Dive instructor in Bali : first steps

Loïc joined Warnakali dive center in 2019 to prepare his dive instructor exam. He then came back once certified. He tells us about his journey and his first steps as a scuba diving instructor in Bali. And more specifically in Nusa Penida. Which is pretty different, current wise !

How I met Warnakali dive center
It all started around a coconut, shared on Sanur beach with my friend and course director Karl. He tells me that we have to postpone my diving instructor training for a month. By chance I met Yann, the manager of Warnakali, that day. He was having dinner with Karl, as I was heading to the airport to greet my mother, but he told me to call him back.

Delicious moments with my mother in Bali and a brief telephone conversation with Yann later, and here I am in Nusa Penida. The idea is to spend a month with Warnakali team. To get back in the water but mainly to prepare my diving instructor exam as best as possible.

Falling in love with Nusa Penida
I had heard of Nusa Penida and its currents. I also had the chance to dive there a few times during my Dive Master, almost always on the same sites (Manta Point, Crystal Bay and SD point). But now, I’m super motivated and super excited to explore more of the archipelago and other dive sites in Nusa Penida.

Yann told me that if the current flows well between us, I will get a job opportunity. But first I have to get my scuba diving instructor diploma. A golden opportunity. On the land side, I fall in love with the island, its beaches, its good life and its people. On the sea side, I do not yet realize how much the waters of Nusa Penida, its reefs and its incredible underwater life deserve.

The hazing
From the second day of diving, I “crack the cherry”, in other words, I discover Nusa Penida currents. A supersonic drift dive in the channel, I think I even saw a few speeding flashes. It’s impressive, I didn’t think it was possible to go so fast underwater. You can call it an initiation or a hazing. This is the environment I have to tame, the mission promises to be difficult.

After this surprising first, I realize my lack of experience and benchmarks in the current. But I follow the wise advice of Yann and Célia, another dive instructor from the center. Day after day, I improve my diving techniques, I begin to understand the currents, to read them.

It takes time, and at the slightest excess of confidence, the ocean calls me to order. He makes it very clear he is the boss. Dive after dive, I still feel better and better. It takes time to progress and gain experience.

How a scuba diving center works
I also spend a lot of time to understand how the dive center is working, the excellence of the service, and the constant search for the maximum divers satisfaction. It is a duty, a moral act. Each person getting on the boat comes here to spend a moment of happiness.

It’s an environment in which I feel good. Each day brings a different adventure, a different learning. Muhyddin & Imam, respectively captain and second mate, teach me to analyze the currents from the surface. I am amazed how well they can read the surface of the sea to predict the course of the dive. They know their sea and its hazards by heart. I believe that they have discovered the well kept secrets of Nusa Penida currents.

More and more comfortable in the water, I start to guide. And the challenge launched a month earlier is gratifying. I still have this question : would I be able to teach in this environment, as splendid as it is demanding, where hesitation has no place ? This is a new challenge, even more exciting, which will require a lot of effort.

As Gandhi said: “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory. “. So here I am facing one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. Thanks to Yann and Warnakali, for preparing me to the dive instructor exam.

The confirmation
Here I am back to Warnakali, freshly certified as a scuba diving instructor. I feel ready for my fist steps, to take up the challenge. After a few fun dives, as a reward for the certification, the new adventure begins. First dive on the menu : a discovery dive.

At Warnakali the aim is to offer the best experience to all divers, whatever their level. I can only thrive in such a complete environment in search of excellence. The theoretical session and swimming pool are going wonderfully.

Under the charm of my new dive instructor job
Once at sea, I realize the huge difference between diving into the current and guiding, and between guiding in the current and teaching. This is when I really fell in love with my new job, in the heat of the moment. Bring people into this environment, bring them back alive, but above all with the feeling of having experienced something exceptional.

Here, the concept of “extreme sport” takes on its full meaning, making it an even richer and more exciting experience. Between discovery dives and more in-depth courses, what a joy to go with the flow of currents, faced with this multitude of colors, shapes and countless species. If diving is a hobby for some, here in Nusa Penida, it takes its letters of nobility for me and becomes an art, something that is appreciated and tasted.

Teach my passion
It is in this world that I am fortunate to become better, day after day, to transmit and teach my passion. It is a chance. When the desire to share blends perfectly with the setting or the given environment, you are faced with a happy, fulfilling, vigilant human, whose passion has no limits.

This is how I see Warnakali, at the crossroads of an exceptional universe, and the quest for the ultimate satisfaction in discovering it. So I want to thank everyone who got me there, and first on the list, Warnakali. Because this is my vision of the world : sharing knowledge while respecting what is offered to us.

On the job dive instructor training
The main advantage when you teach scuba diving and not quantum physics, is that the students are there by choice, with their own motivation. In fact, we face a rather concentrated audience eager for knowledge. Transmitting in this context naturally brings an additional source of motivation.

A mentor/padawan relationship
Under these conditions the mentor / padawan relationship is obvious, and the search for excellence is facilitated. No matter how comfortable the new students are in the water, there is a different method of achieving the performance required for each of them. While respecting the standards imposed by PADI, we can always find a method to achieve the requested exercise.

This is an aspect that is very dear to me, knowing how to adapt to each one in order to bring it with ease to the performance of the exercise. Having water in your mask can be very scary for a budding diver. That said, with good confidence and taking the necessary time, you gradually manage to make the student swim without a mask underwater. The apprehension that was present at the beginning of the explanation of the exercise becomes a satisfaction and a pride to have achieved it. It is by dint of acquired skills that we build the diver’s confidence, his ease and his happiness during his future dives.

Nusa Penida currents
In Nusa Penida, there is another factor to take into account: the currents. This can be a source of anxiety at first glance. But when divers realize they can take pleasure in these challenging conditions, it is a new victory. That’s why I am very satisfied, as a diving instructor, to know that the divers I trained in Nusa Penida can go anywhere in the world. Whatever the conditions, they will enjoy their new passion. Moreover, current is life. This is what makes the charm and the quality of diving in Nusa Penida.

“Would I be able to teach in this environment ?”, No more doubt today, I affirm with strength and satisfaction, yes!