From Texas To Thailand #5 Divemaster Course
At long last it was time! It was finally my time to actually start my first dose of professional PADI training! Now that all my prerequisites had been completed, I was thrilled to call myself a “Dive Master Candidate” or “DMC” for short.
At this point in my journey, I had already been with Mermaids for about 3 months. The whole time being classified as an “intern” gave me a taste of the things that was expected of someone working in the dive industry. Everything from “banging tanks” to early morning stock prep. However, I still didn’t truly know the responsibilities of a diving professional. Nevertheless, I was eager and ready to learn.
Day one was orientation with one of Mermaids PADI Course Directors. During the presentation, I was told I would have the unique situation of being trained by multiple instructors. At the time, I didn’t realize how invaluable this training situation actually was. I would be able to observe the other Mermaids dive professionals in action and doing things their own way. Giving me the luxury to pick and choose things from each of them to create my own unique way of conducting myself as a padi pro.
Just like in most industries all around the world, there seems to be a hierarchy or totem pole if you will. The day I started my training as a DMC, I realized that the dive industry was no different. Doing things like boat briefings, moving all the tanks after a busy day, cleaning equipment, and countless other unpleasant tasks had DMC written all over them. Mostly things the higher ranking padi members would avoid doing if they had a candidate available. That being said, I found that doing all those super fun tasks taught me just how much goes on behind the scenes and were somewhat of a “rite of passage”. If you complete all your tasks without a fuss, no one would give you grief. If you didn’t however, it would cost you.
Aside from the grunt work I still had to learn the skills expected from a PADI Divemaster. Things such as running a boat for a day, dive leading customers, organizing equipment and much more. Most of things I was already exposed to being an intern thus far. Making adjusting those skills to a professional level a bit easier for me. Dive leading was also something I was exposed to. However, being able to lead on the divemaster level required a lot more than just swimming people around looking at cool marine life. It required more leadership skills and diver management. Fortunately, I was able to hone my skills and complete all sign offs, completing the course.
At long last I did it. I was finally able to call myself a PADI Divemaster. I was one of them now. A true PADI professional. The PADI divemaster course has given me skills and character that I will utilize for the rest of my life.