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Tools for Reference

25 Jan

Ever wondered what goes on the cockpit of a commercial flight before take-off? Yes, you guessed it, a checklist. The Captain and First Officer go through the checklist making sure that all systems are ready to go and in working condition.  Why do they have to?  This is to ensure they covered all safety aspects, comfort and eliminating unnecessary debacles during flight.

This is much like us as PADI Professionals. People come to us to experience adventure, they understand the risk they are taking and are depending on us to keep them safe and teach them fully to become competent divers.

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As the world’s leader in diving, PADI knows your needs to have such a tool to ease your work and responsibilities is important. Hence, the available slates in the teaching tools list.  The necessary slates are given to you during your PADI Professional Courses.  These slates are not just to help you pass the Course, it is there to be part of your career and helping you conduct your day to day activities.

If you are a PADI Divemaster, giving a briefing for a dive is second nature. Yes, we commonly by-heart the whole briefing and need no reference.  However, there are times that you might have forgotten something either because something distracted you or a bad hair day.  When this happens, there is a possibility that the info missed could jeopardize the Divers’ safety.  Definitely that’s not what you want but think of the drama that can unfold.  Not only that, think about the litigation consequences.

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What about Instructors? “Hmm…. I have done 1,000 students and memorised all needs to be done in Confined Water Training and Open Water Training Dives.  I don’t need the extra weight on my bag or my BDC.”  Well, same scenario, something distracted you or a bad hair day and you forgot to run the simple “snorkel for regulator exchange” drill in the PADI Open Water Diver Course?  Though simple, skills such as these are important that Student Divers learns for their safety. Again, think about the consequences and like the scenario above, the possible litigations.

The Key Point to remember is, we are human beings and we make mistakes, so lets us all try our best to eliminate unnecessary mistakes by using checklist or in our case as PADI Professionals slates that are readily available. To refresh your memory of what are the slates available, please check out the latest 2016 Pricelist and online shopping cart or speak with PADI Training & Sales Consultants or your Regional Managers.

A Day in the Life of a PADI Divemaster

9 Oct

Michael Petros DivemasterAn interview with Michael Petro
PADI Divemaster
Scuba Nation Diving Centre
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre
Phnom Penh & Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Describe a typical day in your working life as a PADI Divemaster.

A typical day at the Scuba Nation Dive Centre involves arriving at the shop at about 6.00am, packing all the equipment prepared the day before into the truck and waiting for the arrival of the customers at 7.00am. We then head to the boat which is moored at the local port – stopping at the bakery on the way for freshly baked, still-warm, baguettes. At the pier, we guide the customers on board and load on the dive gear and supplies. During the two hour trip to the local dive sites, we give the customers a boat briefing, prepare some fruit and baguettes for breakfast and ready the equipment for the first dive. After a further briefing on arrival at the site we commence the first dive, then it’s lunch and a siesta before the second dive. We then head back to the shop where we prepare the gear for the next day, then head home and rest up so we can do it all again tomorrow.

When and where did you start diving?

I started diving in October 2012. I had intended to do the PADI Open Water course in Thailand, but a friend of a friend that lived in Thailand had recently done the PADI Advanced course in Cambodia and said it was a great place to do the course, so I decided to go there instead.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?

In February of 2014, after having had such a great experience completing the PADI Open Water and Advanced courses at the Scuba Nation Dive Centre in Cambodia 18 months earlier, I decided to return and complete the PADI Rescue and PADI Divemaster courses.

What made you choose to become a PADI Professional?

I have always enjoyed working outdoors in hands-on professions and after breaking both my right ankle and shoulder within a two year period, I decided that I could use a break from the laborious landscaping lifestyle and that a sea change was in order.

What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster course?

The dive sites of Cambodia were amazing (some of the most beautiful in the region) and a highlight in themselves. A further highlight was assisting on a search and recovery operation after a local fishing boat went missing.

What dive locations are on your bucket list and why?

I would love to dive the Cenotes in Mexico – the clear waters are very alluring. I would also love to try some river drift diving in New Zealand – a dive I think would be very exhilarating.

What has been the most memorable dive of your life?

My most memorable dive was a night dive in Ewens Ponds, near Mt. Gambier in South Australia. The water was crystal clear, my friend and I had the pond to ourselves, there was a full moon and we spent most of the time with our torches off – enjoying the majesty of seeing each other’s silhouettes slowly gliding through the invisible water as if we both were flying.

What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?

Whether you have never dived before or you wish to upgrade your certification, the PADI Divemaster course is an amazing experience. Anyone can do it, as it is not exclusively for those who wish to work as professionals. During the course you will become a wiser, safer, more confident and more skilled diver. Participating in and completing the PADI Divemaster course was one of the greatest things I have ever done, as I am now able to live, work, travel and dive all over the world – becoming a PADI Divemaster is one thing I will certainly never regret doing!

A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

22 May

PADI recently interviewed Cameron Schwaiger from Kew in Victoria who took up his dream job as a PADI Divemaster at Academy of Scuba, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre in Glen Iris and Rye. 

Read what he has to say.

Cam Schwaiger DM underwater

Describe a typical day in your working life as a PADI Divemaster.
For me diving is an activity I love to do outside my full time work. It normally involves getting up early on the weekends and making my way down the Mornington Peninsula. I discuss with the staff in the dive shop about who will be diving that day, to understand what their experience is.

For a guided dive, I provide the divers with the briefing and find out what they most want to get out of it and if anyone has concerns.  After the dive, we usually discuss what we saw and any other relevant points about the experience. Many of the divers often become friends and sometimes I think the dive is just an excuse to catch-up with others!

When I’m assisting on a course and haven’t worked with a particular Instructor before, we will begin with a discussion on how the course is to be run and what their expectations are.  I help with the gear, answer any questions and make the students feel comfortable. Then the fun part begins – the dives!   My main role here is to help keep a watch on the students and assist them if needed. After the dive, we return the gear, discuss the diving and complete the paperwork.  Finally its congratulations to those who have completed their course, with grins all round!

When and where did you start diving?
Growing up, I had always spent a lot of time in the water. For example, when I was a kid I used to think it was funny to hide from Mum by staying down at the bottom of the pool for as long as I could. Scuba diving started when I did a PADI Open Water Course at University, a long time ago!

I was then mainly tropical diving on holidays until I had more time in Melbourne, where I became addicted to the waters here.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I became a PADI Divemaster in 2011 with a great bunch of students.  Kat Vcelka was our fantastic PADI Instructor from Academy of Scuba in Victoria.

What made you choose to become a PADI Professional?
Diving is so much fun, so who wouldn’t want to spend more time in the water! Seriously, I wanted to learn more and also be involved with showing others how fantastic it is.  I didn’t realise until I started to work with different Instructors how everyone has their own approach to teaching and it’s a great way to learn. It is also a stepping stone towards being a PADI Instructor, one day!

What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster course?
The in-depth learning was very interesting – I absorbed so much more about diving.  The skills were a challenge, but lots of fun to do and also hearing about all the terrific diving stories from our PADI Instructor.   And then finally getting to assist as an intern on the courses.

What dive locations are on your bucket list and why?
So many, but Galapagos Islands for the diversity of animal life both on land and in the water, Truk Lagoon for the wrecks and anywhere at all to see Whale Sharks!

What has been the most memorable dive of your life?
Sipadan Island in Malaysia, where in one dive, due to the steep drop offs, we saw the ultimate combination of masses of tropical fish along with the pelagics in the deeper water.

What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?
If you love diving, want to learn more and find helping others rewarding, have a chat to your local dive store – or other Divemasters and Instructors to understand more about what is involved.

A Day in the Life of a PADI Divemaster

25 Mar

An interview with Leyshack Sánchez Fernández
PADI Divemaster
Scuba Junkie
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Resort – 100% AWARE Partner
Sabah, Malaysia

Leyshack-FernandezDescribe a typical day in your working life
as a PADI Divemaster.

7:00am at Mabul Island. My dive computer’s alarm beeps and I jump out of my bed in the Scuba Junkie Mabul Beach Resort. Time to get ready, have some breakfast, go to the jetty and help organise dive gear, tanks and other equipment ready for another day of my internship. While I wait for the boats coming from Semporna, I talk to my colleagues. We all share the same world, we make common jokes and enjoy the sunny weather together. No stress, no cars, no shopping malls. Just us and the sea. Some days I am with certified divers, others I am assisting PADI Instructors to prepare for the PADI Instructor Development Course with Scuba Junkie later this month. Every day there is something fascinating going on. The dive boats arrive and it’s time for diving! The day passes by so fast that we cannot believe it. At 3:30pm our 3 dives are finished and after cleaning the equipment, it’s time to help our divers fill in their log books before heading back to the resort for a nice relaxing shower!

When and where did you start diving?
A friend and I decided to go to Semporna in September 2011 to try diving with Scuba Junkie. We arrived one sunny morning at magnificent Mabul Island and we could not believe the beauty around us: the transparent waters full of colorful fish and stunning corals. Jason, our PADI Instructor made it an incredible Discover Scuba Diving experience. We both fell in love with the sea instantly!

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
My contract was coming to an end at the National University of Malaysia, I wanted to change my life and do something that made me completely happy. The sea was the only place I wanted to be, so I decided to start a PADI Divemaster course on the 1st December 2013. Of course it had to be at Mabul, after all I had already completed all my other courses from PADI Open Water Diver to PADI Rescue Diver with Scuba Junkie: there is no better place for me in Malaysia! This little island -and its people- keep on dragging me back. There is something magic here…

What made you choose to become a PADI Professional?
I am a teacher, a professor, a lecturer… I have been teaching all my life many different things: languages, literature, martial arts… Teaching has always been a rewarding experience for me as well as learning new things, traveling and diving. But diving has something magical, something unique that always makes me feel happy, whole, part of Nature. Being a PADI Professional was just the natural step to take. And I have no regrets at all! Being able to show and witness the wonders of the underwater world is the best experience I ever had.

What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster course?
I can say that the PADI Divemaster course has been fascinating from day one.  I consider the PADI Instructors at Scuba Junkie to be some of the best trained people, the most thorough teachers, and the most encouraging mentors. It is difficult for me to choose just one moment but I can say that doing the distinctive Reef Check Specialty as part of my Eco-DMT course was very rewarding and it was great to be part of the environmental projects of Scuba Junkie.

What dive locations are on your bucket list and why?
I want to dive all over the world, I cannot help myself! But Philippines is coming soon as well as Mexico, the Red Sea and Galapagos… I have seen videos and photographs of these dive sites from other divers and instructors, from the Internet and some documentaries. I want to see those places with my own eyes, feel the sea on those latitudes. I am sure the list will keep on growing in time.

What has been the most memorable dive of your life?
All dives have something special but some are outstanding. The night dive at the Liberty Wreck in Tulamben, Bali is still one my favorites as well as some muck dives at Secret Bay (also in Bali). Raja Ampat, West Papua has the best night dives in coral reefs I have ever done. Richelieu Rock in Thailand is the most lively dive site as the pinnacles are full of fish, corals and invertebrates. Incredible macro life in Awas (Mabul) and schooling devil rays at Siamil Island on the Sipadan Barrier Reef – The most memorable dive? I cannot make up my mind!

What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?
Becoming a PADI Divemaster is an experience that you will never forget: it is full of fun, adventure and knowledge. That alone should make you go for it! You will improve your diving skills and you will gain in depth knowledge of the sea. Becoming a PADI Divemaster will make you part of a great community of professional divers who care about the environment and help to protect it. Just imagine yourself waking up every morning on a beautiful island to unravel the secrets of the sea… What’s next for me? My PADI Instructor course, naturally. And guess where? At Scuba Junkie!

A Day in the Life of a PADI Divemaster

14 Jan

PADI DivemasterAn interview with JINKAI CHEN

PADI Divemaster

Sierra Madre Divers
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Dive Resort

Bohol, The Philippines

Describe a typical day in your working life

Before I became a PADI Divemaster, I lived in China. I would drive every day for an hour to get to the office, check emails, arrange schedules, have meetings and get back home in the evening – a typical 9-5 life.

Here in Bohol at Sierra Madre Divers, I begin work in the morning and prepare for two beautiful dives with our guests and the jackfish storm at Balicasag Island. If we have students, I help the PADI Instructor with equipment logistics and assist the class in the pool or in the sea. In the evening we all sit together on the deck at the dive centre to relax and watch the sunset.

When did you start diving?

I’ve been diving since 2011.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?

I became a PADI Divemaster at Sierra Madre Divers in June 2013.

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?

I felt so excited and proud!  A “PADI Divemaster” is such a cool title and it shows that I am a PADI Professional with more responsibility towards setting a good example in protecting the ocean.

What highlights do you recall from your Divemaster course?

During my PADI Divemaster course I learnt many things and made new friends from China and other countries all over the world – including Germany, Switzerland, America and Australia. It was also great to learn from the other PADI Instructors here at Sierra Madre Divers. Also diving, and diving every day!

Where have you worked as a PADI Pro?

So far, at Sierra Madre Divers.

Tell us one of your favorite memories in your diving career?

I still remember the first time I saw a whale shark in Coron. It’s one of the most unforgettable images and experiences of my life.

Any words of advice for new dive professionals?

If you really love the diving lifestyle, make sure you seriously consider joining us in this life of being like a fish!

 At the time of our interview, Jinkai Chen was taking the PADI Instructor Development Course at Sierra Madre Divers. His goal was to become a PADI Instructor.

Jinkai has since completed the PADI Instructor Exam – and we are happy to advise that he is now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.  Congratulations, Jinkai Chen!  

A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

26 Sep

An interview with Bradley Cornish
PADI Divemaster
Devocean Dive
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center
Southport, Queensland

dm-bradley-cornish-sept13Describe a typical day in your working life.
A typical work day would start with me opening the shop and setting up gear for the days’ diving. I would then be greeting students as they turn up and kitting students with the appropriate gear. When all our students have arrived, we conduct dive briefings before heading to our dive site. In the water, I could be doing anything from assisting our instructors with PADI Open Water courses to leading certified divers on a tour of our magnificent site. As well as diving almost every day of the week; my work also entails me being very involved in the retail side of the business.

When did you start diving?
I started diving in January 2012.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I became a PADI Divemaster in March of this year at Devocean Dive, where I am currently working. I completed my PADI Open Water Course with Devocean Dive, fell in love diving and knew instantly I wanted to go all the way through to becoming a PADI Divemaster.

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?
When I became PADI Divemaster, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and knew – with absolutely certainty – I had made the right decision in pursuing a career in diving.

What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster Course?
The biggest highlight for me was when I reached the point where students and new divers would naturally come to me for assistance, advice and a knowledge base for anything diving related. That was when I knew I was ready to be a PADI Dive Professional.

Where have you worked as PADI Pro?
I have worked solely at Devocean Dive, where I have completed all of my diving certifications and was blessed with a job upon completing my PADI Divemaster course.

What is one of your favorite memories in your diving career?
It is hard to pick just one, but I will have to go with a drift dive I was doing through the Gold Coast Seaway earlier this year. The visibility was 20m and we were drifting through at a depth of about 15m. We had only been down for five minutes when a squadron of about 30-40 devil rays flew straight over us. The sight of so many of the amazing creatures flying above me is one I will never forget.

What words of advice would you give to new PADI Dive Professionals?
Not to take any day for granted. Living your life doing something you love is not something the majority of people can say they do. Always be grateful and pass on your love of the underwater world to every customer that walks through your door.

A Day in the Life of a Divemaster

12 Mar

An interview with James Boulton

PADI Divemaster
Bali Scuba
PADI 5 Star Dive Instructor Development Centre
Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

What is your current job?
Having spent a number of years in the design and advertising industry, with a more recent focus on luxury travel, I decided it was time to stop looking at incredible dive destinations and rather – go work at one. Having recently completed a Divemaster internship with Bali Scuba, I’m on the hunt for my first job as a PADI pro.

Describe a typical day in your working life.
Most days as a Divemaster intern start bright and early at 07:15. I have a good idea of what to expect since the days’ schedule is always put up the afternoon before – especially when course work is planned and I’ve needed to prep beforehand. If it’s a “non-course” day, I help the other Divemasters with equipment and am close at hand to answer questions guests may have about paperwork and the exciting day ahead.

The vehicles are loaded and there’s a buzz in the air as each departs for its destination, either Tulamben, Padang Bai or Sanur Beach for the boat trip to Nusa Penida. The rest of the day I assist the Divemasters and Instructors as much as possible and they give me more responsibility each day to build experience and grow my confidence.

It goes without saying that the rest of the day is my favourite part; as we sink beneath the waves the real fun begins.

When did you start diving?
I learnt to dive in the icy waters of Cape Town in early 2008. Having only been diving a relatively short time, I’ve been fortunate to dive in South Africa, Thailand, Egypt and Indonesia.

When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
I recently completed a two-month Divemaster internship with Bali Scuba in Sanur, Bali. The Bali Scuba team love what they do and their passion for diving is infectious. If only everybody loved their jobs as much as these guys do!

How did you feel when you became a PADI Divemaster?
I was thrilled by the prospect of being able to find a job doing something I love, a lot of people aren’t that lucky. I’ve also gained the confidence to lead others and make sure they have just as much fun as I do – and feel safe while doing it.

What highlights do you recall from your DM course?
I found it extremely rewarding assisting student divers; the hard work pays off when you can help someone overcome a challenge. Meeting people from all over the world has also meant hearing some amazing stories, and making new dive buddies. Another highlight was the equipment exchange with my far more petite buddy – fitting into gear three times smaller than your own makes for a fun skills test.

Where have you worked as PADI Pro?
Nowhere yet, but I hope to find work somewhere with loads of sunshine and tropical water.

What is one of your favourite memories in your diving career?
Without a doubt catching my first glimpse of mantas in Bali while doing my DM course – was a priceless memory for me.

What words of advice would you give to new dive professionals?
You can’t buy experience, so take every opportunity to learn