So you guys obviously know that Matt and I scuba, as I’ve spoken about it so many times (like here, here, here… here… here. Ok I’ll stop now). So when we decided to take 12 months to travel, we also decided some ways to make some money on our journey. I took the ol’ reliable (so I thought) digital nomad path, and Matt went out on limb and decided to get a Dive Master qualification. And since I couldn’t possibly let him dive deeper without me, I decided to do my Advanced Scuba Dive course.
When searching for somewhere to do our dive course, there was only a few things that was important to us;
- The location had to be BEAUTIFUL. There was no point in spending so much time in one place (2 months to be exact) and not have some amazing dive spots to discover and explore.
- The location had to be IN SEASON. We had looked at the Philippines, but it was still the rainy season, which would’ve just been no fun at all. Cancelled dives, poor visibility… why bother.
- The company had to be REPUTABLE. We are PADI certified, so we narrowed it down to that, and then got further fussy by deciding it had to be a 5 star dive centre.
- The dive center had to be REASONABLY PRICED. We’re poor now remember, but in saying that, we didn’t want to go with the cheapest, because… you know…. diving can be risky, and scuba gear is pricey.
With all that in mind, we came to the decision that Nusa Lembongan off the coast of Bali, Indonesia was our location and Blue Corner Dive was our dive center.
After that it was so easy. 5 dives over 2 days (or 6 dives over 3 days) and a little bit of reading and knowledge review is all you need to get your upgrade. Matt had to do the Advanced Course before he started his Dive Master, so we could do it together. Matt and I had the best time with our instructor Becky and fellow student Alexandra not only learning all the skills we needed to pass, but also learning about the area we were diving in and the wildlife we were seeing.
Over the 5 dives I covered 5 topics;
Peak Performance Buoyancy – This was all about mastering buoyancy control, which I think is one of the most important skills. There is nothing worse than seeing divers holding onto or bumping into coral beds, disturbing years of growth and fishy homes. We did this dive at the Sampalan site, and I got my first taste of just how beautiful and healthy the marine life is here. We saw turtles too!
Drift Diving – Next up we learnt the best way to scuba a drift dive, cruising along the reef at the Mangroves site. It was fun to learn all the different types of currents, how to best hand signal them underwater, and the best way to allow yourself to drift along, enjoying all the reef has to offer. This dive we saw ALL THE TURTLES. It was the best.
Deep Diving – This is an obvious one. It was time to learn about diving deeper than 18m, and all the responsibility that comes with it. We did this one at Manta Point, and I could not contain my excitement at seeing Manta Rays for the first time. After a quick peak at the surface feeders we moved down to the depths, doing fun checks for gas narcosis.
Dive Photography (Matt did Fish Identification) – Now this was a luxury. After reading up on the best ways to use a camera underwater we were let loose at Toya Pakeh where, I kid you not, there were ONE KA-JILLION FISH. I’ve never seen such an abundance of marine life. I immediately understood why Becky said it was her favourite.
Underwater Navigation – This was the most difficult for me, because it involved underwater math. In addition to that, we did it at Lembongan Bay, affectionately called the “fun-toon” because of the huge day tripper pontoon for snorkel trips, and the fact that it was not fun at all. A pretty stark location, there’s no coral, barely any fish and cold as absolute fuck. No messing around on this site; get your navigation skills done and get out of there! Perfect location for training though, as there’s nothing for you to damage if you’re just learning, or like me, distracted by minusing 180 from the number on your compass to figure out how to correctly turn around and go back where you came from (reciprocal heading).
Blue Corner Dive (especially Becky) made the course super fun, easy to understand and you never felt nervous about f*cking up the task or knowledge questions because the patience showed by Becky made you feel super okay about trying again and again till you got it right. Also, the locations where you learn (ok, except for the “fun-toon”) were just so amazing, it made you want to dive everyday for the rest of your life.
In no way is this a sponsored post, but you will forever hear me recommending Blue Corner Dive as the most amazing place to do any sort of PADI certification, and you’ve probably already seen me doing that on my Instagram, haha. I had such a great time, and it’s so important to spread the good word about amazing Dive Centers, especially since I’ve dealt with some really average ones.
Which brings me to my last questions;
- Have you ever done scuba diving in Nusa Lembongan? Did you absolutely love it?
- Do you have any dive center or dive site recommendations for us in Philippines or Brazil? We’re super keen to start planning!