Only a few more days to go and I’ll hopefully be a fully fledged PADI Divemaster! It still seems I have loads to learn, but Dave has assured me it is achievable. With all my academic work done (phew) and having helped (or hindered) on all the courses I need to, I’ve been spending time out on the boats, and getting experience of what it’s really like to ‘work’ as a Divemaster.
It’s a bitter sweet experience. Yes, I get to spend every day in the glorious weather, surrounded by people who are happy to be here, and I get the opportunity to top up the tan here and there! Oh sorry, did I forget the diving? I spend my days doing at least two dives a day in the tropical waters surrounding Koh Phangan. So that’s the sweet, I hear you mutter, what could possibly be the bitter? Although I’m underwater a lot of the time, this is work, not pleasure. Forget getting carried away with whatever takes your fancy during a dive, I have to multitask the whole time. How much air have people got? Followed by ‘that fin is about to fall off’’, ‘let some air out’,’ put some air in’ all at the same time as ‘ooh, look at that cute boxfish’, ‘there’s a school of barracuda’. My poor mind is working overdrive, all under the watchful eye of Dave. Some days are easier than others, it depends on the guests, but I seem to be getting the hang of it. Then, in accordance with Sods Law, I make a slight boo boo……
After the first dive, we were all having a little relax, eating lunch and swapping fish stories, standard fare for a surface interval. As I was filling in my log book I got particularly involved in one of the guests big fish tales and was in no uncertain terms told it was time to get in the water. As the Divemaster Trainee, I’m expected to ready and in the water first, so I get kitted up in rather a hurry. I jump in and take my role as checking no-one drops anything as they enter the water. With all masks, weight belts and camera accounted for we descend. It’s only as I turn round to do my 5 metre check on guests that I realise I don’t know how deep I am. Why? I’ve forgotten my computer again. With no option but to confess (underwater this means point at my bare wrist and try to look sorry), I let Dave know, and he quickly changes position and leads the dive. Talk about mentally bashing myself. I don’t really see anything on this dive as I am too busy shouting – literally- at myself. That learning curve I was talking about earlier in my Diary, seems more of a flat line!
When we return I’m suspicious at the lack of reprimanding from Dave, until I figure out that he is plotting. While everyone else is chilling out on the way back, I am presented with lines to do. “Prepping my computer is good – remembering it is better” to be written out 10 times!At least Dave has a sense of humour, which extends to the other instructors helping to create this rather nice picture you can see!
As I’m chatting with the other instructors at the end of the day, I realize what a multi-tasking and hard job these guys have on a day to day basis, but it hasn’t put me off at all….Bring on that Divemaster qualification!