Thinking of trying scuba diving for the first time? We went diving in Nusa Penida with Blue Corner Dive – and loved every second…
Diving is something we had both talked about doing for some time but to be honest, we were both apprehensive.
As an avid diver, Matt’s brother Nick said Indonesia was one of the best places he had ever dived. It was then we decided that it was a great place to conquer our fear and just go for it.
Our initial first choice to try scuba diving, the Gili Islands, had recently been struck by a series of earthquakes and aftershocks. After this news, we decided to stick to diving in Nusa Penida which, we had read, was a naturally beautiful less developed island next to Bali.
After doing some quick research on Trip Advisor we saw that the no.1 dive school on the island was Blue Corner Dive. Ideally located a four-minute drive from our homestay.
We popped into the office on our second day (we stayed four nights on the island) to find out a bit more. Luckily we discovered that they do take out new divers and booked us in the following morning. Without giving it a second thought we decided to go for it and filled out the questionable paperwork in agreeance of arriving back at 7:30 am. We were given a little booklet to read through overnight as ‘homework’ to run us through the basic instructions & signals.
Lorna’s initial thoughts
I personally was unsure about the experience as I overthink on my breathing sometimes, particularly when exercising. I feel as though I get out of breath very quickly and then try and focus on inhaling & exhaling; something I was worried may be problematic when under the water. I thought I might panic and feel stressed out but this wasn’t the case at all. If anything I felt the opposite, calm and having no struggles in breathing at all.
Matt’s initial thoughts
So, if I’m honest, I am a worrier. I overthink situations and the worst case scenarios. So being 12 meters below sea level there is obviously a lot of worst case scenarios. Are my eardrums going to burst? Are my lungs going to collapse? Am I going to get the bends? Am I going to straight up panic and head to the surface (which I learnt would be the worst thing you can do)? All of this was of course in my head. But after a pep talk from my brother who is an experienced diver, I just went with his advice, tried to stay calm and just enjoy it because I do love fish and sea life, it was just the case of embracing it.
Our Experience with Blue Corner
In the morning we arrived and were introduced to our diving instructor Suna. Initially, she went over all of the safety procedures to make sure we understood everything. We then got into to the pool in all the gear to practice the basic skills before heading to the ocean.
When we felt confident, we were driven to the harbour in the back of a pickup truck with the welcome companion of Chuckles, the owner Jason’s egg loving dog, and another group of more experienced divers.
On arrival at the harbour, a boat was waiting for us to head to the first dive site of the day. Along the way, we saw two dolphins which we took as a sign of good luck.
Before starting our first dive, Suna explained how to drop into the water (backwards and tank first). She went on to describe how we would begin our first descend safely – by holding on to the anchor rope.
Our first dive
Initially while going deeper underwater, equalizing our ears was tricky but we soon got the hang of it. Our instructor made us feel at ease the whole way, constantly signalling to make sure we were ok.
While immersed in the incredible underwater world time went very quickly. The only other similar experience we’ve done was snorkelling in the Whitsundays and this was truly incomparable. Rather than looking down on the ocean scene you really become a part of it. We saw an incredible array of sea creatures and coral.
And I finally satisfied my desire of seeing a turtle up close (two in fact)!
Before we knew it we were at the surface.
Blue Corner provided us with tea/coffee and drinking water along with an interesting Indonesian style packed lunch. This is when we established Chuckles love for eggs.
Our second dive
After eating, we got all of the kit back on and got back in the water at the second dive spot of the day. The current was much stronger there which allowed us to experience ‘drift diving’ which is ultimately just letting the current take you with it whilst you take in the wonders of the diverse eco-system.
After the second dive, we were led back to the harbour where a car was waiting for us to take us back to the centre. On arrival, we showered off the salty water, rinsed the equipment off and hung it up. Our instructor showed us a booklet containing pictures of all the marine life we saw before we settled up the bill.
We paid Rp1,500,000 per person for two dives which roughly exchanges to £78. Initially, our mind was put at ease with a ‘no strings attached’ offer. If we didn’t enjoy our first dive we didn’t have to pay for the second. Of course, this wasn’t an issue in the end as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
In conclusion, we can’t speak for experienced divers but as first-timers, we would definitely recommend Blue Corner Dive and Nusa Penida. The staff were fantastic and the dive sites were beautiful.