My dive journey started back in 2013, when I was Cairns, Australia, out on a ferry for a dolphin watching tour. The crew offered the guests to do a fun dive, and being adventurous by nature, I went for it. It was completely new for me, and I wasn’t particularly comfortable either, but the dive bug had got me.
Hi guys, I’m Shanu, I came to Amed with just 17 logged dives, over a year’s break since my last dive, and an Advanced Open Water certification – essentially a novice diver. But today, I can take you certified divers on a fun dive! I’ve come a long way from where I started and much credit goes to the instructors at Two Fish.
In the past four weeks, I’ve completed my EFR, Rescue, five different specialties, a bunch of dives, dive site guiding practice, and half of the PADI Divemaster course. Yup, it was a power-packed month with only one day off! The day at Two Fish Amed starts at 7:15 am, setting-up the gear for ourselves and the guests, loading the boat, and by 8 am we’re off for our dives. Loading and unloading the 15kg tanks and rest of the scuba equipment was physically demanding, felt challenging at the start, but soon it became a routine.
Amed is a small fishing town dominated by more dive centers than anything else. So definitely a great place to go diving. It has something for everyone, from beginners to highly experienced divers! Amed is known for muck diving. Two Fish has a nice muck diving site right it in front of the shop called “Two Fish House Reef”. The dive centre adopted the site as part of Project AWARE initiative that they now maintain and organise a monthly “Ocean Clean Up”. You’re welcome to volunteer and enjoy a free afternoon dive on the Cleanup Day! My dive buddy, Marie and I would sometimes go for fun dives here, as it’s really easy to access and it was super fun to look around for small creatures.
Amed also has some beautiful coral sites and is blessed to be so close to the world’s famous USAT Liberty Wreck. It’s a huge 125m long shipwreck lying on a slanting sandy bottom between 5m-30m in Tulamben. The Japanese torpedoed wreck is home to an incredible coral and fish life. You can spot a few turtles, some barracudas, many angel and damselfish, giant marbled groupers, garden eels, school of bumphead parrotfish and so much more.
The Liberty wreck is where I did my first night dive. It was also my first dive visiting the wreck. Two new things at once! It was a bit too adventurous a choice and the dive experience nailed it for me. With 80% fogged-up mask and visibility limited to your torchlight, least to say, it was a trippy dive for me! Often, I didn’t know what I was looking at (haha)! My dive buddy Fred (big thanks) looked out for me in my visually impaired state. I survived just fine and the dive has become a funny and yet interesting memory. Night diving is quite popular at the USAT Liberty wreck and this was one of the highlights of my PADI Divemaster course so far.
My deep specialty at Kubu wreck, going down to 40m, was super fun, done in daylight of course. The fun part about this wreck? It has two levels and you can actually go inside the wreck into its two levels, and come out on top of the wreck! We penetrated a small 1.5m wide square vent and comfortably exited through a doorway. It’s was really exciting, and this time I perfectly remembered the experience. If you wish to dive here at the deepest part of the wreck, you’ll need to be a certified deep diver, though you can still enjoy it from 16m-30m as well!
Another experience on my PADI Divemaster course worth mentioning is the time when I was guiding my instructor, Markus, as part of my course. We were at a beautiful coral site that boasted scattered but dense coral reefs with lots of fish life and many schools of small fish. We saw a few blue spotted stingrays, nudibranchs, leaf scorpionfish, Markus even got his teeth cleaned at the cleaning station by one of the shrimps! It was really cool to watch the shrimps sincerely do their work, regardless of who you are! We also saw a titan triggerfish that must have been nesting. We were at a distance and simply swam passed it. A few seconds later, I felt a punch on the back on my leg. And in my head, I was like “what the heck, did Markus just whack me?” (Haha). I turned around and saw Markus some 7m away. It was the triggerfish! It seems like it just randomly decided to shoo me off! Honestly, I was already off its territory. No one got hurt, neither me nor the fish, it was just intimidation and not a real stand-off. And well, no one whacks you underwater (lol), except, of course, the fish who is protecting his nest.
October was great, a whole month of diving for my PADI Divemaster Course, leading a healthy life, early to bed and early to rise, chilling at the beach… an ideal diver’s life. I met some wonderful people, made some good friends, and it was a jam-packed, incredible diving experience.
Besides all the diving in Amed, food is mostly good across restaurants, locals are kind and friendly, and you can enjoy a stunning view of the coast from Blue Earth Village cafe, also a good spot to watch the sunset behind Mt Agung. And oh wait, it doesn’t end here. The next stop on my PADI Divemaster Course? Two Fish Divers Bunaken! I spend two more weeks there. You’ll soon be hearing from me again about the wonder walls of Bunaken!
Blog by: DMT Shanu, Amed, Bali
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