Up Close and “Personnel” : Basrah
Murex’s Senior Dive Guide
Frequently guests who dive with Murex make friends with their dive guides and many guests say that they are keen to know more about them – in and out of the water! To help you to get to know our team we have decided to share some of our guides’ thoughts about diving, working at Murex and much more! In this Blog our interviewer catches up with Basrah to find out how he got involved in diving, what he likes most about his job and what makes him still so passionate about being in the diving industry after almost two decades of company service at Murex Dive Resorts.
(I – Interviewer, B – Basrah)
I – Okay Basrah, let’s start with your full name.
B – Actually my first name is Daniel, my full name is Daniel Basrah Tan but I like to be called Basrah.
I – So Basrah, tell us about your past – where are you from and how did you come to work at Murex?
B – I was born in Banda Neira, a small island near Ambon, in 1975. I came to Manado City in 1996 to find work and I started my first job at Murex in November 1997.
I – Your first job at Murex as a dive guide?
B – No of course not (laughing), I couldn’t dive then! I started working as a Security Guard!
I – Wow! So when did you start training as a Dive Guide?
B – After 1 year, I worked hard as a security guard and I think Murex wanted to help me develop so I started dive training and I finally became a dive guide in 1998.
I – You must have been very proud…
B – Oh yes, for me at this time to be a dive guide at Murex was a dream, it meant I could support my family and spend time in the water – it was perfect.
I – And your family also lives in Manado?
B – Yes, there is me and my wife – we have been together now for 15 years! And we have 2 children – they are my life and I love them so much – my daughter is 13 years old and my son is 12 years old.
I – So Manado is definitely your home now?
B – Oh yes, my family are here, my home is here, my job is here. I love my life here. Sometimes I also go to Bangka with the guests – I really like the diving there.
I – So when you’re not working what do you like to do in your free time and on days off?
B – Stay at home and play with my kids of course!
I – Do you like to watch movies or listen to music?
B – I don’t really like movies but I do like music and I play the guitar in the staff band when I am in Bangka, that’s a lot of fun for the Murex staff, we like singing and music and the guests have a fun night too – but really on my days off I just like to spend time with my family!
I – Basrah your English is excellent – did you learn in school?
B – (Bursts out laughing) No, no, no! I am not so good in school and I didn’t have any English before I came to Murex, I learnt it all here. Talking to guests, listening to the staff and trying to understand and practice every day with guests.
I – You must have met a lot of guests in your time at Murex?
B – Oh, so many! I have many friends on Face Book now – from all over the world!
I – Ok, so let’s talk about diving. Now you are a certified Divemaster?
B – Yes, I am a certified Divemaster and a Senior Dive Master at Murex. This means I also help the new dive guides when they are training – it’s just like how people at Murex helped me when I first started diving. If I can go from Security Guard to Dive Guide I think other people can too.
I – And you still dive with guests every day?
B – Yes, I usually make 3 dives a day – 2 in the morning and then an afternoon dive or a night dive.
I – How were your dives today and what did you find for your guests?
B – Well, today I was actually diving in Bangka and we saw many small things; a pair of halimeda ghost pipe fish, pygmy seahorses, banana nudibranch, hairy shrimp, frogfish, ribbon eels, two juvenile white tip sharks that I found under a table coral and a larger adult white tip shark – so many fish and critters today! I think the guests were very happy and they made some nice pictures.
I – And after all of this time you still love diving?
B – Of course! Diving for me is like a paradise, it’s like my second home.
I – What is your favourite dive site?
B – I like Lekuan I on Bunaken because you have a very nice wall with beautiful coral. There are many things to see on that wall including a lot of green turtles which I like because my guests are always happy when they see the turtles – if the guests are happy then I know I did a good job and then I am happy. In Bangka I love Sahaung – the soft coral is so colourful and there are huge schools of yellow snapper. Soetimes there is current and that can be fun too and brings lots more fish, at the end of the dive the rock is like the steps of a temple. In Lembeh my favourite site is Nudi Retreat – last time I was there I saw the yellow pygmy seahorse but I like it because of the combination of sand and coral. There are many nudibranch species there and usually I find frogfish but it’s nice because there are always different things every time – it’s nice when you see something surprising – I have had some great dives there with guests.
I – It sounds beautiful, and what was your most memorable dive?
B – For sure Underwater Volcano at Mahengetang Island. I remember on one dive here the visibility was so good… from almost 40 meters I looked up and it was so clear that I could see the captain on the boat! And there were so many fish, a big school of jack fish and when we came up to the safety stop there were bubbles coming out of the reef – just like an underwater volcano.
I – What new fish or critters do you hope to see in the future?
B – That’s not easy, with Murex I already saw dugong, manta, mola mola – but only one time so maybe I would like to see another mola mola, also a wobbegong – the one with the beard – this I would love to see, and I really want to see a nautilus but these are too deep…..
I – So, do you prefer critters or fish?
B – I like critters.
I – And do you prefer muck dives or reef dives? Black sand I’m guessing, am I right?
B – (Smiling) Actually no! I prefer the reefs – there are many reef critters in North Sulawesi.
I – You sound very happy with your life right now Basrah. What are your plans for the future?
B – I will keep diving!
I – Forever?
B – Forever diving, I’m never planning to stop – so long as Murex needs me!
I – Thanks Basrah – Time for the next dive now?
B – Yes, it’s time for diving – Let’s get ready!!
Hook up with Basrah on Facebook and stay updated about his doings and whereabouts with Murex.