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Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Divemaster's Life

To some we are the dogs' bodies, to others the unsung heroes. Just so you can spare a much bigger thought for us in future, here's a quick day-in-the-life of this PADI DMs work on an open water course last week that kept me from blogging.

Weekend One
Saturday - Make the brews. Size up and sort out six lots of pool kit for our new OW students. Organise necessary paperwork for the confined water dives. Make some more brews. Get the pool ready. Fill in the necessary paperwork (air and time in). Observe them put their kit together and offer pointers. Help get the students ready for the confined water session, get them into their scuba unit and properly weighted. Get ourselves kitted up and in the water. Get underwater and pay careful attention to them. Check their air regularly so instructors can focus on teaching. Position ourselves correctly so we are on hand to deal with any issues or anxieties. Act as dummy when needed as instructors talk through certain skills (giant stride entries etc). Stay U/W when they are doing weightbelt removal to ensure nothing drops and cracks a pool tile. Once confined dives finished, get them out, complete paperwork. Wash kit down and put it away for the next day. Miss out on a brew. Clean and tiny the pool area, and lock up. Help them with any kit purchases. Miss out on the chocolate. De-brief. Bid them farewell. Go home, pizza and sleep.



Sunday - Make the brews. Sort out six lots of pool kit for our new OW students and make any necessary changes. Organise necessary paperwork for the confined water dives. Make some more brews. Get the pool ready. Fill in the necessary paperwork (air and time in). Observe them put their kit together. Help get the students ready for the confined water session. Get ourselves kitted up and in the water. Get underwater and pay careful attention to them. Check their air regularly so instructors can focus on teaching. Position ourselves correctly so we are on hand to deal with any issues or anxieties. Act as demonstration dummy when needed by instructors. Once confined dives finished, get them out, complete paperwork. Wash kit down and put it away. Miss out on a brew. Clean and tiny the pool area, and lock up. Miss out on the chocolate. De-brief. Bid them farewell. Go home, KFC and sleep.

Midweek - dry suit orientation
Wednesday/Friday night - Make the brews. Sort out six lots of open water kit for our OW students. Sort out drysuits. Help them to don and doff drysuits. Organise necessary paperwork for the confined dry suit orientation dive. Get the pool ready. Fill in the necessary paperwork (air and time in). Observe them put their kit together. Help get the students ready for session. Get ourselves kitted up and in the water. Get underwater and pay careful attention to them. Check their air regularly so instructors can focus on teaching. Position ourselves correctly so we are on hand to deal with any issues or anxieties as they get used to diving in a drysuit. Act as demonstration dummy when needed by instructors. Once confined dives finished, get them out, complete paperwork. Wash kit down. Issue it to them Miss out on a brew. Clean and tiny the pool area, and lock up. make sure they have all the kit and directions. De-brief. Bid them farewell. Go home, pizza and sleep.

Weekend Two
Saturday - Meet them bright and early at Dosthill in Tamworth. Make sure they sign in and have all their kit together. Give them a site brief (rules and regs on surface what to see underwater). Get paperwork started while instructors do their course brief. Observe them get their kit together. Have a chat, make it fun (even though they face 5C of water). Get them kitted up, help them through their buddy checks. Get kitted up. Help them into fins, masks, hoods, gloves and into water. Be on hand with extra weights for weight check. Get in the water with them. Closely watch over them in water. Accompany them on the first swim or be with them while skills are being done. Repeat a number of times sorting out any problems along the way. Complete paperwork. Help them to pack away. Gather in pub for a coke (no drinking and diving). De-brief. Bid them farewell. Go home, Maccie Ds and sleep.
Sunday - Meet them bright and early at Dosthill in Tamworth. Make sure they sign in and have all their kit together. Get paperwork started while instructors do their course brief. Observe them get their kit together. Have a chat, make it fun (even though they face 5C of water). Get them kitted up, help them through their buddy checks. Get kitted up. Help them into fins, masks, hoods, gloves and into water. Get in the water with them. Closely watch over them in water. Accompany them on the swim or be with them while skills are being done. Repeat a number of times. Complete paperwork. Help them to pack away. Meet back at the centre. Check all the kit in, ensuring it is washed down. Miss out on the brew. Get cylinders in for fills. Congratulate them on passing. De-brief. Go home, Maccie Ds and sleep.

Hell, I've even surprised myself with that amount of work. Why do we do it you might ask? Well we love diving, We're helping to teach with our friends and despite the huge amount of work, we actually have a great time. There's also the eternal gratitude of the Aquasport International bosses. But the thing that makes the weekend most worthwhile is the look on the students faces when they get their OW patch after completing the last skill and the smiles on their faces when they get a round of applause at the end of the course. helping people, who might be scared to even go under the water on day one, get to the end of the course as divers is a thrill in itself. Congrats to the six who passed last weekend. I look forward to seeing you diving.

2 comments:

wotnoburgerking? said...

With that diet 'divemasters' certainly won't need any ballast to get them down to the correct depth!
Seriously fair credit to those who give up their time for the love of their hobby.

Absolutmark said...

Sorry Burger King was too far away to call in on my way home from the dive site.
I do eat quiet healthily though. I did have some salad - on my burger(s).