Divemaster or Grand Dragon of the Aquatic Realm, Lord of all Fishes as was quickly discounted in the ‘what shall we call our courses’ meeting at Padi that allowed ‘Advanced Course’ to slip through the net, is the first professional rung on the diving ladder.
It’s also a great course and one that everyone really enjoys, except people who aren’t mad keen on diving and they’ve often been weeded out by this point.
It’s also the longest course that anyone will take in their diving career. Many people are surprised by the fact that the DM course can take a long time to complete whilst the instructor course is done in just over a week. The reason for this is simply that you’ll learn pretty much everything you need to be an instructor in the DM course. The instructor course then simply teaches you how to teach that to others.
Divemasters are very useful people. They can teach trydives and scuba reviews as well as lead certain parts of other full courses. They are indispensible as assistants on courses, helping out above and below the water and they also fulfil and satiate every single one of the instructors depraved and lunatic needs. That isn’t true, well, not all the time anyway
So why would you want to do the Divemaster course? Well putting aside becoming some kind of Salacious Crumb to the Instructors Jabba, there’s a number of reasons:
1. You want to be an instructor. This is the most common and most obvious reason to do the course. A good DM course should prepare you with all the skills and knowledge required to be an instructor as well as giving you an insight into what being an instructor is all about. You’ll be able to work with lots of different instructors over the course and as a result you’ll be able to develop your own teaching style taking the things you like from different people.
2. You want to be a better diver. This can be a reason in itself. Often when I go through the course requirements with candidates at the beginning it can seem overwhelming but I’m always keen to stress that this is what is required of a qualified DM not someone starting the course, if you already knew it, you wouldn’t need the course! At the end of the process, most students are amazed at how far they’ve come as divers, this is separate to being able to demonstrate skills and is evident far more in their ease and comfort in the water. There’s no question that this is one of the best things about the course.
3. You want to do lots of diving! This can be a reason in its own right or obviously wrapped up with other ones but put simply the DM course does mean you’ll get to do a whole lot of diving, assisting on courses, completing sections of the DM course or simply just getting to know the dive club so well that there are always people around to dive with.
4. You want a challenge. The DM course is definitely the most involved course you’ll ever do. Sometimes I’m asked whether there’s any point in doing the DM course if you don’t want to be an instructor and the answer is a resounding yes. First off I know plenty of people who said they didn’t want to instruct who are now happily teaching away but more importantly as we’ve already discussed it makes you a very knowledgeable and competent diver. Therefore if it’s simply a personal challenge you’re after then the DM course will still be a hugely enjoyable and rewarding course.
5. You want to impress members of the opposite sex. There are a number of ways that this can be done. One is by having the DM card strategically placed in your wallet so that it’s visible at the bar when paying for drinks next to attractive ladies. The other is by taking advantage of your position of power and responsibility on the course itself when your students are vulnerable and impressionable. Not that I would ever condone that…..
6. As a child you witness your parents murdered on the streets by a BSAC diver. You become the sole heir to their immense fortune and gothic manor house. One day whilst exploring the grounds you discover a huge lake beneath the house. Driven by an unceasing need for revenge you focus your considerable intellect and wealth on installing a rudimentary shower block and honing your body to become the ultimate scuba diving machine by a daily regime of tea and low grade meat in white bread. You take the symbol of the denizens that inhabit the lake as your disguise and become Smallbrownfishman. One day someone attempts to teach a deep course in the lake despite requiring a minimum depth of 18m. All they leave at the scene of the crime is a cert card with a jesters face for the picture. At this point you begin to realise the humorous Batman analogy is becoming hard work to maintain but you don’t know quite how to pull out and the joke is becoming laboured and pointless. Unable to know how to finish the section you just decide to insert a rubbish picture you did on paint in 30seconds
Or alternatively you could get Mike Coopey who can do something similar in Photoshop in 30s to do it:
So let’s wrap up by looking at what the course involves. The DM course is a mix of theory, confined and open water workshops, assisting in real courses and practical skills. It can usually be competed in 3-6 months although this may take longer depending on how many weekends you can spare. However, it doesn’t really matter how long it takes.
The theory is competed via scheduled lectures, we don’t just send you off to do theory and come back in when you’re ready. This tends to lead to DM courses that go on for years….
The workshops are competed at weekends, they consist of simulated courses and dives where the candidates take it in turns to play naughty students and the other candidates must pick up and correct the problems as they occur.
The skills are developed as the course progresses; we work with you until you’re comfortable demonstrating skills so that you in turn can work with students!
We’re having a Divemaster evening at the shop on the Tuesday evening of the 18th of September. It’s an informal evening where we’ll go through what the course entails and you can have the opportunity to ask any questions that come up. We’ll start at the shop around 6pm after work so if you’re interested in finding out more about the course then please do come down and say hello!