As a diver travelling alone, I often have to team up as a diving buddy with the most diverse of groups. Ideally, I dive with other singles, but they’re not always in the same place at the same time as I am. Frequently I get placed next to the guides or the third diver in an existing buddy team, usually couples or friends. When I was looking for a buddy for my last dive on Bali, I wasn’t assigned just one, but four: family Jacquat :-)
The four caught my eye much earlier at the dive centre, because I think it’s really cool and rare for an entire family to go diving. Plus, I hadn’t encountered many families underwater before. But during my week’s stay at the Siddhartha Ocean Front Resort & Spa there were no less than three diving families.
Even mum Rebecca’s cautionary advice during the briefing that the kids could only dive to a max. of 14 metres couldn’t stop me from going overboard with an entire family. Plus, at 14 metres the light is great for beautiful pictures and impressions.
Dad André has been diving since 1998, mum Rebecca since 2002. And the two had apparently “infected” their two sons Pascal & Luc with their tales about their underwater experiences and vistas. Both boys did their junior diving certificates in 2014 in Egypt.
And so, post-briefing, we clambered along the tow line to the boat and took our seats. While dad André and the boys were grinning from ear to ear, mum Rebecca was trying to find her inner balance, as seaworthiness apparently isn’t her forte … But thanks to calm seas, virtually no wind and distracting conversation we were all able to backward roll into the water 15 minutes later and commence our dive without any problems.
We gathered at 10 metres and, before heading off to explore the reef, took a couple of family snapshots underwater to commemorate the special Occasion:
Luc and Pascal dived like pros and were really relaxed alongside their parents. With all 4 hearts beating as one, I was really impressed to see how they all shared this passion.
Underneath a large plate coral we found our “catch” of the day: a sleeping whitetip reef shark. Everyone’s caution and reservation pleased me no end. Nothing is more important underwater than respect for nature. Where others would have thrust their camera into the shark’s face or maybe even attached a GoPro with an extension arm to its mouth, we all enjoyed the spectacle at a distance, happy that the star of the show had actually turned up. And in order to give the next diver something to see, we left as quietly as we came.
For an hour we floated around and enjoyed the sight of colourful fish, large starfish, great humphead parrot fish and the immense tranquillity of the deep. A perfect dive that I would have loved to repeat, but couldn’t due to my departure.
And while the Jaquats had a great time during the rest of their stay on Bali, taking cycling trips through the villages of Northern part of the island or simply hanging around at their villa’s own pool, I headed back home, happy to have met them and with a great new contact in my diver’s log book.
Dear Jaquats, I hope we meet again soon, be it above or below the waterline.
(Pictures are provided by Familie Jacquat)