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My Divemaster Course with Living Colours

After the Rescue Diver course it was time for me to start with the Divemaster course. Every morning I woke up early, had some breakfast and headed for the dive center. I packed the equipment and set it up on the boat, so that we were ready to go when the customers came down to the dive center after their breakfast. When all the divers were on the boat, we headed out to the sea and soon enough we were on the first dive site of the day!

During the Divemaster course I got to dive almost every day. I learned new skills, guided fun dives, assisted on courses, took care of the equipment on the boat and at the dive center. Thank you Heini and Ali for teaching me so much new about diving! I had in mind that I want to learn something new every day during the course. And I surely did!

I really enjoyed to assist on the Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses. The excitement of the students was almost touchable! While watching and assisting the courses I could also remember my excitement from when I did my OW and AOW courses. It's so much fun to learn new skills!

 

bunaken island diving

 

There were some funny incidents during my Divemaster course. For example one time when I was assisting on an Open Water course the instructor Ali found a rock with a long rope tied around it. He couldn't get rope off, so he gave the whole rock to Heini, whose group we met during the dive. Little bit after we met Heini, I felt that I kicked something with my fin. When I turned around, Heini was right behind me. I signaled sorry to her and she replied that she's okay. When I continued diving, I realized that all my buoyancy and trim was gone! Help! What happened? Is there something wrong with my equipment?! After I got my buoyancy back, I found out that Heini had tied the rock on my tank strap without me realizing anything. As I couldn't reach the stone behind my back, I finished the dive with a stone dangling on my tank and a really bad trim. 

 

padi divemaster course bunaken

 

In the end of my course we were diving on a dive site called Fukui. I was mapping the site for my course. Fukui is a nice dive site with many things to see. There is for example some really nice giant clams. There is also a place on the site called the Triggerfish alley. I've never seen any triggerfish there, so all the time I've been wondering where the alley got its name. We were just entering the alley when I found three big cone shells on the side of a stone, so I signaled Heini to come and take a look. Heini came and as she was watching the cone shells she felt something bump into her fin a couple of times. She turned around, and there was a Yellow margin triggerfish attacking her fins! After fleeing away from the angry triggerfish protecting its nest, I now know where the name of the alley comes from!

 

bunaken dive site map

 

Diving here on Bunaken is beautiful! Beautiful corals, fishes, turtles, sharks, nudibranches, shrimps, crabs... We even saw a Mola-Mola one day jumping from the water when we were returning from the dives! It's so much fun with so many things to see! I couldn't have chosen a better place to do my Divemaster course!

During this time I've had the chance to dive with many kinds of divers. There were many divers with a lot of experience whom I could learn a lot from. I also got to dive with people who had just started diving or who had had a couple years break from diving. Some of them were a bit nervous before the first dive, but planning a nice dive to a nice and easy dive site, having a good briefing before the dive and making the the first dive in a really relaxed manner, all the nervousness was gone after the first dive. It really is a pleasure to see people enjoy their dives!

The Divemaster duties can be really variable. After I finished my Divemaster course we had a search and rescue out of the ordinary. In addition of the tame dogs, there is half-stray dogs living on the island and one of the dogs living in the area of Living Colours just had puppies. The mama-dog moved the small two week old puppies to a place she thought was safe for them. Unfortunately it was a place where the puppies would eventually drown when the tide is getting high. We didn't know where the puppies were exactly, but after a couple of days we could hear the mama-dog barking anxiously when the tide was rising. Me and Mia grabbed our booties and ran to take a look where the barking came from, in the mangroves next to the high cliffs. Luckily we found the small puppy hiding under a cliff just in time. The puppy had fallen down to the beach from the cave where the mama-dog had hidden the puppies and as the tide was rising, the puppy went under the surface every time a wave came in.

Finally we knew where she was hiding the puppies! The mama-dog was very protective and as she was feeding the other puppies, we had to wait for her to leave the puppies for a moment to get them out of the small cave. Later in the evening when it was already dark, I could hear the mama-dog barking somewhere. I grabbed a torch and a bucket and ran to the beach to take a look. The mama wasn't there, so I climbed up on the rocks up to the cave and put all the remaining puppies in the bucket and I got them safe just in time. Unluckily for me on the way back I fell and cut my legs on sharp rock when I was walking in water up to my chest with the puppies, but at least the puppies were safe for now. Couple hours after the rescue the mama-dog started moving the puppies again, but hopefully this time she found a better and safer place to hide the puppies and we'll get to have a nice addition to our pack on the resort!

The last two months has been really busy, but it has really been a lot of fun the whole time! Soon I'll be heading to Thailand for my next adventure. I'm certainly going to miss Bunaken, it's wonderful people and the amazing diving of course. But for sure I will return to beautiful Bunaken some day!

 

bunaken island reef fish

 

Text and photos Petra Laurinen PADI Divemaster / Living Colours Diving Resort 2015