Volunteer Jay Kijai talks us through a Discover Scuba Dive with Compass Divers
With more than 20 dive sites surrounding Gili Trawangan, it’s easy to understand why people come here to dive. Gili T also boasts a melting pot of people from different cultures, backgrounds and all walks in life so while the depths of the seas may attract many experienced divers, it limits itself to no one. For me, snorkelling has been as close to the water world as I’ve experienced and even that gets me stoked to see more every time. The Gili islands are surrounded by emerald water and a glowing diving community has developed here so doing my first dive here was a no-brainer. And because the islands have such a large collection of dive centres, there were plenty of choices to choose from. I chose Compass Divers because of their great reviews and I was staying at their affiliated hostel, Broken Compass. They offer a Discovery Scuba Dive (DSD) program that gives first timers a chance to see if they like it or not. I knew I was going to like it but I had no idea I was going to love it so much.
While I wasn’t able to document my own experience, I did return a few weeks later to document the experience of other first timers. Here’s how our day broke down.
There two dive times; an early dive at 9:30am and an afternoon dive at 1:30pm. I chose to do the afternoon dive. At 10:30am, you will meet your instructor and quickly go over some paper work. When you’re done, you will be asked to watch a short but insightful video about safety and awareness in the water. This takes about 15 minutes and you will get to hunker down on one the comfortable bean bags and will even be provided with some drinks. Sorry, popcorn isn’t included.
Next you’ll get fitted with a wet suit, fins and a mask then jump in the pool to practice some basic underwater skills and get comfortable with your gear. Your instructor will teach you basics like how to properly use your gear, movements, communication signs and hand gestures.
Around noon, you’ll break for lunch and have time to relax before meeting back at 1pm.
Staff will load most of the gear on to the boat so you can just hang out on the bean bags until the group is ready to go. This is also a good time to ask any more questions to your instructor.
Your group will walk down together to the boat where there will be a short briefing by the boat master/instructor on the dive site you’ll be diving at, water conditions and walking you through the preparation process. For the Discover Scuba Dive, you will dive down to a maximum of 12m (36 feet). You’ll be diving right next to your instructor the whole time and you will see a wide range of incredible fish and creatures. Everything from turtles to clown fish to octopus to even, if you are lucky, white tip sharks! After about 45-50 minutes, your instructor will deploy a buoy and you’ll slowly surface together making a safety stop at 5m. The crew will pick you up and you’ll make your way back to Gili T.
After walking back to Compass Divers together you will head straight to the cleaning station and drop off your gear. After getting cleaned up, you will sit down with your instructor and talk about all the incredible things you saw down below and log your first dive.
Congrats on your completing your first dive! If you loved your DSD experience and want to continue, you can decide to take the Open Water Course in which your DSD will count towards the first day of the three day course.
For more information or questions, contact Compass Divers to go diving!