difficult one for me.

The most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans,
where to begin…

– Global warming & Climate change.
– Overfishing.
– Ocean acidification.
– Water pollution.
– Chemicals, Toxic waste and Heavy metals.
– Oil spills.
– Coral bleaching.

How could I possible choose just one????
They’re all as damaging, worrying & shameful as each other.

I’d like to believe we’re still on time…

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
My positive optimistic spirit: I walk through life with a smile on my face! I always see the glass half full, never half empty!

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My money making skills!!!!

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Are cold chilled bintang beers included with lunch???

Only on days off Juanma….lol

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Uffe Jensen

Today marks the fifth announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition. There is not long to go now until the top ten have all been decided so if you are not in there yet, it is not too late.

Today’s announcement confirms Uffe Jensen as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Uffe your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on his entry. Congratulations, Uffe, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Uffe:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
That must have been before I was even born. I got to stay in the water for 9 months;-) No, seriously – I’ve been skateboarding, snowboarding, skydiving and bungyjumping, but my most amazing experience ever was the first time I felt absolutely weightless among colorful creatures and wonders of Nature..

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
The British Virgin Islands, because I was there for 3 weeks, diving or snorkelling almost every day, and I got to see so many different types of animals, chorals and beautiful islands. Especially Virgin Gorda, Sandy Spit, Diamond Reef(nightdive) and the Indians. Awesome diving.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
Assuming I would have to survive on my own: Fishing equipment, a knife and something to make fire. But if the island was inhabited with cities, I would probably choose: a female companion, a toothbrush and money.

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
Human behaviour! How we overfish and pollute the oceans, and don’t treat the animals and reefs with respect. There should be a natural balance, but a lot of people don’t care or don’t even know about the seriousness of these issues. Ignorance is definately a huge problem.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
Either my ability to adapt into different environments, or my way of connecting with people. I am good at communication, and I am always looking at the positive aspects in life. People like me, and I like people.

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Tough question. A little bit darker skin, or that I could play an instrument really well, or sing better, dance better? Maybe working with something meaningful like poverty or environmental issues could give me the extra feeling of belonging, like making a difference on a larger scale.

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Let’s say I won the competition and stayed after the 7 months, to work as a dive instructor in Bali. Then after a while, if I found a woman, or for any other reason decided to stay in Bali. Would it be possible for me to obtain citizenship, or a permanent residence in Bali? Would I be allowed to own a house or land there? And what are the terms and conditions for such an arrangement? If you don’t know the answers by heart, perhaps you could drop me a link to a web page that holds the answers..

Big question!!! You can try this website for a load of information about this – http://www.expat.or.id/

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Renay Logan

Today marks the fourth announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition. The finalists are being announced over the first ten days of March and we are yet to finalize the top ten, so keep on pushing!

Today’s announcement confirms Renay Logan as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Renay your support by clicking here? and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Renay, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Renay:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
Apart from winning the Best Dive Job in the World (!!), it would have to be backpacking on my own for 3 months visiting 20 different countries in Europe in my early 20’s.  I meet the most remarkable people, gorged my way through so much food & wine and stayed in some unique places.
Albeit, I’ve had so many incredible experiences that it’s hard to narrow this down to one!

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
Sha’ab Sadd, Red Sea.
It was my first fun dive as an advanced diver & my buddy & I went in search of turtles amongst the bright coral & marine life on our last dive together.
After swimming through a cave & not getting lost coming out the other side, we stumbled across a baby hawksbill sea-turtle & spent a good 10 minutes following it at a slow pace admiring its curiosity. The turtle then swam into the distance & a HUGE Napoleon Wrasse came into forefront! It was a mesmerizing dive but I only have 50 words in which to describe it!

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
If the Island is already considered paradise i.e. abundance of food and freshwater then I’ll take a surfboard. With all the extra time on my hands, I may be able to finally teach myself to surf.  Next up would be a portable solar-powered radio & for a companion my adorable, slightly mad Dalmatian, Cooper.

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
Overfishing at sea and wasteful by-catch. It is leading to the decline of marine life, destruction of habitats & the collapse of many ecosystems. It’s a global problem but consumer awareness also needs to be formulated locally in order to start educating people about sustainable seafood/fisheries.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
It would have to be my enthusiastic nature. I’m always full of energy and passionate in everything I do. I like to create a happy and enjoyable environment and I try to encourage this with friends & family.

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Instead of wasting my time confined inside watching box-sets whilst the weather is miserable in London, I want to be out in the fresh air, getting involved in the community and outdoor activities. Not letting the cold weather defeat me! (Being part of Blue Season team in Bali, would help me achieve this!)

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one! (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Would you rather be stuck in the ocean with a great white shark or a saltwater crocodile? And why?

It would have to be the Great White as I have never been stuck in the ocean with one of them :)

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Ranjit Joseph

Today marks the third announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition. The finalists are being announced over the next few days and to be honest, we’re not yet decided as to who all 10 finalists will be, so there is still time to make a final promotional push on your entry as these announcements are made.

Today’s announcement confirms Ranjit Joseph as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Ranjit  your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on his entry. Congratulations, Ranjit, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Ranjit:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
The most amazing experience so far is definitely be my first boat dive, during my Open Water Certification in Redang Island, Malaysia. That was my first time ever being on a boat in the open sea, having just learnt to swim a little, i ventured out on shaky legs. The bahagian wreck was just the most amazing thing I had seen, the crystal clear waters, the beautiful fishes, it was just awesome, not to mention being shit scared at the same time!!

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
Having been diving just for about a year and half, the best diving spot I have done so far would have to be Labas island in Tioman, Malaysia.Though not very deep at just around 12 metres, the series of swinthroughs in the rocks is still the greatest things I have seen so far, the tiny nudibraches on it and the amazing marine life.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
My ingenuinity, perserverance and patience, coz with these three, u can survive just about anywhere!!! oh..add a pinch of humor to that, just for laughs!!

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
Though there’s been a lot of talk and action regarding the environmental issues about our oceans, like everything else, it does not have much impact until people actually and see for themselves what the damage is, as myself, I was not so environmentally aware until I started diving and realised how just a few degree change in the temperature of the water can just wipe out entire stretches of coral life, all the colour gone with just white dead corals left behind. People have to be educated more, and a good way for that is to make more people take up diving!

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
I would say it would be my patience and my ability to make the best of whatever situation I am in!

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Yeah, now about that super-can-save-the-world power, u say i can have it now ?? :))

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one… (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
Do u have like a small submarine or something by any chance, u know the ones u dont have to decomp to come up ?? :))

You mean like the ones they have in the James Bond movies? Oh how I wish I did!!!!

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Top Ten Finalist – Marlies Tumolo

Today marks the second announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 scuba diving internship competition. The finalists are being announced over the next few days and to be honest, we’re not yet decided as to who all 10 finalists will be, so there is still time to make a final promotional push on your entry as these announcements are made.

Today’s announcement confirms Marlies Tumolo as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Marlies your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Marlies, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Marlies:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
The first time I went diving my life changed forever. I cherish the moments in life where time freezes and you realize that there is nothing you would change. You are purely and deeply happy. For me many of those moments come with raw true human connection.

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
My favorite dive so far was my first night dive (Twin Peaks in Koh Tao). I was terrified but as soon as I descended I realized how alive everything was and my fear melted away. My instructor used a special torch that brought out the fluorescents in the coral; it was truly magical!

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
An endless music supply that could be played whenever I wanted to hear it! My best friend so we could explore, laugh, and have deep heart to hearts. Diving equipment so I could explore the seas! Since this is my fantasy I decided I need nothing practical and that diving equipment counts as one item :)

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
The destruction of ecosystems through both pollution and over fishing is devastating. We need to show the world what is happening and inspire people to change it. My goal is to teach others, help them feel connected to the ocean, and show them that they have the power to make a difference.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
I make true connections with all the people that I meet. I open myself up to them and because of that they trust me. I get along with people from all walks of life and enjoy their differences. I love to have a good time and am very easy going!

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If I could improve one thing about myself it would be have more of what Buddhist call Samadhi, or being calm and focused. Now and then I get so excited that I am literally jumping around. Sometimes I have to remind myself to take a breath, calm down, and focus.

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one… (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
My favorite thing about living abroad is connecting with local cultures and learning more about them. Have you as expats found it easy to connect with locals? What has helped you to learn more about Balinese culture?

I think the easiest thing about living in Bali is that the local population are extremely friendly. I come from a part of the world where you don’t normally welcome strangers into your world; Bali is totally the opposite. The Balinese are so happy to welcome people into their culture and show you their Hindu ways. It’s a very friendly and rich culture that you will allow you to absorb the Bali way of life.

Ok, so that’s it for today. Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist. Stay tuned!!!!

Dayne Smith Diving makes me alive

I was sitting with my Pastor Today and he asked me ,, What makes me Alive in life. What a question WHAT MAKES YOU ALIVE ?? not what makes you happy and I thought there is no doubt in my mind that Diving brings the life outta me!!!

The way I smile on the boat , on he drive out to a reef, the amazing stories being told after a dive, The SMILE on a new divers face. And most of all seeing how glorious God is and experiencing his Glory underwater.

At this point in my life the best thing that could ever happen to me would be winning this competition and seeing how proud everyone would be of me. The smile on my parents face knowing that I actually got an opportunity like this !!! Its what I pray for everyday!!!

God bless to everyone that has been supporting me throughout this competition so far and thank you !!!

Top Ten Finalist – Joe Zeiler

Today marks the first announcement of Blue Season Bali’s top ten finalists into The Best Dive Job in the World 2012?scuba diving internship?competition.? The finalists will be announced over these first ten days in March- in no particular order.? Truth be told, we’re not yet decided as to who all 10 finalists will be, so there is still time to make a final promotional push on your entry as these announcements are made.

Today’s announcement confirms Joe Zeiler as a finalist in this year’s competition. You can show Joe your support by clicking here and leaving a comment on her entry. Congratulations, Joe, for making it into the Top Ten of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012. You have done a great job and we wish you the best of success as the competition moves toward its inevitable close.

Like many of you, we had a quick email interview with Joe:

 

What is the most amazing experience of your life?
THE most??? What a difficult question! I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences in my life but I guess I would have to say that my move to Japan when I was 21 was the most life changing. The time I spent there opened by eyes to a world beyond my home in Canada; to people, cultures and experiences I would never have imaged.From that point on I knew I’d never go back. Since then I’ve lived and worked in Brazil and Thailand and I’ve travelled pretty much everywhere in between. The amazing experiences that were born from that initial move are still happening!

If you are already a scuba diver, what is the best place you have ever dived, and why?
Last summer I did a night dive under a full moon on the Liberty wreck in Tulumben. The bioluminescents were unbelievable. The entire dive we were surrounded by clouds of fluorescent sparkles igniting, blinking, pulsing and moving all on their own. Me and my guide turned off our torches and just floated in a sea of flashing lights. It was like being in outer space. …oh and there were those 3 free swimming spanish dancers… I heart the USS Liberty.

If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life but could take only three things with you, what would they be?
Ahhh a question for the ages.. I considered saying “my iPod” but I figured why waste an item on that when I could make my own one woman band out of coconuts and bamboo. I also considered “sunscreen” but that hurts the coral, then I thought “a friend” but being stuck on an island with one person for the rest of my life might mean “friend” turns into “former friend” So…
1) a hat – good for me and good for the coral
2) a BIG notebook and a pen that never runs out so when I’m long gone people will know all about my amazing island adventures
3) a cat – almost as good as a friend but much less complicated…and maybe it could help me catch dinner

What do you feel is the most pressing environmental issue threatening our oceans?
I don’t think we can say that one issue is more pressing than the next. Instead, I think that the biggest issue threatening our oceans is the lack of education out there about how our actions affect the seas. Every environmental issue our seas are threatened with are the result of human actions. Being a SCUBA instructor would allow me to show people the beauty of the ocean and in turn teach them to think about how their daily activities and purchases are impacting the sea and the creatures that call it home.

What would you say is your most positive personal attribute?
I’m friendly and outgoing and I’m driven. I put 110% into everything I do and I try to always do it with a smile on my face. Joe Zeiler’s glass is always half full :)

If you could improve one thing about yourself, what would it be?
When I get super excited I get so eager to say stuff that I end up cutting people off when they’re talking or interrupting them….oh wait…were you done asking your question??

I also have a huge typo problem (as you may have noticed from my posts on the blog)…sigh

And finally, you get a chance to ask me a question so make it a good one… (and no, I can’t tell you quite yet if you will win!)
ahhh the pressure!!!

What has been the most amazing experience you’ve had during your time in Bali and at Blue Season Bali?? Why?

 

 

Now that’s a hard question to answer Joe; I think it will be easier for you to come to Bali and see what all the fuss is about.  The experiences are immense.

Ok, so that’s it for today.  Tomorrow I will announce the next top ten finalist.  Stay tuned!!!!

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