Tag Archives | Scuba Diving

How The Best Dive Job Changed my Life

How I WON the Best Dive Job in the world 2010 (Part 3 of 3)  How The Best Dive Job Changed my Life. Guest Post by Kenzo Kiren

Living the Dream

So here we are, almost exactly 3 years since touching down in Bali for the first time and what an exceptional 3 years it has been. After my 7 month experience that shaped the life I live today, I went on to travel South East Asia. Backpacking through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines back to Bali, then out to Japan to visit some family. At that point, my passport was out of pages and nearly expired so a quick trip back home was necessary before setting out to Australia. Once touching down in the land down under, I followed up with another unforgettable year first working on the great barrier reef doing day trips and overnight luxury liveaboards. The working experience was nothing like that of Bali but was an incredible opportunity to enhance my knowledge and experience as an instructor.

From the Great Barrier Reef to Playa Del Carmen

australiaAfter work on the Great Barrier Reef, I bought a van and road tripped down the East coast, all the way to Sydney and eventually the world famous Great Ocean Road. The sights along the way were unforgettable, both on the surface and underwater. I dove world famous sites like the Yongala wreck, Julien rock and Southwest rock, seeing a vast variation of marine life including, dolphins, seals, whales and several wicked shark encounters. The memories and experiences in Australia alone are enough to write a book, but for now I’ll keep it short and sweet. Luckily, just hours before my flight to Perth, I, along with my accomplises, were able to sell my van and, from there, I set out to my next dive job location on the Ningaloo Reef in Coral Bay. For the next 6 months I was working whale shark and manta ray tours. It was epic! Coral Bay will forever have a special place in my heart and I will certainly be back one day.

Eventually, my one year working visa came to the end, so I, once again, did a short stint in Japan then back home for another quick friends and family reunion. After some soul searching, spinning my globe wondering where to go next, eventually I found my way out to the mayan riviera in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I went for a 2 week vacation but had the intention and optimism that during that time I could find work. Luckily for me, 2 weeks later and just 2 days before Christmas, I was back doing what I love. I started my first ever resort job, which in many ways was totally different from my previous dive jobs but once again furthered my development and experience as a PADI instructor. Playa del Carmen is a special place where you have a bounty of reef diving, the world famous island of Cozumel and the ancient mayan fresh water cavern/cave systems know as cenotes. Although the location and dive sites are completely different from those I’ve worked in the past, one thing still remains the same… I love my life as a dive instructor.

Meet New People, Go Places and Do Things

bubble-circleSo here I am, three years since it all began. As you can imagine, this journey has taken me to places I never imagined and, in the process, I have made some life long friends from all over the world. In the PADI open water course knowledge review one question asks, “What’s the purpose of the PADI system of continuing education? The answer simply states, You meet people, go places and do things”. But really, that is the extreme shortened version of something you must experience for yourself to truly understand the extent to which it is true. Once you start a life of travel, especially in the dive industry, you become intertwined in this ever growing network and in many ways, this vast world becomes very small and connected. It seems no matter where I go, there is someone welcoming me with open arms to their home and, in many ways, I extend that same invitation to people who happen to end up where I am.

One of the most wonderful things about being an instructor is you get to live in places most people only get to go for one or two week vacations out of the year and you call that place your home. You need no reminders that you are living the dream but if you happen to forget, it won’t take long for one of your guests to say “man I wish I had your life”! I will say it’s not all fun in the sun and relaxing days in hammocks at the beach. Days start at the crack of dawn and usually end as the sun sets. Having said that, you are never lacking with incredible sunrise and sunsets. Working as an instructor, you can face numerous elements of stress and physically demanding work but once you master your ability to cope with those stresses, they will never bring you down. Whatever you may face, the tranquility underwater acts as the perfect stress relief and will always overpower what you may face. You learn to become an expert problem solver, quickly realize organization and efficiency is of the utmost importance and of course you must always take safety as the highest priority. Like any job, there are always challenges, but at the end of the day, in the diving industry, you get the satisfaction of changing peoples’ lives on a daily basis!

The people of our planet have an undeniable attraction to the ocean. The problem is, people fear the unknown and rarely take the plunge and look beneath the surface and see how beautiful it really is. The greatest satisfaction is being the person to help others conquer their fears and introduce them to a world they’ve never seen before. Everyday you have the chance to show people this incredible world, explosive with life, a world which has allowed all life on earth to thrive. I take every opportunity to leave people with the lasting impression that the ocean isn’t a place to be feared. It does require the utmost respect because it is a powerful force, but the serenity and sheer beauty is something that, if every person had the chance to explore, the world would be a much different place. Now, more than ever, the oceans need our help and, ultimately, our survival depends on it.

“if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life”

sunsetSo, moving forward on this windy road we call life, I don’t know what my exact future entails, but that’s what makes things so exciting. “The world is a book and those who do not travel, only read one page”. Although at this point I have read my fair share of pages, I am definitely not even close to finishing that book. You only get one life in this world and with all the beauty and wonder there is to explore, you really need to make the most of your time and not let the world pass you by. When traveling, no matter where you go, the experience alone, absorbing different cultures, seeing how differently people live from what you are used to is something that gains great perspective on your life, hopefully making you a more understanding, well -rounded person in the process. There is no shortage of places to explore on our ocean planet and the luxury of life as a dive instructor is that you have the freedom to do so. You know what they say: “if you love your job, you never have to work a day in your life”! We all have our passions in life but rarely take the leap to pursue them. Our world is addicted to learning. In my eyes, the best way to learn is through experience. The true way to experience is to travel. So get out there and do it!

 Missed the Previous Posts in this Series?

Part 1 – How I WON the Best Dive Job by Kenzo Kiren

Part 2 – Winning the Best Dive Job 2010

Friendly Reminders

  • The competition is open until October 31, 2014.
  • We will announce the 8 winning candidates on November 20, 2014.
  • Candidates will need to be able to travel to Bali in May 2015 for a minimum of 2 months for their Divemaster training, and to compete for the selection of the Best Dive Job in the World Grand Prize winner. Please make sure that you’ll be available to travel to Bali from May 23, 2015 to July 20, 2015 before you submit your entry.
  • For a complete list of prizes, check out http://contest.bestdivejob.com/prizes

Contact us

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

Marlies Tumolo: Certified PADI Instructor!

Guess what guys?  I finally made it!  I am now a certified PADI scuba diving instructor :) It was a long road and there are many thanks to be given so here it goes!

So happy!!

So happy!!

First of all I would like to thank my parents, my brother, and the rest of my family for always believing in me and pushing me to reach for my dreams.  Without them who knows if I would have had the courage or confidence to go for something like this.  No matter what crazy scheme I come up with you guys are always 100% behind me.  Thanks so much for always being there.  I love you guys!

Next I need to give a huge thanks to Blue Season Bali.  Thank you John and Tom for putting all your hard work into the Best Dive Job in the World.  This truly has been a life changing!   Thank you to Aqua Lung for providing me with a fantastic diving equipment package.  This equipment is so great that I actually feel like it is a part of me when I dive, how cool is that?  I also need to give a never ending thank you to Henley Spiers (my divemaster mentor) for always taking the time to teach me and explain any questions I had.  I have become a great diver and instructor because of your teaching.  Also a big thanks to Stefan Schneider for teaching our IDC and helping us become real PADI material! Finally I want to thank Charlie Smith, my first real Bali friend, for the million times she studied with me, jumped in the pool to practice my skills, and told me that she believed in me.  I love you sugar!

The Best Dive Job in the World was a difficult competition and it has been a long road to get here.  There are so many people that campaigned for me, helped me make movies and run events, and just generally supported me.  A special thanks to Jackie Davis for being there for me 110% and being my # 1 supporter!  Thanks to Biggie, Kiko, Marisa, Alex, Megan, Crystal, Steph, Anthony, Adam, Leah, Addy, Sunshine Divers, my wonderful 8, and all the others who stood by my side and showed that they supported me.  Also a big thanks to Greg Holt at Scuba Radio for recognizing my passion and taking the time to put me on his show.  It is a fantastic show for scuba enthusiasts and you should all take time to check it out check it out!

And last but not least I want to thank team awesome (aka team green), Katarina, Beth, Marissa, Tegan, Marcel, and Bryan for going through this whole thing with me.  It was a long 28 days and you guys really helped me through.  We were a fantastic team and I don’t know what I would have done without you!

Team Awesome becomes instructors!

Wow!  That was a lot of thank yous!  To be honest, I am sure that there are more people out there that I should be thanking.  Don’t think that I’ve forgotten you!  My final thank you goes to all those that I don’t know, who read my application or watched my video and supported my dream.  This whole thing shows that we have the power to make our dreams come true.  Thanks for believing.

We made it!


Divemaster Training: Fish ID

Humpheads on the wreck

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

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

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



Divemaster Training: Mapping

Mapping Seraya

Working on a map of Seraya.

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


Diving at Padang Bai

Cuttlefish Swimming

Cuttlefish Swimming

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

First dive in Padang Bai.

Very happy after our first dive in Padang Bai.

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