Conducting a BRUV during a dive - divemaster with IOP

Conservation Divemaster: A Day in the Life

Last year, I left Ireland for Indonesia. I had signed up for an 8-week internship to become a conservation Divemaster with Indo Ocean Project, a conservation organisation that trains SCUBA divers up to a professional standard. Having just finished my masters in Marine Conservation, it seemed like the perfect step for me to take. Being in the sea and studying these creatures was my dream! It was an unbelievable experience, I learnt so much and made friends for life. If anyone else is thinking about doing the IOP internship, I wrote about about it here. And to give you an idea of what day-to-day life is like, read on.

07:00 am

Wake up in your bungalow to the sound of birds chirping and roosters crowing. Maybe you’ve got some fresh fruit for breakfast, or you’re waiting on a food delivery from Novi (the best chef in town). Get your swimmies on and pack your stuff for the day ahead.

08:00 am

Arrive at the dive centre, Reeflex, which is only a couple minutes’ walk away. Start getting your gear ready in a dive bag, and if you are assisting an instructor that day, get the guests’ gear ready too. Sometimes you will be the boat master, which means you have to organise the boat seating arrangements, find out the tide times, make sure everything is on board, and do the boat briefing.

09:00 am

By 9am, everyone should be ready to go. All the bags are on the truck, as well as lunch, weight belts, oxygen, and BRUV equipment if there’s a BRUV deployment that day. Hop on the passenger truck and ride down to either Crystal Bay or Toyapakeh, depending on which dive sites you’re going to.

09:15 am

Help to load all the dive gear and tanks on to the boat. Start setting up your own gear and any guests’ gear.

09:30 am

The boat master gives the boat briefing as you start to head off to your first dive site!

10:00 am

Everyone gets into the water for their first dive. Maybe you’re assisting an instructor with a guest, deploying a BRUV, doing a Dive Against Debris or a survey dive – all activities to get you started on your journey to become a conservation Divemaster.

11:00 am

All the divers have surfaced and are back on the boat, excitedly chattering about what they’ve seen underwater. Change your gear and your guests’ gear over to the second tank. The boat starts to move on to the second dive site. 

11:30 am 

Lunch is served! Little banana leaf-packed bungkus (takeaway packages) are passed around, filled with nasi campur (mixed rice): rice, tempe, egg, vegetable, and sambal. Eat it with your hands and wash them in the sea afterwards.

12:00 pm

After an hour-long surface interval, it’s time to get back in the water for your second dive. If your first dive was a science-y dive, your second dive will be a fun dive. Woo! Bring your camera because who knows what you’ll see – mantas, turtles, nudibranchs, maybe even some sharks and dolphins!

13:00 pm

Once you’ve surfaced from your dive, get back on the boat and start packing away all the gear into bags. The boat master will give the return briefing.

13:30 pm

When you’ve arrived at the beach, help bring all the bags and tanks back to the truck. And don’t forget to say “Terimakasih!” (Thank you) to the boat captain and crew. 

13:45 pm

Back at the dive centre, rinse and clean all your equipment and your guests’. If you’ve done a survey dive that day, start recording all of the data with your team onto the spreadsheet. If you did a BRUV that day, you will be doing a water quality test as well. Or maybe you’re sorting through all the rubbish you collected on your Dive Against Debris. As a conservation Divemaster, there’s always something to be doing once you get back from your dive!

15:00 pm

After a little break, you’ve got a lecture! It could be on a number of topics: coral, sharks, turtles, mantas, molas, nudibranchs, or mangroves. Take a cup of tea, settle into the beanbags, and absorb all the wisdom of your teachers ~~~~~~

17:00 pm

The lecture is over, now you are all the more knowledgeable about sharks. Take your butt home to rest for a while until dinner.

19:00 pm

Dinna time. Maybe you want to have a chill evening and stay in, order from one of the warungs (restaurants) who will deliver to your door. Or else head out on your bike to one of the many options in “town.” There’s a wide range of local and Western restaurants, take a look at my recommendations here.

21:00 pm

Listen to some live music in Aguan or Mambo, treat yourself to a bottle of Bintang. Stay for a long time or little time, but don’t be hungover the next day – you don’t wanna be throwing up into your regulator!

If you want to learn more about the Divemaster with IOP, you can read my post here.


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