How Winning a PADI Divemaster Package Changed My Life

Written by Christina Albiger

To celebrate PADI 5 Star IDC Sairee Cottage Diving’s 10 year anniversary they put together the ‘Change a Life’ contest. One lucky winner would win an all-inclusive (zero to hero) PADI Divemaster package. Not only did this package include all PADI courses from Open Water Diver up to Divemaster, but it also included flights, accommodation, learning material, insurance, unlimited fun diving, gear rental and more.

I finally decided to enter the competition and began writing a blog post and filming a video to submit. A few weeks and one video interview later, Sairee Cottage Diving’s PADI Platinum Course Director, Marcel van den Berg, messaged me to let me know I had actually won the contest! After totally freaking out, I immediately started looking for flights. With my flights booked for the 22nd July, I couldn’t wait to go on my biggest adventure yet.

Living in Paradise 

Being the lucky winner of the Sairee Cottage Diving ‘Change a Life’ competition, I won an all-inclusive PADI Divemaster package. Although I originally never imagined myself as a PADI Divemaster, I was excited to get started. I travelled to the beautiful island of Koh Tao, where I visited Sairee Cottage Diving. It was here that I was lucky enough to start a new chapter of my life as a PADI Divemaster, while living in paradise. My life was quickly filled with beautiful beaches, warm weather, amazing people and a lot of unforgettable diving!

Starting My PADI Divemaster Journey

Since travelling to Koh Tao and meeting the team at Sairee Cottage Diving, a lot has happened. I completed my PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, Emergency First Response and PADI Rescue Diver courses and I am currently on the journey to becoming a PADI Divemaster.

Most people I talk to ask me if I can teach students how to dive after completing the PADI Divemaster course, but the answer is simply no. To teach students how to dive you must first complete the PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor program. Instead, as a PADI Divemaster you can take already certified divers on guided tours (fun dives) despite their certification level (Open Water Diver and above). A Divemaster is simply an underwater tour guide that can show divers local dive sites, local marine life and basically anything interesting underwater.

Learning great buoyancy skills in my PADI Divemaster Course.

To become a PADI Divemaster you must first learn various demonstrating skills, theory about your equipment, human physiology, physics, and decompression and recreational diving. You must be able to prove your swimming, floating, snorkelling and towing abilities. To deepen your rescue, navigation, buoyancy and mapping skills, you must also attend workshops. Finally, you will also need to assist instructors on various courses. Besides all that, a huge part of the course is fun diving so you can perfect your confidence underwater and of course, your diving skills. Here at Sairee Cottage Diving, they emphasise that your Divemaster course is about having fun – and it absolutely is!

The PADI Scuba Diving Community

One thing that makes this humbling experience of discovering this whole new world, even more fun, is that I get to share it with so many other passionate divers. The PADI diving community is literally just as diverse as the Koh Tao marine life. You’ll meet people of all ages, from all over the world, with the most diverse backgrounds, yet they all have a shared love for diving. I have learnt so much from just talking to them about what we’ve seen underwater during previous diving experiences. Being surrounded by those inspiring people and hearing their experiences have helped (and still help) me a lot with progressing in my own diving career. For example, I have been able to overcome my small fear of night diving by realising that with the right training, a night dive can be a very special and meditative experience.

Recently a friend of mine asked me about my most memorable experience in diving and I thought back to my first week on Koh Tao. Together with some other divemaster candidates, I went on a fun dive at a dive site called South West Pinnacle. It was a nice, sunny day and the visibility underwater was great. We were just hovering around the pinnacle enjoying ourselves when a giant school of beautiful gold band fusiliers came in sight. Those small, agile fish were everywhere, surrounding us from every side, moving whenever we moved. Some of them even came very close which made the experience of being a part of this community and one with the environment, even more exciting. It absolutely made my day and it still puts a big smile on my face today. Another dive I will never forget was when we saw a whale shark. It was so unbelievably exciting to see the stunning whale shark swim gracefully in the distance.

Whale shark encounter during my PADI Divemaster Course on Koh Tao.

Sharing the Passion for Scuba

Putting a big smile on someone’s face and experiencing these amazing memories with them is why becoming a PADI Divemaster is so special. You are able to show them the marine life that they see on television, in front of their own eyes. Sometimes I catch myself taking all this for granted, as it has become a part of my everyday life. However, I keep reminding myself that the opportunity I was given comes as a once in a lifetime experience and I am incredibly thankful for that!

It’s hard to put my thoughts and feelings into the right words, as there is so much more to tell. However, that’s why I am sharing my experience of my PADI Divemaster journey and the amazing lifestyle that comes with it.

Are you interested in becoming a PADI Divemaster like Christina? Learn more about the PADI Divemaster course, PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor course and locate your local PADI Dive Store in Koh Tao today!

Join PADI at the Thailand Dive Expo 2018

Come visit the PADI Booth at the Thailand Dive Expo (TDEX) from Thursday 10th until Sunday 13th May 2018 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

pic-main1[1]

This is a must attend event for anyone involved or interested in the world of diving. TDEX has become an important marketplace for divers, equipment manufactures, training providers and dive resorts to meet and network. It is also a great place to learn about the latest and greatest in diving innovation and dive travel.

Come visit PADI at booth P3-P4 and we look forward to chatting all things diving with you over the course of the weekend.

A number of PADI Dive Stores will also be exhibiting at TDEX 2018. See the full list below.

COMPANY NAME BOOTH NO.
Dive Info P046
Wahoo Diving Center P023-P025
Dive Indeed P059-P061
Dive Supply P36
Aqua Master (Thailand) P080, P073-P079
FreedomDIVE P006
Dive Potato P043-P045
Dive Team (Thailand) P143, P144
Oceanic Thailand P029-P031
Odd Dive Thailand P049
Sainamtalay Dive Center P099
Scuba Jamboree P034, P035
Scuba Project P067
Scuba Republic P038, P039
Chaokoh Diving P062
BB Divers P005
Coral Grand Divers P138, P139
Ko Tao Dive Resort P033
Big Bubble P115
Mermaids Dive Center P001, P002
Castaway Divers P090
Crystal Waves Thailand P078
Divespace P052-P055
Worldwide Dive & Sail P077
All 4 Diving Indonesia P052-P055
Mermaid Liveaboards P073
Grand Komodo P041
Sea Safari Cruises P072
Plumeria Diving and Watersports Centre P032

If you’re planning on exhibiting at TDEX or any other show or expo this year, please get in touch with your PADI Regional Manager to discuss how PADI can support you with these events.

PADI Rescue Diver Workshop in Bangkok

In August 2017, PADI Members gathered in Bangkok to attend the PADI Rescue Diver Workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to refresh and further develop the skills required to teach the Rescue Diver course. It also gave attendees the opportunity to raise any queries they had and speak with PADI Staff directly.

As part of the workshop, PADI representatives gave updates on the revised Rescue Diver course materials, as well as a demonstration of relevant digital products and the online processing system.

This was followed by the group observing and practising skills required when teaching the Rescue Diver course. Attendees also took part in an introduction to freediving under the instruction of PADI Freediver Instructor Ploy Malaiwongs.

Speaking about the event, PADI Territory Director, Tim Hunt, said:

“Thanks to everyone involved in the PADI Rescue Diver workshop in Bangkok. We believe it’s important that PADI Members feel confident in the skills and materials required to deliver courses and this workshop provided us with an opportunity to support this. It was great to see so many enthusiastic members in Bangkok and we look forward to hosting similar workshops in the future.”

For information about future events, keep an eye on the PADI Blog or speak with your Regional Manager.


Video by Napaket (Apple) Limthanakit

PADI Business Academy Outbound Chinese Tourism – Koh Samui & Kuala Lumpur

Don’t miss the last PADI Business Academy Outbound Chinese Tourism seminars for 2017!

Koh Samui – Sunday, 10 December 2017 – Register now

Kuala Lumpur – Wednesday, 13 December 2017 – Register now

With more than one in ten international tourists worldwide from China, it’s no wonder people want to know more about how to engage with this emerging market. Last year alone there were over 120 million outward-bound journeys from China, of which around half were for leisure.

With the rapid growth of Chinese travelling overseas, ‘PADI Business Academy – Outbound Chinese Tourism’ is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn how to engage with the Chinese market and ignite growth in all operational aspects of your business.

What will be covered?

  • What the Chinese consumer is worth to your business
  • Elements of a successful website
  • Social media – Weibo, WeChat and video platforms such as Youku and Tencent Video
  • Managing your Social Media accounts
  • Referral programs and implementation
  • Chinese Instructor development opportunities
  • Marketing tools and Chinese services available to PADI Members

BONUS – Early Bird Offer

Register your place before Sunday, 29 October for Koh Samui or before Wednesday, 1 November for Kuala Lumpur to receive AUD$20 off the cost of your registration. Plus, with every third paid attendee, you will receive a fourth free. So get in early and register your spot today.

The number of attendees is limited to ensure that the PADI Business Academy staff can really focus on you. Register today to make sure you don’t miss out.