Dive Acronyms – Getting Down With the Lingo!

 

The world of SCUBA is full of abbreviations and acronyms, and it can sometimes be difficult for new divers to remember everything. Like any new sport or passion, the knowledge comes slowly with time as you gain more experience and take more courses – and of course through lots of repetition! Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of 45 to get you started. Do you know all of these? How many did you get correct and can you think of any extra’s that we have missed?…

As a handy guide to your current knowledge retention, we’ve developed this handy rating system:

1-10 – Nothing an Open Water Course wont fix!

11-20 – Time for a Scuba Review!

21-30 – Getting there!

31-40 – Down with the Lingo!

40-45 – Scuba Geektastic!

AAS – Alternate Air Source
ABCABS – Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Airway, Breathing, Serious Bleeding, Spinal Injury & Shock (you’ll learn to deal with all of these and more in your Emergency First Response course.
ACD – Automatic Closing Device (commonplace on higher end regulators, thus avoiding the need for a dust cap)
AED- Automated External Defibrillator (another staple in the Emergency First Response course)
AGE -Arterial Gas Embolism (learn more in your Rescue Diver course and in the Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving that comes in your Divemaster Crewpack!)
AWARE – Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility & Education. This is PADI’s flagship environmental awareness project, with correcsponding specialties, PADI AWARE Fish Identification, and PADI AWARE Specialist.
BCD – Buoyancy Control Device/ Buoyancy Compensation Device
BWRAF – Buoyancy/BDC, Weights, Releases, Air, Final OK (the mantra of buddy checks for every certified diver)
CCR – Closed Circuit Rebreather
CESA – Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (you learn this emergency ascent in your open water course)
CNS – Central Nervous System
CPR – Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation
DAN – Divers Alert Network
DCI – Decompression Illness
DCS – Decompression Sickness
DIN – Deutsche Industry Norm (all modern regulator fittings are either DIN or yoke valves)
DM – Divemaster
DMC Divemaster Candidate
DPV – Diver Propulsion Vehicle
DSAT – Dive Science and Technology
DSD – Discover Scuba Diving
DSO – Dive Safety Officer
DUP – Digital Underwater Photography
EANX – Enriched Air Nitrox
EFR – Emergency First Response
EMS – Emergency Medical Services
ERDPML – Electronic Recreational Dive Planner Multi Level
IDC – Instructor Development Course
IE – Instructor Exams
MSD – Master Scuba Diver
NOAA – National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association
PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors
PPB – Peak Performance Buoyancy (learn more in your Advanced open water course, or as a specialty in its own right)
RDP – Recreational Dive Planner
RNT – Residual Nitrogen Time
RSTC – Recreational Scuba Training Council
SAFE Diver – Safely Ascend From Every dive
SAMPLE – Signs & Symptoms, Allergies, Medication, Pre-existing medical conditions, Last meal & Events (used to track & record illness in your EFR course)
SCR – Semi Closed Rebreather
SCUBA – Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus
SORTED – Signal, Orientate, Regulator, Time, Extend & Equalise, and Descend (PADI’s 5 star descent)
SPG – Submersible Pressure Guage
SSS – Scuba Safety Services
STARS – Signal, Time, Air (release), Reach & Rotate, Swim (PADI’s 5 star ascent)
VENTID – Visual disturbances, Ears ringing, Nausea, Twitching, Irritability, Dizziness (the signs and symptoms of CNS Oxygen toxicity)

So how did you do? Are you a scuba nerd or in need of a tune up?!

Feel free to leave your scores and any you think we’ve missed in the comments section!

July 16th – PADI Womens Dive Day 2016

A year has flown by since we celebrated PADI Womens Dive Day 2015, with our girl powered blog focusing on the women of Master Divers. I for one, am proud to be around in an era where diving is so accessible to women, as this was not always the case! For decades, nautical folklore and pirate legend alike held the belief that a woman aboard a ship was bad luck. It was rumored that if you dared to brave the blue with a female in tow, your ship would surely meet a watery grave. Today, women are on the front lines of ocean exploration, marine conservation, and, of course, diving. In honor of PADI Women in Diving day 2016, we would like to highlight a few individuals who have forged a path for women in this industry by dedicating their lives to diving and the ocean.

Dottie Frazier – 1922-present

Dottie Frazier was born in 1922. She began freediving for lobsters in her early teens off the coast of California. Prior to WWII, diving derbies were growing in popularity, and before too long, Dottie was participating – often as the only female. In her 20’s, Dottie left a secretarial job when a friend’s deckhand had an appendix burst just before the boat was to depart on a fishing trip. She quickly became one of the only females involved in commercial fishing industry. Dottie continued freediving for over 20 years before a friend finally convinced her to try scuba. Up until this point, Dottie, like many of her free diving contemporaries, viewed scuba to be sissy equipment that allowed unqualified divers to enter the free divers’ realm. In 1955, Dottie would make history when she became the first female scuba diving instructor. She went on to be the first female owner and operator of a dive shop, and she would start her own line of custom tailored wetsuits that would be distributed across the United States.

 

Dottie all geared up and ready to dive!
Dottie all geared up and ready to dive!

Sylvia Earle – 1935-present

Sylvia Earle, also known as “Her Deepness,” is an oceanography, author, lecturer, and entrepreneur who has clocked over 7,000 hours under water. Throughout her career, Sylvia has been pushing boundaries leaving countless scientific breakthroughs and esteemed accolades in her wake. Always driven by her own curiosity, Sylvia rarely shied away from an opportunity to go deeper or stay longer beneath the waves. In 1970, She captained an all female team of aquanauts who lived in a submersed capsule for several weeks. She has walked on the ocean floor at a depth deeper than any other women before or since. When she grew frustrated with the pace of innovation in ocean exploration, Sylvia founded Deep Ocean Engineering–a company that is still pushing the boundaries of ocean exploration today. In 1990, she was appointed the Chief Scientist to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. She was the first woman to hold that position. Currently, Sylvia heads up the marine conservation organization, Mission Blue, which she founded in 2009. Mission Blue aims to build a network of marine preserves called “Hope Spots” that resemble the national park systems found in many countries on land.

 

'Her Deepness' in her natural habitat!
‘Her Deepness’ in her natural habitat!

Natalia Molchanova – 1962-2015

One of the most decorated athletes in her sport, Natalia Molchanova is still regarded today as one of the greatest free divers of all time. Growing up in the then Soviet Union, Natalia was already a standout in the water. In her teens, she was an Olympic swimmer prior to the birth of her first child. 20 years later, she would return to the water, this time, as a free diver. She would go on the rack up 41 world records. At the time of her death, she was the female world record holder in 7 out of the 8 freediving disciplines. She was also the overall record holder for static apnea (holding breath while lying face down in a pool) with a time of 9 minutes and 2 second, and she was the first female to free dive to over 100 meters. Aside from her competition accolades, Natalia was the first woman to free dive the blue hole in Dahab–a site also know as diver’s cemetery due to its dangerous currents. Revered by her competitors for her machine-like consistency, Natalia was at the top of her sport for several years. She passed away in August of 2015 when she descended on a fairly routine training dive and never surfaced. It is suspected that she may have been caught in the strong currents of the coast of Spain. Natalia will be remembered for years to come as a legend in the freediving world.

 

Natalia on one of her many record breaking dives
Natalia on one of her many record breaking dives

We hope this has inspired some of our female readers to follow in the footsteps of some of these great women. If you would like to know more about learning to dive, learning to freedive, or maybe even just a snorkel trip, just contact us and let us know! Female staff available on request!

Is Scuba Diving Safe?

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Visiting the fascinating underwater world is an amazing experience, and also very safe provided that you follow some simple rules.

Diving is relatively easy to learn, but do make sure you are trained by a reputable school with experienced staff. Proper training will also make you aware of the most common problems that you could encounter underwater.

Make sure that you are medically and physically fit to dive as certain medical conditions are not compatible with diving. Aside from physiological factors, it also helps to be physically fit. You should be able to walk at least 1.6km in under 12 minutes as a minimum, and as part of your open water course you will be asked to swim 200m and float for 10 minutes. So if you’ve been a couch potato get some exercise before your next dive trip – the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy your dives!

BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

If you have your own dive equipment, then check it all thoroughly and get anything serviced if necessary.

Have any necessary immunisation jabs required to travel.

Make sure you are fit to dive and have had a medical if required. Students are required to self-certify their fitness to dive using the form below. If any of the answers to the questions listed is a ‘Yes’, it’s important to get a medical sign off prior to departure:

http://www.master-divers.com/medical_statement.pdf

Make sure you have adequate travel and dive insurance. At Master Divers we offer our customers dive insurance for just 100THB for the duration of  your stay with us, but we also have weekly, monthly and yearly policies for more active divers, as well as some recommendations for general travel insurance:

https://www.indepths.org/public-member/policies/

http://www.worldnomads.com/

 

BEFORE YOU DIVE

Check all your equipment to ensure nothing was damaged in transit.

Make sure you are properly rehydrated after your journey. If you’re not feeling 100% then don’t dive, and in particular don’t dive if you have a cold or hangover! Leave the party night until the end of your diving trip…

If you haven’t dived for a while just sign up for  a couple of easy, shallow dives to begin with in order to get back in the swing of things. Remember if you haven’t dived for six months or longer then you may need to do a scuba review first just to recap on all your skills…

Skills Practice In The Shallows
Skills Practice In The Shallows

ON THE BOAT

Remember to drink plenty of water, and bring your sunscreen and seasickness tablets (if required, although the water here is generally very calm). If you suffer from seasickness make sure you have something light to eat and always take your tablets before the boat journey – don’t wait until you actually feel sick!

Set up your equipment in the allocated area making sure it’s all together in the one place. Attaching your mask to your BCD and putting your fins inside it are good tips for keeping all of your gear together.  Take your time double checking everything is in working order, and if you’re not sure of anything then ask just your Dive Master or Instructor. Never be embarrassed to ask for help – safety is always more important than speed!

 

Equipment setup!
Equipment setup!

Store your bag and weight belt under the bench to keep the walkways free, and try to make sure you return to the same place after the dive. A tidy boat is a safe boat!!!

Be careful walking around on the boat when it is choppy, especially going to the back of the boat and upstairs – make sure you have three points of contact at all times. Do not jump off the top deck and/or over the side after the ladders have been pulled up, as this means the engine is about to start!

Listen carefully to your dive briefing – no matter how experienced a diver you are! The Instructor/Dive Master know the dive sites intricately and will tell you what to look for along with any potential hazards you should be aware of.  They will tell you the dive plan including the maximum depth and time, making sure that you are familiar with all the relevant hand signals.

Once kitted up make sure you do a proper buddy check with your allocated dive buddy and do not enter the water until you are told it is safe to do so.

 

Buddy Check
Buddy Check

THE DIVE

Make sure you are properly weighted and adjust your buoyancy accordingly so that you are streamlined throughout the dive.  Proper buoyancy control not only reduces fatigue and makes your dive more enjoyable but it also improves your safety and prevents you from damaging the coral.

Buoyancy Fun
Buoyancy Fun

Regularly check your air, your buddy and the environment around you. Make sure you follow your dive guide and don’t go off in the opposite direction…

Listen to your inner voice – if you do not feel right while underwater, or you feel that you have exceeded your comfort level, let your dive guide know that you want to abort the dive. If you become low on air let your guide know immediately and follow his/her instructions.

Don’t touch anything – the golden rule is “You take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but bubbles!”

At the end of your dive make sure you ascend slowly never exceeding an ascent rate of 18m/minute and make a safety stop for 3 minutes at 5 metres.

White Rock

AFTER THE DIVE

White Rock

If you are doing a second or third dive make sure you have an adequate surface interval. Be sure to drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. Avoid any strenuous exercise straight after a dive as it could increase the risk of decompression sickness.

DO NOT free-dive, do any cardiovascular exercise, have a Thai massage, or take an excessively hot shower after scuba diving. After a dive you will have increased levels of nitrogen in your body, and any of these activities can effect how efficiently your body off gases it, and in some instances it can be harmful to you.

Properly rinse all your equipment, hang it out to dry and remember to log your dives.  A record of your diving history is not only nice to look back on, but is also required should you ever need to prove your experience for higher levels of training.

FLYING AFTER DIVING
PADI recommended that you wait a minimum of 12 hours before flying after a single dive, and 18 hours after 2 or more dives.

 

The super scuba society

 

There are many wonderful things about scuba diving such as the oceans, the marine life, the exploration, the weightlessness, and the education. However, there is an incredible part of scuba diving and being a diver that is often overlooked; the amazing, hilarious, experienced and openhearted diving community. Scuba is an activity and experience that brings people together from all over the world, from all walks of life, for one love of the underwater world.

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Throughout the Open Water course and upon passing, new divers are welcomed into the diving community as a member of a likeminded secret society that have the passion and ability to breath underwater. Diving as an incredible experience to share with friends, but it is also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Once the boat leaves for the dive site, everyone is quite literally ‘on the same boat’! There’s always a community atmosphere on board where everyone is happy to get to know each other and lend a helping hand. By the time you’ve shared a cup of tea and gone through your equipment and buddy checks, there will be a bond of familiarity and trust within the group whereby everyone is comfortable together and excited to get in the water! This is also beneficial to overall safety as all divers rely on their buddies and diving group should anything go wrong.

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It’s true that there are no better experiences than shared experiences. Seeing a turtle is great, but what’s better is being able to see the mutual wonder in other dives eyes, to relive that experience by talking about it after the dive, and to remember not only the dive site and the marine life, but also the friends you met and spent the day with underwater. Besides, diving is an indescribable experience that can only truly be understood by other divers. As much as we try to explain a dive to non-divers, they will never understand it in the same way as someone who was there or has similar diving experiences. You may also experience this when describing an incredibly cool fish to a non-diver who thinks it’s ‘just a fish’… IT’S A TRIGGER FISH, AND IT’S INCREDIBLY COOL AND EXCITING!

Collectively, divers tend to be exceptionally relaxed and open minded individuals. It aids to be relaxed and calm when diving to avoid potential anxiety, but also to increase buoyancy control and reduce air consumption. Breathing should be deep, slow, and controlled, which helps calm both the mind and body and allows you to better relax and enjoy the dive. Experiencing the underwater world is undeniably eye opening, and will often change many first time divers’ perspectives on our world and their place in it. Seeing the ocean environment first hand and discovering its beauty also leads divers to think more critically towards their environment at large and their impact towards it. Overall, this means the majority of divers you’ll meet both on land and at sea will be pleasant, welcoming, warm hearted people who care about the environment and its inhabitants, and who are happy to share their stories and dives with likeminded people.

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So welcome to the scuba society! We hope you’re ready to make some memories with lots of new buddies!

We have a New PADI Master Scuba Diver in the House!

Congratulations to Brian Leighton, now officially a PADI Master Scuba Diver! This PADI course gives recognition to the most dedicated, knowledgeable and well trained recreational divers. To attain this certification, students are required to complete 5 PADI specialty courses, and log 50 dives. That’s a whole lot of underwater time!

Brian started his dive addiction at Master Divers in 2014 completing his PADI Open Water and Advanced Open water with Rob. He returned in 2015 to take Emergency First Response, Enriched Air Speciality, Deep Speciality and Wreck Speciality with Tony.

Brian came back in 2016 on the PADI Rescue Diver Course, enhancing his skills to avoid emergency situations before they arise, and to manage real emergency situations should they occur.

During the course Brian managed a very impressive rescue on Dive Master Candidate Bo.

Bo, who can only be described as “a big lad”, was a tremendous asset during the training, but at 100kgs dripping wet, took a very determined effort from Brian to carry him up the dive boat ladder.

Course Director Gaz, sizing up next to Bo
Course Director Gaz, sizing up next to Bo

Brian then stayed with us to complete his Navigation and Search and Recovery specialties with JC. The Underwater Navigator Speciality was a real challenge in poor viz, but the training kicked in and Brian looked only mildly surprised to bump into the starting point after a hexagon shaped compass course.

During the Search & Recovery Speciality, Brian and JC had lots of fun with compass, lift bag and rope – the rabbit comes out of the hole, round the back of the tree, then down the hole again Brian!

On the 27th February 2016 Brian completed his 50th dive with Mike, and so joins the best of the best in recreational scuba diving as a PADI Master Scuba Diver – very well done Sir!

Final Specialty Dives of Brian's Master Scuba Diver
Final Specialty Dives of Brian’s Master Scuba Diver

 

Why Take a Divemaster Internship?

You’ve finished your Divemaster training, so now what? You have been assisting on courses, taken workshops,  skill circuits, and been out diving with other DMT’s, but are you really ready to be out there on your own to lead customers or to conduct scuba reviews? Do you actually know what else is going on in a dive shop and what is expected of you as a full time Divemaster other than being in the water?

This is where the Divemaster internship comes in handy. Here’s why….

Fundivers and Scuba Reviews

During your internship you will take customers out in the water under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor or divemaster.

The main task as a divemaster will be taking customers out in the open water. Either you will lead them on a fundive or you will be conducting scuba reviews. During your divemaster training you might have simulated taking customers out with your fellow divemaster trainees. Maybe you solved a few assigned “problems” left or right. But in the end you have always been diving with “good” divers.

In the real world customers can be really unpredictable. Think about a customer that wants to keep diving after he/she reached 50 bar and simply refuses to go up. Think about a customer that freaks out every time he/she has to do a mask skill. Or even worse, panics every time he/she sees a 2cm big cleaner wrasse (this is a true story!).

During your internship you get to deal with such customers. In case you have a hard time handling the situation there will be an experienced instructor or divemaster nearby to assist you. Hopefully they don’t have to assist, but even then these instructors or divemaster can give you valuable feedback on how you handled the situation and how you might have done it differently!

Scuba Review

Assists

During your internship you will yet again assist on another open water course and a rescue course. As a certified divemaster you are now qualified to demonstrate every skill done in these courses, rather than just sitting there and watching how an instructor does all the work or being used as the victim for a rescue scenario.

Did you master all your skills yet?? It is very convenient to have an experienced instructor by your side to help you when a customer looks clueless after your (not so) perfect demonstration. And yet again the instructors can give you valuable feedback on how you demonstrate your skills.

Surface Marker Buoy

You will also assist on a EFR course. Are you interested in talking about medical stuff? This is your moment to find out.

The EFR course is the only non-diving related course that every dive pro has to do. Therefor it is possible to become an EFR instructor without becoming a diving instructor. As an EFR instructor you will be a great added value to a divecentre because you can take the pressure of other instructors in busy periods.

Gear/Technician Days

During your internship you will spend a day with one of the full time divemasters to clean equipment.

A good divecentre looks after its rental equipment. All gear will be washed after a daysof diving. But it is hard to clean diving equipment from the inside. Most divecentres will therefore periodically wash all equipment themselves. Most likely you as a divemaster will be responsible for this. During this cleaning process the gear will be partially disassembled so it can be inspected and cleaned from the inside in places that are normally hard to reach.

Also during your training to become a divemaster you will most likely have noticed that a lot of rental equipment has minor failures (small bubbles leaking from somewhere?!?). If not looked after this might cause a major problem. During your internship you will spend a day with one of the shops equipment technicians to see how they repair gear. This does not only give you a better inside in how diving equipment works, but maybe you might actually like tinkering with equipment.

If you do like tinkering with equipment you might look at doing your Equipment Specialist Course. Doing this course will be a major career boost! After this course you will much more valuable for a divecentre, because you can now repair and maintain the equipment!

Equipment Maintenance

Office

During your internship you will work in the office for a day. Most divemasters like to be in the water and don’t want to worry about paperwork. But unfortunately with diving comes a lot of paperwork.

If you work in a big divecentre most likely there will be a fulltime member of staff to handle most of the administration for you. If you work at a smaller divecentre, most likely you will have to do the paperwork yourself. Either way it is good to know how the administration is done. Or you will have to do it yourself or you know how to help your co-workers in the office as efficiently as possible. It’s always good to be loved by the office people, in the end they make your schedule and they pay your salary!

Social Media

During your internship you will spend half a day to see how social media works at a professional level and how this can get more customers into you divecentre.

These days social media is the most powerful tool to get customers to you divecentre. These days 99% of the customers will look at google, tripadvisor, facebook, twitter etc., before they walk into a divecentre. If you are not on there and your neighbour is, guess what divecentre they will walk in first. Therefore understanding social media is very useful for you as a divemaster.

If you are interested in social media or have some experience with using it, this may add value your CV over that of another CV because you know how to get the customers into the shop!

Social Media

Conservation

During your internship you will organize a clean-up day. This can either be a beach clean-up or a dive clean-up.

There are many articles already written about conservation, but it can’t be said enough, ocean pollution is a major issue! For some of us it’s hard to imagine, but in most countries in the world waste is either burned locally or being flooded into the ocean by streams and rivers. Plastic and glass especially are a major problem since it takes nature 100-1000 years to break these products down into reusable material.

You might not be able to solve this issue by yourself, but if you are aware of it, you can make the people around you and your customers aware of it. And then hopefully one day we can solve this problem together!!

Beach Clean Up
Beach Clean Up

 

My conclusion? A Divemaster Internship is a great way to extend your experience as a divemaster while getting useful feedback from experienced instructors and divemasters. Beside it gives you a good overview of what is expected of you when you start working as a fulltime divemaster.

Last but not least, it’s a great added value to your (still empty) CV as a new Divemaster!

 

2015 Round Up – A Year in Pictures

2015 has been a big year for Master Divers, and one in which we’ve seen a fair amount of change. But rather than bore you with a bunch of wordiness, let’s review the highlights in pictures!

We reinvented our ecological programmes. As well as our regular land and sea clean ups and weekly eco nights, we now offer Green Package options on our Open Water & Advanced Open Water courses. We also offer bespoke courses dedicated to conservation. These are run by David, our dedicated conservation instructor.

The Eco Team

We were, as in several previous years, accepted as a registered Shark Guardian Dive Centre, with whom we collaborate on marine conservation and research projects.

Shark Guardian

 

We waved goodbye to ex shareholders Ayesha and Wilco and also to manager Charlotte.

Ayesha & Wilco

Charlotte

But said hello to new business partner and manager Linzi.

 Linzi

We got a bit more into Tec, with several Sidemount Diver, Self Reliant Diver, Gas Blender, Tec 40 and Tec 45 courses.

Sidemount

We launched our new website, which you probably already know, since you’re reading it right now!

Master Divers Homepage

Be became the first dive centre on the island to begin teaching the new PADI Freediver courses.

Freedive

We became an Aqualung partner centre.

partner-center

We opened Coconut Monkey, our chilled out beachside café, right over the road from the dive centre.

Coconut Monkey

So wow, what a year it’s been – and that’s just the highlights! A big heartfelt thank you to all of our amazing staff, customers, business partners and friends who have made it such a fantastic year. We couldn’t have done it without you. Bring on more Master Divers success as we head into 2016! Happy New Year Everyone!

Save Our Sharks!

Shark at Chumphon Pinnacle

Sharks have survived relatively unthreatened for over 400 million years, but sadly without some intervention they may be gone within the next few decades. Marine life within the oceans which cover over 70% of our planet, has always existed with – and in some respect thanks to – sharks. But now the growing demand for delicacies such as shark fin soup, and the fact that many sharks are becoming by-catch from large commercial trawlers, has increased the slay of sharks to such a great extent that many  species are already nearing extinction.

Sharks play a vital role in the ocean environment, yet receive an unprecidented and largely unwarranted amount of bad  press. So we thought it was time to let the world know why they are so awesome! These guys are at the top of the food chain and keep the rest of the ecosystem in order in almost EVERY ocean around the world! Sharks tend to eat carefully, usually only eating the old or the sick in any given population of fish, which keeps that population both healthier and in balance.

 

Blacktip Reef Shark

Sharks also regulate grazing patterns of other species of prey through intimidation. A great example of this is in Hawaii, where scientists were researching a transient school of Tiger Sharks in an area where native turtles graze on sea grass. They found that in the absence of Tiger Sharks, the turtles spent all of their time grazing on the best quality, most nutritious sea grass, and as a result these habitats were destroyed.  When tiger sharks were around, however, turtles grazed over a larger area and did not overgraze one region, thus keeping the eco system healthy.

Sharks come in all shapes and sizes, from the Bamboo Shark which grows to a maximum of 57cm, to the Whaleshark which can grow up to 12m and is the largest fish in the sea! In their millions of years dominating our planet’s waters, they have evolved spectacularly to survive. The Epaulette Shark can even walk on land! Contrary to popular opinion (and no thanks to Steven Spielberg!) sharks do not spend a great deal of time hunting. In fact most most sharks eat only 2% of their body weight  – pretty much the same as an average human. And when food supplies are short, they can go without food for weeks if needs be – unlike the average human! It’s a little known fact that over 85% of the world’s oxygen – which us humans are obviously heavily reliant on – comes from the ocean. Even photosynthesis which takes place on land, requires oxygen which originates from our seas. So sharks are paramount to OUR survival on Earth, for if we do not take care of the species at the top of the marine ecosystem, there will be no ecosytem to care for at all, and much less oxygen for us to breath!

Whaleshark
Whaleshark

There is plenty that divers and snorkelers can do; we at Master Divers work with Shark Guardian, a UK charity that was set up to build shark and marine conservation project worldwide. We also contribute to Thailand eShark Project, which is an online database where anyone can input their sightings of sharks and rays to help with  research. We also are involved on local efforts to raise money for shark awareness, such as the annual ‘Swim for Sharks’ campaign, and of course our Finathons.

For those who are interested in learning more about Sharks, why not become a PADI Shark Conservation Diver?

How to market yourself as a PADI Dive Professional.

You’ve just completed your IDC. Now what, It’s not uncommon for newly qualified instructors to hit a wall after becoming certified. Now what they ask? Two weeks of intensive study now I need to find some work and get some experience, this can be very daunting prospect with little or no experience, there are a few steps to consider before getting too caught up about it!

PADI MSDT:
Its always good to get some experience under your weight belt, as well as a few specialties; the best way to do this is through the MSDT Internship Program which sees you gaining 5 specialty instructor ratings and team teaching a variety of courses until you reach 25 certifications. This is a great way of learning from other instructors as well as a great way of gaining confidence and developing your own style of teaching.

Deploying a dSMB from underwater.
Deploying a dSMB from underwater.

CV:
When you are at a stage where you are ready to actively look for work whether you’re looking for a full time position or a freelance position its important to sell yourself and this starts with the CV, below are a few Do’s and Dont’s for writing a diving CV.

DO:

  • Keep it short; diving CVs should fit onto one page.
  • Do put your name, phone number and and professional level somewhere obvious so that potential employers can get to the important info fast.
  • DOUBLE CHECK your phone number and other contact information, this may seem like a silly thing to point out but it happens more often than you may think.
  • If you are bilingual/multilingual put which languages you can speak on your CV, this is a very big selling point!
  • Do invest in some insurance and put it somewhere clearly on the CV, depending on where you are in the world the type of insurance you need will differ so make sure you are covered correctly.
  • Do put a photo on your CV, if possible a colour one and remember this is for a job, make sure the photo is suitable.
  • Give a couple of references; whether its someone from previous job or your DMT Coordinator or Course Director but do always ask permission from the person you intend to put as your referee.

DON’T:

  • Don’t forget to mention the equipment you own, there are few dive centres that will employ someone who doesn’t own there own equipment
  • Don’t forget to put your PADI Pro number on your CV, somewhere apparent so the dive school can check if you are in status.
  • Don’t put your full employment history on the CV as this could take up a couple of pages and it’s sometimes not relevant.
  • Don’t lie!
Get out there with your CV!
Get out there with your CV!

Handing out your CV:
Handing out CVs can sometimes be a daunting experience but just relax and smile, chances are you will be asked some basic questions on the spot if you are going into the shop so be prepared and make sure it is somewhere on your CV as well! First and foremost look presentable and be polite; certain questions you may get asked are how long are you around for, this is one of the first questions Master Divers will ask someone who hands in a CV. Other questions you may get asked is if you have insurance and whether you own all of your own equipment, these two are both big MUSTS especially on Koh Tao and other busy dive industry spots around the world.
Always do some research on the dive school you are handing your CV to before you go there, if you know they are a family based dive school that aims to give people a personal experience with small group sizes then don’t go in looking worse for wear and bragging about the 8 pack course you just completed. Gauge the dive centre before you even step foot through its doors.

Ready to Go !
Ready to Go !

Most importantly get out there! Teaching people how to dive is an incredible experience, enjoy it and good luck!

Celebrating PADI Women’s Day 18th July 2015

Master Divers prides itself on being a cut above the rest, and unique within the diving industry. And by that we mean that we are one of the very few dive centers run by women. From female owners, female Tec Gas Blenders, female dive operations managers, to female instructors and dive masters. Anything you need doing or any question you may need answering, these ladies have it covered! Our team of women are all avid scuba divers whose passion for the industry shines through with the time and effort they spend making sure everyone who walks through the dive centre doors has a fun, safe and memorable experience.

Master Divers

In other industries this may not seem like a very big deal, however in an industry (which up until very recently has been dominated by men) this is a huge thing! Scuba diving was generally not a very female friendly sport up until the 1980’s when the male to female ratio of divers started to balance out; nowadays its on a pretty even keel with men making up 60% of divers and women making up the other 40%!

Read below to meet the ladies in charge!

The Dive Centre is co owned by Elaine and Linzi: 

Elaine’s first dives were during a holiday in Corfu in 1988. She then continued to dive around the world for many years before finally completing her PADI Open Water Diver Course in Koh Phi Phi. She was hooked and headed to Koh Tao where she trained all the way through to PADI Staff Instructor with Master Divers. Elaine was given the opportunity to buy into Master Divers 6 years ago and jumped at the opportunity. Knowing this industry and Koh Tao were where she was meant to be, Elaine started to build up Master Divers to be the place that she has dreamt of for many years. Being an incredible business woman with buckets of innovation she has built up an amazing centre where families, backpackers and tourists are welcome through the doors. She has spent months and months teaching herself web design, retail management, social media…you name it she’s studied it! Its safe to say this lady is the foundation of the school and without her hard work and dedication it wouldn’t be the place it is today.

 

Elaine at work

Elaine and Thelma

Linzi used to be a horse riding instructor, and later a college lecturer, so has always been a teacher of some kind! She has a foundation degree in Psychology and 2 full degrees – one in Travel & Tourism Management, and another in Teaching. All of which are surprisingly helpful for being a diving instructor!Linzi with friends

 

She came to Koh Tao on holiday in 2008 and somehow never left! She completed all of her pro level training here and worked as Divemaster before doing her IDC. She has been head instructor at 2 local dive centres before moving into dive centre management in 2013. Linzi has always been familiar with MD, having freelanced for the shop in the past and loved the focus on safety, eco diving and adherence to meeting and exceeding both PADI and industry wide standards. So when the opportunity to become a partner in the school came about, she couldn’t turn it down!  11182636_10153804513304838_5566476854344034439_o

She came onboard in June as an owner and is starting beginning of August as owner manager when surrent manager, Charlotte, moves on to her new travelling adventures. The whole shop is looking forward to having her around and she is super excited to be part of such a well established, successful and respected dive centre.

 

The Dive Centre Manager: Charlotte

Elaine and Charlotte ready to dive

She took her first underwater breaths on SCUBA at the tender age of 10, but it was quite a few years later that she took her PADI Open Water Diver course. Inspired by her friend who was already an instructor, a few years later, Charlotte came to Thailand for 3 months to train as a dive professional. A year later, she came back to Thailand to work full-time in the dive industry, Charlotte is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer .

 

Charlotte Diving

Not only is she an experienced PADI Instructor, Charlotte is also the Dive Shop Manager, overseeing everything dive related, she’s in charge of making sure that the day to day running of the centre goes smoothly, organising the instructors and dive masters, as well as responding to potential new customers queries through enquiries! Charlotte is a very strong role model for all members of staff and her professionalism in second to none.

 

Heather: Operations Manager

Heather comes from Cape Town in South Africa. There, Heather worked for a textile company, where she was involved in office administration amongst other roles. Her diving career started in South Africa after being tricked into doing her Open Water in the cold Cape Town waters!  Luckily she loved it so much (despite the temperature!) that she progressed to her Advanced Open Water and her Wreck Diver Specialty.Heather diving!
Heather came to Koh Tao in January 2014 for a diving holiday where she met her soon to be husband Gary.
Heather is now the dive operations manager and you will find her greeting you on arrival, answering your emails, helping you with paperwork, and assisting with any and all diving related queries. Heather and Charlotte/Linzi work closely together to make sure that everything is organised and scheduled for the coming days.

Heather & Gary

 

Natalia: Dive Operations

Natalia comes from the beautiful city of St Petersburg in Russia.  After graduating from University with a degree in psychology, she felt the need for adventure, travel, and a life by the sea.

Natalia Diving

Her first stop was Egypt where she lived, worked and fell in love with scuba diving and the lifestyle. She traveled and worked her way to tiny Koh Tao where she has settled and has been with MD for 18 months. Natalia is queen of organising, whether its accounts or paper work she knows exactly where to find it! She is also our resident travel guide; whether its tips on where to eat or which ferry to get or where the best beaches are in Thailand, she is the woman to ask! You will usually find Natalia with an animal or two following her around!

Natalia and the shop dogs

 

Jasmin: Eco Queen & Social Media Marketing

Jasmin is a PADI Divemaster  and an EFR Instructor, she is now aiming towards doing her IDC and becoming a specialty instructor in everything marine conservation and photography related.

Jasmin Diving

Jasmin coordinates all the conservation activities, as well as being behind the the computer updating the blogs, social media and dive reports, but you will also see her behind the desk ready to check you in! She shares MD’s ethos of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and hopes to pass it on to everyone she comes across.

Jasmin at work

 

Simone: Full time Divemaster

Simone came to Master Divers last year to do a DSD and fell in love with all things scuba and pretty much never left!
Simone coordinates the boats and makes sure the equipment area is organised and that everything is ready (including customers and staff members) for the given boat times. You will usually find Simone maintaining the equipment, refreshing divers who haven’t dived for a while or guiding fun divers around the dive sites of Koh Tao!

Simone Diving

 

Anne: Staff Instructor

Anne has been working in the diving industry for several years, and her knowledge of the industry along with her background in management makes her an incredible asset to the team. Her passion for diving and her professionalism is second to none! If she’s not in the water you will find her around the shop helping customers and the shop staff with anything and everything!

Anne teaching

Anne and customers

 

Luchia: Master Scuba Diver Trainer

With the patience of a saint and the enthusiasm of someone who has just been introduced to diving, this young lady is a powerhouse of an instructor! She’s been with MD for over a year, after originally coming with the intention of completing her Dive Master Training. However she quickly realised the dream of becoming a PADI Instructor was just too much to pass up, so she stayed! You can usually find Luch helping organise the boats, or in the classroom going through dive theory with her students, and of course in the water!

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Together they share the passion for offering a quality dive experience and maintaining a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, whilst concentrating on professionalism, safety and the environment.

This blog has been created to celebrate the women behind this vision.

 

Happy PADI Women’s Day!