Guest post: Kate’s IDC

Kate practising a no-mask swim in the pool
Kate practising a no-mask swim in the pool

Many of the divers who regularly dive with me will know Kate, who came out to South Africa for two months in late 2010 to qualify as a Divemaster. She had never dived before when she arrived, and I took her through a full Zero to Hero course, including 60 dives to meet the requirements for Divemaster, before she went back to the UK.

She returned to South Africa in April (her family joined her here for a short holiday) to prepare to do an Instructor Development Course, for which she had to get her dive numbers up to 100 dives. She did her IDC with Danny Martin, who trained me and who I rate as one of the best Instructor trainers in South Africa. We asked her to write about what the IDC involves so that those of you who are curious can get an idea of how one works.

The PADI IDC is an instructor development course that consists of two halves, the first (three days) is Assistant Instructor and the second is Open Water Scuba Instructor (four days). The final two days are when the Instructor Examination (IE) takes place. An examiner is brought in from somewhere else (usually outside the country) to test the candidates. We also spent an extra day doing the EFR Instructor course.

I undertook my IDC with Danny Martin at Coral Divers, Sodwana Bay, South Africa.

The programme consisted of completing;

  • An exam (made up of 5 parts: physics, physiology, environment, equipment, and standards and procedures)
  • Prescriptive teaching presentations (taking a knowledge review question and expanding on it so as to help students understand the answer in more depth)
  • Confined water presentations (giving a pre-dive briefing, demonstrating the skill, having the student demonstrate the skill and then giving a debriefing)
  • Open water demonstrations (same procedure as in confined water, except that the Instructor does not demonstrate the skill this time)
  • Watching risk management and marketing presentations
  • Testing our own skills in the pool, for ease of understanding and ability to demonstrate
  • Rescue workshops

The main aspect of the IDC is preparation. After completing my Divemaster course with Tony, he then made sure I fully prepared for the IDC. There’s not a lot of new information to learn as most of it is covered in the Divemaster program but having someone to test me on everything was rather handy. Tony also took the time to do one to one pool sessions in which he would make sure my skills were above the standard needed. He also ran me over what to expect from the IDC and how to prepare myself.

Sodwana was a great place to complete my IDC. The environment is really friendly and the diving is exceptional (it was a minimum of 26 degrees at all times!). The accommodation is tents or wooden cabins, and they have a bar and a restaurant. There is a tractor service to take you to the beach every 45 minutes.

I definitely would recommend doing the IDC, for me it has opened up a new love for diving. It takes you further then being just a Divemaster and gives you more responsibility within the diving community. You also find that the experience increases your diving ability and performance.

I started diving in October 2010 with my Open Water and completed my IDC in June 2011. I also completed a load of specialties and am now preparing myself for a trip to the Arctic circle.

Kate is now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. When she has done 25 certifications, she will be certified as a Master Scuba Diver Trainer – this means she can teach courses from Discover Scuba Diving and Open Water up to Divemaster, along with a list of Specialties. I am very proud of Kate and really enjoyed teaching her. She impressed (and often wildly amused) everyone who met her while she was in South Africa and she will be a great ambassador for diving. I am looking forward to following her adventures!

Newsletter: Birds and dolphins

Hello everyone

This was the sight that we experienced at Long Beach while kitting up for a days diving.

Sunrise at Long Beach
Sunrise at Long Beach

Finally a weekend of diving!!!! We had really good weather this weekend and despite a rather large swell in the Bay the conditions were good. Saturday we spent the morning doing a Divemaster mapping project, the target: a concrete yacht that sank some years ago and that now lies 25 metres inshore of the north western yellow marker buoy at Long Beach. You can read all about it here.

Corne at the surface next to the buoy
Corne at the surface next to the buoy

Navigating our way out there  it suddenly seemed to get a little darker, more so than when  the clouds cover the sun and at the same time Corne surfaced to get a bearing only to find the surface covered with hundreds of cormorants. I was waiting at the bottom and was amazed at these birds’ ability to dive, stop suddenly, look around, then swim off.  I am not sure who got a bigger fright, them or me, but suddenly they seemed to be everywhere, perhaps our bubbles made them think there was a school of fish they could feast on, but instead they just found neoprene clad divers, way bigger than they could muster so they went off somewhere else. We saw them all again on Sunday, this time further out and from the surface.

Cormorants underwater at Long Beach
Cormorants underwater at Long Beach
Flocking cormorants in False Bay
Flocking cormorants in False Bay

Saturday afternoon five of us were back in the water and whilst swimming around the centre platform of the wreck these klipfish seemed keen on conveying some form of message to us  so they all lined up. I never did get to work out what they were trying to say… So much to learn in the ocean.

Row of klipfish
Row of klipfish

I can honestly say that I cannot remember a dive where I have not seen something new, or a creature I have seen before doing something new. We see warty pleurobranchs  ploughing their way over everything lately but on Saturday I saw a few doing acrobatic swimming and performing the most amazing somersaults… So much for me thinking they were like snowploughs… They seem more like circus animals!

Cavorting warty pleurobranchs
Cavorting warty pleurobranchs

Sunday we spent on the boat, the first dive was to Maidstone Rock. Andrew was completing his Advanced course and Gerard and Cecil were … well, only they know! The second launch took us to a new reef discovered by Grant and Peter Southwood called Tivoli Pinnacles, near Roman Rock. Being  a new dive site we were possibly the first to see a few amazing features and Clare discovered her first underwater treasure… a hand wheel from either a stem valve or a fuel valve, with a diameter of 120mm and made of brass. It has clearly been in the ocean for some time given the amount of corrosion on the material (a salt water corrosion resistant material). We will clean it up and see what it looks like.

Valve handle at Tivoli Pinnacles
Valve handle at Tivoli Pinnacles
Cuttlefish at Maidstone Rock
Cuttlefish at Maidstone Rock

There was also what seemed to be a huge brass ring almost a metre across so this will be a dive site worth exploring further.

Long beaked common dolphin in False Bay
Long beaked common dolphin in False Bay

Despite two amazing dives on a flat calm sea with great visibility, the good stuff was not yet over and when we surfaced  we were treated to the sight of a flock of I would guess at least a thousand cormorants and then Grant took us for a ride to a point just off the Kalk Bay harbour where we witnessed a pod of around 300–400 Dolphins. All in all a very pleasant day of diving.

This weekend

On Friday I will be doing Discover Scuba  Diving students at Long Beach all day, then on Saturday will continue with the Open Water course started last weekend and more DSD students. There are also two promising boat days looming.

Sunday looks good for shore entries and we will dive with the cowsharks if the swell is small or perhaps A Frame and or Sunny Cove.

Congratulations

…are also in order for Kate, who last year in October arrived in Cape Town wanting to learn to dive. By the end of November she had done OpenWater, Advanced, Nitrox specialty, Night Diving specialty and Wreck specialty as well as Rescue and Divemaster. Back in the UK for Christmas she did a Drysuit specialty and an Equipment specialty, and returned here in April to do a Deep specialty and then achieve the highest non professional qualification, Master Scuba Diver. It did not stop here and we dived as often as possible over the last few weeks to get her log book up to 100 dives and today she finished her Instructor course and Instructor Examination in Sodwana and is now officially an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Well done Kate! To achieve this much in such a short period of time takes determination, hard work and commitment.

DAN talks

We attended a DAN talk last week on ears at one of the local dive centres. It was run by DAN SA and we had a doctor talk us through what goes on in the ear and why whilst diving and the importance looking after those pink bits. We also received a free diving emergency booklet that has lots of info on handling diving related issues. These talks will be on a monthly basis and the next one will most likely be about lungs… So if you dive and have lungs… You should be there… It’s free and its very valuable knowledge to have.

If you wish to dive this weekend please text me sooner rather than later because the weather is good and the bookings will fill up.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog

Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Southeaster

Hi everyone

The strong southeaster has been hampering diving for some weeks now. It’s commonly called the Cape Doctor, but I would prefer to call it something else as it makes me feel ill. Doctors supposedly make you better.

We had very good conditions on Wednesday and the dives were all great with 4-5 metre visibility and 15 degrees celcius water temperatures. Sadly that was the only decent day this week and this wind will blow for the next few days. Monday and Tuesday look promising at this point so I think that is the earliest we will get back in the ocean for Open Water courses.

The guys doing specialties and Advanced dives will all be on the boat tomorrow and we are hoping for good conditions.

For those of you needing to finish your courses before the year gets back into full swing please try and bookmark Monday and/or Tuesday for your last dives. For those of you needing pool time, Sunday and Wednesday are earmarked for that purpose at this point. The pool is indoors and heated so it is very pleasant.

I am currently running Nitrox and Deep specialties with Cecil and we plan to do the first two deep dives next weekend. We will have a hang tank set up at the safety stop and will focus on how Nitrox extends your bottom time as well as how to read, understand and set up a dive computer. This specialty takes you to 40 metres below the surface… Many wrecks lie in deeper water.

It’s not to late to join and if December left you cash strapped I do have payment options, just mail me.

I have a new Zero to Hero student starting on 1 February and this course will be an intense program as he is on a time schedule as Kate was. We will therefore dive almost every day for two months to achieve the 60 dives required for Divemaster certification. Corné and Oscar will also be doing Divemaster with Clare doing Rescue. So if you are diving with me over the next few weeks there will be so many assistants I won’t have to pick up a single cylinder…

Its been a while since we had a night dive. I have torches, cyalumes and my video camera has a light that turns night into day. Night diving is a whole new world of ocean creatures so if you have not tried one, you must.

Another reminder about MPA dive permits, if you don’t have one please get one. Post Office… R94 for a year.

Be good and have fun!

Regards

Learn to Dive Today logoTony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog
Diving is addictive!

<strong><a href=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/small-colour-e1284626229322.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-486″ title=”Learn to Dive Today logo” src=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/small-colour-e1284626229322.jpg” alt=”Learn to Dive Today logo” width=”73″ height=”67″ /></a>Tony Lindeque</strong>
076 817 1099
<a href=”http://www.learntodivetoday.co.za” target=”_blank”>www.learntodivetoday.co.za</a>
<a href=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog” target=”_self”>www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog</a>
<em>Diving is addictive!</em>

My fascination with the ocean

This information could possibly used to certify me insane, but I will risk it.

Very little research has been done about this but I (as have many others) have always believed that different creatures begin to warm to divers. There are many stories of specific ocean creatures being named, recognised and often visited by many divers.

Octopus

Several octopus at Long Beach for example live in holes on the pipeline and no matter what if you go by in the day they will be there.

Octopus on the pipeline at Long Beach
Octopus on the pipeline at Long Beach

Often, on night dives,there is no one home as they are off feeding, probably close by, but due to the darkness we don’t see them. This is how they move around at night.

Brindle and potato bass

Sodwana Bay had a brindle bass, seen by many divers year after year at the same dive site. This huge creature was very friendly and enjoyed interacting with divers. Many creatures in the ocean are fiercely territorial and once you have found them and discovered their territory it is easy to spot them as they seldom go far.

Tickle me please
Tickle me please

Whilst working in Mozambique I too visited the same reef sometimes four or five times a day on a busy weekend, showing different groups of divers the same ”locals” on the reef.

This video shows a huge potato bass that I believed was always waiting for us to drop in. This potato bass is easily recognizable by the fact that she has only one eye. You could not just swim past without giving her a tickle as doing so would result in her following the group all down the reef. Ascending to the safety stop you would see her race back to the start of the reef where she knew the next group would be dropped.

I am convinced of this as on the odd occasion that the weather would present us with a reverse current, we would drop down on the opposite end of the reef and there she would be.

Moray eels

“They bite” is what any diver will tell you. Well they do, however I believe this particular black cheeked eel warmed to me. I visited her every day for about six months. The first few weeks I just looked, then the next few weeks I offered my hand, it got bitten, severely several times and the resulting injuries required a few weeks of looking only. From this video clip, heavily edited, its clear the aggression shown in the first few weeks waned, became less severe, and eventually slowed right down to a nibble without breaking the skin… Was she warming, becoming more friendly or just getting so tired of my annoying hand in her face that she didn’t want to bother? You decide.

A  rather large honeycomb moray also fond of a chin tickle:

Moray getting a chin tickle
Moray getting a chin tickle

Peanut & Butter

The reason for the preceding information is to justify my fondness for two little fellas I met at Long Beach while Kate was doing her Zero to Hero course. They are called Peanut (a juvenile double sash butterflyfish) and Butter (a juvenile jutjaw).

Peanut the double sash butterflyfish
Peanut the double sash butteflyfish

I first spotted them a couple of months back and every time I go by on a dive I take a peek to see if they are still there. Being as small as they are there is a real risk they may end up as lunch for someone, but for now we will monitor their progress and watch them grow.

Newsletter: Dive trips, anchors and friendly fish

Hi everyone

The past few weeks have been busy. Kate has finished her Divemaster course and 60 dives. In 40 days, this is quite an achievement with the average dive time being 45 minutes.

The weather forecast this past week has been somewhat mystical with forecasts of 40 knot winds that never appeared and in fact we dived yesterday in what appeared to be a lake… The sea was flat.

I have students on Saturday and hope to dive at Long Beach, however the weather forecast does not seem promising. Sunday looks like an Atlantic day with a 45 km/h southeaster. If it looks better tomorrow I will text the people that have indicated their need to ”get in the water”. I start a new Zero to Hero diver today so I will once again dive every diveable day for the next few months.

The 16th is a holiday and I am planning to book a boat for a wreck dive and a reef dive in the Atlantic. Being a long weekend everyone wants to dive so please let me know by this Saturday afternoon if you are in.

Potato bass
Potato bass

I want to plan a trip to Sodwana for mid February, along the same lines as the last one as it was a huge success, we all had amazing dives, good food and very acceptable accommodation. Let me know if you think its a possibility so I can get some quotes in.

The next picture is the elusive anchor at Long Beach, we have found it several times now and hope to mark the spot with a GPS soon.

Anchor at Long Beach
Anchor at Long Beach

This picture is a very friendly klipfish allowing me to stroke his chin.

Friendly klipfish
Friendly klipfish

These little chaps are around at Long Beach. I have now seen four of them, all at different locations, far apart, and all different sizes, so I know there are more. The one we saw today was no bigger than a 50 cent piece. This one is called Peanut and he has a friend called Butter… Butter is a tiny little jutjaw and they are always together.

Peanut the double sash butterflyfish
Peanut the double sash butterflyfish

The ocean is warm, sort of clean and keen to see you,

regards

Learn to Dive Today logoTony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog
Diving is addictive!

<strong><a href=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/small-colour-e1284626229322.jpg”><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-486″ title=”Learn to Dive Today logo” src=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/small-colour-e1284626229322.jpg” alt=”Learn to Dive Today logo” width=”73″ height=”67″ /></a>Tony Lindeque</strong>
076 817 1099
<a href=”http://www.learntodivetoday.co.za” target=”_blank”>www.learntodivetoday.co.za</a>
<a href=”https://www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog” target=”_self”>www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog</a>
<em>Diving is addictive!</em>

Zero to… HERO!

Congratulations to Kate, who arrived in Cape Town on 8 October 2010 having never dived before, and is leaving on 10 December qualified as a Divemaster, with more than 60 dives and over 45 hours underwater under her belt!

Kate demonstrates incorrect snorkel technique
Kate demonstrates incorrect snorkel technique (in the car, on the wrong side)

While she was here we dived almost every day, in all sorts of conditions. She dived in visibility ranging from pea soup (with croutons) to over 10 metres, water temperatures from 11 degrees up to 18 degrees, and experienced a wide range of what Cape Town diving has to offer. She even did a dive in just a shorty wetsuit – the water LOOKED warm but wasn’t – and I am pretty sure she’s the first diver EVER to do something like that in this city!

She experienced everything from orally inflating another diver’s BCD at 15 metres, to securing Clare’s cylinder when it came loose (oops!), tying knots underwater, a meeting with a very frisky sevengill cowshark on her first ever dive with sharks at Shark Alley, and using a lift bag to ferry our artificial reef out to the correct depth.

Kate transporting part of the artificial reef
Kate transporting part of the artificial reef

She spent a lot of time towing the buoy line, inflated SMBs and balloons underwater (the latter was highly amusing to watch), mapped wrecks and the pipeline at Long Beach, exchanged information on the layout of the SAS Pietermaritzburg with wikivoyage guru Peter Southwood, enjoyed high-speed boat rides to various local dive sites, filled cylinders at a local dive centre, and navigated at night in order to find the yellow buoy at Long Beach. She’s breathed from a hang tank at a safety stop after a deep dive, and from another diver’s octo while swimming to shore. She’s a pro with a compass. She’s also done some underwater photography – thanks to her, the gobies at Long Beach have a serious complex about the paparazzi!

Kate and Clare getting their bearings on the beach
Kate and Clare getting their bearings on the beach. To infinity and beyond!

Kate dived with and without a computer, in various types of gear and several different wetsuits. She knows the difference between an A-clamp and a DIN fitting. She removes and replaces inserts on cylinders with her eyes closed, changes O-rings, and puts on her own kit. She has filled over twenty cylinders as part of her compressor operator course.

Kate was also a fantastic ambassador for diving for the various students of mine that she interacted with. As part of her Divemaster training, she led dives, demonstrated skills, helped students with their kit, and took on various tasks in order to prepare her for the responsibilities that go with this qualification. She did all of this with good humour, good sense and great precision.

Kate helps Anna with her hoodie
Kate helps Anna with her hoodie

During her stay, Kate buddied with all kinds of divers. She met Russians, Swedes, Canadians, French and fellow British divers, and some regte egte South Africans. She assisted foreign-language students with understanding the questions on the quizzes and exams when their English wasn’t up to the task. She got on famously with everyone she encountered, and was never grumpy or a prima donna.

In the ocean she encountered seals (she’s not a fan), giant short-tailed sting rays, hundreds of octopus, sevengill cowsharks, and her favourite friends – barehead gobies! They’re going to miss you, Kate… And especially your underwater singing!

Barehead goby
Look at that sad little goby face!

The courses Kate completed during her stay in Cape Town are:

I am confident that she is a safe, capable diver with excellent experience under her belt so far, and I look forward to hearing about her future exploits in the underwater world.

Kate on the move
Kate on the move

Newsletter: Belated diving update

Hi everyone

Apologies for the absence of newsletters for the last two weeks – life has been a bit hectic. My cellphone was stolen last weekend, so if you haven’t already sent me your contact details please hit reply and let me have your phone number!

Clare and I are getting married this coming Saturday, so I will be taking a few days off from diving starting on on the 27th November. I’ll be back in the water on Wednesday 1 December and everything will continue as normal from there.

Strepies at Long Beach
Strepies at Long Beach

Kate, my UK Zero to Hero candidate, is well into her Divemaster course, and I have several Open Water courses on the go as well as one or two starting in the near future. We are also close to completing the Wreck Specialty course, which has involved some very enjoyable boat dives in False Bay.

Kate transporting part of the artificial reef
Kate transporting part of the artificial reef

The weather has been super for diving the last few weeks, with water temperatures varying from a fresh 13 degrees at Long Beach (with fantastic 8 metre visibility!) to a much more acceptable 18 degrees. We have been exploring the northern part of Long Beach, and finding all sorts of little creatures on the sand.

Embracing button crabs in the sand
Embracing button crabs in the sand
Clare's finger next to a tiny cuttlefish
Clare’s finger next to a tiny cuttlefish

We have started a small research project in the form of an artificial reef on the sand at Long Beach, and will be tracking its progress – and which creatures move into the neighbourhood – with interest over the next while. Watch the blog for details. Here’s a picture of us swimming the raw materials out using a lift bag:

Tony swimming part of the artificial reef out with a lift bag
Swimming part of the artificial reef out with a lift bag

This weekend we did two boat dives in False Bay. The first was to the SAS Good Hope, where we had excellent visibility despite rather dark and cold conditions. Kate, Clare and Tami completed some of their Wreck Specialty skills. The second dive was to Photographers Reef, a beautiful location that is very appropriately named! Despite the rainy weather, the conditions underwater were fantastic.

See you in the water soon!

regards

Learn to Dive Today logoTony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog
Diving is addictive!

PS Remember that a voucher for a DSD is a great Christmas present for non-diving friends and family. Contact me for more information.

PPS Please remember your diving permits from the Post Office (costs about R95 for a year). Season is in full swing and random checks from the authorities are likely. If you’re caught diving without a permit, your kit may be confiscated… An expensive day at the beach!

Newsletter: Halloween dive, wrecks and more

Hi everyone

Summer is closing in on us fast and the water is getting warmer, time to dust off your dive gear and get wet. The rays are back at Long Beach, whales are still around for a few weeks and the ocean is waiting for you to visit.

October has been a busy diving month. The trip to Sodwana was awesome and we are thinking about another trip early December or perhaps early January.

I have been lucky to have dived almost every day since the beginning of the month and congratulations to the following people on their certifications:

Open Water

Anna, Belinda, Richard, Gabby, Lorna, Kate

Advanced

Gerard, Justin, Kate, Sophie, Tami

Deep Specialty

Clare

Students at Long Beach
Richard, Belinda, Anna, Kate and Corné at Long Beach

Kate is here from the UK doing the Zero to Hero program with me. She started on the 13th October and has done Open Water, Advanced, and is busy with Nitrox and Rescue. Next week she will start her Divemaster program.

On Saturday I will finish an Open Water course and continue with a Rescue course. Sunday the plan is to dive the sevengill cowsharks and Boulders, perhaps see a penguin underwater.

Saturday we are having a Halloween night dive.

These are the rules:

  • you must dive in a Halloween theme something or another… use your imagination
  • you must find treasure… I will hide several prizes during the day at the site we dive
  • to find them you must… use your imagination!
  • we will have an egg cracking contest… underwater… where you must crack and remove the shell of a raw egg gently, so the egg stays intact…
  • coffee and ( ) on the beach afterwards… plus you get to open the treasure you found…

November

I am going to run an Advanced open water course, a Wreck specialty, Night diver specialty, and a Deep diver specialty course during the month of November. Dates are 6th, 13th and 20th. The Deep specialty will qualify you to 40 metres and the Wreck specialty will include wreck penetration for those keen to explore the inside of a sunken ship. Night diver will give you great confidence is low visibility diving conditions.

The Deep and Wreck courses are dependent on boat scheduling and detailed dive planning so book early if you are interested.

Best regards

Learn to Dive Today logoTony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog
Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Time to get in the water again…

Hi everyone

I have been enjoying a busy week with a British Zero to Hero candidate, who has just completed her Open Water course and is well into Advanced. Today we did a peak performance buoyancy dive, swimming through hula hoops positioned at different depths. At first Kate collected a lot of hoops on the back of her cylinder, but soon got the hang of it and swam through them like a pro. The weather has been very pleasant, and today at Long Beach we saw lots of puffer fish, box jellies, and a big octopus who was clinging to a piece of kelp and pretending that we couldn’t see him.

Last weekend Long Beach was very festive, with a paddle ski race on Sunday that drew hundreds of cars into the parking area and all the way down the beach. My Open Water students had lots of spectators watching their every move!

Long Beach in Simon's Town
Long Beach in Simon's Town is never this busy!

The weather for the weekend is not looking very good, but Long Beach or the Clan Stuart will be suitable for the training dives I need to do for my Open Water and Rescue students. If you would like to tag along as a casual diver on one of these dives (Saturday and/or Sunday) give me a shout and I will let you know times.

If anyone is keen for a night dive on Saturday, let me know – and we will definitely be doing a Halloween night dive next Saturday evening (perhaps even with a pumpkin to tempt the fish…)

Hope to see you in the water soon!

regards

Learn to Dive Today logoTony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog
Diving is addictive!

Diving as a career

Your final school year is almost over. After 12 years of going to school every day the idea of being free of that regime is a pleasant thought. But… What next? Many people have had their future mapped out for them by their peers and parents. Some however have no clue as to what they want to do. There are so many choices that it is not surprising the number of adolescents that have yet to decide what direction to take. A gap year is an easy solution, but not always affordable and slotting in to the job your parents want for you does not appeal to everyone.

If the outdoors, the ocean and travelling appeal to you then consider becoming a Diving Instructor. Take a year off after school, qualify as a Diving Instructor and then go to university and study something. As a Diving Instructor you will have part time work that is very enjoyable, way more rewarding than waiting on tables and you can work almost anywhere in the world.

Being a diving instructor is very rewarding
Being a diving instructor is very rewarding

There are several centres around the country, in fact around the world, that offer career development courses (so-called Zero to Hero courses that will take you from never having dived right up to Divemaster or Instructor) and some will be free. In this situation you work as free labour in a dive centre and in return they train you. This option does give you a in depth insight to how a dive centre operates, but you run the risk of spending most of your time in a wet room being a slave.

My recommendation is to find a slot whereby you pay for the courses one by one. Avoid paying the entire amount up front as this sure fire way to ensure you have your training drawn out indefinitely. Get a price for all the courses you need, do them one by one and do them with different centres and different instructors if necessary. You will gain immense experience in different setups and your final stretch will be with a Course Director and then you will be set. As soon as you have been certified as a Divemaster you will be able to earn money, leading dives and even conducting some of PADI’s programs such Discover Scuba Diving.