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How I WON the Best Dive Job by Kenzo Kiren

How I WON the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 1 of 3)
Guest Post by Kenzo Kiren

Before diving into the question of how I won the best dive job in the world contest, it would be worth it to know, how I came across the life changing contest in the first place…

Dreaming of something better

It all started after returning home from a vacation where I did some diving in the caribbean. Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Grand Cayman. I was already open water certified, having done my course in the chilly waters of Vancouver BC, but I had never experienced diving the vibrant, crystal clear, warm waters like that of the Caribbean. 

kenzo1Needless to say, after those diving experiences, I was forever hooked. I arrived back home to my life as a cook and struggling student trying to make it in this world but eventually the burning desire built up triggering me to open my computer in search for a way to unlock this new life I was seeking. I needed to make the ocean my office.

I did one simple google search ‘diving jobs’ and the first link that came up was Blue Season Bali’s Best Dive Job in the World Contest. Writing about it now, I can still remember it like it was yesterday. As I read the contest description and application process, I told myself “this contest was made for me and I am going to win”! That night I didn’t sleep and the following day I started my campaign. 

The first step in winning is submitting an entry!

The contest submission asked for either a 500 word write up with photos or a one minute video telling the world why you want to change your life and become a PADI dive instructor. I started with the write up (Contest Submission – Kenzo Kiren), explaining just that.

But don’t stop there…

Shortly after, I decided I’d strengthen my submission with another video.  I figured, why not? When opportunities like this arise, you have to put everything on the table, so at the very least, when all the smoke settles, you can say you did everything in your power and walk away with no regrets. At that point, little did I know, that was only the beginning… 

Promote yourself and rally supporters and voters

In the following weeks I created a Facebook group titled “Quest to Bali…Freedom“, I went full force with the blog which was set up on the Best Dive Job webpage and, needless to say, I made it so every time people logged on to Facebook they would see my post and thus feel inclined to help make my dream come true. 

photoThe contest became a part of my life because I knew if I worked hard enough at it, my life would change as a result. I reached out to friends, family, co-workers and fellow classmates because they were the people who knew me best. Whether it was through online communications or personal interactions, I felt people could really get the sense of just how badly I wanted to change my life as well as how optimistic I was with my chances. I said it before and I’ll say it again, from the moment I read about the contest, I had this empowering feeling that this was the opportunity that would change my life. I truly did believe I had just as good a chance as any to take the cake and I think it was this confidence that transpired to the people in my life, thus giving me wave after wave of support and the encouragement I needed to continue to believe in myself. To all of those people, I am forever grateful.

As the contest progressed, I contacted local newspapers to try and get some publicity (although they never did a story until I actually won), I was constantly eyeing the competition to fuel my drive and continue the pursuit. I followed up with a second video trying to showcase my character, sense of humour and passion for the ocean.

The final stretch

Blue Season Bali then released a shortlist, giving us a chance to answer some questions as sort of an online interview. Having received those questions was a pretty good indication I was still in the race, so I decided to make another video. This one included the song “Eye of the Tiger” and had me training in the snow in Canada. 

Looking back now, the production value wasn’t the greatest but I had a blast making all the videos and I hope they were as fun for viewers to watch as they were for me to make. 

In the home stretch, I was named one of the finalists, which made things even more nerve-wracking. To come this far and not win would be a devastation but, like I’ve always believed, positivity conquers all so that is the path I followed. I made one final video (below) encompassing everything I had promoted for myself in the competition and, most importantly, my undeniable desire to become a PADI dive instructor. 

Winning the Best Dive Job in the world 2010-11

Finally, all I could do was wait… I will never forget the night I got the call from my girlfriend at that time. I heard those life changing words, “Kenzo you won!” From that moment, my life was forever changed and I could not even imagine the experiences that awaited me… 

The rest is history!

5477 - Keithr - Beach Bash 07.09-EDC

Don’t miss the next article from Kenzo

How I won the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 2)
A reflection on my time in Bali and my training with Blue Season Bali

Contact us

For more information about the Best Dive Job in the world contest, please contact Robert Scales via emailrobert@blueseasonbali.com or visit our website www.BestDiveJob.com

Friendly Visitors

Throughout my 7 month stay in Bali I have met several great people and made friends from all over the globe. Unfortunately, since my home is literally on the far side of the world from Bali, I haven’t had many visitors. Many had plans to make it out but due to last minute complications and high flight costs, many had to pull the plug on their visits to the island of the gods.

Thankfully, just as my time in Bali neared an end I got a visit from my parents. My mom decided to come out a week earlier than my dad to take the Open Water course with her son who was now a PADI instructor. My girlfriend, who had put her open water course on hold until I became an instructor decided to take the course as well so I was faced with the challenge of teaching my mom and girlfriend and the same time… Something that many would say was an ambitious task to take on… To thicken the plot even more so, I got hit with a sinus infection during the tail end of day 1 of the course. Luckily we got through confined water 3 so we did what we could and finished up with the book work and put the rest of the open water and pool sessions on hold. When we finally were able to continue nearly a week later, we were off to Sanur for dives 1 and 2. Unfortunately my girlfriend has problems with motion sickness so almost immediately after setting out to see, we had that barrier to deal with. On top of that, conditions were less than ideal and surface winds were picking up but in the end we were able to get dives 1 and 2 finished without any puking and looked on to graduation day in Tulamben.

We arrived the next morning and conditions were perfect. We didn’t have to deal with boats and thus no sea sickness issues so all was looking promising… Upon entering the water some complications arose. Both Danielle and my mom seemed to be dealing with equalization problems so we took things slow and had to spend extra time getting everyone down safely. After a lengthy decent were able to complete all the necessary skills and explore the wonders of the USAT Liberty wreck. Spirits were high after surfacing as now we were only one dive away from a week long open water course. On dive number 4 we were once again faced with equalization issues and after the constant up down pressure changes I was staring to feel slight pain in my sinuses. This was a worrying feeling considering I was just coming off a sinus infection… Luckily once again we managed to get down, finish all the skills and went for an amazing dive ending off with a visit from 4 blacktip reef sharks. I must say, after all the open water students I have congratulated this one was truly special. What a great feeling to be able to certify my mom and girlfriend! Their is always a rewarding feeling coming up from dive 4 and congratulating your student on their success but this was truly unique.

Apart from the open water experience with my mom, I took my parents on the grand tour of Bali. After spending 6 months exploring the island I had a pretty good grasp on things to do and see. My mom the more adventurous of my parents went for a ride on the back of my scooter on a scenic drive up to Tana Lot. We did a volcano climb up Mount Batur, explored many beaches, and toured Kuta, Semenyak, and Sanur. My dad who wanted a more relaxing holiday enjoyed the many flavourful foods of Bali and took part in many massages. I must say I had to take part as well. Throughout my entire stay in Bali prior to my parents visiting I maybe had 3 massages, in the 2 weeks they were here I think I had about 10. We also went up north to the beautiful Blue Season Zen resort to celebrate my dads birthday and spent 2 nights over in Lombok. All in all it was an excellent finish on my time in Bali. My parents got to see where I’ve been living the past 6 months and I got to show them all that Bali had to offer.

Time is ticking on the Best Dive Dream Job

As I roll into my final week here in Bali I can’t help but think how lucky I was to be given this opportunity. Just 7 months ago I was packing up my life back in Vancouver, saying my final farewells to family and friends not having a clue how drastically my life would change after the best dive job experience. After all that is what the 7 months in Bali was about, the experience. From the start of course my focus was to concentrate on my training and excel in every aspect as a diver and ultimately become a PADI Instructor, but Tom and Jon also conveyed the importance of really just soaking up every minute and to see and experience everything that Bali had to offer. They set up things like river rafting and elephant park safari for both myself and second place prize winner Priscilla Ong and of course many other things were left to discover and adventure for myself along with the many interns at BSB. With our 1 day off a week, we always set up a new location to check out which always ended in a rewarding and fun filled experience. From Kuta, to Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Uluwatu and Ubud, there was always some new places to see and somewhere else to look forward to. Now, with only a week left, I feel that though I could easily spend another 7 months here on the island of the gods, but I have definitely seen much of the incredible island, the people and the unique culture that Bali has to offer.

The first couple months were great. I was a baby in the diving world and started at BSB with my advanced course, Emergency First Response and rescue. It just so happened that 2 other people were just starting the Divemaster program, so right off the bat we were all doing our courses together and developed a great friendship. Like I mentioned in one of my earliest blogs, BSB had sort of a backpackers type atmosphere where different people from around the world would pop up here and there for various lengths of time and would immediately join the family of interns and the BSB family bringing another element to the group. The Divemaster course was one of my favorites as there were several other interns on the program and we went out everyday as a group and doing several different workshops, went on trips with guests and were led by insrtuctor Mandy who was incredible making the experience as fun as it could be. I arrived right in the peak of high season when the Mola’s and mantas were seen everyday and around the center, there was so much going. It was a great challenge to learn fast and keep up with the pace of a busy dive center and see how everyone had to do their part to keep the place running smoothly. It’s amazing how much you excel as a diver when you’re in the water literally almost everyday of the week. It’s fair to say, my bouyancy is superb, my skill circuit is 5’s across the board and my guiding skills have improved 10 fold thanks to the many great Indonesian guides with thousands of dives of experience.

The training I’ve received from the distinguished team over Blue Season Bali has certainly molded me into a confident, knowledgeable and motivated instructor. I can’t thank everyone enough over at BSB for not only the training they have provided but the entire experience I have been given since packing my bags what seems like forever ago. Unfortunately, I’ve been battling a sinus infection for the last 2 weeks which has kept me from enjoying my final month of free diving but hopefully I can get healed up in time to at least get in some final dives. So as of right now, no real diving experiences and photos to share but hopefully the final blogs will have more of that.

For now I got to get packing and make the most of my final days in Bali which I wish could be spent diving but I’ll make the most out of a frustrating situation and enjoy the sights, people and food… Sit back relax and follow along as the Best Dive Job 2012 contestants go through the same nervous days I went through one year ago. Best of luck to all of you, I’m sure the winner will be most deserving!

Nudibranch Heaven

As underwater enthusiasts we tend to focus on the things like sharks, whales, dolphins and turtles which of course, why not, they are fascinating. Like many people, these magnificently large, intelligent and ancient forms of life spark both curiosity and sheer amazement. Many people, myself included are drawn to the ocean for this very reason. We saw videos and read books on these incredible species and wanted to see them for ourselves. Anytime you do have an encounter with one of the above, it becomes an absolute memorable experience. Each sighting has it’s own unique element making every sighting unforgettable. Unfortunately, some may only get a chance to see these things in aquariums which for many reasons I don’t agree with, but to see these animals in there true environments among nature swimming in a vast ocean is the way they should be seen. I’ve seen many dolphins and sharks stuck in tanks when I was younger but after seeing them in the open ocean, you realize just how wrong it is for them to be stuck in a confined space day after day. It would be the equivalent of a human living his life, never being able to leave his room. I think we could all agree that this would drive anybody insane… Just one thing to keep in mind next time you pay to see dolphins, whales and sharks in captivity…. The same goes for most animals for that matter…

On a more positive note, one thing I have really come to appreciate since coming out to Bali is something called a Nudibranch. Many people refer to them as sea slugs, which is pretty much what they are, but the term “slug” to describe them just doesn’t do it justice. Nudibranch are actually in the subclass Opisthobranchia from the class of Gastropoda from phylum Mollusca. Before coming out to Indonesia, I had seen Nudibranchs in video’s and magazines before but had never seen one for my own eyes. I’ll never forget the first dive I did out in Seraya when I saw my first Nudibranch. (Well, actually it was two moving together which happens from time to time) Since then I’ve become somewhat obsessed with them. I’ve made it my mission to find and document as many different types of Nudibranchs as possible. With over 3000 different types worldwide there is never any shortage. I have had the pleasure of spotting numerous different types with a vast array of vibrant colors, shapes and sizes. Everyone here knows, if they’re on a fun dive with me and they spot a Nudi, you better show it to Kenzo! Just last week I saw one of the most incredible types of Nudibranch, a spanish dancer around 17m on the USAT Liberty Wreck. I was doing an open water course so I didn’t have my camera to snap a shot. ughh! I must admit it is my pet peeve to see a new type of Nudi and not get a photo of it… Oh well. To date I’ve probably only spotted just over 100 different types but with the new found appreciation I have for these little buggers, I always pay special attention to the small things that many people just swim over while looking for the big stuff. Sure everyone wants to see sharks and turtles but any time I’m on a dive and see a Nudibranch I’ve never seen before I consider it an awesome dive. Luckily for me out in the waters of Indonesia and diving in Bali, there is an abundance of marine life home to thousands marine species and when it comes to Nudibranch, you won’t be disappointed.

Time is ticking on a 7 month dream coming to an end…

Hello once again fine people of the world,

Over the past 5 and a half months my life has taken a turn that has forever changed not only the way I live but also the future path I will take once I move on from the island of the gods. Blue Season Bali’s Best Dive Job in the World contest has more than fulfilled the proposal of changing someone’s life. I’ve transformed from a hard working kitchen manager working his way through school sweating in the kitchen 6-7 days a week, to a PADI dive instructor who now spends his days in the refreshing waters of Indonesia teaching people from all over the world the wonders of scuba diving. The new job opportunities alone is something that has made this experience undeniably life changing but also the perspective you gain on life from living on the other side of the world and being immersed in such different cultures and lifestyles than what you are used to back home, is truly rewarding. Every day is a new adventure and through the wide array of people you meet, you discover things that open your eyes to limitless future travelling destinations.

Many people see the contest as a way to free themselves from the life they have back home but take my word for it, it does so much more than that. As you may or may not know, Blue Season Bali has officially launched the BDJ contest 2012 and it’s BIGGER and BETTER than ever with an even greater prize package than before. If you have great passion for diving and the aquatic world, are full of energy and can bring an even brighter side to the BSB team than you are fit to win the BIG prize. Teaching and learning go hand in hand in the diving world which makes every day a rewarding and exciting experience. Just read past blogs to get a taste of the BDJ life in Bali! So, if you’re tired of the life you’re locked in and need a ticket out, here it is! Enter at http://www.bestdivejob.com/!!! You can’t win if you don’t try!

Finally, as the clock ticks on my time in Bali and I begin to map out my next adventure, I want to throw the question out there and give people a chance to ask questions of curiosity with regards to Bali, Blue Season’s internship programs and of course the Best Dive Job Contest! People from all over the world come to Bali, one of the premiere diving destinations of the world for many different reasons… Want suggestions on dive trips to go on? Have a week to kill and want tips on what to do? Are you looking to do a divemaster program, tec course or the new eco internship BSB is running? Need some tips from the BDJ winner on how to increase your chances for the 2012 contest? Anything at all you may have a question about I would be happy to do my best to answer. Many questions can be answered on the BSB site http://www.baliocean.com/en/ but if you want a more personal response or in depth opinions, feel free to shoot me a facebook message either personally or through the Best Dive Job page or comment on the blog site. Hopefully I can answer everything you need to know and help you make the best of your Bali diving experiences!

PADI Instructor, the good life!

As the days roll on and my training as a PADI Instructor progress, things just keep getting better and better!

I’ve now completed 4 open water courses with a wide variety of students causing me to adjust and experiment with different teaching methods to cope with the slight variation of student’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve just kick started another open water course today and have the upmost confidence that my student will leave, like all the rest of my students, a confident open water scuba diver with an enhanced appreciation for the underwater world!

I’ve also had the pleasure of conducting a Coral Reef Conservation speciality. This is a speciality course open to anyone, certified diver or not and showcases coral reef information, assessments and facts on the health of our worldwide reefs, how to identify and monitor damaged or stressed reefs and of course what we can do to help. The course was a great opportunity to express my concerns about the future of our reefs and ocean while also enforcing and motivating the class to do their part in any and every way possible. I had new to the BSB team, marine biologist and OWSI Neils sitting in of the presentation which was great. He was able to offer some more in depth coral reef knowledge and we both shared different stories about the ocean and the everyday struggles it is facing to enhance and strengthen the course and it’s values. Neils will also be conducting the new Eco Internship program at Blue Season which you can find out more about at http://www.baliocean.com/en/bali_eco_internship.blueseason. Check it out!!!

Finally, 2 days ago I conducted a deep speciality with two interns out in Nusa Penida. We spent the whole day out on the BSB boat surrounded by the crystal blue ocean and the stunning island landscape of Nusa Penida. The sun was shining and the water was warm with excellent visibility, what more could you ask for… We had an added bonus to the course when Master Instructor Yasu who was supervising the course, told us that conditions were ideal and we could go to the Bat Cave!!! I heard about this place when I first came out to Penida but never had the chance to actually check it out. 5 months later I finally got my chance and let me tell you, after all the anticipation and hype, it did not disappoint! It required a nice open swim through with just enough sunlight piercing through that the ascent into the bat cave was easily identifiable. It went from complete silence underwater to chirping bats flying overhead. There was a large hole in the rock which allowed the sun to penetrate through and give us a great view of the inner cave. This place was majestic and to make the experience even better, as we came back out from the cave, a turtle sped right past us. One of the other interns said the same thing I was thinking as we surfaced and that was that this was possibly the best dive we had out here in Bali.

So far, after my early experiences as an instructor, I’ve confirmed that the beauty of teaching is you never stop learning. The certain satisfaction you get from teaching someone something they previously didn’t know is extremely rewarding and of course every day and every course is a new adventure. In the diving world, you never stop meeting new people and continually learn about new and exciting places. The possibilities are truly endless!!!



Just wanted to wish all the readers tuning into the Best Dive Job winners blog a Happy New Year!

One thing I think we all do as the year nears an end or perhaps the morning after a BIG night of celebration, is to reflect upon the year that just passed. When I think back to what I was doing at the beginning of 2011 and where I am now, I can’t help but feel so incredibly thankful that I had the love and support of friends and family. It seems like a life ago that I was sweating in the kitchen day and night looking forward to a rare vacation I may get some months down the road. With my nose to the grind, not a day went by when I wasn’t looking for some sort of escape or a path to a new, more refreshing lifestyle. That’s when I came across the webpage that little did I know, in a few (long) months time, would change my life. From the day I entered the Best Dive Job in the World contest I had a a full team of supporters which I extend a thousand thanks to. Thankfully like them, I never let my foot off the gas and when the it was all said and done, emerged victorious as the Best Dive Job winner. For that I am forever grateful to all who were on Team Kenzo and of course the people of Blue Season Bali for giving me this life changing grand prize!

After selling off most of my possessions and making the BIG move to Bali, things just kept getting better and better! Not only was I surrounded by an array of some of the most flavourful foods I had ever tasted, but I was now living the island life in tropical paradise! Palm trees as far as the eye can see and the ocean on all sides, that is where I belong. People always told me Indonesia and Bali had some world class diving but I could never truly imagine it until I experienced it for myself. At this present time I have just under 200 dives logged, many of which are here in Bali and even then, I’m still seeing new things on almost every dive. As for the people, where do I begin… From the moment I touched down I was greeted with open arms by people so friendly and willing to help it would make any newcomer feel right at home. Within weeks as other new interns arrived, I was now the person to show these unfamiliar newcomers the ropes, which was a cool role reversal. Throughout my stay I have met some incredible people from all over the globe and have developed friendships that will last a lifetime. Although I’ve had to see many great people go and unfortunately couldn’t see my entire training through with second place prize winner Priscilla Ong, I was lucky to at least spend 3 months diving with her as Best Dive Job buddies!

I can’t say enough good things about the staff at BSB. It really is a family atmosphere although it seems to function at lot more smoothly than your average  family. We have quite the large staff with numerous positions along with several interns doing training programs and I just find it amazing how it all pieces together to work as one unit. I have tried to learn the Indonesian language through the many locals working with us but because that can be quite tricky, instead I have focused on learning their incredible ways of spotting things underwater. Finally, the training and dive industry knowledge I have learnt through the decades of experience the BSB course director and instructor staff has to offer is incredible. When it comes to diving and working as an instructor, many things you learn through your own experiences but having the advice of people that were once in your shoes does wonders for you as you grow.

So as 2011 has officially ended and I look back to what has transpired in my life since the end of 2010, I can only imagine what may lie ahead for the year 2012. My adivce to you is live every day to the fullest, if possible try to see as much of the world’s beauty and nature as possible and if you haven’t yet entered the Best Dive Job in the World contest 2012, do so immediately. I’m living proof, it’s the ticket to the good life and will change your life! You can’t win if you don’t enter… So, what are you waiting for?


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!!


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!!!



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


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!

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!!!

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…

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!

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.







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!

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!!!

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!



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!

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!

First week in Bali

After a jam packed first week in Bali I figure it’s about time to complete my first blog on my experiences….

Jeez, where to begin…

Lets start with the food because as I’m sitting here right now I’m starving! You will get used to Mie Goreng(fried noodle) & Nasi Goreng(fried rice) which is ok because with the combination of flavours and ingredients used in Balinese cooking, these dishes along with many others will always leave you satisfied and looking forward to your next meal. If your like me and need a good old japanese meal at least once a week you will have no problem finding some great places… And if you must give in to your Mcdonalds cravings every once in a while, they’re never too far away and deliver 24/7.

As for The Blue Season Bali dive team and centre, I can’t say enough good things. From the moment I arrived me and my girlfriend were greeted by friendly faces who were more than willing to show us around and lend a helping hand with anything and everything. There is quite the variety of people here all from different parts of the globe with different stories to share. It kind of reminds me of my experiences in South Africa bouncing around to different hostels, which if any of you have done can be quite eventful and rewarding. They got an amazingly organized crew here that starts at the crack of dawn and manages what seems like the impossible on a daily basis. With a combination of people that have called Bali their home for years, interns that are here for a couple months or guests pouring in for just the day, there is never a dull moment over here at BSB!

The diving here like many of you I’m sure have heard is unreal! My official training started here with my EFR (emergency first response) The next day I kicked off my advanced course over in Tulamben diving the world renound USAT Liberty Wreck. For the sake of making this post even longer I’ll just say WOW! The next dives I did was over in Nusa Penida. Here I completed my first deep dive at Crystal Bay seeing my very first Mola Mola :):) From there we took a short boat trip over to embark on a drift dive which was incredible. We then finished the day off at Manta Point where we saw 4 huge mantas the biggest being about 3m. As luck would have it my camera died right before the dive so for now you’ll have to take my word for it, they are absolutely fascinating and a must see here in Bali!

All in all I must say it has been quite the week! The driving here is something on it’s own but I’ve officially taken the step of renting myself a scooter and learn the ways of Bali driving.(not an easy task if you value your life) I’ve had my first clubbing experience in Kuta at Sky Garden, a 4 story open rooftop club where the Bintangs flow like wine and the fire performers will have you mesmerized. I went surfing on my day off and all I can say is I did my best.

So that’s it for my first official blog in Bali, expect them to come more frequently and be much shorter(this being the exception) but every day is a new adventure, a different experience and one more story to tell and believe me this is the first of many to come. So stay tuned. For now I’m off to satisfy my hunger and relax with a good old Bintang.



Feelings on coming to Bali

When thinking about coming to Bali I am overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. The duration of which I have waited since winning the contest has added to the overall built up which makes it that much more exciting that finally I am just hours away from touching down.

Of course my immediate thoughts are related to the eagerness to get in the water and start diving. Everything I know up to this point about Bali diving is through magazines, Youtube videos and other peoples experiences but to finally be able to submerge myself in the underwater world will truly be incredible. Of course I could go on forever about how I can’t wait to dive the USS Liberty wreck or venture around Nusa Penida and see my first ‘Mola Mola’ Sunfish, but for me when I think about Bali, I look at what this experience will be as a whole.

I look forward to the many new foods I will be trying. The many clubs and bars I may not remember the following morning. The exploring and diversity of nature and wildlife I will see. The difference in lifestyle I will be living compared to what I am accustomed to back home. The many people I will meet and make friends with both locals of Indonesia but also tourists from around the world just stopping by to enjoy the many things I myself am there to enjoy. How the spiritual and majestic nature of Bali will impact my life. What I will learn about myself while living abroad and how I will adapt to the culture shock. I’ve always been quite open minded and love experiencing new things and luckily since I’ve had the pleasure of visiting different places around the globe like Africa, Japan, Europe, and the Caribbean I have some experience with navigating my way through foreign countries and learning the ways of the locals by the locals.

Of course, since I am far away from home I will have to be diligent and responsible for not only the wellbeing of myself but also my girlfriend. Thankfully I have the Blue Season Bali team to show me the ropes and teach me the ways. I look forward to taking on the challenge of learning new things both with diving and living. If this contest has showed me anything it’s that if you truly want to achieve something you really have to put your heart and soul into it. Your determination only stretches as far as your motivation and with this opportunity I have been granted, I certainly don’t need any added incentives to truly relish on the experience I have ahead of me.

Everything I’ve heard about Bali thus far from friends, family or friends of friends has been that they never wanted to leave. If that’s the case, then I guess all my friends and family back home will have to come here if they want to see me. The balls in their court!

Coming to Bali

As I am writing this blog I have yet to even touch down in the Island of the Gods. That being said, my journey towards Bali thus far has been quite the process full of anticipation, eagerness and frantic scrambling to wrap up my life back home… Since receiving the life changing news about winning The Best Dive Job in the World my life has been anything but relaxing.

The past few months have consisted of quite the variety of things ranging from rewarding and memorable moments with friends and family as well as some emotional ones. In those months however my life has had a certain sense of ease to it knowing that I will soon be living in paradise for the next 7 months.

As I awaited my departure date I looked forward to things like my spread in The Mag, a local Bali magazine, an article in a local newspaper as well as a huge event at a nearby nightclub which was quite the night from what I remember. Of course it was not all fun and games. I wrapped up working my final days as a cook, a job I have had for over 5 years and although I will greatly miss the people and relationships I have built there, I can confidently say I was happy to leave all the frantic cooking and kitchen stress behind.

Luckily the great people of Blue Season Bali said it was ok for my long-time girlfriend Danielle to come along with me so the next step for us was moving out of the apartment we just seemed to finally get settled in. Although moving out is always hard, the thought of starting a new life in Bali was reassuring enough to wash away any feelings of disturbance. From there I basically gave away half my wardrobe sold my car, dirt bike and anything else I could get some cash for. In many ways it was the Kenzo Kiren’s everything must go sale which looking back on, I think many people benefited from.

The next step before departing from Vancouver was to get the proper visas in order. Due to a couple complications I had to go to the Indonesian consulate 3 separate times, however, that part of the process made it that much more gratifying when they finally gave me the stamp of approval. As for the actual journey from Vancouver to Bali, originally our plan was to fly to Japan and spend a week or so visiting some family and reaffirming myself with the Japanese language. Unfortunately those plans fell through so we started looking at flying through Australia.

Both my girlfriend and I have never been to Australia so we thought it would be an enjoyable start to the whole experience of moving across the world but after missing out on a special flight deal we had to scratch those plans too. In the end we caught a wicked deal through Hong Kong. Three movies, a couple TV shows, an onboard street fighter arcade game, a couple airplane meals, a little nap and 13 hours later we touched down in Hong Kong International Airport. From here it’s just a “quick” 17 hour layover before we catch our flight to Denpasar! That part of the journey has yet to take place so that part of the story will have to wait for another day!

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