I remember even now the day when we were pushing our bicycles through the hot sand in Gili Air, Indonesia and while passing in front of a dive centre, looking at it on our left side, we heard a voice with a foreign, different and beautiful accent asking us: „Hey guys, do you want to try scuba diving?”. Obviously that we wanted to try this, only that we were not determined enough to do it, we were missing that thing that would make us say a convincing YES. To be honest, we stopped only because he was there and approached us. So, we left our bycicles and we seated at the table with the guy whose voice we heard before. After spending 15 minutes with him and asking him hundreds of questions, we were convinced to make scuba diving, but the only condition that we had it was for him to be our instructor and not to allocate us to another one. He was the person with whom we felt that click after the first minutes of conversations.
After a few days we went at the dive centre to sign up for the diving course. The company we’re talking about is Blue Marlin and we met there an absolutely great, friendly and fun team, starting from the managers Peter and Coco and ending up to the instructors and dive masters. Of course, our favourite guy from this team was our instructor, the guy with the strange and beautiful accent, Adrien.
Blue Marlin is a company with a great name in the diving world, they are located in the „Coral Triangle”, one of the richest locations for scuba diving in the world. They are active with more locations around Indonesia: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno, Senggigi Lombok and Komodo Flores. Around Gili Islands there are over 25 dive sites and they are all easily accesible by boat from any of the 3 Gilis. Among them: Turtle Heaven, Shark Reef, Bounty Wreck, Secret Reef, Hans Reef, etc.
We signed up for PADI Open Water certification and we had to do a day of surface skills and under water skills in the swimming pool, followed by 2 dives at 12 metres, 2 dives at 18 metres and a fun dive. I have to admit that for me, the diving was not only a thing that I did for fun, but I did it in order to overcome some fears that I had with the water: for example, before diving, I was afraid to swim if I couldn’t see or touch the bottom of the water.
Before all, we had to pass two practical tests: 200 m swimming and floating 10 minutes. After successfully passing these tests, as written above, we were explained the theory part, did few written tests, learned to set up our equipment and learned to practice surface and underwater skills. For example, we learned to make mask removal underwater, clearing the mask underwater, how to share alternate air source with our buddy, how to breathe to have a neutral buoyancy, what happens with our body underwater and how to avoid decompression sickness caused by nitrogen accumulation in our bodies and lots of other skills which allowed us to be safe divers in case something happens.
Once we finished all the training consisting of theory and practice in the swimming pool, it was time to move to a real dive, into the ocean. We were over excited and all emotions from this world were trying us and we felt them from the snorkel mask to our fins.
Adrien taught us how to set up our equipment, how to do the buddy check in the boat before jumping into the water (crucial step!) and how to assure our weight belt and mask while jumping. Once under the water, the time stopped, making us forget about any worries or thoughts and just be present there, the sounds were amplified and we discovered a whole new world, reach in colours and life. Even if you are a stranger for the underwater life, while we were diving all the fishes continued their life without being disturbed by our presence. One of the most important rule is to never, ever touch anything underwater. Leave the corals and any other form of life alone! Please try to respect this rule because the coral reefs are endangered and by diving you can realise how important it is to preserve it.
We were so excited to discover fishes which we knew, but also ones which we never heard of. Adrien was happy to point us all the magic underwater form of life, like: Octopus, Clark’s Anemone Fish, Moorish Fish, Unicorn Fish, Puffer Fish, Trumpet Fish, Giant Moray, Lion Fish, Box Fish, False Clown Fish (Nemo), Painted Spiny Lobster, etc.
The highlight of the dive were the Green Turtles and the first one that we saw was the cutest thing ever, a more than one meter turtle that was scratching her back on a reef.We immediately felt in love with this incredible animal and we had the chance to see a lot of them.
After diving for about 50 minutes and seeing a lot of beautiful and colourful life, we did a five point ascend with a safety stop. While on the surface, our faces were full of smiles and happiness. It was that moment when we realised that it was not just a training, not just a dive to get a certificate, but it would become a hobby, a thing that we want to do in more parts of the world and a thing of which we think all the time.
We highly recommend diving to anybody because it is an experience of a lifetime. And, if you are in Indonesia, we recommend you to try Blue Marlin from many reasons: they have 5 locations and there are a lot of dive sites around their dive centres; they have good quality and safe equipment; they have professional instructors and you will meet a great team which can easily become your friends.