Archive | diving

Best Dive Job – Before coming to Bali 

Lorena Espin – Winner of the Best Dive Job in the World 2014/2015

After I was announced as having made the Top 8, I did what any self-respecting adult would do: I celebrated for a week straight. Next, I did what any self-hating adult would do: I got two part-time jobs. I had to save up for the uproot of my life to Bali.

One tends to work a lot when one has to save up for an uproot, and soon it felt like all I was doing was working. I forgot what I was working towards. Even though my flight was booked, Bali and the Divemaster training began to feel like an illusion. Every day I expected to check my email and find out that the Best Dive Job was cancelled, or that it never existed, or that it was some elaborate and cruel Internet joke.

Best Dive job, diving

What if the Best dive job page had been a fake?

Closer to departure, it became real to me that I was going to Bali. What also became real to me were the million and one things I all of a sudden realized I had to do to prepare.

I also realized that going to Bali meant having to leave Montreal. This made me sad. Montreal was coming into the summer months, I had been enjoying spending time with my friends and family, I did not want that time to end, and I had no idea when I would be coming back.

Best Div Job, diving

Friends and family

To get an idea of why Montreal is special to me, check out a couple of videos I made as part of the Best Dive Job pre-arrival challenges:



Sad or not, there were no employment opportunities in Montreal that excited me, so I knew this was a move I needed to make and I couldn’t wait!

Next time – arriving in Bali!

Making it into the top 8

Making it into the top 8

Lorena Espin – Winner of the Best Dive Job in the World 2014/2015

When I entered the Best Dive Job competition, some of my competitors had thousands of votes and I had a mere ten days to somehow make the judges pay attention to me.

Just for fun, here’s a throwback to my entry video:


At the time I was unemployed and papering Montreal with my CV was about as appealing as swimming laps in a parka. My options, as I saw them, were to sit on my couch and binge watch TV or sit on my couch and work on my campaign. My Rottie was such a good sport; she kept me company and even made a cameo in some of my promotional videos and photos. You might remember her:

Best dive job, dog, companion

My Rottie

During those ten days, I was obnoxiously present on social media. I was posting constantly, hashtag-ing everything and anything scuba related, and tagging everyone and their uncle.

I can only assume that in person, I was just as obnoxious. I became that person who constantly asked you to repeat what you had just said because I was too busy checking my phone to pay attention.

But my friends showed me how patient and loyal they are. They understood that I was pursuing my dream, and were happy to support me. They helped me shoot my challenge videos, they stood by me as I plastered the city with flyers, they shared, commented, liked my posts. A huge shout to them!

Media, best dive job, Lorena

Preparing for my latest media shoot

Here’s one specific shout: a good friend of mine donated to Project Aware for me. In exchange, I had to do a dare. Check out the video:


And then after I really knew what was happening I was announced as one of the top 8, I WAS GOING TO BALI!

Here’s my acceptance video after hearing the amazing news!


In my next blog I’ll talk a little about the waiting before actually setting off to Bali, an really amazing time of my life

Rescue your buddies

Our Rescue Diver Course started last Thursday on 28th of May, and oh, boy, was it intense!

We went to the Dogs Point beach in Sanur and after a few minutes of a boat ride, we arrived on the location where we conducted our training. Water temperature was around 30°C and for the first time I wore only the short Aqua lung wetsuit during the dive. It felt amazing!

We practiced approaching tired as well as panicking diver while keeping an eye contact for the whole time. While carefully assessing them, we had to stay out of their reach and locate their BCD inflator before grabbing them by their tanks. Also, we had to establish positive buoyancy before escorting them to the boat.

Beside master Yoshi, our great instructor, Steph and Simon were assisting with our rescue course assignments. Both of them were super helpful, giving us a lot of extra tips and advices. They were also extremely patient with us polishing our new skills and doing our best to save our “victims”. Thank you, guys, we love you!

Day after we came back to the same spot to finish our rescue training. We had a chance to experience the scenarios Yoshi created for us which were by far my favorite part of the course! He split us in two groups and we had to orientate ourselves under the surface to find a missing diver. As soon as we found the unresponsive diver, played by splendid actor Simon, we had to make sure to ascent with him safely to the surface, initiate rescue breaths and evacuate him ASAP. That was a bit stressful part of the course but also very useful in our further training. I surely look forward to the new assignments waiting for us on the Dive Master Course! Bring it on!

Want to find out more about the Rescue Diver Course at Blue Season Bali?, click here and join us today!


Week One: EFR and Rescue Diver Certification

We don’t waste any time here with The Best Dive Job in the World. Week one and I can’t believe I’m already certified in Emergency First Response (EFR) and received my Rescue Diver certification.

I am a bit ashamed to say that up until this week I had zero first aide, CPR, or EFR experience, unlike the majority of my competitors/friends who have all had a bit of training in this field. Needless to say, I was a bit of an underdog, but I was up for the challenge.

Before we could begin the Rescue Diver course I needed to get my EFR skills mastered. After a 12-hour day in the classroom, and some very extensive hands-on training, I was confident in my ability to save or sustain someone’s life until EMS could arrive. The classroom dummy took a bit of a beating as we all took turns practicing CPR and abdominal thrusts.

The next few days were our water skills for Rescue Diver, which proved to be some of the most challenging and rewarding days of my life. We spent hours in the water getting wrinkly as grapes practicing our diver recovery skills using underwater navigation, saving panicked divers, and much more. We also received ample training on using emergency equipment on the boat.

One of the most rewarding parts of the training was when I managed to successfully pull Jason out of the pool by myself. He never did thank me for saving his life, but I’m sure he appreciated it.

Want to find out more?  Click here.





Scuba Radio Interview

Hey everybody!

I was lucky enough to do another interview with Greg the Divemaster on Scuba Radio.  For those of you who don’t know Scuba Radio is a show for scuba enthusiasts that broadcasts out of Orlando, FL every Saturday from 3-5 pm EST.  The show is great and covers some really interesting stuff like new scuba technology, different dive destinations, and other interesting dive stories.  Greg’s a great guy and very entertaining to listen to!  I went on the show last week and talked a bit about my experience in Bali and what it is like to be the winner of the best dive job in the world.  Check out the show!


Chicken Attack!

Seraya Beach

Seraya Beach

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

The killer chickens.

The killer chickens.

Gearing Up at Divemasters

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

Special Hours

VIP treatment at Divemasters.

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

Looking at Dive Computers

Looking at the Suunto D4.

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


Trying the Aqualung Pearl i3 BCD.

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

Slingshot Fins

Trying on my new Slingshot fins.

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

New Mask

Testing out my new mask.

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

MANTAS!!! Swimming with Mantas with Blue Season Bali

Manta Sighting with Blue Season Bali

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


First Dives at Nusa Penida

Diving Nusa Penida: Manta Point

Me pretending to swim like a Manta Ray.

Me pretending to swim like a Manta Ray.

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

Charlie and Me fun diving :)

Charlie and Me fun diving :)

Crystal Bay Fun Dive

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

Sakenan: Drift Diving!

Me and Charlie on a drift dive.

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


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

Beginning our Trip

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

Henley and Mandy

Henley and Mandy admiring the view.

Day 1: Arriving to Menjangan Resort

Menjangan Resort

Menjangan Resort

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

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

The BSB crew after our first beach clean up.

The BSB crew after our first beach clean up.

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


Day 2: Diving and Beach Clean Up

Sunrise on the Dock

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

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

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

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

Our second beach clean up.

Our second beach clean up.

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

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

Day 3: Final Dives and Saying Goodbye to Menjangan

Ready to go diving!

Ready to go diving!

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

My first Scuba Diving Certification at Blue Season Bali

I am on my way to becoming a rescue diver!

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


EFR Practice Scenario

Practicing saving lives!

Adventures around Bali

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

First drive around Bali

Stuck in traffic during our first scooter adventure around Bali.

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

Beautiful Beaches

The first beach we found.


My dream dive: Menjangan

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


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

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

The Diving

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

Bali Island Life

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

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


Preparing to move to Bali

Packing it in a 70 liter bag:

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

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

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

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



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