I came to Amed with little knowledge of any other dive sites but the Liberty wreck in Tulamben, and booked in to do two days of double-dives with the shop. I turned up in the afternoon of our arrival to fit out for gear and decide on where to go the next morning (I chose the Liberty).
I arrived in the morning to meet Nico (the dive shop manager) and his lovely girlfriend (and DM in training), Helen. They, (and the rest of the staff were extremely chilled out, and great fun to be around (whilst still being very safety-conscious). The time spent with them and the staff was all part of the great experience I had! The briefings I received were excellent, and I felt well and truly safe in the capable care of Nico. He covered off local safety elements (and how to deal with them) - trigger fish, bluebottles, currents etc.
I got to do a great variety of dives in the time I was here - the Liberty wreck, the Japanese shipwreck (and reef), plus two Jukung (local fishing boat) dives the next day - one on a great drop-off and one around a point (both at Jemeluk village). Apparently many of the dive shops save money by doing just a couple of sites, but not this crew! I was also lucky enough to dive in groups of only three every dive!
Another great aspect is they genuinely care about the quality of your experience, and the health of the ocean - they have set up a deal with some of the Jukung captains that they will rent their boats on regular basis if they don't fish the reef - brilliant idea and well executed. Nico and Helen also regularly clean the reef with the Japanese shipwreck (out the front of the shop) of rubbish etc (they also do this wherever they dive).
I dived with my own reg setup and mask but found the quality of gear to also be excellent (I also trust that everything is well maintained). In summary, if you want a safe, exciting dive experience with variety (and fun people), I strongly recommend Baliku Dive shop.
Thanks so much for the great times guys, I will remember it forever!
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