Hi I am Lucas!
The handsomely tall Divemaster intern here at Tenerife’s premiere dive center Paradise Divers. I’ve been on the island since January and joined Paradise Divers in May. I am doing a part time internship but trying to show up at the dive center as much as possible. Diving is a lifestyle after all!
Almost four weeks have passed since I joined the team. A lot has been taught and I dare say a lot has been learned. From dive center operations to boat handling and dealing with customers, the value of doing an internship quickly becomes apparent. Being on the professional side of diving with great role models like the owner team Dan & Carly makes the process a rewarding and educational experience. Most people seem to only witness diving from a customer perspective which is fine if you have no intentions of truely ‘deep diving’ the diving lifestyle. However, I feel that becoming a DM is part of growing myself, my experience and my knowledge base.
Understanding the entire logistics, business and technical side of operating a dive center will take some time. That said, in the first four weeks I’ve already helped perform hydrostatic testing of cylinders, learned to operate the compressor, assisted with nervous Discover Scuba Diving divers and much more. This repeat hands on exposure to divers that are newer to the sport helps me to identify and catch on to problems before they become more serious. That alone is an invaluable skill that I belief will make me a safer buddy to dive with.
I feel being part of the team at the dive center is in an invaluable experience that will propel my dive experience to the next level regardless if one were to continue on the instructor path or not. I have quite a few more months to go before I become a full-fledge PADI Divemaster. As far as I’m concerned, I’m looking to enjoy every moment of it.
Just coming to the end of my PADI Divemaster Internship with Paradise Divers. Can’t believe how time is flying.
When I joined few months ago I thought I “can” dive. Over the period I’ve realised that actually I am learning something new every day. Doing the Divemaster internship I have double the numbers of my logged dives but knowledge and experience grew exponentially. Days on the dive boat with real customers and their issues, worries and jokes were educational and fun. Although few “routine” points each dive was different and you would have to adapt to it which makes it interesting. Diving, on the other hand, is entertaining itself anyway. Being here for almost 4 months it is obvious I have repeated the dives sites, however each time I was discovering a “new face” of the site.
On the people side, Dan and Carly truly can run the dive centre and be your coach. Everything happens here in an organised, calm and friendly atmosphere and all questions are always addressed. I felt that I am part of the team from day one. And when other Divemasters joined (Oksana and Lucas) life become more fun and we made truly hilarious trips, even those which were part of our most serious and challenging courses.
Now, I can say I’m getting more into the diving field, and I am not leaving J, planning my further dive journey into instructor level. Dive is fun here.
See you in the water!
One of the divers who was diving with us the other day asked me a question which a lot of people seem to ask…
How do you do it, lead a dive and know exactly where you are going and know how to get back to the anchor…???
Well it made me want to write up this blog and give an overview of how we do it.
The main 2 things that you need when you are navigating a site is to know where you are and where you are going, to do this you need to have good observation skills and know how to use your compass. This is the aim of the PADI Underwater Navigation Specialty course. Those of you that have done your advanced will have had to do the Navigation part which touches on some of these basic skills.
Ok, so how do you improve your Navigation skills? There are many ways but here are some tips to get you started…
- If there is a map of the site you are diving already then use it, try to remember the main landmarks mapped so that you know where you are, there may even be bearings…
- Before starting your dive take a compass bearing of the shore, boat etc vs the direction of travel, this will get you out of trouble if you get lost.
- Use natural Navigation, start looking as soon as you start your descent, for example, is the anchor near a landmark you can use, a rock or a wall that will guide you back… as you follow the dive site, make turns at landmarks that you can remember so that when you are on your way back you know where to turn. Another way of navigating is to pick a path that you follow such as a wall, a cut on a wall or special rock formation, look ahead and pick a point to aim to, you will need good visibility for this..
- Go slow… not only will you miss a lot of what’s there to see but the faster you go the more you will get lost and you will not be able to take in the information of the route and landmarks.
- Trust and use your compass… know how to use it and take it on every dive, I personally now use a digital compass built in on my suunto and it makes it so much easier. If you have a compass on your console then it is also now a lot smaller than they used to be and therefore easier to carry and use.
- Stay away from sand only sites… most of the divers will end up going round in circles without a compass, if you have to go across sand, then my advise is to check the compass regularly to check you are still on track.
- If you are comfortable with Navigation, Don’t be scared of exploring beyond the known sites but make sure that if you wonder outside of the dive site that you have information on currents, boat traffic etc…