Pulau Kapalai, a remote sandbank with a Hotel built on it. Plus a wonderful (artificial) reef, no less than a 5 minute boat ride from the diving paradise Mabul away.
Here lies an adventurous and diverse marine habitat that will leave your craving for new and exciting sea creatures more than satisfied. The part which is artificial reef at Kapalai is rather grand. There are lots of different components such as buildings, frames in the form houses and boats, attracting differing kinds of critters. The reef fish have worked out that divers cannot get inside these structures, so many, like the sweetlips will hang in there in the same way they would under a ledge or in a crevice. And just because Kapalai is an artificial reef, doesn’t mean that you won’t find all the regular reef critters.
Suitable for divers of all levels, Kapalai reef consists of a sloping reef descending down to around 15m and onto a sandy bottom (22m) where you can find an array of nudis, devil scorpion fish, garden eels, octopus, barracuda, sweetlips, batfish and snapper schools, giant groupers and the elusive and mystifying ornate ghost pipefish. Found a small black moray eel with a red head there which I wasn’t able to ID for sure. An educated guess was it’s a juvenile red-faced moray. But please let us know if you know the exact species.
After diving all of the artificial reef one usually returns back to the natural reef to finish off the dive with more stunning creatures such as cuttlefish, leaf scorpion fish, painted frog fish, giant moray eels, mandarin fish, white banded pipefish, hairy squat lobsters, peacock mantis shrimp and loads of special nudis and critters (An extra video featuring only the fish of Kapalai can be watched here https://youtu.be/Rm62xHIRbro).
Tips for… Your IDC
Looking to become a PADI Instructor? Then you will be looking to take your PADI Instructor Development Course. Those of you thinking of becoming an instructor may be finding this a scary process and those of you that have already been through it, will (hopefully) have looked back and enjoyed it! But that’s normal with anything that involves an exam, no?
The IDC is, as it says, a course designed to refine your teaching skills to the standard required to pass the Instructor Examination… and not only that, but prepare you for teaching your own students. There are some things that can make your IDC easier… this involves being prepared!
We have lots of divers come through to take our IDC’s and have the same types of questions each time, mostly asking how best to prepare. So, here are our tips and tricks.
To start – consider the time of year, and what you will be wearing. The IDC open water sessions can be stressful enough when you are trying to become neutrally buoyant in front of the Course Director, without the added stress of having added an extra few layers and not being weighted correctly. Prep your kit before you join the course.
Our next tip – skills. We have no doubt that you can perform mask removal and replace, but can you demonstrate it? The best way to do this isn’t always in the water either… how about trying it in the mirror? Yes, you will probably feel like an idiot (but that will only make you feel better when in front of a group). Watching yourself go through the skills, will allow you to see if you need to slow down…and what your student would be seeing. If you were to be on the other end watching the skill, would you be able to understand it? Our only other tip would be, maybe to leave out the hover with this tip!
Theory – Don’t forget the physics, RDP etc… not the most fun part, we know, but an all-important one nonetheless. This is the element of the course where you can do a lot of work behind the scenes and whilst we will of course take the time to teach you on the IDC, we also don’t want to waste all of the valuable time sat in a classroom. As with all diving, we want to be diving; working with you in the water to develop your skills and underwater control.
Lastly – don’t stress! Easier said than done, right? But we can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it. Go into the IDC having prepped with your skills and theory, questions prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask. That’s why you are there. Remember when you started your Open Water course? You didn’t know all of the answers, and guess what? This is the same.
Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
Jump into… A career in diving
A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’
I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!
I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!
If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles.
Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at.
There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.
So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour.
Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
WIN a c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with c-monsta to give away one of their wetsuit hangers as a prize!...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag as...
Win a Vasili Lights Fish Lantern!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Vasili Lights to give away one of their beautiful Fish Lanterns! Inspired...
WIN a Beuchat Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!...
News2 months ago
Irish Marine Science student wins European Scuba Diving Scholarship
News2 months ago
Diving with… Pablo Calderon Cadiz, Takata Experience, Mahaual, Mexico
Winners - Underwater Videography Contests3 months ago
May 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review
News2 months ago
Diving Loch Long
Winners - Underwater Photography Contests3 months ago
May 2022 Photo Contest Winner and Review
Gear Reviews2 months ago
Gear Review: Mares EOS LRZ Torch Range
Marine Life & Conservation1 month ago
Jeff chats to… Esther Jacobs from Fire Island Conservation in Mozambique (Watch Video)
News3 months ago
Final few days to enter the OrcaTorch Search for Atlantis photo competition