Enjoyed a great afternoon out on the boat with Simple Life’s PADI Divemaster internship gang, putting them through their paces and having a lot of laughs along the way. We’ve got a really nice Divemaster trainee posse at the moment, and with hot sunny weather and the ocean as flat as a pancake we headed round to Mango Bay at the north end of the island to put the guys through some of their water work.
Image: Jeff briefs the guys on the steps involved in each scuba skill en-route to the Mango Bay dive site, north of Koh Tao. Pictured Andre, Mark & Jeff.
PADI Divemaster Thailand Skills Circuit
First Mark, James, Lee, Andre (all UK) and Chris (Aussie) had their first crack at the PADI Divemaster skills circuit. The guys learn to demonstrate underwater scuba skills to a precise standard – this means in the future they’ll be able to assist in the training of new divers and run scuba reviews for certified divers who’ve been out of action for a while. We talked about the skills and what’s involved en-route to the dive site, then with perfect conditions at Mango Bay we jumped in and had a crack at the scuba skills.
Left image: Divemaster trainee Chris going through the pre-dive safety check with fellow Aussie Jeff
Right Image: Mark demonstrates how to enter the water with a giant stride of the back off the Simple Life Divers boat in Mango Bay, Koh Tao
For a first attempt the guys did very well – for sure there are a couple of rough edges but they’re all shaping up to be very competent PADI Divemasters. Breaking down some of the skills and emphasizing the critical attributes so that a beginner can pick up the skill by copying can be tricky to start with. Especially on the more complex multiple step skills like mask removal, replacement and clearing or buddy breathing. But the gang handled the task well and I’m sure they’ll be picking up a few maximum scores the next time we try a skills circuit.
Left image: Jeff cracks a funny as Chris climbs back aboard the dive boat following the underwater skills circuit
Right image: PADI Divemaster trainee Sophia supervises a new diver assembling their scuba equipment
Koh Tao Divemaster Internship: Assisting With New Diver Training
Meanwhile the girls – Sophia and Naomi ticked off one of their Divemaster Thailand assists by helping out the instructors on a PADI open water course.
Sophie joined PADI instructor Steve to help out with a group taking their first session underwater, meanwhile Naomi assisted instructor Jon who was completing open water dives 1 & 2 (max depth 12M) with another group of new divers. The conditions today were perfect for teaching new divers, and everyone sailed through their skills and dives.
Image: Gearing up, soon-to-be PADI Divemaster Naomi assists 2 new divers in selecting the correct amount of lead weight for their dive
Divemaster Thailand Internships: The dreaded ‘Stress Test’ (Not as bad as it sounds!)
Wrapping up the afternoon we had a crack at one of the PADI Divemaster Thailand waterman-ship assessments – the famous ‘Stress Test’.
This is an underwater problem solving exercise. Divemaster trainees pair up and we give them a complex task to complete underwater. One of the divers is simulated to be out of air so must share air from his buddies cylinder (sounds easy so far!). To make it a bit more challenging we further complicate the issue by telling the candidates that the air donor’s alternate air source (octopus) is not available (i.e. has failed or is not present). So they must share air from a single regulator second stage, passing it between each other taking turns to take a breath (this is an extremely rarely used emergency procedure which we refer to as buddy breathing).
Still sounds easy? Finally, to really make sure they’re expert scuba divers we ask them to exchange all their equipment with each other whilst buddy breathing (everything – mask, bcd, tank and regulator set & fins – the whole lot minus weight belt). There’s no situation where this could possibly be required in a real diving emergency, but the equipment exchange gives us a chance to assess just how competent the guys really are underwater.
And I’m happy to say they did very well – everyone remained calm, relaxed and focused, working well to cope with the task. Just goes to show how they’ve developed during the past few weeks of their Divemaster Thailand internships.
Next in the PADI Divemaster internship we’ll be taking a look at everyone’s favorite – using PADI’s recreational dive planners and bit of background information on decompression theory. With recent updates to PADI’s syllabus the ‘wheel’ dive planner is no more (RIP), but we’ll be tackling the use of it’s replacement – the electronic ‘e-RDP’ multi-level dive planner. Watch this blog for another update in the next few days.
Image: Having a laugh in the sun en-route to Mango Bay; from left, James, Lee, Chris, Andre, Mark and Jeff