It’s a different day today for me, as I get to work with a couple of our latest Divemaster Trainees. They have been with us for a few weeks now, so are nearing the end their course and it has fallen to me to spend the day helping them to prepare for the last few requirements. Firstly, we head out to work on their skills circuit. This is basically a run through of all the open water course confined skills, done to a demonstration quality. Although Divemasters cannot actually teach these skills, they are still needed as Divemasters are allowed to conduct Scuba Reviews. The whole point of a Scuba Review is to refresh knowledge and skills of someone who has not dived in a while, making sure they get the most out of their time diving with us (or anyone else!). During this programme, the Divemaster is expected to either demonstrate or remediate any elements of the skill the student is a bit rusty on. Hence, they must be able to do them to a high standard, and that why I find myself in 2 metres of water watching them intently, and scribbling occasional notes for the debrief later.Most people in this situation do the skills far too quickly, but these two seem to have cracked it. I’m pleasantly surprised, and they are finished before we know it. I do wonder if other students in the bay are wondering if this is their next water session – it looks very intensive!
No time for these today!
Their second task is to complete their mapping project. It can be any reef or area underwater, but we tend to choose the confined area. It works for us in two ways. As instructors, we know the area like the back of our hands, so can spot if a student’s map is accurate instantly! But also, we have kitted the area out to suit a teaching environment, so if a set of blocks we used for teaching has moved, for example, it’s good to know so we can reposition for the next Open Water course. Everyone wins! It’s a hard job measuring all the distances and depths, as well as details of coral life, and my guests think they have figured out a short cut – disposable camera. I can see the logic, take photos and then fill in the detail of the reefs from the shots, rather than trying to sketch the outline underwater. As I snorkel on the surface, adding to my rather unusual back of the leg tan (one downside of this job, you never have an even tan!) they seem happy enough.
It’s only when they sit down to recreate their masterpiece that a slight flaw in their plan emerges. It turns out the camera they bought was mislabelled as ‘waterproof’. I’m sure the shots would have been infinitely useful, but unfortunately they are currently stuck on the film in the camera which is surrounded by a small sample of the Red Sea.
The best laid plans and all that. I know what we’ll be doing after lunch…..