Vietnam

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New blog, new goal ! In this part of the blog, I’ll tell you about diving in Vietnam and its nudibranchs, the Instructor Development Course, and life in paradise – a small island called Whale Island. From January to the beginning of May, I really enjoyed my life in the sun (before heading to a rainy autumn in Melbourne), I learned a lot and ended up with a new certification! 

A new goal

13th of January 2013: after spending the week-end in Paris for the international dive show (a quality event that I strongly recommend to all the divers who will read this !), here I am, on a plane to a new destination: Vietnam. I have indeed been hired by a dive center, Rainbow Divers, established in several locations throughout the country (Con Dao, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Île de la Baleine et Saïgon), to work as a Divemaster at first but most importantly to become a scuba diving instructor and work as such for a bit before heading out to Australia for a new adventure since I have received a scholarship for a three-year PhD begining in May – please, bear with me if you wanna know more about this, I’ll post news regularly when I’m over there!

If you are interested in scuba diving and are looking for a new destination, why not Vietnam ? To obtain more information about it and about Rainbow Divers, go see this link : http://www.divevietnam.com/. I can also contact me if you have specific questions using the contact form of this website. Be warned though: in Vietnam, as in other developing countries, you need to check the quality of the dive center you want to dive with – quality of the equipment, certifications of staff, belonging to a reputed diving association like PADI or SSI (careful : some dive centers have been expelled by those associations but still advertised them on their front windows, so you should check online on the associations’ websites where you’ll get accurate information), the respect of proper diving procedures (like roll calls after diving, it might sound silly but people have been left behing by crowded boats of not so careful dive centers and the consequences ended up being deadly…) ; it’s for your safety first of all, but keep in mind that it is also for your enjoyment and comfort! Sorry to break it up to you dear backpackers and others who travel on a tight budget and still wanna have fun but with diving the cheap-cheap option never is the best ! 

Diving in Nha Trang

Like all dive centers in Nha Trang, Rainbow takes its customers to Hon Mun Marine Park, after a 45-minute boat ride from the harbor. This is where the underwater life is the most attractive and the coral reefs – over 250 different species, is it impressive or what? - are still nice and healthy. This area has been protected for a bit less than 10 years and there we can see a variety of reef fish – all the ones you’d see in Finding Nemo!! –  and small organisms like my favorites –  nudibranchs ! Vietnam is indeed a very interesting destionation for macro diving … colourful sea slugs, small symbiotic shrimps and crabs, well, everything to please the ones who have good eyes and know where to look ! but Rainbow has the best dive guides ever so that’s no problem ! since they have been diving there for years they know the dive sites like the back of their hand and some of them have thousands of dives under their belts (pretty impressive, what do ya think?) so of course they are very good at finding that kinda stuff! Regularly, we spot colourful scorpionfishes (but stay away, apparently they hurt like hell if you touch them !), camouflaged frogfishes, flying gurnards, dragonnets, cuttlefishes and so on ! For the ones who expect to see big fishes though it is deemed to be a disappointment as sharks, rays, turtles and such are rarely seen in the area.  The viz, not great when I arrived in January, got better throughout my stay to sometimes reach ten-fifteen meters sometimes, especially towards the end. But what’s good in Vietnam is that because the main focus is macro diving and because you need to get close to the bottom to see the small organisms you still see a lot of things even with reduced visibility. As far as temperatures go, I experienced 24-25°C at the beginning of my stay to 28-29°C towards the end… very pleasant ! To sum up, despite what I had heard, there really are nice dives to be experienced in this country! And if you are lucky enough, you might even see the white-bellied sea eagles doing their show as you relax on the sundeck in between dives ! Allright, now I’m gonna stop tying and post some pics!

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White-bellied sea eagle in Hon Mun 

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Seahorse Bay and its turquoise waters in Hon Mun

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Devil scorpion fish in Hon Mun

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Symbiotic shrimp in an anemone in Hon Mun

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