“You’re so brave.”
“I could never do that.”
“It’s so scary.”
These are the surprising things I’ve been hearing on my Instagram and blog since Matt and I begun our scuba holiday with our PADI Advanced Open Water course with Blue Corner Dive on the small Nusa Lembongan, off the coast of Bali. I seriously couldn’t believe the volume of people who went so far to say that they would NEVER do that. Never? Never certainly is a long time. I want you to reconsider. Let me tell you why.
YOU SAY: the ocean is scary.
I SAY: it’s just as blue as the the sky and not nearly as vast.
Is it the unknown? The pressure? The water? There are plenty of articles that can help you rationalise your fear. When I talk to people, it’s more the fear of the unknown, but rest assured these dive sites around the Nusa Islands are well-trodden waters. Start small with shallow waters and work your way from there – you’ll never have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. And remember, scuba diving works on a buddy system, so you’re never alone, and if you’re with Blue Corner Dive, you’ll always have someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
YOU SAY: The animals scare me.
I SAY: Not as much as you scare them.
Its the age old saying right? They’re more scared of you than you are of them. Arm yourself with statistics and knowledge of marine to better understand your fear. For example, many people on my Instagram thought Manta Rays were dangerous. I can tell you that they’re aren’t. Not even a little bit. They literally eat zooplankton. Here on Nusa Lembongan it’s super dooper safe. You’ll be blown away by the abundance of marine life here. Just don’t stand on a scorpion fish (and you won’t if you’ve been taught by Blue Corner Dive, because you’ll have tip top neutral buoyancy).
YOU SAY: I don’t know if I’ll like it.
I SAY: time to Discover Scuba Dive.
You can try out scuba diving before you commit! With a Discover Scuba Dive you’ll be taken into a controlled environment, such as a pool, and taught the basics before going on one or two shallow ocean dives. The ocean dives are usually done on the northern coast of Nusa Penida, where the water calmer and the wildlife is abundant. I promise you, there will be no turning back after this; you’ll be hooked.
YOU SAY: I’m too afraid to learn.
I SAY: But that’s how you conquer your fears!
They say knowledge is power and information is liberating. Learning how to scuba dive will allow you to understand how scuba diving works and alleviate those fears. Now don’t get me wrong – fear is normal. This is about overcoming those fears with knowledge, practice and above all, safety. Blue Corner Dive Nusa Lembongan is a PADI Career Development Centre – so they teach all the PADI courses from Openwater to Instructor. So you can be comforted by the fact that you’re being taught by the very best.
I’ve been privileged enough to not only go through 2 courses (Advanced & Manta Conservation) with Blue Corner Dive, but I’ve been invited to watch Matt and his fellow Dive Master candidates go through their training. It really is a rigorous process to make sure that you are trained to be the very best (like no one ever was – queue Pokemon theme music).
YOU SAY: No one will do it with me.
I SAY: Blue Corner will be your buddy.
I’m serious. You don’t need to BYO buddy to scuba dive. Whether you’re here to learn, fun dive or discover, you will always be able to rely on a smiling Instructor or Dive Master to be your ultimate buddy. I’ve never been to a dive centre that has a better sense of community. The owners are heavily involved with the centre, the Instructors and Dive Masters are super friendly, understanding and extremely knowledgeable. All the workers come in with a smile on their face and leave the same way.
There are weekly quiz nights run by employees, students and local organisations like the Marine Megafauna Foundation… even Matt and I ran an Aussie themed quiz night.
I know I’m banging on quite a bit about Nusa Lembongan and Blue Corner Dive. The thing is, I’ve been out scuba diving with them a few times a week over the past 6 weeks, witnessing what fantastic processes are undertaken to develop a complete learner to an absolute scuba champion (also known as an Instructor), and they’ve let me take photos of them the entire time. Matt and I have convinced friends to visit us and scuba dive with Blue Corner, and in 2 days time Matt’s old coworker is coming over to get his Open Water Certification. Matt is even talking about coming back in 6 months time to do his Instructor certification. If that’s not “eating our own dog food” I don’t know what is. We most certainly love it here, and will be sad when we leave for the Philippines in 2 weeks.
So have I convinced you? Is it time for you to start scuba diving? Maybe you’re thinking about upgrading your certification? Or maybe you’d like to tell me about your experiences with different diving companies? Let me know in the comments below.