Doing my Marketing internship in Bali in the dive center Nico Dives Cool, I took the opportunity to pass the first level of diving. The company offered me the possibility to do an Open Water course that ends with an SSI certification, recognized all around the world. Bali is worldwide famous for its landscapes, nature, biodiversity and underwater wealth. A significant amount of marine life live in its warm, transparent waters, full of corals of all shapes and colors. Bali is surrounded by a coral reef, the island is located in the Coral Triangle, gathering the most beautiful and important reefs of this region located between two oceans (Indian and Pacific) and two continents (Asian and Oceanic).
Some theoretical notions …
So I started by reading a very comprehensive theoretical program explaining everything I needed to know about diving, including the equipment, preparation, underwater communication, environmental awareness, precautions to take, all the useful information on the aquatic world and diving. A questionnaire of eight questions was to be completed at the end of each of the six chapters with at least seven correct answers to go on to the next chapter.
… a lot of practice …
After that, my class took place over two days.
I started the first day by practicing, for almost an hour, all the exercises essential to the diving, in a swimming pool, in order to get familiar with the gestures and reflexes to adopt in the open water. Then I went to Padang bai, a place famous for its corals and underwater life, for my first two dives in the ocean. I repeated all the actions learned in the pool during the first dive, such as preparing my gear, checking it, putting my diving gear in the water, diving back from the boat, towing my tired buddy from a point A to a point B on the surface, manage my descent and ascent but also remove my mask under the water and put it back on. I learned to remove my air supply hose (called regulator) then put it back, give it to my partner (in a out of air simulation) and take my emergency power supply (called Octopus) to react properly in real situation.
All these exercises are important and necessary to validate the course, moreover they make it possible to get used to these uncomfortable situations and to put in confidence the diver for his future diver’s life. I remained focused and my instructor was very patient, he re-explained the exercises when needed. During the second dive, I took more time to enjoy the marine environment and worked my buoyancy, very important in diving and difficult to gauge. The buoyancy is regulated at one hand thanks to the breathing, but mainly thanks to the accumulated air in the buoyancy control device (BCD), the more I inflate it (adding air inside my BCD), the more I float and therefore the more I approach the surface. At the opposite, the more air I deflate from the BCD, the more I sink.
… and a lot of fun !
For the second day of diving, it took place in Tulamben, where is located the beautiful Coral Garden. During the first dive, I practiced again some exercises previously seen and acquired the necessary knowledge to use the compass and the diving computer underwater. When I swimmed through this coral garden, I could enjoy many marine species and anemone fields with many clown fish. I then had the chance to see three magnificent black tips reef sharks, measuring between 1.60m and 1.80m, only ten meters from me. As impressive as they are, they are harmless and stayed at a comfortable distance. An adrenaline rush invaded me but I knew how to stay lucid and control my emotions.
For my last dive, I was able to discover the famous USAT Liberty wreck, it is an american warship measuring 120 meters long and located between nine and thirty-five meters depth. We descended to a depth of 18 meters, which is the maximum limit allowed for Open Water divers. On the return, I passed my Open Water final exam with 100%; the 50 questions of the theoretical exam summarizing all the knowledge necessary to obtain the Open Water Diver certification.
It was a memorable experience, my instructor Nico was excellent, very professional and gave me confidence from the beginning to apply the exercises with serenity and make the most of the dives! Mixing exercises with a diverse and rich marine environment makes the course even more exciting. Now that I’m certified, I can not wait to dive around the world and explore more of the marine diversity.
Written by Bastien, intern in 2018