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Life as a PADI Instructor

The recent days over in Bali have been jam packed with new and rewarding experiences both in and outside the water.

To start with, I spent my first ever Christmas away from home. I figured I may be eating Nasi Goreng instead of turkey this year but we had the most incredible Christmas dinner over at Blue Season Bali complete with all the fix ins; turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing and everything else you could hope for. In total there were about 30 of us who all had to unbuckle the belts by the time it was all said and done. To make the occasion a little more special we had a secret Santa present exchange which filled the childhood void of tearing open a present on Christmas morning. All in all, even though I was a long way from home, friends and family, it was truly the best Christmas a guy could hope for. If you ever plan to do an internship with BSB over the Christmas holidays, not only will you be in under the paradise sun and palm trees but you will get that warm Christmas feeling complete with quite the feast!

Now for diving and the PADI instructor experience.

Last night another fellow MSDT instructor and I took part in a night dive speciality training session. Accompanying us was Course Director Thomas Barrett, staff instructor Tom Mckenzie and new to the BSB team eco internship instructor/marine biologist Neils. We dropped in just off the beach in Sanur at around 7pm following a beautiful sunset and within 5 minutes we saw 2 juvenile harlequin fish, 2 eels and a Spanish dancer! Absolutely stunning! We carried along and by the end we saw so many eels I lost count, a couple more harlequin fish, 2 snakes, several crabs and loads more nocturnal critters which come alive at night. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera along with me or what great footage I would have captured to show you guys! What a great way to end a 4 dive day in beautiful Bali. Yes, there was some rain, but nonetheless

A couple days prior to the night dive I started my first ever open water course. I had a 10 year old boy who luckily, was a natural little fish in the water. Although full of enthusiasm and energy, I was faced with the challenge of working with this kids 10 minute classroom/workbook attention span. Of course we have structure to the open water course following along with difficulty progression and different things that must be done before moving on to the next however, the order is somewhat flexible and allows us as instructors to slightly modify a course plan. With this guy I really had to be on the ball. All the planned intentions I had more, less went out the window. Luckily the training and lessons I learned during the IDC came into practice and I was able to roll with the punches no problem ensuring that while learning, this kid never stopped having fun! He was a joy to teach and reminded me much of myself in the water when I was young. He also taught me a lot about my own teaching abilities of how patience is the key when dealing with new divers and how you must be able to modify lesson plans while still sticking to a time frame. In the end once we surfaced from that final open water dive and I told him he was now open water certified, the look on his face said it all. The feelings of achievement and satisfaction he felt and knowing I helped achieve that with him was a great feeling and one I will never forget. His parents had been diving for years and long awaited the day where their son could dive alongside them and helping make this families dream come true was truly a rewarding experience.

A thousand thanks to Blue Season Bali for not only giving me the opportunity to become and live out my life here in Bali as a PADI instructor but also for the incredible teachings you have provided me with that allow me to go out and interact with people from around the world and experience the rewarding feelings of teaching people how to dive and have the pleasure of introducing them to the wonders of the underwater world!!

 

Renay Logan – Best Dive Job in the World 2012


Why I want to change my life and become a PADI Instructor?

Renay Logan - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Renay Logan - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Its 7.45am, picture 200 people crammed into an underground tube, standing for 20 minutes like sardines packed in a can. Not an ideal morning journey? No, I agree but that’s a commuter’s life in London and it’s been mine for the last 9 years. I want to trade my frosty mornings with a wetsuit as my uniform, swap my blackberry for a dive computer and gear up for work in the Balinese sunshine instead of fighting Londoners for the last available seat.

When I took my first breath of air from a regulator 6 years ago in Surrey (UK), the feeling of being able to breathe underwater was so surreal and natural, that I’ve been hooked ever since. However, living in London and with only 4 months of the year deemed fit to dive, I really struggle to keep up the love as a recreation and I’m constantly having withdrawals.

Being an expat Aussie in the UK, I constantly get asked ‘Are you mad, you left home for this?’. If had a £ for every time I heard it, I could quite possibly of started up my own dive school by now but unfortunately that is not the case & I’m here entering this competition. I’ve relished & seized every opportunity in London but I now want a lifestyle where I can dive on a regular basis. Becoming a PADI Instructor in Bali sounds idyllic & is the perfect way to change my life.

This year I was lucky enough to dive in the Red Sea and I was so mesmerised by the coral and marine life that I vowed on my last dive at Shugarat only to eat ethical fish for the rest of my life. As my friends will tell you I have an obsession with sushi, especially Bluefin tuna and consume it at least twice a week. It’s a big sacrifice but I’m determined to stick to the pledge in order to give back to the sea and become more ethically accountable. I was also deeply distressed by the destruction of the coral caused by divers over the years that I want to become actively involved in Project AWARE, going forward. I believe it’s every divers’ duty to be environmental conscious & becoming a PADI Instructor, I deem this an integral part of a diver’s training and development.

Renay Logan - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Renay Logan - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Most people that know me recognise my competitive streak, hardworking nature, sense of adventure and always up for a challenge. Whether it’s running my 1st half-marathon for a dare, swimming the entire length of the English Channel in a pool for charity, helping out in my local community clean-up after the London Riots or doing charity work; I’m a very sociable individual and can adapt to any situation propelled at me. I’m an active person and enjoy keeping fit. I’m part of a mixed tag rugby team; go to kickboxing classes, practise yoga and an enthusiastic swimmer. If I’m chosen as the PADI Instructor, your day would be never dull. I’m patient, bold and enthusiastic about life & being passionate about diving is just a bonus!

I’m ready for the next challenge, so please vote for me and let me swap my high heels for fins and become a PADI Instructor! Terima kasih!

Vote for Renay Logan, Best Dive Job in the World, 2012.

Master Scuba Diver Trainer – First Official Course

The long awaited day has come where the dream of becoming a PADI instructor has become a reality. Today marks the day of my first official Open Water course! Until now I have assisted with several courses during my days as a DiveMaster in training and I have done several training simulations during the IDC but now it’s time to put my training to the test. Over the past couple days I have conducted a few Discover Scuba Diving experiences which were greatly rewarding not only for myself, but for the guest who took part in their first underwater experience. It’s kind of weird to put yourself back in the mentality of how you felt the first time you entered the underwater world but it’s a mindset you must put yourself in to properly conduct any course involving new divers. The more DSD’s (discover scuba dives) you do, the more aware you become of the little things you must do and how to manage another diver more effectively while ensuring their safety and enjoyment. This of course is the most important part of the DSD experience. Although you need 5 DSD’s to equal 1 official certification, it’s an essential element to an instructors training and something that all instructors will no doubt have several encounters with. After surfacing from the dives, the satisfaction you get from the rewarding experience you have provided and seeing the change in the individuals after they have explored the wonders of the underwater world is simply unforgettable! You have opened a gateway into a new world and for many people, the diving will not stop there. One way I see it is the more people who appreciate the ocean and are aware of its complexities, the more people will make the effort to protect it and fight for its survival. Nothing is more important at this point in history.

As I await the guests who will be taking the Open Water Course, Susanne one of the other instructors and myself, map out how we plan to conduct the course. It is a family of 3, the mother, father and 11 year old daughter so we must follow the youth standards and procedures and keep in mind the possible short attention span of a child, especially one who is trying scuba skills for the first time. We have the assistance of Master Instructor Yasu who will be supervising and giving feedback on how we conduct the course as well as possible suggestions and modifications for future courses. This is the advantage of taking the MSDT program. You get the experience of teaching courses but do it with the supervision and guidance of experienced individuals. Of course the key to any job is finding your own methods and what works best for you, but getting various tricks of the trade and learning through other peoples experience is extremely beneficial which is why I think all new instructors should take the MSDT. This foundation you will receive during the MSDT period will undoubtedly make you a much better instructor as you move forward in your career, whatever that may be.

For now I am at the start of my MSDT program so follow in the coming weeks as my training progresses. I will surely post another blog once this course is complete, but confidence is high, energy is high and I can only imagine how great the feeling will be when I hand this family their Open Water certification. I think it is awesome that a family has decided to take part in an activity like diving all together and I will certainly focus on making this a fun, family bonding experience. The key to the open water course of course is learning how to dive but, there has to be a large emphasis of FUN!

Stay tuned…

Kenzo Kiren… PADI Instructor!!!

 

Yaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Can’t quite describe the emotions racing through my body and soul right now but I can tell you it feels amazing. It’s hard to believe just  4 months ago I was sweating in a kitchen anticipating the challenges and experiences I would be facing in Bali but here I am only 4 monthsinto my 7 month grand prize and I can say it has already been a dream come true. Every single day I’ve spent in Bali has been a blessing. I’ve met such a wide array of people from all over the world establishing several lifelong friendships, enhanced my perspective on life and most importantly achieved the goal of becoming a PADI Instructor!!!! And I’m not finished yet…

If I said it was easy I would be lying. To become a PADI instructor takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, determination and of course most importantly a passion for teaching and a love for the underwater world. I’ve never been so nervous about an exam in my life. The exams along with the added pressure of keeping BSB’s perfect passing rate for 2011 in tact made it that much more nerve-wracking. I tried not to think about it but imagine the only person failing the IE was the Best Dive Job Winner… Thank god I dodged that bullet… In the end, I actually had a near perfect score in the exams. Besides a couple incorrect answers in the theory section I pretty much recieved perfect scores! Our group as a whole was no doubt very well prepared thanks to the great IDC program over at BSB. So, a thousand thanks to the people of Blue Season Bali not only for selecting me as the Best Dive Job Winner but also for all the guidance, opportunity and knowledge they have provided me with. I came to Bali as a baby in the diving world with nothing but my open water certification but in 4 short months they transformed me into not only a PADI instructor but a damn confident one. Special thanks and congrats to the 6 others that passed through the pearly gates of the PADI world and came out instructors alongside me. We had lots of fun and all truly deserve what we achieved. Next step is the MSDT and I’m sure the progress will just keep on coming. Can’t wait! One final thanks to all my friends and family back home who’ve supported me from the day I entered the contest. I truly would not be living the dream if it wasn’t for all of you so thank you so much… It’s safe to say I didn’t disappoint and now you all have no excuses to take up diving and get certified by instructor Kenzo!!! I expect to see you soon.

Cheers everybody!

Final days of IDC & Mock IE…Check!

Hello again ladies and gentleman, people of all ages!

I believe the last time I filled you in on the IDC we were right in the thick of things, preparing and presenting various in class knowledge developments as well as inwater skill circuits. Before wrapping up the IDC, we were given one ‘day of rest’ an optional day off which as a group we decided to for once enjoy a stress free day out on the boat in Nusa Penida. We were blessed with a shining sun, perfect dive conditions and a sighting of about 6 large mantas. But now back to the serious stuff… Today we wrapped up the official final day of the IDC portion with day 2 of the mock exam. The mock exam basically consisted of a imitated Instructor Exam like the one we will be facing tomorrow morning and the following 2 days. It was one final assessment/opportunity to practice and master the possible skills and subjects we may get during the actual exams as well as one last chance to review the theory that at this point hopefully we should have down pat. The past couple weeks have consisted of many moments of course directors towering over us or behind us ticking things off on their slates as we present in both confined and open water situations. But in the end, it was for the better and now we know when they are towering behind us, they are marking off all the things we are doing right! Instead of clapping after a presentation, we splash the “instructor” which is a really great feeling and fun for all. Come take the IDC at BSB and you too can have the satisfaction of being splashed with praises.(it really is a great feeling) Fun and games aside, at this point, times were tense as we took on the mentality that this was the real thing. Although a matter of one question can be the difference of a pass or fail, all in all I think we have a pretty confident bunch. We’ve had lots of fun and plenty of progress and it’s finally time for the little birdies to leave the nest and try our luck in the big, big world.

In the end, the mock went very well. Everybody passed, confidence was high and we were now mock instructors..(if only that meant something) It is 930pm right now and I’m sitting in the BSB classroom going over some last minute stuff alongside my buddy and fellow instructor candidate, Jacques. Steve just left after a long day at the office and at this point it’s up to fate. Tomorrow morning we will meet at BSB around 9am then head off to possibly the most stressful, nerve-wracking couple days of our lives. The exams run for three long days. Day 1 consists of 5 theory exams covering physics, physiology, general skills and environment, Recreational Dive Planner and equipment. Each section is only 12 questions but this means if you get more than 3 wrong on 2 sections, YOU FAIL. If you get more than 3 wrong in only one section you get 1 chance make up which I’m sure would be the most frightening test of your life. If all goes well, after the theory section, we write a standards exam going through the many PADI general procedures and standards. Day 2 is when we present a knowledge development in class presentation as well as a confined water presentation and a 5 skill circuit. Once again there is a passing criteria, but for now we won’t go into details. Finally if all is still fine and dandy, we move to day 3 which entails an integrated open water skill presentation as well as rescue exercise 7. This is when we come across an unresponsive, non-breathing diver on the surface and must remove both theirs and our equipment while providing rescue breaths every 5 seconds… Not an easy task with surface currents and examiners watching your every move… Good thing we’ve practiced this about 50 times up to this point. So, all that said, I think the Blue Season Bali IDC team will have no problems blowing through the 3 days and coming through the other side as instructors. We’ve worked hard mentally and trained very hard physically up to this point and with the dedicated work our course directors have given us, we have all the tools necessary to pass the exams. For now, think positive thoughts, deep breaths and hope lady luck doesn’t give us any trick questions on the exams…Or else…..

Wish me luck!

Soon to be instructors….

So here’s the next status update on this month’s PADI IDC group.

First off don’t leave your cereal in the classroom…unless you want ants for breakfast… Didn’t stop me from digging in. Mmmm

Anyways,

Over the past few days we’ve been getting hit by wave after wave of information, evaluation, positive reinforcement and feedback, resulting in waves of progress. We’ve all individually had to prepare and present 2 separate knowledge development presentations. To start off, we are all given a different question that our group of “open water” students struggled with. We then have to take them through and reinforce values, key points, application to upcoming skills they will face in both confined and open water situations and make sure that by the end, everything is simplistically understandable and crystal clear. We get to use things like the PADI prescriptive teaching guide which makes things convenient offering video’s and other interactive tools. Overall, it’s a great way to get us experienced and comfortable. It allows us to execute lessons to a variety of students while also teaching us presentation structure and how they should be conducted more effectively. So far I’ve scored a 5 and 4.5 out of 5 so confidence is at a high and hopefully I can finish off strong with the final knowledge development! Everyone else’s presentations have been great and quite animated which makes things fun for both us the students as well as the course directors. Definitely no shortage of laughs with the charismatic, creative bunch we got packed into that classroom.

The next thing we’ve been putting our nose to the grind on is our confined water presentations as well as today, we had our first open water presentations. These entail a real life simulation of teaching students to both correctly and safely perform a skill according to PADI standards. You get marked on everything from the briefing, highlighting objectives, describing the value, signals, organization, making proper use of an assistant and most importantly, identifying assigned problems and correcting them appropriately. Finally we must do a debriefing describing what the students did well and what things they need to remember for the future. This may all seem fine and dandy in the pool but when it comes to open water, it’s another story. Today, for example, we all were out in Sanur taking turns being the instructor. I was the last to go and just my luck, as I was preparing for a hover skill using a Jon line attached to a buoy line, a massive mob of seaweed came out of nowhere and engulfed the line. I literally had to get out a knife and saw and rip away for about two minutes until I could finally free up the line. I really wish a picture was taken because words just can’t describe how big this clump of seaweed was and how funny it must have looked as my students watched me tackle this monster. I guess we can say this was a great learning experience of what can happen in a real open water situation with a actual group of students… My hopes are that it never does…

So for the final 6 days of IDC we have one more knowledge development presentation, 2 more confined water presentations and one more open water integrated skills presentation. All this as well as a couple more workshops, a couple more pool sessions and a day out in Penida which I think we’re all looking forward to. Things are busy as can be, but lots of fun too. Finally, 2 days before the IE we have 2 days of mock IE. This is our final assessment to make sure we are ready for the 3 day IE (instructor exams) as well as fine tune any last little bugs in the system. Our group is full of positive thoughts and I can’t wait to become instructors with such a great bunch…Fingers crossed…

It’s Official, the IDC has begun!

The IDC is officially under way and all 7 of us instructor candidates are in full focus, soaking up every slide show & pool/ocean lessons and feeling very confident as the days roll on. The first official day of IDC was yesterday so we went through many of the main focuses and philosophies and stressed the team mentality approach of not just worrying about yourself the individual passing the IE (instructor exams), but all of us collectively passing. I thought this was a great way of looking at things because not only does it promote the teamwork mentality but it also encourages us to learn through each other while also allowing us to teach one another. One person’s strengths may be another’s weakness, this way we all  can ensure that in the end, there are no weaknesses. We did another exam assessment on our theory and after reviewing my scores, I was fascinated with how much I improved over the past week. Without a doubt the IDC prep helped tremendously and now moving forward I know what more I have to do to fine tune my theory and pass those IE theory exams.

This IDC our group has had the pleasure of getting lectures by the best Blue Season Bali has to offer. Due to a Tec40 course going on during IDC prep, we got to spend a week with Gold Course Director Tom West. Let me tell you, this guy is brilliant! He knows something about everything and when it comes to his diving knowledge, there isn’t a question he can’t answer. The knowledge that guys brain contains really is frightening. Next we have Jonathan Cross Platinum Course Director and owner of BSB. I must say, we are a truly lucky group to be able to learn through the experience and knowledge Jon has to offer both in the classroom and in the water. Today he took us out to Sanur and let us practice being instructors controlling a group of students. This was a very beneficial experience and a great step towards our end goal. With the in water direction and feedback I think we all benefited greatly through this exercise. Finally, we will soon be joined by Thomas Barret (Baz), who has been running the majority of the IDC’s this year and has a 100% passing success rate. Let’s hope this group can keep that streak in tact! Like I mentioned before, we also have Staff Instructors Robert Scales & Tom Mckenzie helping out. When it comes to the help at hand, we got a pretty extensive group of individuals with a lot to offer! They’re always willing to spend extra time either in the pool or classroom helping any of us get on our game as well as show us some good tips and techniques that once helped them with their IDC’s. Anyone considering taking the IDC and or MSDT in the future, this is the place to do it. I can’t say enough good things with my experience thus far and I know it will only get better…You won’t regret it. ( the special IDC lunches are a reason alone to come take the course…let’s just say they’re mouth watering!) This team makes it a fun filled experience that no doubt ends with fantastic rewards that paves the way for a great future in the proffessional diving world…whatever you may choose to do.

Stay tuned for more on my IDC experience!

Progress comes in BIG doses!

Hello again ladies and gents!

As another couple days blow by, content and confidence growth continues right along with it. We have just finished day 7 of the IDC prep portion, (6 if you count the optional day of rest or fun diving, although most people just take that as another classroom day to focus on theory or pool skills) and now have one final day remaining before the IDC officially starts. Over the past 2 days we went over some very useful presentations which highlighted the different aspects we will be exploring and applying once becoming an instructor. We looked at things like how to effectively conduct courses, specialities, marketing, career opportunities, business of diving and much, much more. Although it involved many slideshows and classroom hours, the personal experiences and stories that Westy (Course Director-Tom West) and Staff Instructor Thomas Mckenzie shared along with them made them much more interesting and a far more rewarding learning experience. Also, we had discussions throughout and went through a couple questions at the end of each section to help with the learning process. Quite mind blowing stuff I must say! 

Today, we had our Emergency First Response Instructor orientation which led us through an in depth look at our focuses on the EFR courses from an instructors standpoint. We did a couple simulations of instructor/student teachings on one of the primary care skills and filled out some action plans which we will refer back to later. Tomorrow for day 2 of the EFRI we will actually give presentations and do mock EFR courses will full debriefings and go through all the importance’s we need to know for when we actually teach EFR.

I finally just got home and as much as I would love to take a nap, I got some work to do! Better throw on some coffee!

More IDC course updates to come!

IDC Prep rolls along!

We’ve just wrapped up day 4 of the 7 day prep portion of the IDC program. Although we’ve been going over most of the stuff we technically should already know, it’s amazing to see all the little details we forget and of course, need to be in tip top shape for the upcoming Instructor Exams. Luckily, most of us have fairly recently just finished our Divemaster program so things are still quite fresh and easily recognizable. Just in case, we have lectures and refreshers by the brilliant Tom West, some physics seminars and pool skills by IDC Staff Instructor Tomas Mckenzie and new to the BSB team Robert Scales. Also, soon to join us, will be the one and only Thomas Barrett AKA Baz! So… no shortage of knowledge and assistance to help guide this months IDC team to success.

Little description of the first couple days for those who are wondering what the IDC prep portion entails. We started off with an in pool skill circuit to see where we all stand and where we can focus on improvement. From there, we moved to the classroom for an IDC orientation and took the PADI Systems, Standards & Procedures Exam. We also went over exam A of the Divemaster exam for each category which includes: Physics, Physiology, Dive Skills & Environment, Equipment & Decompression Theory & The Recreational Dive Planner. This gave us an in depth and look both as a group and individually of where we need to focus on during the upcoming month. Following those, we went over each section and made sure everyone could understand and solve each and every question. We also had little seminars on equipment like taking apart a BCD & regulator set, looking at the working parts and some of the common causes for problems, then learnt how to put it all back together. (very beneficial) Next, how to write an effective CV and cover letter to improve our chances of getting a job post IDC. This along with many of other things we have done in the short time of 4 days of IDC prep. Whew!

During the next couple days we will continue to access strengths and weaknesses then work as one big body of knowledge to help each other obtain maximal development and success. We’ll also look at things like the compressor and possibly have a intro to TEC, as well as write Divemaster exam B to see our improvement thus far and continue to target where we will need to work on. All in all, the ball is rolling and rolling quite fast and consequently the more we cover, the more we learn and the easier our exams will seem when we take them in a short, 3 weeks time. Though there is much work to do, I am feeling very confident I will soon be able to call myself a PADI Instructor!

Ready to rock the IDC!

It’s the eve of this year’s final IDC course over at Blue Season Bali. Since my arrival, I have seen two separate groups of people go through the nearly month long course who all came out proud to say, they were now PADI Instructors. Of course each individual told different stories both throughout and afterwards of the struggles and obstacles they faced, but in the end, one story they all shared was their self-satisfaction and relief when it was all over. They all say that the amount of hard work and sacrifice was a small price to pay for not only the sense of achievement they recieved but also the gateway and opportunities that were now open to them in the diving world. Some individuals decided to carry on to take the MSDT over at Blue Season Bali and get the chance to teach courses and gain experience, while others depart shortly after, off to seek out a new adventure in a new destination. Whatever the plan may be, successfully completing the IDC no doubt opens a world of endless possibility.

For myself, after IDC, I will be continuing my diving education with the MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) which will help build up my instructor rating and also give me the opportunity to get certifications and experience. Not only will this help for job possibilities in the future but it will also let me put many of the things I just learnt into practice. With the help of the team over at Blue Season Bali there will be no shortage of knowledge and guidance which will undoubtedly help me achieve greatness as a PADI Instructor.

As for right now, I’m not sure the exact structure of the IDC course but I do know it will be jam packed full of lectures, skill circuits, presentations and mock courses/exams. The IDC team over at BSB so far this year has a perfect record for students passing the IDC so let’s hope we can finish off with a BANG! Stay tuned for progress updates throughout and hopefully in one month’s time Kenzo Kiren, Best Dive Job Winner will be a PADI Instructor!!!

Want to win a FREE dive computer? Yes, really…

Yep, your friends here at Blue Season Bali are GIVING AWAY a brand new Suunto Zoop dive computer as our second mini-contest in the 2012 Best Dive Job in the World competition.  Simply tell us why your PADI Open Water Course instructor was so good and this great piece of dive gear can be yours, completely free.  We already gave away one PADI course last month, and the contest is just getting started!

Head on over to www.best-dive-job.com for the complete rules on this month’s mini-contest to win a free dive computer.

For those of you who don’t know, the 2012 contest is in full swing over at www.bestdivejob.com/2012.  Just like last year, you gotta be in it to win it!

Islam F. Bahnasy – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Why I want to change my life and become a PADI Instructor?

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

I’m a Software Developer and I have 25 years old my childhood dreams were about to learn how to create computer programs, dive and to fly.

I did that all except flying but my dreams were not only about doing those things but to be professional in them because my mind and soul is living on those hobbies.

I did my PADI Open Water course in 2009 and from that time I couldn’t stop thinking about diving and about learning more about it, my passion didn’t stop at that point but I was keen to motivate my friends and family to dive and I was teaching them about what I have learned in the Open Water course.

I reached a time were I was everything in my life, I took a very difficult decision which is to switch my career to become diving instructor. I was searching about internships in the Red Sea till I found a good one then I started my new life and after I became PADI Rescue Diver with 180 dives, a lot of things happened in my life one of them was the Egyptian Revolution so I had to stop for a while but diving still in my heart then after a while my instructor dead and that was really bad time.

So that was really affecting my life since I couldn’t continue my dive education because I ran out of money and also couldn’t find a job in my old career “Software Development” because the economical state is not good after the revolution.

I can remember every dive I have done, that is the best memory I have in my mind. breathing in different environment and being weightless and this environment is touching me that is the best feeling I ever felt.

I love to teach people what I love to do and I’m good in that so becoming a PADI Instructor will put me in a place where I can give people good knowledge and make their lives great

too.

Overnight Tulamben

Every once in a while once a couple requests get put in Blue Season Bali organizes an overnight trip open to all the interns. Depending on requests and schedule availability we either go to Tulamben or Menjangan. This time around the destination was Tulamben and the total number people coming along was 12 interns and instructor Neil.

We set off around the same time as usual once the days guests had cleared out and arrive at Tulamben around 10am. We organized our gear and in two separate groups, took part in dive number one on the USAT Liberty Wreck. Right off the bat, I found a beautiful almost clear pink nudibranch right on the wreck. This was a pretext for what was going to be a great dive trip. We surfaced from the first dive then headed down to Wayan Restaurant where we always enjoy a wide array of lunches overlooking Mt. Agung. After digesting we dropped off our bags at Paradise Tulamben where we would all be staying, then headed back down to the beach for dive number 2. This time around my group decided we would venture to Coral Garden and what a decision that was. On this dive we had two very close encounters with a couple Blacktips. I mean so close I could touch them! What a fascinating and majestic creature and one that truly deserves more respect and protection than it is receiving by today’s society. After surfacing from dive number 2 and bragging to the other group about our shark sightings we all went back to our hotel. There we enjoyed a couple relaxing hours before we would set off for our night dive.

The sun was setting and we made our way to the beach. Once again had our two groups formed, group one would be entering the water first led by me. I must say, I was very excited and honored that I was given the responsibility of leading a night dive. Though I have never led a night dive, I knew the wreck like the back of my hand and had nothing but confidence it would go well. The dive went smoothly and we saw a different side of the underwater world than we were normally used to. The highlight was the massive Bumphead Parrot Fish. Some nearly a meter long and there were loads of them. We also saw the large eel that normally occupies the wreck twisting and turning as everyone’s torches locked on as it tried to catch a fish. Unfortunately, his moment of fame ended in disappointment as the fish won this battle and got away. On this dive I learnt the valuable lesson of the importance of carrying a backup torch. At one point a divers torch ran so low that he needed my backup in order to see. Another diver’s torch also started dying and luckily I could communicate getting him someone elses backup so he could then finish the dive. At the end just before we surfaced, we all cut out our lights and enjoyed the phenomenon of bioluminescence. Very, very cool stuff! Though there was some confusion during the midpoint of the dive when our group got surrounded by group two as well as another group of people taking part in a night dive, we managed to stay together. All in all, the night dive was a success and I had proven that I could get a group of divers back to shore safely not only during the day but now, also in darkness. We ended off the day with a group dinner at Paradise Tulamben then headed to bed early as we had plans to start our day with a early 6am dive.

The next morning we continued where we left off last night, the USAT Liberty wreck. It was awesome to dive Tulamben before the loads of other guests arrived on site, something I had yet to experience. Another highlight of this dive was seeing the remains of the night dive atmosphere. The best way I can explain this is that it was like a downtown street after a busy night where most of the bars were now closed, most people had cleared out and only a few stragglers remained roaming the streets. The wreck seemed quiet with life and was still rather dark because the sun had yet to fully rise. We saw the occasional large Bumphead still roaming around looking lost, several little critters and the rest of the normal wreck occupiers start to awake.

Before leaving Tulamben, we took part in 2 more great dives totalling for 6 on this amazing trip. The trip was not only an unforgettable diving experience but also yet another great bonding trip with all the other interns at BSB. Can’t wait for the next overnight trip!

 

1st Trip to Menjangan

Just after a wonderful day of diving in Padang Bai, the schedule was printed off and it became official, I was off to Menjangan. Menjangan is pretty much as far as you can go up north and slightly westward on the island of Bali. Normally from Sanur it would take about 4 hours drive but on this particular trip we first had to go basically as far down south as you can go to Nusa Dua to pick up our guests. So, in total after setting my stopwatch from Sanur to Nusa Dua back up to Menjangan it took just over 5 hours. I’ve had the pleasure of doing this scenic drive once before on my visit to the Zen Resort, so this time around I decided to bring my eye mask and have a little snooze. What a great idea that turned out to be because next thing you know I was waking up in Menjangan refreshed, revived and ready to dive! For the two dives we were scheduled to do we had along with us 3 guests, our local guide Putu ’the great’ another divemaster named Jacques and myself. Shortly after arriving we hopped on a boat and set off to Menjangan Island roughly 30 minutes from shore. (technically you could get there much sooner but the boat engines up there are quite slow) Nonetheless, we enjoyed a nice little 30 minute boat ride to soak in the sights and set up your gear. Although there are several nice dive sites around the Menjangan area as well as some great snorkelling, the sites on our agenda were Post 1(Eel Garden Point) and Post 2(Drop Off). Both are wall dives with a magnificent array of large sea fans known to house pigmy seahorses, the occasional passing of whitetip or blacktip reef sharks and several other species and colours to keep the eyes continuously curious and satisfied. Post 1 the site we dove first eventually ends off with a large white sandy patch with hundreds maybe even thousands of garden eels. It’s there where we also had a brief visit from a little blacktip… Always a pleasure! From there, there are several little patches of reef which we spent the remaining 20 minutes or so at around 10 meters scanning through to see what we could find. Once surfacing, we stopped at a nearby beach for some lunch where we were accompanied by a couple deer (not every day you see deer on the beach) then we were back in the ocean for dive number 2. This one was once again another wall dive which stretched as far down as the eye could see and like the first, housed loads of sea fans and a vast array of all forms of life. The highlight on this dive for me was discovering a nudibranch I have yet to see out here in Indonesia. Before even coming to Bali, I had never seen a nudibranch and knew little about them. So, ever since the first time I saw one out in Seraya, spotting and documenting different types of nudibranch has become a bit of an obsession of mine and now anytime I see one I have yet to lay eyes on, I consider that a great dive. All in all, my first trip out to Menjangan was a success for both myself and all who came along. Next time I hope to visit some of the other favorite dive sites like Secret Bay, The Anker Wreck, Sandy Slope, Mangroves and Pemuteran. Also the Mandarin Fish you typically see during night dives is a huge attraction for many visitors from all over so I hope I get a chance to see them. We finished off the day showing each other the photos we captured and enjoyed a nice beverage then it was back in the bus for a short 4 hour drive back to Sanur. Once again the eye mask went on and I dreamt of what dive adventures awaited me in my near future!

Off to Padang Bai

Hello ladies and gentleman, people of all ages…

The most recent dive trip I went on was to Padang Bai. It’s about the same distance from Sanur to Nusa Penida by boat (roughly 45 mins) although instead of heading east, you head up north. There are several dive sites in the area that offer a wide variety of diving. The Temple is where you’re most likely to see some blacktip or whitetip sharks, we also have The Wall (obviously a wall dive), Jakun, Blue Lagoon….

On our excursion we started off with The Temple where we had a great dive spotting a cuttle fish, octopus, whitetip shark, a couple stone fish, nudibranchs and several of the other usuals. I also spotted one of my favourite fish which is the Juevenile Emperor Fish, although this one was in the transitional stage of becoming an adult so it was very cool to see the colours and pattern start to change. For the next dive we moved a little more up north to Jakune. This dive starts off as a bit of a muck dive where luckily we found the 2 sea horses who are known to frequent the area. The current was quite strong which turned our dive into a bit of a drift but it was still a good one. The water was quite warm at about 29 degress and the visibility was average at about 15 meters. Typically on this dive you will come across a submarine tour that runs out of Padang Bai so we always try and give the passengers some entertainment, my personal favorite is doing the dead man’s float. After some lunch and a couple of jumps off the sun deck we hopped back in the water for our final dive on The Wall. Once again we saw an array of nudibranchs, a painted frog fish, another octopus (this one not so friendly), a couple spotted rays, the list goes on… We don’t typically go out to Padang Bai as often as Nusa Penida or Tulamben mostly because guests don’t hear as much about it but the diving is excellent and I would definitely reccommend you head out there if you’re in the area. It was only my third time out there so I look forward to the next. Maybe we’ll see ya out there sometime…

Bragg Stanley – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

“I want to die young at a very old age” has become a theme in my life.  Having retired from the teaching profession, and looking at a second retirement from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, I am now ready for another adventure.

I have been diving for about 5 years and have come to love the sport.  I am currently working on my Dive Master Certification and today just completed my Red Cross first aid, CPR, and AED certification, one of the requirements for certification.  Becoming a PADI Instructor would fulfill two of my three passions:  Teaching and Scuba Diving.  My third passion is bluegrass guitar—a little hard underwater, but you have to do something when you are on shore or on the boat!

In my training with my current instructor I have come to appreciate the importance of good teaching and the importance of helping others learn the skills to be a safe and competent recreational diver.  Scuba Diving is all about fun, but there are some inherent risks of which we all must be aware.  A good teacher can help ensure (but not guarantee) that students will have the necessary skills to not only be safe and competent divers, but will instill an attitude and excitement for continued learning.  An important side benefit, but integral to the instructional process is developing an abiding appreciation for our oceans, lakes, and streams and the fragile ecosystem of our underwater habitats.

As I look to a new career, in many ways I am not changing my life all of that much.  I am at a point in life where I am pretty much free to do what I want to do, and I am living my dream and enjoying my passions ( I still teach as an adjunct professor at a small college where I live).  I teach, I scuba dive when I can, I play my guitar, and all in all I am enjoying life to the fullest.  Being a PADI instructor would allow me to share my passion for the sport with others and hopefully inspire them to become the best they can be in the sport of SCUBA diving.

What has inspired me most to do attempt this has been the outstanding instruction I have received as a SCUBA diver.  I could not have asked for more competent and supportive instructors.  They have certainly been my role models in exploring this new avenue in

SCUBA diving They say that the best way to stay young is to continually learn, and what better way to die young at a very old age than to become a SCUBA instructor.

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Beach & Underwater Cleanup

As divers we have a certain connection with the ocean. We see both the complexitities and simplicities of the underwater world and how in some way, every form of life has some sort of impact on one another. The ocean in it’s enormity acts as one and has not only produced unimaginable forms of life but also has been able sustain life and prosper for BILLIONS of years, a fact alone that is mind blowing when you consider our short 200,000 year existence. No matter how big or small a life form in the ocean may be, for most of history, aside from natural disasters and catastrophic events, it was their inter-connected relationships that determined which species would prevail and which ones would perish. Now there is a new threat to not only the oceans of the world but all forms of life which once emerged from those very oceans. It is we who were given life by mother nature, in a cosmic instant have nearly destroyed it. We the human race went and got itself in big hurry and while doing so we seemed to lose touch with mother nature and neglect the four necessary elements neccesary for survival; earth, air, fire and water. We’ve excelled too fast for our own good and too few people stop and ask themselves, is this even progress. How much is too much? What can we do to restore or world and how long do we have before it’s too late?

We could talk about the issues and problems around the globe for days but for now let’s just focus on the issue at hand, our ocean. Every year millions of tons of plastics, chemical wastes, inorganic materials and all other forms of trash, you name it, it’s made its way into our oceans. We toss out everything imaginable rarely thinking twice about where it may end up and what consequences it may have. There is an island of garbage larger than the size of Texas floating in the Pacific and that’s not even the half of it. The garbage in our oceans have been slowly strangling and poisoning the very systems that gave us life and there is very few breaths left. Though theirs some optimism and several dedicated people around the globe that are devoting their lives to cleaning up the worlds mess and spreading education on what we must do to fix this global problem and how we can go about doing it, there is much work to be done. It starts with every individual making a decision and following through with action. It may be a enormous task but with a near 7 billion people, there should be no task the will of the people can’t handle.

Yesterday, Blue Season Bali as well a couple of the other local dive centres took part in a beach and underwater cleanup. There is nothing more unappealing then cruising on a boat in pristine crystal clear water to your favorite dive sites and seeing garbage floating on the surface. Unfortunately this is something that I’ve seen all too often not only in Bali but around the globe. As divers we see it first hand and luckily many of us have taken on the responsibility of doing something about it. A bunch of us took part in 2 dives just off the beach in Sanur and on both dives we came up with heaps of garbage. We found several plastic wrappers but also huge heaps of material and burlap bags, many of which had been there for a very long time. Some things I found took several minutes to unwrap off corals to not damage them further while other things were tangled in so bad that all we could do was cut off as much as we could. Both dives we came of with more trash then we could hold in our hands and although we felt good about what we had just accomplished, it was a little discouraging when we saw loads more wrappers drifting past our boat with the current and only being able to grab what our arms could reach. From there we went back to shore dropped off our gear and headed to the far end of the beach. The task was once again daunting. We all grabbed a garbage bag, spread out and started picking. In total we collected 20 full bags of trash and many of these were small wrappers and plastics. Unfortunately because the tide was in, we couldn’t get over to the mangroves, which was our original goal. Here is where most of the rubbish makes its way into the ocean. Every day when the tide comes in, it grabs the trash and pulls all it can back out with it. That combined with off shore winds makes for for an awful combination resulting in a 24/7 cycle of trash entering the ocean and this happens at coasts around the globe. Cleaning up those mangroves is definitely in our near future to go back and take care of. I want to thank the few people that saw our posters and came out to lend a hand. It’s reassuring to know that people do care and have not yet turned their back on the problem. Also thanks to some of the locals who also assisted and will now hopefully not let their beach return to the state that it was before the cleanup.

All in all it was a productive day but also a huge reminder of what needs to be done, not once a year or every couple months but every day. Bali is an absolute paradise don’t get me wrong but in all the beautiful places of the world, there are small areas that get neglected. I think a large portion of the problem with areas like this is a combination of the lack of local knowledge of what effects the plastics and garbage has as well as the lack of proper disposal systems implemented by their governments. Too many nations of the world may be happy with the systems they have in place with garbage disposal but need to remember that our world is one and if a country on the far side of the world isn’t living up to the standard, it’s still their problem. After all we share this earth, we share these waters and what each person or nation does, effects every other. My hopes are that the world wakes up and wakes up soon. There are so many people who love and cherish mother nature and do all they can to protect it, if the rest of the world shared those feeling, the world would certainly be a much better place. Every one person can make a difference. It’s time to do our part!

Some quick recommendations of some good documentaries is The 11th Hour, Blue Gold, A Force of Nature The David Suzuki Movie, CBC’s One Ocean 4 part series, SharkWater & The Cove. Also BBC’s Planet Earth, Blue Planet & Life Series.

The Sighting of a Lifetime

Yesterday was a typical day over at Blue Season Bali. I arrived just after 6am and did the usual reviewing of the schedule, sorting of the tanks & weight belts  and organizing my own kit. After a quick breakfast of corn flakes, a pear and a kiwi our guest trickled in and filled out the usual PADI paperwork and a short while later after some tea and coffee, we were on our way to our chosen destinations. For me, I was off to Amed which is a nice little dive site just east of Tulamben and Seraya. I had actually never dived there before so of course anytime you’re diving a new site, there’s a certain element of excitement before even setting fin into the water. A group of 5 of us geared up and hoped on a Jukung, a small boat that brings you to the dive site just off shore. Everything up until now was quite typical in terms of a day leading up to the dive so why would I ever expect otherwise… We started with a dive called The Pyramids which has a large arrangement of stacks of hollow blocks forming several artificial reefs which stretches just past 20 meters or so. Half way through the dive, we came across a large sandy patch with spotted rays buried as far as the eye can see. (seriously I lost count after about a hundred) After that we had a little encounter with a green turtle chomping on some reef and after a 45 minute dive we slowly started our ascent. Right as we were nearing the end of our safety stop, we saw something else that was rather interesting… A WHALE SHARK!!!! It was absolutely incredible! One of the most fascinating sights I’ve ever laid my eyes on. One of the holy grail’s of diving right in front of my face! Luckily I had the time to snap a quick shot but I was almost frozen in the moment just mesmerized at this incredible sight, almost in disbelief. The visit was brief and the whale shark was quite small, (round 5 meters) considering the enormous sizes it can reach, but none the less it blew my mind away! It was a dream come true. Even more so because 4 years back in Mozambique I was set to go on a snorkel tour with my mom but last minute changed my mind and decided to try a discover scuba for the very first time. Although the scuba experience was great and ignited my love for diving, on that snorkel tour my mom swam alongside a whale shark for about 20 minutes and has bragged about it ever since. So thank god I can finally say I too swam alongside a whale shark!

Calling all Divemasters!

We all know that the Best Dive Job in the World 2012 is in full swing.  Well, as 2011 draws to a close, it’s time for contest winner Kenzo Kiren to take the PADI IDC with our award-winning team here at Blue Season Bali.  We are calling out to certified divemasters the world over to join Kenzo on this one-of-a-kind IDC with our exclusive 28-day IDC Special Offer.

Kenzo will be on the last IDC of the year, commencing November 12 here in beautiful Bali.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to take your diving career to the next level.  Suggested arrival date is November 11 and we will start at 8am the next morning.  Pre-booking IS required, so please contact us today to find out more about how we can help you continue your diving adventure.

We look forward to diving with you all here on The Island of the Gods, Bali.

Tom West
Jonathan Cross
Thomas Barrett
The PADI IDC Bali Team

Uffe Jensen – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Uffe Jensen - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Uffe Jensen – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

I just wanted to show you a few pictures of me, and tell you a little bit more, about who I am, and why I think you should pick me for the Best Dive Job in the World. I am a happy person, and I like to have fun. I like to share my fun with other people too. All my life I have been surrounded by people, and I work with people every day. I would love to be a PADI instructor, because it would open op the door to a completely different life, than what I am living today. I am not unhappy with my life. I have many friends and a good family, and I have a decent job where I teach Danish to people from all around the world. But I want to see other places, especially where you have sandy beaches and sunny weather, and a high number of species, such as animals, plants, fish and natural phenomena. I absolutely adore nature, and I truly wish I could do something radical to make more people care about the world we live in. I also wish to explore some of those beautiful and breathtaking depths and places that I’ve never even seen on TV in Denmark. I feel a strong burning desire to live my life in a more adventurous way, and I believe that becoming a PADI instructor could fulfill a great part of that desire. I would be able to stay in places that I can normally only visit on a short vacation. And I would be able to work with something that I consider a pleasure, meeting a lot of new and interesting people, and showing them some of the numberless amazing and astonishing creatures living underneath the surface. I am not an experienced diver. I have gotten a taste of it in Egypt, my Open Water Course in British Virgin Islands, and that’s about it. I have bought a wetsuit and tried a little bit of freediving in Denmark, but it’s not the same, and it’s very cold. I have tried bathing in the sea once, when it was minus 15 degrees. I can’t stay out of the water, not even in Denmark, but I would definitely prefer some more tropical temperatures. From what I’ve heard, Bali would be perfect for me. I think you should choose me, because that choice will make everybody happy; you, me, the clients, tourists and local people in Bali – everybody except the other competitors. If you choose one of them instead, there is a much bigger chance of making more people uncomfortable. I am confident that I could complete the training and live up to the other requirements to your complete satisfaction. And I hope you have a job for me afterwards, or that you can help me find a job, so I can dive some more. I love it.

Uffe Jensen - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Uffe Jensen – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Kind regards from: Uffe Vilford Jensen

Tyler Norgaard – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Why do I want to change my life and become a PADI instructor?  It’s simple; I want a life of fun, excitement, good memories, and adventure!

My name is Tyler Norgaard.  I’m 20 years old and like long walks on the beach and candle-lit dinners…whoops wrong contest.  Besides the fact that I don’t mind embarrassing myself, I enjoy making people laugh and enjoy life in any way possible.  Ironically I don’t feel that my life is all that meaningful and fun; even though I am young I feel old, and feel that I’ve never done anything adventurous with my life.  Scuba diving has been something that has taken me into another world (literally) when being underwater.  I’ve been diving for 2 or 3 years now, only seasonally, but always leave the water wanting more.  I would say that it’s like an addiction, but that would only make me sound like a creep and so therefore I will consider myself an ocean enthusiast: one who belongs under, on top, or near water.  Being in Bali would only feed this hunger for adventure and the ocean as I’d be surrounded by it.  To my knowledge, Bali is the diver and surfers paradise which is something that strikes my interest immediately.  I live in Vancouver, Canada but not directly in the downtown.  Where I live is the quintessential country music loving, pickup truck driving, NASCAR enthusiast type town, which is ultimately pretty lame!  Sadly, many people I went to high school with out here have no real aspirations in life that take them outside of this town called Maple Ridge.  I knew I was different in high school (I wasn’t some kid with black make up that wrote depressing poetry) but I knew I had the want of making something of myself.  I love to add my opinion into discussions and explain stories about my life, even though I suck at it, and I love making people around me happy.  I’m always smiling and telling jokes and have a knack for finding little things that generally are unimportant and make them something to point out just by simply suggesting the interestingness of them.

I have lots of growing to do in many ways.  Because I’ve always sort of played it safe in life so far, I’ve never had an adventure.  Running away to Bali and becoming a PADI instructor would be so unique and make me stand out as someone people look up to because I’ve chased my dreams and passions.  It would also give me the chance to put trust in myself when travelling alone and taking care of myself somewhere half way across the world from my family.  In the end I hope that my word document stands out even above some of the professionally made videos because of my silly personality and brilliant prose with my excellent thesis statement!  The life of a PADI instructor would be a dream come true.

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Gili Trawangan

So, as I mentioned before I would write a blog about my trip over to the Gilis… Here it goes…

Originally the trip was supposed to be with just 2 girls who were celebrating a successful IDC over at Blue Season, my girlfriend Dani and myself but just a couple days before departure we came across the last minute additions of a Canadian girl from Saskatoon, a chick from the UK out visiting a friend in Bali as well as a friend of a friend on vacation that also had plans to visit the Gilis, so naturally, it made sense for him to join along. So, the group was formed our pack now contained 7 and although we did little to prepare and made no prior bookings the trip was shaping up to be a dandy!

We left the morning after the BIG Best Dive Job Contest 2012 launch party so before even setting off to tackle 4 nights and 5 days of drinks, many of us were a little hung over. We squeezed into a car that barely could fit 6 people let alone 7 and set off for Padang Bai where we would take a fast boat over to our destination. The boat was a rockin and took about 2 hours after dropping some passengers off in Lombok and although Dani was battling some severe sea sickness and had to sit on deck instead of the dry area, we all made it.

Once landing, we decided to break into groups with worries that we may not be able to find an accommodation but in the end, it was your old pal Kenzo that negotiated a 3 bedroom house for only 450,000Rp a night. Split 7 ways that’s like $7 a night each, not bad eh! So we had what we called our “villa” the beds were claimed, luggage sprawled on the floor and we were off to the beach. **Fun fact: what do 2 guys do when they find a dead rat in one of the cupboards of the kitchen… They close the cupboard then film as they trick one of the girls into opening it in an attempt to find some plates for our lunch. hahaha, Priceless!

Anyways, to give you a description of what you can expect over in Gili Trawangan… Basically, there is one main road that runs parallel to the beach. There are no cars or scooters or any motor vehicles of any kind. (quite a nice change from the hectic streets of the rest of the world) However, you do need to keep your head up for some rushing by horse carriages and speeding by bicycles. The island doesn’t contain or allow any dogs so as you can imagine, it’s cat paradise. The main (only) strip contains several beach bars, restaurants of all varieties, dive centres, snorkel rental stands, homestays and a couple other little random shops as well as a shisha lounge. There is also a little turtle protection centre which ensures green & loggerhead turtles can survive the first stages of their lives and safely be released into the ocean. It’s a strip you can easily walk from beginning to end but has everything you would possibly need. 

So basically the censored version of our trip would be to say we found a couple great places with some great drink specials. Our favorite would definitely have to be Rudy’s the bar we had our very first drink the morning of arriving and bar we spent countless happy hours flushing countless Rupiah down the drain. Whether it was Rudy’s or any of the other bars we occupied, there was always a wide variety of people each on their own adventures and a wide range of stories to tell. That’s one of the great things about travelling to small islands like this, the people you meet and the travellers knowledge you can gain through their experiences are endless. Every couple nights one of the bars or dive centres will throw a huge party which brings the island together in one big celebration, so if you’re there for more than 2 days, surely you will get to experience that. The night we were there, the theme was mustache night which was hilarious! One night I let curiosity get the better of me and gave fire dancing a try. Although I nearly burnt a tree down and lost some leg hair, overall I would say it was a success and now I have dreams of one day becoming a great fire performer.

So nights as you could guess were mainly a blur consisting of several drinks, random conversations with other tourists and everyone from our villa coming home at different times with different stories. Some better than others… During the day we spent most of our time relaxing on the beach or for some, nursing severe hangovers in the shade of our villa. For those who could function, we did some snorkeling from the shore and Bryon and I managed to get 3 nice dives in. The diving in the Gilis is quite nice but unfortunately it’s reefs have suffered severe damage due to dynamite fishing in the past. Luckily now their is an EcoTrust set up to pay off fisherman to stop dynamite fishing. This has slowly let the reefs rebuilt but when underwater, the damage doesn’t go unnoticed and you can’t help but think how full of life the reefs could have been if it wasn’t for the destruction of man. There is however some nice sites which have suffered minimal destruction. If diving in the Gilis I would recommend the sites Deep Turbo, Sharks Point or Shallow Shark Point. These are the more healthy dive sites and you will most likely see a blacktip or whitetip and certainly some turtles at Shallow Shark Point. There are some sites I didn’t get to explore so if you ever make a trip down, please let me know about your diving experiences and any of your recommendations… On two of the four nights we ventured out to sunset point and enjoyed some Bintangs along with our good friend mother nature. Quite a nice place I must say so be sure to check that out if you ever make the trip.

Overall, the Gili experience was a complete success that brought some friends and a couple strangers a friendship that will last a lifetime. We had a blast and did it for quite an affordable price. We probably could have stayed another day or two but 4 nights was a good taste. After all, you gotta leave something to do for next time around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alec Hynek – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

 

Growing up, I was always outside. I’d spend hours hiking in the woods, finding snakes and other critters. I even brought home a baby deer once (long story). I did just about every outdoor activity you can think of. I was that kid that at the pool that spent the whole time underwater. Holding my breath and swimming the length of the pool, and challenging everyone to breathe holding contests. I loved the feeling of turning a chaotic summer day at the pool into a calm, tranquil world just by submersing myself.

Best dive job in the World 2012

Best dive job in the World 2012

At the age of 19, I decided that I wasn’t going to just settle with any career. I wanted to make sure that I was going to have job that I loved, and enjoyed every day of work. So with that in mind and no clue on what I wanted to do; I left school and set off to live life, and discover my calling. Because of this, my family and friends joke that I’m a nomad. I’ve bounced around from place to place, and I have had several fun jobs and met tons of amazing people.

Most recently, for about the last year and a half, I worked at a certain theme park in Orlando. I was a boat captain and I sailed the Seven Seas and made magic every day. It was a great job where I was outside, spending my whole day on the water, and meeting new people from around that world. In May, I moved back to my homeland, Wisconsin, to be a camp counselor, which was another very rewarding experience. After camp I moved to Minneapolis, MN where I am currently taking studying art, and working at a waterpark.

Best dive job in the World 2012

Best dive job in the World 2012

To be honest, the closest thing to scuba diving that I have done is snorkeling, which I did all the time at the beaches in Florida. When I first moved up to Minneapolis, I had discussed with my father my interest in getting scuba certified. And as it turned out, a girl in my drawing class works at a dive shop in the area! Her and I starting talking a lot about diving and in doing so it sparked an idea that has grown into so much more.

It’s so clear to me that this is the job I was meant for. I’ve been looking for a career where I can travel, entertain, teach, learn, and explore. Scuba instructing has it all! I can interact with wildlife and people at the same time, and also change peoples’ lives. They say that people who live by water are happier than people that don’t. So that must mean that scuba instructors are the happiest of all! Even if I don’t win this contest I am going to become a PADI-certified instructor. But I think we can all agree that I’m better off with Blue Season Bali. Please help me get this job, and get me to where I need to be!

 

Up close & Personal

During peak season we would gather our guests and leave first thing in the morning only to arrive at Nusa Penida’s Crystal Bay to find 20 other boats already waiting for the same reason… To fulfill their guests desires and dreams of seeing the legendary Mola Mola! We would drop into the water with high hopes and 4 atmospheres of pressure from guests who expect you know tricks that make a Mola magically appear. Most days we were fortunate enough to have if not several, at least one glimpse of the infamous fish. Problem is, the second one appears almost everyones logic and reason go out the window and you find 20+ people all swimming mach 3 towards this now terrified fish just to get the perfect shot or perhaps a kiss on the cheek. (in some cases, believe it or not, guests will actually attempt this) So as one could guess, although Mola season is filled with Mola’s, it’s rare that one stays around long enough for a person to truly enjoy the up close and personal experience and see this enormous fish in it’s natural habitat.

Today however, now that high season has pretty much dropped off, we arrived in Crystal Bay to find we had our own private dive site. We had a group of about 9 people and had a hell of a current to fight through, but within 5 minutes of our dive we can across the most friendly Mola I had ever seen. We all clutched on to a rock at around 23 meters and just watched in awe as this massive Mola came by for it’s regular cleaning. I’ve seen a few Mola’s in my day but I had never seen one so close for so long. No mayhem of tourist chasing them away, just you, the raging current and this 2.5 meter fish closer than you’ve ever seen it before. We all snapped a few photos then realized we were all nearing our deco limits so we took one last good look then waved goodbye to our Mola Mola. What a Day!!!

Busy days over here in Bali!

Hello again ladies and gentleman,

Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve spent the last 2 days getting over a brutal fever, nothing that 20 hours of sleep and bed rest can’t mend. As usual things have been busy over here in Bali, although nobody’s really complaining when a busy day consists of a full day of diving in crystal clear waters spotting such vast variations of life forms enough to keep you approaching each day with excitement of what new creatures and critters you may discover while roaming through the deep blue seas of Bali.

Over the past week as many of you probably have heard, Blue Season Bali has launched the second wave of their Best Dive Job in the World Contest. It’s great to see the enthusiasm of this year’s contestant’s so far and I’m sure as the contest goes on, things will only get better. I must say, it is quite a relief to be on the other side of things, as last year I was right in the thick of things trying to show the world and BSB I was the right person for the job. Although the anticipation and suspense almost killed me, I can truly say it was all so totally worth it. So… to all the new contestants if you truly want to live the dream and experience the time of your life, put yourself out there, show some initiative and do your part to preserve the ever depleting ocean world and finally, show the world through creativity, passion & determination why you should be crowned the next Best Dive Job winner!

Anyways, like I mentioned before it has been a little while since my last blog. Part of that reason is because a couple friends and I took a little trip to the Gili islands. We set up camp at Gili Trawangan one of the 3 Gili islands and I’ll follow this blog up with the tale of how the Gilis went as that requires a totally separate blog. So stay tuned!

For now I’ll talk about diving in Tulamben as it is something us over here in Bali do quite frequently and I think many people start taking it for granted. For me I don’t think this could ever happen because it’s an incredible dive site that people all over the world put near the top of their diving destinations. Here is why…

From Sanur it’s about a 2 hour drive. On this drive you start by observing the chaotic streets of Bali but gain some appreciation that although the streets don’t seem to really have any rules, everything runs smoothly and accidents are a very rare occurrance. The second wave of the drive takes you around some mountains where you can observe some beautiful rice patties and on a cloudless day you get a great view of Mt Agung the volcano that when erupting in 1963 sent the famous and at the time beached USAT Liberty ship off shore to later become a world famous wreck dive. There are several great dive sites in Tulamben some of the favourites being Coral Garden, Seraya’s Secret a great muck diving site, Drop Off a spectacular wall dive, Amed and of course the USAT liberty wreck. Usually on day tours we start off with the wreck and after some lunch and our surface interval we move over to Coral Garden. These 2 sites offer great variety and are literally right next to each other. From the entry point the wreck is to the left and coral garden is on the right which makes for easy access to both and satisfaction for all. Since being out here I’ve only heard stories of the elusive giant green turtle which roams the wreck as well as the pigmy seahorses which call a nearby sea fan their home. Finally, after 2 months of searching, 2 days ago on the same dive I found both. What a triumphant feeling that was. The wreck also is home to a huge family of schooling jacks as well as a massive moray eel, a patch of garden eels, leafy scorpion fish and hundreds of other species of invertebrates and vertebrates. It never gets old.

Coral Garden has come to be one of my favourite dive sites in Bali, first off because it’s the only dive site that I’ve seen a shark (blacktip) on since coming to Bali. But also it is a fairly shallow dive; the majority stretches between 9 and 5 meters depth and goes on for ages. There are 2 artificial reefs along the way one in the shape of an airplane which are home to several lion fish. The shallow depth increases dive time which gives you ample time to find things like octopus, nudibranch, ribbon eels, spotted eels, cleaning shrimp and several others. I experienced another first the other day when local guide Putu showed us the home of an Onix Ghost Pipe Fish. Truly fascinating when you see something so small yet so intricate and adaptive to such a small patch of coral it calls home. So if you’re planning a trip to Bali and find yourself torn between the choice to dive in Tulamben, Nusa Penida, Padang Bai or the several other choice dive sites Bali has to offer, really you can’t go wrong with any of them. Personally, I recommend you reserve enough time to do them all. You won’t be dissapointed!

Until next time take care everybody and keep checking the Best Dive Job facebook page for contest updates and prize giveaways!

Joe Zeiler – Best Dive Job in the World 2012

 

Two years, two certifications and 150 dives ago, as I breathed my first breath underwater, I realized that something in my life had instantly and irreversibly changed. I was in complete awe of the new world I was seeing and in one of those very cliché moments, I was absolutely overcome by the beauty surrounding me – then I coughed out my regulator by accident and the guy in front of me kicked off my mask in a flurry of fins and flailing.

 

Zoe Zeiler - Best Dive job in the World 2012

Zoe Zeiler – Best Dive job in the World 2012

PADI Open Water course day one – check!

As I descended under the water the next day it wasn’t the memory of the sting of saltwater in my eyes or the general mayhem of 6 novice divers flopping, bobbing and floating their way through their first dive that stuck in my mind. Instead, it was those few initial minutes where I was at a complete loss for words. There was no denying it, the addiction had been born and since that fateful day I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that I should be spending a good deal of my time under the sea rather than under the mountain of marking, planning and paperwork that my current job throws at me.

At the moment, I spend my days teaching English Literature at an international secondary school in Bangkok. I’ve been an international teacher for the past 8 years and have lived and worked in Japan, Brazil, Canada and Thailand. Teaching and travelling are my life and there is no way that I would want to leave them behind, but day in and day out, as I sit behind stacks of essays and bear witness to yet another PowerPoint presentation on the “poetry of Taylor Swift”(cough cough…gag), I find myself wishing that I could trade in my copy of Romeo and Juliet for a PADI OW manual or my lessons on similes and metaphors for lessons on nudibranchs and Peak Performance Buoyancy. Becoming a PADI instructor would allow to me focus all my energy on my passions – diving, teaching and travelling – while allowing me to cut out the less desirable extras that secondary school teaching offers (hormonal meltdowns, acne, mountains of marking, constant references to K-pop and how cute Justin Beiber is, report cards, detentions…)

Some people may wonder why I’m fighting for an opportunity that could potentially leave me with less pay, less stability and fewer benefits than my current job. The only answer I can give them is that money comes and money goes but how many people can say that they truly love their job? Being a PADI instructor will allow me be one of the few.

I’m hard working, motivated, fun loving and a bit on the whacky side. I know how to have fun but I also know when it’s time to hunker down and get things done. Bring me to Bali and you won’t be disappointed! … and hey, who wouldn’t want to spend the rest of their working life in a wetsuit…

Zoe Zeiler - Best Dive job in the World 2012

Zoe Zeiler – Best Dive job in the World 2012

Ranjit Joseph – Best Dive Job in the World 2012 Entry

PDF Version – MyBestDiveJobEntry

Why I want to change my life and become a PADI Instructor

The ‘cool’ factor.

Best Dive Job in the World 2012 - Ranjit Joseph

Best Dive Job in the World 2012 - Ranjit Joseph

Face it! How many people do we know who is a Scuba Instructor? Just for the cool factor, anyone with a great sense of adventure will jump at the opportunity, to live inBaliand learn to do the best thing you wanted in your life.

For me, scuba diving was something that started a bit late, I did not even know how to swim, I took up swimming to do diving, that’s how motivated I became in the start of 2010.  Two months of swimming classes and then I was ready for my Open Water Certification.

That was followed by slow steps, to my ultimate career as a PADI MSDT.  Apart from ‘looking cool’, there are a few more reasons why I want to change my life and become a PADI Instructor.

To educate.

Education about the ocean world is of utmost importance, though most of us do not realize the enormity of our simple actions contributing to the climatic changes, it really does. By becoming a PADI Instructor, I hope to educate others on environmental preservation and also experience the joy at seeing people stepping out of their comfort zone, seeing fear changed to confidence.

To rediscover my inner self through never-before experiences.

Out in the vastness of the ocean, you suddenly feel the greatness of nature. While out in the real world, in the cities, we are so accustomed to being fascinated by man’s creations, or the best innovations. Out there in the oceans, you see the beautiful things created by nature, and unseen by so many, and it brings you a step closer to your inner self. Becoming an Instructor will go a long way in experiencing this more and at the same time help others to experience it too, by teaching diving.

To explore.

A very large part of the oceans is still relatively unexplored. With diving being now being very common to many areas, diving vacations are very popular. As a PADI Dive Instructor the enormous opportunities of travelling to beautiful locations and exploring the unseen, underwater world is a motivation like no other.

To develop friendships without borders.

Every time you go on a dive trip, as with every group activity, you meet other like minded individuals, you bond with them and form strong friendships. Diving is a worldwide activity and you meet people from all over who travel to dive locations. In addition to the diving, the people and the cultures is the attraction.

Meet people. Go places. Do things.

For me, diving has helped to form lasting friendships that has extended into my professional career as well. Becoming a PADI Dive Instructor will give me the opportunity to grow and develop not only my relationships as dive buddies, but also extend into them into more areas of both my professional and personal life.

Thank you, Blue Season Bali for having this competition and giving me an opportunity to make my dream come true.

Ranjit Joseph

PADI Divemaster*

 

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

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Hi everybody, starting this week a promotional series of Scuba education called ‘SCUBAKNOW’ posters are being developed by me. The information for this will be from PADI manuals, dive informational sites on the internet, and my own experience.
Please feel free to comment, and also contribute by way of your knowledge of facts, tips, titbits or anecdotes. This is to promote and eduacate our friends, in a small way, about the wonderful world of SCUBA.

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

 

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

 

Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Lovre Nikitović – Best Dive Job in the World 2012 Entry

Lovre Nikitović - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Lovre Nikitović - Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Hi

My name is Lovre Nikitovic,I am a nineteen year old and I am from Croatia. I live with my grandmother and grandfather in small town called Zadar. I finished high school and I thought to enter university in underwater technology last year,but unfortunately was not opened, so I enrollment maritime college.

Whole life I have been actively in sports. Love to scuba diving I felt already when I was about 5-6 years old,as I watched grandfather while he was diving with bottles. My uncle is diver too but he liked more spear-fishing, but for me the killing of fish is simply not human. So  I decided to enter the scuba diving course,before 2 years I become master scuba diver (NAUI)  and additionally i ended nitrox.

Instructor didnt teach me so well, because money was more important than knowledge of me and  the other students.Unfortunately young people like me are not engaged in diving so I dont have someone to dive with me. I participated in a lot of eco-cleaning action  of sea,but need someone who will dive with me almost every day.

Unfortunately equipment and diving courses in Croatia are very expensive,at least for me,so it can not afford it,specialy not instructor course. Best dive job is a good offer for me to realize my dream of becoming an instructor and later a technical diver. Also thats a new adventure for me and everything is new, and this would be a great offer for me learn English properly.

Best Dive Job in the World 2012 – Launch Video

As promised, launch day is upon us.  Get in it to win it!

We thank you for your support and look forward to another great competition!

Jonathan Cross
Tom West
Blue Season Bali
The Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Best Dive Job in the World – Launch Video

As promised, launch day is upon us.  Get in it to win it!

We thank you for your support and look forward to another great competition!

Jonathan Cross
Tom West
Blue Season Bali
The Best Dive Job in the World 2012

Kenzo & Dani Go ZEN

Earlier in the week my girlfriend and I had the luxury of celebrating her 23rd birthday up north at the beautiful Blue Season Zen Diving Resort. For a place like this, words don’t quite do the place justice, but for everyone’s sake, I’ll try my best.

The drive up like most drives in Bali was scenic and mesmerizing, looking down on several rice terraces glowing green while weaving through the mountains. We then stopped at a coffee shop and caught a glimpse at the famous Luwak while enjoying our morning coffee and fried bananas. Once arriving at the Zen resort we were greeted by smiling faces, flower necklaces and freshly squeezed juices. The entire resort looked like the Garden of Eden, vibrant with flowers ranging from all colours of the rainbow coupled with a refreshing smell only the country air and a garden full of flowers could provide. After a tour of the resort we settled into our romantically cozy room once again filled with flowers and sweet aromas. Once settled we headed down to the beach where I managed to sneak away for a dive with Divemaster Bowo while Dani went for a snorkel and built herself a sand castle. The dive site we dove at was PJ which is a muck diving site famous for the mimic octopus and many other unique forms of life. Before today the longest dive I had ever dove was around 55 minutes but with this site and it’s gentle slope we managed to get in a 67 and 86 minute dive in. I loved the fact that you could take your time to find little critters and use as much patients and deligence as needed. Luckily for Bowo and I, air consumption was no issue… we could have spent all day down there. Although we didn’t see our mimic the dives were great and now it was time for lunch!

After wolfing down a delicious meal of chicken parmesan, potato salad and spring rolls we had a relaxing swim in the pool overlooking the ocean and countryside before suiting up in our kimonos for our spa treatment. Now this part of the trip might just have to be the highlight for me. Although the entire trip was absolutely amazing, getting a full body Ayurveda massage by 2 therapists using warm oils did wonders for my sore body. Seriously, if anybody ever wants a rejuvenating experience for their body and mind look up Ayurveda spa’s or better yet come to the Blue Season Bali Zen Resort, it’ll do wonders for you, trust me. So… after the spa we relaxed a little more then went down to the beach for the sunset before enjoying another fantastic meal overlooking the countryside. From there our stomachs were satisfied, our bodies relaxed and the rest is history.

The next morning we were up bright and early for a yoga session. I had never done yoga before and let me tell ya, it’s no picnic. Once that was over and done with and I found out I wasn’t as flexible as I thought I was, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, I snuck away for one last dive then we hit the road
back to Sanur. I will say that at some point during the remainder of my stay here in Bali, I will be going back up to the Zen Resort… the Ayurveda massage
is calling my name!

Next up… River Rafting

The great people of Bali Adventure Tours and Blue Season Bali has treated Best Dive Job winners Priscilla Ong and myself to yet another unforgettable experience during our stay here in the island of the gods. Last week we enjoyed a visit to elephant park, this week we were back in full force and ready to conquer Ayung river. My girlfriend Danielle Simpson who is along for the 7 month journey with me in Bali came along for the ride as well as one of the BSB interns Natalie Yeates. Once arriving at the river rafting centre we paired up, got geared up and finally pumped up as we walked down a long flight of steps, closer and closer to where we would be deploying the rafts. Team Deathmatch (Nat & me) were accompanied by guide Wayan while team La (Priscilla & Dani… ya the team name is kinda lame and not intimidating at all) were accompanied by guide Frankie. After quite a bit of trash talking and a quick briefing of how to paddle and what to do if thrown out of the raft we were on our way.

The rafting was absolutely incredible! Filled with thrills and chills, twists and turns and an all out war with every other raft we came in contact with throughout the ride. There were several stretches of calm spots in between, one in which we hopped out of the rafts and drifted peacefully downstream. The scenery itself was enough to make this a rewarding experience. Numerous waterfalls left and right, some which you could steer your raft under and enjoy a nice massage. They also had a huge stretch of carved rock that was very impressive and quite the incredible sight! In the end, although there were some close calls and we had all swallowed our fair share of water, the river rafting was a complete success. We finished off the day with another exquisite buffet lunch put on by Bali Adventure Tours, this time the soup of the day was cream of corn (my favourite) so I polished off about 4 bowls of that. Mmm Mmm Good!!!

Bali Adventure Tours *Elephant Park*

 

Yesterday Priscilla and I along with Tom West and Phil Tait took a day off from diving and headed over to the world famous Elephant Safari Park. Let me tell you, this place was pretty incredible. There were elephants left and right! Babies, mothers, brothers, sisters. Elephants with tusks, elephants walking through water and elephants up close in personal which you could feed and touch. Normally I don’t feel right with wild animals in captivity but this facility was very well maintained and managed, the elephants were well fed and treated with care and in sanitary and safe conditions. They also assist in efforts to build up the depleting population and are making huge strides to preserve this magnificient species. Steve Irwin after visiting said it was the most impressive elephant park he’d ever been to. Shortly after a tour of the facility we hopped on a couple elephants named Ola and Gigi and went for a little safari ride. I’d never been on an elephant before and I must say it was quite the experience. I paired up with Priscilla and luckily for us we got the more rambunctious of the two elephants, while Tom and Phil enjoyed a nice romantic stroll through the forest. After the ride we enjoyed a nice Balinese coffee and then enjoyed a little performance which consisted of elephants playing soccer (although not very good), basketball (coulda given MJ a run for his money) and painting (a modern day Picasso…truly inspiring). Although gigantic in nature those elephants showed they could be pretty graceful. To wrap up the day we stuffed our faces in one of the best buffet lunches I’ve had in ages. All I remember after that is sitting down in the transport vehicle, undoing my belt for some stomach relief and going into hibernation.

Another day, another adventure! *Monkey Forest*

The day before yesterday a couple of the interns and I decided to make a trip out to Ubud to see the sights, more importantly visit monkey forest. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve had dreams of owning my very own pet monkey. Since that dream is yet to be fulfilled, when hearing about the many close encounters with monkeys that awaited us at monkey forest, I jumped at the chance of what could be the closest thing to my childhood dream coming true. Little did I know how close we would actually get…

Right off the bat we get out of the car in the parking lot outside of monkey forest and before even a minute even goes by, 2 monkeys snatched the empty chip bags out of Priscilla’s hands and quickly rumaged for remains. I thought it may be funny to try and snatch one back… Let’s just say it wasn’t… Monkeys 1 – Kenzo 0

Of course right at the entrance of the park they sell bundles of bananas and of course I decided to buy a bundle. This not only ensured some close encounters with monkeys but also promoted the pack pouncing on me until the bananas ran dry. Luckily when they were distracted I was able to sneak a couple in my pocket and preserve some fun for later. On several occasions monkeys flashed their teeth at me and gave me the evil stare down (I later found out, because I had a beard they may have mistook me for another intruder monkey…lesson learnt) We did manage to get one little family climbing all over us and being extremely playful and friendly further promoting my dreams of wanting a pet monkey. All in all monkey forest was a total success… one could even call it magical! Some members of our group were a little hesitant about their feelings towards monkeys before but by the end of the trip the monkeys had won them all over and everyone now had dreams of their own pet monkeys. I highly recommend anyone visiting Bali to check out.

 

Divemaster Progress

Another couple days has blown by and in those days my progress as a DMT have come along rather smoothly. I’ve been working hard on perfecting my pool skills and demonstrations and although I could still use plenty of practice, I feel I’ve got quite a good grasp and have learnt several tips and techniques which will help when teaching or assisting in the future. Over the past week I’ve completed my search & recover practical skill, the 24 skill circuit, open water confined,  OW open water, passed part 1 of the exam, finished off the 5 water skills and just today completed the scuba review. whhhhheew! What a week!

For now the day is done, looking forward to the arrival of 2 new DMT’s! Tomorrow is my day off so a couple of us are thinking we may head out to Ubud, check out monkey forest and what not… For now I’ll just try and get through tonight… Something tells me there will be some drinks involved…

“We want to see the Mola Mola!”

Today’s blog will be short and sweet since I’ve been battling quite the stomach ache all day… I’m thinking it may have been the raw chicken I was served in my cordon bleu last night… Just a thought… Thanks a bunch Wicked Parrot.

As for the diving today, our group ventured out to Nusa Penida in search of the imfamous Mola Mola. Normally we plan our days in Penida with a variety of sites. For example, one at crystal bay, then on to manta point, then maybe finish off with sental, blue corner or toyopakea. But not today. Our guest were so adamant on seeing the Mola that they requested all 3 dives at Crystal Bay. Our guide Frankie I’m sure was thrilled to hear that, as were all of us DM’s and DMT’s. But, for the sake of making our guest dream come true we went on the Mola hunt and as luck would have it, they got their Mola!

 

We’ve gone interactive…

Hi Guys!

We are calling all BDJ fans and hopeful entrants to head over to our 2012 blog to have a look how things are shaping up.  As of today, we want you to help contribute to the Best Dive Job community by telling us what you want to win.  Yes, really.

Go on, have a look: 2012 blog

TW, out.

Any ideas??

You may have noticed that the buzz is already starting prior to our 2012 launch, coming up on the 30th of this month.  This post is an appeal to those of you how have followed the program to have some input on the 2012 program itself.

Today’s question:   Is there anything you would like to see included in the 2012 prize that was not included last year?

Comment away…

TW, out.

Did you follow The Best Dive Job in the World?

Hello BDJ Faithful!

Tom West here from sunny Bali, the Island of the Gods.  We have some huge news coming up later in the month.  That’s right, the launch of The Best Dive Job in the World 2012 is nearly upon us.  Jonathan and I are working around the clock to secure some interesting new partnerships and additions to make our 2012 program even bigger and better than before.

One big part of my job in the initial program last year was to explain the outstanding prize to be offered and showcase Bali as the perfect destination for professional scuba diver training.  Well, if you’re seeing this, I don’t have to tell you because you already know.  It’s now even easier that Kenzo is posting about his progress on the BDJ winner’s blog here:  http://www.bestdivejob.com/

Last year’s prize offering stood at a value of around USD 16,000.  At the moment, we are planning to launch a prize which is worth over USD 25,000 and we’re still looking to add value.  The post that you’re reading now will only be seen by people like you who followed the 2011 program.  Now is the chance for you to get a head start on the 2012 competition!

In the upcoming weeks before our launch date of September 30, we will have some fun games and activities which will help you move forward with either following or entering The Best Dive Job in the World 2012.  As you may notice, we are launching a month early to give you all some extra time to prepare and promote your entry in to this year’s contest.

Tip of the day:  Attend the online LAUNCH PARTY 2012 to get the first glimpse of the launch video and special tips to start ahead of the competition.

After the amazing support and response we received last year, we are really looking forward to giving someone else the opportunity of a lifetime.  Stay tuned for all the excitement right here at www.bestdivejob.com!

TW, out.

Diving or modeling? Decisions…Decisions

Today Priscilla and I put our dive careers on hold and took part in a photo shoot to help promote the Best Dive Job in the World Contest 2012. Our day, like most here in Bali started off before the sun broke through the horizon and most people were still cherishing the tail end of their good nights rest. We set sail from Sanur beach and headed to Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida, the first of many on site locations. Our tasks included walking in slow motion down the beach of Mushroom Bay, staring off into the distance, orchestrated conversations and several action shots. Although the day was long and our photographer Yaeko had us staple smiles in our faces for countless hours and in numerous positions, it was a small price to pay for being rewarded with the experiences we’ve had so far and the many that lie ahead. All I can say is I’m glad I’m not a male model for a living and I can’t wait to get back into the ocean.

WATERBOM!!!

Last Monday me and a couple of the boys and gals from BSB decided to make the most of our day off and ventured down to Waterbom! For those of you who don’t know, Waterbom is a water slide amusement park in Kuta and I must say, it is quite the place. We got a little more sleep than usual but still got up bright and early to arrive at waterbom just as the doors were opening. A smart decision to beat the tourist rush and the long line ups (which = more fun). Luckily, last minute I decided to grab my underwater camera to document just how much fun we had. Here it is ladies and gentleman, our day at Waterbom!!!

Lookin like a Diver!

As part of my Best Dive Job prize package the great people of Blue Season Bali in partnership with Aqua Lung have included a full dive equipment package. This included a bcd, regulator, wetsuit, boots, fins, dive computer, snorkel & mask! The whole works!!! Upon my arrival the only dive equipment I had to my name was a snorkel and mask and the snorkel was lost shortly after my arrival during a hectic rescue dive in Sanur. So, the dive equipment package was much needed and greatly appreciated. Here’s a short video of me getting suited up at Divemasters. Check it out!

Another day at the office

I started the morning off like every other with my alarm clock sounding at 550am. I hit the snooze like usual and soaked up the final few minutes of relaxation before my day officially begins. After hopping on my scooter for a quick rip down the bypass I arrived at Blue Season Bali. The next hour consisted of the usual, checking of the schedule, organizing my kit, getting a quick breakfast in and welcoming the flood of today’s guests. After the frantic businesses of getting everything in order for the number of trips for the day, we pile in the van hoping to get our seats of choice… Personally, I enjoy the third row left window seat as the leg room is ample, usually you can recline a fair distance and let’s face it, window seats are always better than the middle.

Anyways, today our group of DMT’s are off to Tulamben to do some guiding workshops. After our scenic 2 hour drive where most try and soak up a couple more Z’s along the way, we arrive at our destination. Tulamben is the perfect dive site for today’s task among many other things because everyone is familiar with the topography, the current is usually quite calm and it’s an overall enjoyable dive navigating around and through the famous USAT Liberty Wreck. We also have Coral Garden just east of the wreck which is also quite the dive. On this day I performed my first dive briefing (quite well if I do say so myself) and led my first dive with success.

All in all, another great day at the office!

Another couple days blow by

It’s been a couple days since the last blog so we’ll fill you in on what you’ve missed.

First off I officially got my dive equipment package from the great people of DiveMasters, Aqua Lung and Blue Season Bali so thanks so much for that. With the new gear my peak bouyancy will soon  be in check and confidence is now at an all time high!

I’ve had some beautiful dives down at Seraya’s Secret a macro site full of nudibranch, lionfish, spotted rays, the occasional barracuda and many other little critters. Fortunately for us not many tourist go to this site (maybe they haven’t heard of it) but it is an amazing little place requiring patience and diligence with rewarding results.

Last night we took our weekly Blue Season Bali BBQ to the beach and decided to have a bonfire with a battle of the sexes games challenge. The games consisted of a relay of spinning around multiple times then balancing an egg on a spoon (not an easy task when you’ve had some bintangs in you and walking down slope in sand and speed is a factor). We also had team balloon toss, cracker eating relays and to finish off a game of waterfall (a relay of downing beers as fast as possible). In the end although it was down to the wire, the boys claimed victory and thus bragging rights for the week. All in all it was quite the eventful night and I’m sure the first of many beach bon fires to come as I’m sure the girls want another shot at the title…

Today we were off to Amed, another dive site roughly 15 minutes from Tulamben Wreck but unfortunately due to shallow tide we were unable to enter past the reef so it was back to Seraya’s Secret. This was particularly exciting beacuse I got to brief and guide my first ever dive! Once again we saw an array of aquatic wildlife including 2 large moray eels, several cleaning shrimp and an octopus. The pictures I have dont really do it justice so you’ll have to come to Bali and check out Seraya’s Secret for yourself… I also managed to lose one of my integrated weights on my brand new BCD, thankfully after some search and recover and a lucky break, I found it on my way back to shore!!

Once again some great dives and eventful days over in Bali!

Stay tuned…

Next Stop Divemaster!

For this week’s day off I decided to take the time to relax with some friends, enjoy a much needed massage on the beach and head out to Jimbaran Bay. There we went to Cafe Jukung an exquisite seafood restaurant right on the beach, where you can bury your feet in the sand while enjoying your meal alongside the sunset a traditional Balinese dance and some fireworks in the distance(quite the place I must say)!

The following day it was back to business as usual. My Divemaster Program has officially begun!!! Like usual when staring a new PADI training program it comes alongside a hefty book(in this case two) as well as some cool new slates and items to help with your training. I will be working with Instructor Mandy in this chapter of my training which will no doubt be a blast!

Off to start my readings, enjoy some dives and let the good times roll!

Priscilla’s first week…

Sunday 17th July – Welcome To Blue Season Bali

The flight to paradise was a smooth and quick one that it seemed almost too surreal to finally set foot on Bali. There were so many pick-ups at the arrival hall but it was not difficult to spot the placard that spells my name along with the Blue Season Bali logo. On my way to the dive centre, I went through all the materials in the orientation package that includes a Bali survival guide, a map, a dive logbook, all the useful information I will need, and a thoughtful welcome letter drafted by Tom West. Now tell me, who wouldn’t be thrilled upon reading this.

So I arrived at Blue Season Bali and finally get to meet the two important persons behind the show (Jonathan Cross and Tom West) as well as the rest of the crew. There had been so much communication going on in the virtual world that finally meeting them in person didn’t feel like a first time.  Spent about an hour going through my induction and learning about the most amazing role I’ve ever faced.

Lovely Widhya then took some time off her work to escort me to my home for the next 3 months, Hotel Puri Yuma; which is approximately 15 mins walk from the dive centre. It is equipped with hot shower facilities, air-condition, free WIFI and a huge queen-size bed for trampoline or wrestling activities. Double thumbs up!

New home for the next 3 months.

The barbeque dinner back at Blue Season Bali blew me away with the warm welcome received. It’s like a big family and I feel so privileged to become a part of this team. Not to mention the food, beers, games, beers, happy people and more beers. Alright, cheers.

Welcome BBQ at BSB.

Monday 18th July – First dive, first Mola Mola.

That’s right! No prize for guessing the first task on my list – scuba diving! Had a really fantastic fun dive at Nusa Penida with instructor Justin, and 3 other interns Emma, Kenny and Elle at Crystal Bay, where we spotted the ever famous Mola Mola. It was a first for most of us, so we got overly excited that we lost our buoyancy control and started bouncing up and down underwater and crashing into one another. A very amusing sight to other divers I would presume.

The corals were amazingly spectacular and vibrant in colours it was so unbelievable. I wish I could show you exactly how beautiful the blooming underwater garden is through pictures or videos but really, nothing beats experiencing it all by yourself. The water may not be the warmest you can find but if that is what it takes to invite the Molas and Mantas out to play, I would brave it all.

Tuesday 19th July – Hi Priscilla, you have a visitor!

My closest friend appeared out of the blue at Blue Season Bali early morning and sprung me a huge surprise to go diving together. It totally caught me off guard and there was a taste of overwhelming sweetness flowing in the air.

Off we went, to Tulamben, where the gorgeous Liberty Wreck sits firmly on the seabed. It was a 2-hour bus ride from Sanur, filled with intermittent naps and scenic window panes flashing through. Both dives we caught sight of a sea turtle; paddling its way through the water and nibbling on dead corals. FREAKING ADORABLE! We were also very intrigued by the school of jacks performing the swirling stunt.

The day ended with a couple of drinks at Potato Head (what a cute name isn’t it), this stunning Beach Club in Seminyak, where the infinity pool lures you in and you get the best sunset views.

 

Wednesday 20th July – Emergency First Response

This was a day of watching videos and making out with unresponsive dummies (performing CPR) to equip ourselves with Emergency First Response skills. While most people would find this course boring, I had a great time playing a nasty victim by throwing in unscripted scenarios for fellow intern Prakash that instructor Justin conveniently labeled me the “drama queen”.

CPR on unresponsive infant.

The Project AWARE speciality course gave us a better insight on how to conserve and care for our environment. Basically, be more AWARE.

The amount of rubbish we collected underwater and on the beach.

The crew decided to have a spontaneous night dive and I was totally up for it (everyday is full of surprises and excitement). Found so many starfish and lionfish, lying and sleeping around.

 

Thursday 21st July – Rescue Diver Course Part 1

It was day 4 and diving hasn’t stopped since, except that this time, it’s in the pool. Bye salt water, hello chlorine! Videos and knowledge reviews were covered during the first half of the day, and then putting the theories into some inwater practice. One thing I love about our pool is that sometimes you see snorkels sticking out of the water accompanied by fits of laughter traveling through the tube of air space, you know something must be going on down there.

Time to translate those lessons covered in classroom and skills developed during pool session into practice in a simulated real case scenario. Yes, Rescue Diver Course in open water. Despite really strong currents and harsh water conditions, Prakash and I have effectively rescued both Ketut and Emma in times of needs. Hooray, no casualties! Therefore, I’m quite proud to say I’m officially a Rescue Diver.

Now none of us would expect to see any cool creature during a training dive. A bright red nudibranch called the “Spanish dancer” was floating around elegantly, swaying from side to side, as we gathered and watched the undulating motion in amazement. We were mesmerized for a good few minutes before it hit us that we had got skills practice to carry out.

Blue Season Bali threw a farewell barbeque for Emma who had completed her Divemaster course. Didn’t know they have the tradition of drinking beer through a snorkel too! What amazing and fun loving people we have here.

Poor Emma got dunked into the pool.

 

Saturday 23rd July – SEA Girls and Buoy Boys

Guiding workshop at Tulamben, both at the wreck dive site and the coral garden dive site with instructor Mandy, and 2 other interns Nate and Prakash. There were so many shrimps and pretty nudibranches. Came across a camouflaged blue spotted stingray and a lionfish too. Awesome blossom!

Elle and Mariza decided we are the SEA girls because we are Southeast Asians and we love the SEA.

SEA girls  :)

 

Sunday 24th July – P a r t y

Training dives today where we focused on Peak Performance Buoyancy and navigation underwater. Learnt how to perform the U-pattern and expanding square for search and recovery as well as how to operate a lift bag.

It’s off day for most of us on Mondays which spells p a r t y. Had a couple of cheap beers at this rustic Angel’s Bar before heading out to Sky Garden in Kuta. The nightlife in Kuta is simply astounding.

***

This is it! My first week in Bali has been nothing short of spectacular. I can’t believe I have done so much in just a few days. Each day is filled with surprises and is an adventure in itself. If the next 11 weeks continue at this speed, I’ll never be able to keep up with writing. I have so much to share about the life here in Blue Season Bali. Compare to these experts of the sea, I’m still relatively inexperienced in this scuba world with merely 23 logged dives, but everyone here is so passionate about what they’re doing and so generous about sharing their wonderful scuba experiences it really makes you feel so warm in the heart. I’m on my way to becoming a Divemaster, but what’s more important than that really, is meeting all these incredible people and building fond memories together.

Love all of you who made this possible.

Priscilla  :)

Rescue Diver…Check!

Just got back from Sanur where me and two other very tired divers were out doing our Rescue Diver Course…

As luck would have it the current was pretty strong, the visibility was less than ideal and the waves were splashing over our faces(as well as Edu, one of the dive masters and unfortunate victim in today’s rescue session. Although I managed to lose my snorkel, we all swallowed our fair share of salt water and were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, I feel proud to say I officially earned the right to call myself a Rescue Diver!

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop Diver Master!

Kenzo is up and blogging!

Hey BDJ Fans!

Just a quick update today to let you know that the WINNER of our 2011 “The Best Dive Job in the World” campaign, Kenzo Kiren, is here in Bali and is ready to share his daily experiences with the world.  Kenzo has had a busy first week here in beautiful Bali getting to know the team and “getting his feet wet” so to speak.  Kenzo has already provided a glimpse into his first week on his blog, here:

http://www.bestdivejob.com/

Yesterday, we took him down and got his set of Aqualung scuba diving equipment at Divemasters Bali and had a great tour of the shop by sales manager, Zach.  Watch for an update on Kenzo’s blog about his equipment and also about finishing his PADI rescue diver course today!  Kenzo, you are a busy man.  Welcome to the club!

TW, out.

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