Charlie Harwood – 6 weeks
“I have nothing but good things to say. The Conservation projects are thorough and effective, and it is great to be diving with a purpose everyday. It is great to have the opportunity to learn, and then put this into practice through things such as fish surveys. Beyond the diving, Kara and Mike are the most welcoming hosts; they go out of their way to make you feel welcome and by the end you feel like part of the family”
Lucas Templeton – 2 weeks
“This has been one of the best experiences of my life, I instantly felt at home as soon as I arrived. What an amazing and passionate family doing everything that conservation is all about. It’s not just amazing diving and education but also a great team who work there. I’m looking forward to making SORCE a regular stop in my life in Bali”
Sophie Bruder – 2 weeks
“I’ve spent 2 weeks with SORCE and was highly impressed by there ongoing projects and the connections Kara and team have built in this short amount of time that they’ve been operating in this beautiful region. The diving is honestly ridiculous and amazing and there are dive sites for all kinds of dive levels with lots of cool stuff to see. A residential octopus, white tips, loads of cool nudibranchs and shrimps, squids and cuttlefish off all sizes are just the tip of the iceberg.
Directors and staff are super friendly and made my whole stay, even though it was short, unforgettable and simply amazing.I‘m definitely planning on coming back and would recommend this to anyone who is looking to do some good for the environment, is interested in research or simply wants to get some amazing dives done in a beautiful area that mass tourism hasn’t touched yet”
Caroline Tronel – 2 weeks
“SORCE is THE best place to spend meaningful holidays!! Located on a peaceful beach, surrounded by an amazing and very knowledgeable team, willing to share everything they know for you to feel comfortable supporting them in their mission to protect this beautiful area. Two-three dives a day, nice lunches/dinners/movie nights all together balanced with perfect moments of free time. Will definitely go back to catchup with this beautiful family and SORCE project.”
Katelyn Crafts – 4 weeks
“I spent two weeks at SORCE in October 2019. I didn’t fully know what to expect as I had no scuba diving experience and hadn’t studied Marine Bio. I just knew that marine life interested me and I wanted to try something different! Wow was I glad I did! SORCE is located in a beautiful spot with the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen! Straight away you are made to feel like a part of the family. I did my Open Water PADI certificate in the first few days and loved it! Then I was able to join in with the others and get loads of dives in! I learnt so much being there and loved every part of it! I highly recommend going and checking it out, you won’t regret it. I miss everyone dearly and hope to be back one day in the future! Thanks again SORCE you are all super stars!”
Jakob Illek – 4 weeks
Jill Harwood – 4 weeks
“I have just returned from 4 weeks volunteering at SORCE. I can highly recommend a visit here. The daily diving is on beautiful local reefs and there is huge variety of marine life. You are involved in conducting Fish ID surveys ( don’t worry- you will also be given tuition to help you identify species) and building coral trees to help restore reef health.
The whole SORCE team make you feel very welcome and part of the family. Their passionate interest in marine conservation is immediately evident, and they are keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm. Together with the local workers including Mukti and Ari who drive the boat and Hariannie who is the cook you are extremely well looked after. The site is an idyllic spot on a peaceful bay far away from the madding crowds. The accommodation is clean and comfortable, and the shower facilities of an extremely high standard. I met other interesting people who were also volunteering there and we had a lot of fun and laughter in the evenings.
If you are looking for a way to combine diving with the satisfaction of being part of ‘the change’ and actively be involved in marine conservation then this is the place for you.”
Aubrey Pelletier – 14 weeks
“SORCE is amazing! I chose to go there in order to do conservation and also a lot of diving because I love being underwater. SORCE is definitely that. There are lots of different projects to choose from both in and out of the water, and it’s great to be able to make a difference in both hands on conservation projects and furthering research in the area. By the end of my first week, I’d decided to extend my stay from 4 weeks to 14 because I wanted to stay and see how projects evolved. The people are great, and were a big part of deciding to stay on longer. It really does feel like a family that you get to know and love – you play games in the den when you want to, hang out on the beanbags to watch films at night, and roll your eyes when someone does something ridiculous.
I was able to be involved with projects ranging from beach cleans to measuring mangrove seedlings to getting trained and certified to carry out ReefCheck surveys in order to gain baseline data and monitor the health of various reefs in the area. Additionally, the other interns and I were able to design our own projects and questions centered around our interests, and were then given support to carry them out. Other volunteers had the option to help on these projects as well, so each person could choose what they were interested in participating on.
Anyone who comes to the site – whether it’s for one week or 6 months – first gets a few intro lectures. Some of these are designed to help you learn about the projects and goals of SORCE, some are to ensure you understand safety requirements, and some are just to help you learn more about the environment you’re in so you have a better appreciation for what you’re working to conserve. These intro lectures make sure that you’re well-prepared for tasks you take on, and there are often additional briefings before each tasks to make sure everybody is on the same page. My personal favorite is the Fish ID lecture followed by ID dives so that you know what you’re looking at! There is a huge array of underwater life from fan-favorite anemone fish, sharks, and turtles to (okay still fan-favorite) banded coral shrimp, octopuses, and pipefish. Being able to head into the water 6 days a week to go diving with this variety of wildlife is incredible, and making a difference by carrying out conservation work at the same time makes it even better.
Moving beyond what you’re involved in throughout the week, the site itself is a great place to spend time. The accommodations are so much more than you would expect to see at a conservation centre like this – each person gets their own room and full size bed in a hut with a balcony. The site is well-looked after and the location can’t be beat – there’s a house-reef right off the beach, and seagrass beds that always have fun critters – eels, nudibranchs, bobtail squid, and more. A short boat ride brings you to the next island where there are even places to order ice cream and smoothies from a restaurant. That being said, the food at SORCE is great – lunch and dinner are typically family-style meals with a mix of Indonesian (think lots of fried rice, noodles, and eggs) and western foods, as well as vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.
Overall, I am so glad I was able to spend time at SORCE. I was able to improve my diving, help with conservation projects, and constantly learn new things from the people around me, all in a place that was welcoming, fun, and absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to go back!”