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CoralReeferMadness

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Hi All,

I am new to ScubaBoard and looking for some advice: I am a science teacher in the California looking for a way to use my summer vacations to travel the world. As a teacher, I don't make much and was looking to complete a Divemaster Internship this summer (and later my Instructor Cert) as a way to work each summer in different parts of the world to help offset the cost of travel.

Right now I am considering Ko Tao, Thailand (maybe Sairee Cottage Divers) or Bali, Indonesia (TBD) and looking for advice from people that have experience diving these areas. I am looking for an inexpensive, but quality course that is not a factory-like setting. I don't mind a bit of a party scene from time to time, but I am 35 and more interested in a quality course with excellent diving- as this not an insignificant investment given my school-teacher salary.

I am interested in S.E. Asia as I was blown away by my diving in the Philippines, but would like to experience a new country. Most of my diving has been in the Caribbean, Mexico, and the California coast. Since I have 6-weeks for the internship, I'd rather spend that time in a region that that is new (as much of the motivation for doing this to explore parts unknown).

My experience:
Open Water cert in 2003 (Burlington, Vermont).
B.S. in Marine Science in 2011 (St. Pete, Florida).
Advanced O.W in 2016 (Palawan, Philippines).
>50 free dives/spearfishing (Fort Bragg, California).
Rescue Cert in 2019 (San Fran, California).
65 Logged dives total

Any advice on specific shops or internships? I am up to a challenge if need be- I am accustomed hard labor, working on boats, cold water diving in kelp with 7mm suit, poor visibility, free diving, etc. I am also not opposed to alternatives to Ko Tao or Bali if the total cost is comparable.

I welcome all thoughts and advice.

Thank you!
 

Mr. Sunday

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I'm a Fish!
Thanks! Any recommendations on specific ops in Bali or Komodo?
I don't have any training experience in Komodo just diving. I used Current Junkies and Blue Marlin. Current Junkies liveaboard was amazing and Blue Marlin in LBJ seemed to have a decent operation. I was happy with them as a dive operator and would likely use them again in the future. They do offer a DM course. Dive Master
 

Centrals

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SJ Komodo has a very unique set up in the area. The place is quite a distance from everything except a small local village not too far away. Actually most of the staffs came from there.
A very close-knitted environment for DMT and also a very good opportunity to learn a foreign language. Just to learn the 72 letters(44 consonant + 28 vowels) in Thai is not easy! BTW, I am absolutely hopeless in language.
 

Searcaigh

Seahorse Wrangler
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Any suggestions for specific shops offering DM internships in Bali or Komodo?
I've not had any training in Bali but I do know a reputable instructor there.

@ScubaWithTurk
 
OP
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CoralReeferMadness

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SJ Komodo has a very unique set up in the area. The place is quite a distance from everything except a small local village not too far away. Actually most of the staffs came from there.
A very close-knitted environment for DMT and also a very good opportunity to learn a foreign language. Just to learn the 72 letters(44 consonant + 28 vowels) in Thai is not easy! BTW, I am absolutely hopeless in language.
Thanks for the tip. I have been corresponding with SJ over the past week, and although I was very hopeful, things fell through. They will only start DM internships at the 1st of each month, and not in July or August when season peaks. Still not sure I agree with their rationale, but there you go.

Any suggestions for alternatives near Komodo or back on Bali?
 
OP
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CoralReeferMadness

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I did my DM in Thailand. Great experience but if I did it over I would head to Indo. Likely Komodo.
Thanks for the tip. I have been corresponding with Scuba Junkie in Komodo over the past week, and although I was very hopeful, things fell through. They will only start DM internships at the 1st of each month, and not in July or August when season peaks. Still not sure I agree with their rationale, but there you go.

Any suggestions for alternatives near Komodo or back on Bali?
 

Twiny

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Hi, in Bali I would recommend 2 areas for your DMT :
- Nusa Lembongan
- Amed / Tulamben
If you want exp with muck/macro then pick Amed/Tulamben, if you prefer exp with current/drift then pick Nusa Lembongan.
In both areas, DC are all gathered in the same location so for a DMT (no external exam at fixed date) you do not need to choose before arrival ... Just come, talk to a nice instructor and start.
PS : Nusa Lembongan = boat diving. Amed/Tulamben = shore diving and please forget Koh Tao since you want to enjoy your training dive as fun dives ... Bali is already much under Komodo/Raja level
 

Centrals

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Thanks for the tip. I have been corresponding with SJ over the past week, and although I was very hopeful, things fell through. They will only start DM internships at the 1st of each month, and not in July or August when season peaks. Still not sure I agree with their rationale, but there you go.

Any suggestions for alternatives near Komodo or back on Bali?
Pity because the set up is perfect for DMT. On site training, 3 boat dives a day in various sites of the area with degree of difficulty. There aren't many places that DMT have to jump into water and check the flow/strength of the underwater current!!
I am sorry I cannot really suggest any suitable alternative.
Best of luck.
 

Luko

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In Komodo/Labuan Bajo I have been diving with a few operations (as a diver-photographer using private guiding services, sometimes a private boat so we could do what we wanted) : I had a disappointing experience with Marlin Dive who btw had Koh Tao trained instructors, I would recommend Dragon Dive Komodo, french agency trained instructors (usually meaning bolder than average diving) but they are PADI as well.

In Bali, I agree with Twiny : a trade off could be Padang Bai that can combine both local macro and current dives in Penida, so it's a good overall experience.
Geko Dive have experienced instructors incl also TDI tech diving.
 
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