Bubble Addict, a dive centre in Pulau Weh is about community.
They’re about creating a community of passionate divers. A community of environmentalists and ocean-lovers. A community of friendship and love for one another.
Located along the shores of Gapang Beach, you’ll find the quaint diving shack Bubble Addict.
This dive centre is owned by Tomomi and Julien, a passionate duo who have made Pulau Weh their home. Tomomi is originally from Japan and Julien from France, and the couple first met on the spiritual island of Bali in 2014.
Tomomi first started to learn how to dive in Bali, and Julien happened to be her instructor. She faced a lot of anxiety about going under water, but Julien was quick to reverse this feeling for Tomomi. His patience and expert knowledge of diving and the underwater world helped Tomomi find that passion for diving.
Fast forward a couple of years later, and this ocean-loving couple run their own dive centre, the Tipsy Toby café, the Flying Elephant yoga studio, and small homestay on the island of Pulau Weh.
Bubble Addict has a chilled-out vibe, with plenty of friendly faces to keep you wanting to stay for longer. In fact, you start to feel like it is a little piece of home away from home.
But don’t be fooled by its laid-back atmosphere – with a team of experienced dive instructors, Bubble Addict takes diving and safety very seriously.
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For The Love of Diving
Julien started diving back in 2009 in France, and it was during a trip to the Dominican Republic in 2010 that it all clicked for Julien. It was at that moment he knew that he wanted to become a dive instructor one day open his own dive centre.
And so when things got more serious between Tomomi and Julien, the couple explored more of Indonesia in search of the best place to set up their centre. They visited many islands around the country including Gili Meno and Gili Air off Lombok, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida off Bali, and Bunaken and Banka in Sulawesi all in search for the ‘aha this is the place’ moment.
It was then when Julien met Aji, a local dive instructor in Banda Aceh who then told Julien about Pulau Weh. As soon as they visited Pulau Weh, the absolutely fell in love with the island because of its natural beauty. It was at that moment the duo knew that Pulau Weh would be spot for Bubble Addict.
Combining Julien and Tomomi’s expertise, today Bubble Addict is so much more than just a dive centre. Being a yoga instructor, Tomomi brought to the table her own experiences of how yoga can complement diving. Through breathing and relaxation techniques, along with meditation and stretching, Tomomi found that yoga greatly benefits and compliments diving. And this is where the Flying Elephant Yoga Studio was born, located just upstairs from Bubble Addict.
Diving Pulau Weh – An Unspoiled Marine World
I have said it time and time again, and I will say it once more – Pulau Weh is naturally so beautiful. We love this part of the world so much, that we have found ourselves here so many times.
This island is a dream for divers and travellers alike, because it remains untouched by the hordes of tourists that so many other islands in the region are currently facing.
And of all the things to do in Pulau Weh, snorkelling and diving hands down is the first choice for me. With so much of the surrounding water boasting an unspoiled underwater world, it’s a no-brainer that diving is a must-do. In fact, no trip would be complete if you hadn’t experienced at the very least snorkelling, but even better to dive Pulau Weh
Fret not if you don’t have your diving license – Bubble Addict offers adventures for every level of experience. From introductory dives to advanced courses, there is something for everyone here.
Pulau Weh boasts over 20 dive sites to explore, which will keep you pretty busy if you are a keen diver. Each dive site is unique and suits various levels of experience, so it’s best to discuss your options with Bubble Addict.
Diving with Bubble Addict Dive Centre in Pulau Weh
When it comes to picking the right dive centre you want to book with – I am all about safety, instructor experience and knowledge, good equipment, and efficient customer service.
Bubble Addict ticks all the boxes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As it had been several years since both Hubby and I went diving, we had to take the refresher course first to get us back into the swing of things.
Meet Aji – our oh-so-passionate dive instructor, who’s a local from the main land of Banda Aceh. Aji was fantastic, and dare I say one of the best instructors I have had the pleasure of diving with. It’d been a couple of years since my last dive in Egypt, Aji did a brilliant job getting us back up to speed on the low down of all the equipment and underwater coordination.
As the title would suggest, the refresher course was about refreshing our knowledge on diving, how to use the equipment, and the safety aspects of diving. And Aji was not one to take any shortcuts.
Whenever he would demonstrate something, both Hubby and I had to repeat the action. And if we didn’t do it quite right, Aji would make us repeat it again until we got it right. He spoke fluent English and was able to explain things very well, and most importantly he was so patient with us.
Diving the House Reef at Gapang Beach
The refresher course took us to the house reef at Gapang Beach. We didn’t need to get onto a boat to sail out for this one, we could simply access it from the beach. A short float away from the shores of Gapang Beach is the house reef. With sandy bottoms and coral scattered throughout, there was plenty of marine life to spot along the way. It actually is the perfect spot for those learning how to dive.
Diving down to a maximum depth of about 16m, we saw a lot of lion fish, we found nemo (many times around), we saw stingrays, octopus, sea snakes, a baby moray eel, and a lot of colorful reef fish.
Another highlight of the dive was an abandoned war tank that we saw. It was covered in purple colored coral that had grown on the tank after all these years. It was quite fascinating to see underwater because the overall structure was still somewhat in-tact so that you knew it was a tank. Even the structure of the seat in the middle of the tank was in-tact…I was so tempted to hop in the middle of it to take a photo. Ahhh the things you would do for that insta-worthy shot!
The Best Time of the Year to Dive in Pulau Weh
It is said that the best time of the year to dive is between April until October as it is the dry season in this part of Indonesia. The visibility tends to be much better, and the marine life is in abundance. It’s possible to go during other times of the year, however just keep in mind that it can get a bit choppy.
We went at the beginning of February and found the weather and waters to be fantastic. The visibility was great and it was still a wonderful experience being able to explore the underwater world.
We’ve left Pulau Weh with wonderful memories that we will continue to talk about even today. In fact, our diving experience has left us craving for more and we’re already talking about when to head to Pulau Weh next.
Bubble Addict offers a range of options to suit every level of experience – from super beginnings to those who have plenty of divers under their belt. Their price point is also affordable considering the level of service and experience the instructors all bring to the table.
For us, we wouldn’t hesitate to dive again with Bubble Addict because of their professionalism and experience. We also loved the feeling of being part of a community, and the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere for the dive centre. Heck, there was nothing better than an ice-cold watermelon and coconut juice from Tipsy Topby Café with views of the turquoise blue waters of Gapang Beach after our dive.
Dives start from IDR370,000 (A$37 | U$26) for a fun dive, with plenty of different course and experiences to choose from. To learn more about Bubble Addict, simply visit their website for more information about Pulau Weh diving and to book your next dive.