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Around 10 years ago I walked into Scuba Scene to start on my PADI Open Water diving course. I had wanted to learn to dive ever since, as a child, I had seen Jacques Cousteau floating around in this mysterious underwater world finding all sorts of weird and wonderful things. However I had never had the time or opportunity to learn – but now was my chance. As I started the course all I wanted to be able to do was dive safely and experience just some of the things that I had seen in those natural history programmes, things that so many people never get to experience for themselves. I had no desire to take my diving any further than this basic but competent level.
However, like so many of my fellow divers that have embarked on this course I was bitten by the diving bug – the lure of the underwater world and by the exciting shiny bits of kit that I could learn to use. And so began my diving journey.
Over the intervening years I have gradually developed my skills and experience by undertaking further courses such as Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver as well as diving in a variety of different places. All of these have taught me different skills and exposed me to new experiences. I was still keen to keep diving and develop my skills further so taking the Divemaster course seemed to be the next logical step.
I have asked around and there seem to be as many reasons for becoming a Divemaster as there are actual Divemasters. Some of the more common reasons, in no particular order are :-
And so the list goes on. I am sure you get the picture.
For me the reason was that I wanted to become a better diver with a better awareness of other divers around me, which would mean developing the skills I have already been taught and building on them. I had no wish to carve out a new career in the dive industry.
I realise that I could have taken this course abroad in nice warm clear water and probably have completed it in a couple of weeks by mainly working with other instructors acting as students but what fun would that be when I could work with real students, a team of very experienced instructors and dive in the much colder waters of the UK ?
So the course involves improving my knowledge of dive theory, learning to demonstrate the open water skills to an instructor level, some pool swims and skills, updating my first aid training and more importantly gaining experience of working with real life students both in the pool and in open water dives. I don’t think it is going to be quick to complete this but then I am not looking for that. I am looking to improve all round as a diver and who knows when (if??) I complete the DM course I might change my mind (or be persuaded) and consider some further instructor courses – but that is a long way off for now but never say never in the world of diving. What I can say is I think the course is going to be a lot of fun, hard work at times but ultimately a rewarding experience.
As I work my way through the course I will try and write a couple of further articles so that others who are thinking about doing the DM course will have a better insight into what it involves and hopefully be persuaded to give it a go.