Think about it, will you be hoping to guide people on Nitrox?
Most definitely, especially if you want to go on to work on Liveaboards,
Maybe you might be looking to go deep, well how deep? At least occasionally to 30-35 let’s say, and so you will need to have a Deep Diver certification.
So there are a couple of specialties I was advised about, that I would strongly recommend thinking about. Deep Diver and Search & Recovery have become integral to the new Divemaster course anyway..
A great specialty to complete with the Master Divers team has to be the wreck spec. What with the Introduction of the HTMS Sattakut, perfect for penetration, along with the beloved MV Trident there is plenty of practice to be had. Combine that with the availability of Tec courses with the team here and all of a sudden it could be you on the next Tec Liveaboard.
Master Divers is not only a great place to come and dive with generally but within the team there is a lot of Tec Diving experience as well. During my course I was given the opportunity to try for free a Discover Dive in Tec diving as well. A chance to get into the gear and to give the first few skills a try, it’s done shallow so you can remain comfortable and at 10 metres we had a nice long (90 minute) dive to experience some of the other perks of carrying twin sets. With so much exposure to the Tec world here it is easy to get comfortable and confident and Wilco is an expert in making it make sense.
I was keen to add more strings to my bow and soon after finishing my DM, I completed my Tec Gas Blender course as well. This now enables me to blend Nitrox and get comfortable with the use of the compressor a very useful attribute to being a well-rounded Divemaster.
As mentioned previously I was forever in the equipment room pestering whoever I could to find out how things worked and how I could maintain it, so the team advised me about an Equipment Specialist course available on the Island. They supported me in getting on and completing the course and once certified (and with watchful eyes) they let me help in maintaining and managing the equipment in the shop. Again an incredibly useful asset as a Divemaster, and now I find it is me answering the questions from the simple “how do I change my mouth-piece?” to the ” there’s bubbles coming out of …..”.
Then there was the Photography. Well one of my greatest passions in life is contributing to our natural history and capturing the beauty of our watery planet. And at the rate we as a species are eating our fishy brothers and sisters, some of the pictures we take now will be the last of their kind. Tragic. So I wanted to be able to work at educating people into the existence of the beautiful yet fragile ecosystems that lie under the sea. Combined with my love of showing people this beautiful place, Underwater Photography soon became another string in my bow.
Remember Ayesha is a published and fairly renowned Underwater Photographer, all the guys here are handy with a camera and their images and inspiration is all around you. And so I was captured. In a place that loves diving this much [Master Divers] then it’s inevitable.
Ayesha coached me through the PADI Speciality and then introduced me to her personally designed course, more focused towards your skills and needs so I was quickly able to get to grips with it all. Not only that but she is a master at fuelling confidence, and so after a short period of time I felt ready to complete the PADI DUP Instructor course.
Now as I settle into my career not only do I get to exercise all of my Divemaster training including the use of my specialisms, Master Divers are pushing me to increase my profile as an Underwater Photographer and Photography instructor, a great chance to get into some fun informal teaching even as a Divemaster.
This is the fourth of 6 posts which I have written about being a Dive Master, starting from why I became one and how to choose the dive center at which to take your course, , what to expect and then followed by this one how to expand your knowledge and finally what its like to work as a dive master. Check back to get the next installment…