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First PADI Instructor Exam in Brunei

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Known as the green heart of Borneo, Brunei is fast becoming also known for its stunning blue seas and underwater treasures! A truly unspoilt gem, Brunei recently hosted its first PADI Instructor Exam with fantastic results! From the 15-16th of February this year, 11 candidates partook in both written exams and confined water evaluations conducted by PADI Instructor Examiner, Rommy Heung, who flew in specifically from Hong Kong to direct the program.

Beginning with the written exams and confined water evaluations, which were held at the Mentiri Civil Service Centre in Brunei, candidates then travelled by speedboat to Pelong Rock Island to complete the Open Water presentations. Pelong Rock is well known for its great reef diving, offering varied coral formations to explore and various Japanese shipwrecks can be found around the island.

With all 11 candidates successfully certified, the program was a huge success and was followed with a dinner and award ceremony hosted by PADI Dive Centre, Poni Divers and Seamonkey Dive Centre Malaysia – a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre. In attendance were Brunei government officials, including Guest of Honour, YB Pehin Yahya, Minister of Industry & Primary Resources, Haji Halidi, Acting Director of the Fisheries Department, Faten Shahrani, Project Officer at Brunei Tourism and Major Rudy Halyarmin, Ministry of Defence.

Among the 11 participants were Afiq Whalid and Suhaimi HJ Taja, who are now officially the first locally-certified Bruneian PADI Instructors. Afiq was overwhelmed by the support of PADI, Poni Divers and Sea Monkey Malaysia for making this dream a reality, “it was an unforgettable experience, and I’m proud to be one of the first Bruneian’s to do an IE here in Brunei.” Maclen Torres will also be the first Philippine national certified as PADI Instructor in Brunei.

Course Directors Arnold Yap and Thien X Do were congratulated by PADI for their efforts and contribution to making the first PADI Instructor Exam in Brunei a triumphant achievement. “I feel honoured being the first PADI Course Director to conduct the first ever IDC in the Sultanate”, said Yap. “The local Bruneian’s certainly made us all very welcome and have shown us excellent hospitality throughout the entire IDC and IE. Having created history by conducting the first IDC in Brunei, we are now planning about 2-3 Instructor Exams in Brunei every year as the diving industry becomes more and more popular amongst locals. The dive sites are great with the main attraction being the ample wrecks in the local waters, and I am looking forward to coming back towards the end of the year to conduct another IDC here.”

With 4500 hectares of coral reef and coastline Brunei is a true oasis for diving. From wreck diving to shark sightings, sheer underwater cliffs, oil rig dives and a vast and varied array of corals, Brunei has something for every diver. The water is warm, the marine life tantalising and the abundant wrecks shrouded with enough mystery to tweak any curious soul. Brunei is one off the beaten track destination to add to your dive list.

Find out more about becoming a PADI Instructor here.  

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Get a FREE undersuit when you buy a trilaminate drysuit from Scubapro

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IT’S TRILAMINATE TIME!

SCUBAPRO is launching its 2024 drysuit promotion:

With the purchase of a trilaminate drysuit EVERTECH DRY BREATHABLE or DEFINITION DRY, SCUBAPRO gives you the matching K2 EXTREME undersuit (GBP 345) for free.

If that’s not a reason to start drysuit diving, because in our climate it’s drysuit season all year round! So don’t miss out – the promotion is valid until May 31, 2024 at participating SCUBAPRO retailers and in participating regions.

All information at https://scubapro.johnsonoutdoors.com/eu/en-gb/free-k2.

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Diving with Frogfish in Costa Rica: A Hidden Gem Underwater

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In the vast and vibrant underwater world of Costa Rica, there’s a peculiar creature that often goes unnoticed but holds a special place in the hearts of divers: the frogfish. This enigmatic and somewhat odd-looking species is a master of camouflage and a marvel of marine life. Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is not just a dive; it’s an adventurous treasure hunt that rewards the patient and observant with unforgettable encounters. Let’s dive into the world of frogfish and discover what makes these creatures so fascinating and where you can find them in Costa Rica.

The Mystique of Frogfish

Frogfish belong to the family Antennariidae, a group of marine fish known for their incredible ability to blend into their surroundings. They can be found in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, red, green, black, and white, and they often have unique spots and textures that mimic the coral and sponges around them. This camouflage isn’t just for show; it’s a critical survival tactic that helps them ambush prey and avoid predators.

One of the most remarkable features of the frogfish is its modified dorsal fin, which has evolved into a luring appendage called an esca. The frogfish uses this esca to mimic prey, such as small fish or crustaceans, enticing unsuspecting victims close enough to be engulfed by its surprisingly large mouth in a fraction of a second. This method of hunting is a fascinating spectacle that few divers forget once witnessed.

Where to Find Frogfish in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is dotted with dive sites that offer the chance to encounter these intriguing creatures. Bat Islands (Islas Murciélagos), Catalina Islands (Islas Catalinas), and the area around the Gulf of Papagayo are renowned for their rich marine life, including frogfish. These sites vary in depth and conditions, catering to both novice and experienced divers.

The key to spotting frogfish is to dive with a knowledgeable guide who can point out these master camouflagers hiding in plain sight. They’re often found perched on rocky outcroppings, nestled within coral, or even hiding among debris, perfectly mimicking their surroundings.

frogfish

Diving Tips for Spotting Frogfish

Go Slow: The secret to spotting frogfish is to move slowly and scan carefully. Their camouflage is so effective that they can be right in front of you without being noticed.

Look for Details: Pay attention to the small details. A slightly different texture or an out-of-place color can be the clue you need.

Dive with Local Experts: Local dive guides have an eagle eye for spotting wildlife, including frogfish. Their expertise can significantly increase your chances of an encounter.

Practice Buoyancy Control: Good buoyancy control is essential not just for safety and coral preservation but also for getting a closer look without disturbing these delicate creatures.

Be Patient: Patience is key. Frogfish aren’t known for their speed, and sometimes staying in one spot and observing can yield the best sightings.

Conservation and Respect

While the excitement of spotting a frogfish can be thrilling, it’s crucial to approach all marine life with respect and care. Maintain a safe distance, resist the urge to touch or provoke, and take only photos, leaving behind nothing but bubbles. Remember, the health of the reef and its inhabitants ensures future divers can enjoy these incredible encounters as much as you do.

Join the Adventure

Diving with frogfish in Costa Rica is just one of the many underwater adventures that await in this biodiverse paradise. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or taking your first plunge, the waters here offer an unparalleled experience filled with wonders at every turn. Beyond the thrill of the hunt for frogfish, you’ll be treated to a world teeming with incredible marine life, majestic rays, playful dolphins, and so much more.

So, gear up, dive in, and let the mysteries of Costa Rica’s underwater realm unfold before your eyes. With every dive, you’re not just exploring the ocean; you’re embarking on an adventure that highlights the beauty, complexity, and fragility of our marine ecosystems. And who knows? Your next dive might just be the one where you come face-to-face with the elusive and captivating frogfish. Join us at Rocket Frog Divers for the dive of a lifetime, where the marvels of the ocean are waiting to be discovered.

About the Author: Jonathan Rowe

Are you looking to make a splash online? As a seasoned diver and digital marketer, I specialize in crafting bespoke websites and innovative marketing strategies for dive shops worldwide. With my expertise, your business will not only be seen but also remembered.

From deep-sea to digital depths, I navigate the complex waters of web development and online marketing, ensuring your dive shop stands out in the vast ocean of the internet. Contact Scuba Dive Marketing for more information.

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