As part of a new regular column we interview one of our current guests to find out how they ended up at Red Sea Diving College and what it is they have experienced in their time here. This edition features Sarah Ling our newest PADI Divemaster trainee and gives a student’s insight into the highs and lows of PADI’s most challenging course.
Today was day 17 of my PADI Divemaster!!! Am I shattered, aching, cold and mentally overloaded? Yes! But am I also having the most incredible experience of my life? Easily!
I must be the one of the few people whom the whole recession issue back in the UK is actually benefitting. Three months unpaid leave to follow my dreams and one very happy employer who gets three months of employee pay savings. I moved out to Egypt just before New Year and started my PADI Divemaster course on the 2nd January.
The last two and a half weeks have been crazy. I am learning so much every day, not just about diving but about myself too. One of my first days I was out on the boat, learning how it runs and how to guide divers. The boat was heading to Ras Mohammed and I was very excited as I had never dived there before. Dive 1 of the day was amazing; absolutely beautiful. However, as I got back on the boat I did not feel well. Yes you guessed right! I found out the hard way that I suffer from really bad sea sickness and spent the rest of the day occupying one of the toilets! I was gutted and honestly thought that that was my diving career over. All the staff were very supportive and offered lots of advice.
The next day, packed with a bag full of medicine I ventured back out on the boat. To my delight, all the advice (and medicine) had paid off. A total of six further days on the boat and not one more incident, although it maybe interesting on the first really rough day we have out in Sharm.
My favourite part so far has been the internship; assisting on courses. My first couple of days I was assisting on a PADI Advanced Open Water Course which was a lot fun but the best thing is assisting on people’s first dives. It seems so long ago that I did my first dive and you sometimes forget how alien the experience feels and how scary it can be. Seeing people take their first steps with scuba is amazing and being able to help them makes it humbling experience.
It is also wonderful meeting all the guests. Everyone is really friendly. I have even had a guest bring me in breakfast from their hotel! It is really nice to know that you have made a difference to their days diving, whether it be giving them a helpful tip about something or just putting a smile on their face.
My biggest worry was doing the four stamina tests, but, I found out that through sheer determination I can achieve whatever I want and passed all four on the first attempt!
I still have a lot of work to pack into the next two weeks. I have eight exams to sit (which I am not too worried about as I did quite a bit of studying back in the UK before I came out) and more internships to complete. I am gradually becoming more confident in guiding divers, especially as I have realized that you cannot get lost on a drift dive – just keep the reef wall on your left/right and keep going straight!
My tip for anyone about to start their PADI Divemaster is the most important thing you need to remember is ‘anticipating instructor needs’! Freshly made bacon sandwiches for breakfast is ‘anticipating instructor needs’ to the max and will definitely earn you some extra brownie points!
If a career break sounds like a great idea, take a look at our PADI Divemaster webpage. You’ll find all the necessary information. Take this a step further by becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor? The IDC is available in 2 different formats to suit your career aspirations, the IDC standard (only €895) and the IDC Unlimited (at €895). Standard will allow you to begin teaching immediately whilst the unlimited option will give you the specialities needed to attain the level of Master Scuba Diver Trainer and increase your employment chances. Click here for more PADI IDC info and starting dates.