Category Archives: DM Intern Updates

Divemaster Final Blog for Armande… Paradise Divers – Tenerife

It can be mind blowing how much you can learn in two months when you set your mind to it!! When I compare my knowledge when I started to now, I am proud of what I´ve learned, although I also had my moments of information overload aka saturation (no not the nitrogen kind). Dan and Carly are wonderful people who, as I mentioned in my earlier blog, value quality and precision. I have much respect for them and in the future will always look out for diving with or working for a high standard dive center because of that. I am grateful for their patience to explain theory and skills and teaching me so much about running a business in diving.

What I appreciate most about the internship program, is that this 5 star PADI dive center combines theory with practice. Skills are shown in front of you with customers and when they feel you are ready it is expected of you that you can perform them under their guidance in front of the next customer. If you don´t get it right the first time, you´ll get another opportunity to try. The internship is educational, versatile, a lot of fun and it makes you fit! I don´t need the gym with all that cylinder lifting!

In the words of Jacques Cousteau: ¨The sea, once it casts is spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever¨. Which in my case refers to me continuing on my mission. I have decided to stay in Tenerife for a while and want to be certified to become a full on Dive Instructor. I started the Assistant Instructor (AI) program with Dan and am planning to learn as much as I can about diving before I present myself at the IDC&IE. Making the decision of doing this internship is the best decision I´ve made this decade. Thank you Dan and Carly, and instead of sad goodbyes, see you tomorrow!

Divemaster Internship Final Blog – Paradise Divers Tenerife, Hayden

Yesterday was my last day with Paradise Divers, and what a day it was! I didn’t dive since I had to fly first things this morning, but Armande and I guided snorkelers and I did my final Divemaster task in the renovated pool: a Scuba Review! It may sound like a small thing, but watching Dan sign off on my paperwork really put a smile on my face.

I have to thank the marine life for an amazing last day in Tenerife. That snorkel trip was probably the best one I’ve ever been on. The water was so clear we could see down to the sand at 23 meters. The famous sea creatures of Escalera de Palm Mar put on an excellent last show, with an Atlantic ray, bull ray, and green sea turtle swimming in majestic circles under us. In between snorkeling sites, the dolphins (not to be out-competed) came jumping around nearby. I grabbed my mask, slid off the boat, and was able to watch them under the water for a few breathtaking seconds before they swam off again. I’m still savoring that!

Now that it’s over, I have nothing but appreciation for the time and effort Carly and Dan put forth to develop my skills and turn me into a PADI Divemaster (There might have been one or two exercises that I didn’t appreciate them for in the moment 😉). After two solid months of challenges, mistakes, and triumphs, I can confidently say that I am able to lead in and out of the water, and most importantly, help keep my fellow divers safe.

I could see myself working with the Paradise Divers team for longer than these two months, but unfortunately my time is up! It wasn’t easy saying goodbye, not knowing when I’ll see these new friends again, but I can’t stay too sad, since my next adventures are taking me back to Costa Rica! With any luck, I’ll be taking my new dive skills into warmer waters in the next month or two! I’m not sad about ditching the 5mm+ wetsuits, that’s for sure.

I’ve had some really magical experiences in Tenerife, and I already feel the pull that will bring me back.

Be forewarned, prospective Divemaster interns: after you finish this, you will just want more. I’m already thinking about future equipment, specialties, and other places to dive, along with how to meet up with my diving buddies around the world! If diving wasn’t a lifestyle before, it is now!

Divemaster Internship – Hayden – Paradise Divers Tenerife

“I can hardly believe it, but my time learning to be a top-notch DM at Paradise Divers is halfway over! It’s been more challenging and more rewarding than I expected –in so many different ways. I came here as an Open Water diver. In these four weeks I’ve worked through Advanced Open Water, Emergency First Responder, and Rescue Diver training, all while learning the ropes (and knots!) at the dive center. The items we’ve signed off on my DM checklist give me a sense of accomplishment and motivation for the weeks to come!

It’s been a whirlwind learning experience, building both brains and muscle. I’m not sure which has been more intimidating – the Dive Master manual or toting around full tanks! My favorite parts so far are the people I’ve met and the fact that I get to take selfies from the boat and say “Just another day at the office!” Everyone enjoys those. I love that the waters around Tenerife are full of life! I squee whenever I see a cuttlefish in the wild. Brushing by turtles and rays and swimming in the middle of a school of roncadores makes me feel like the mermaid I knew I was born to be.

 The most challenging part for me out of this first half of the internship was definitely the practical skills for the rescue course. I really hope I never have to rescue anyone, but if it happens, I’m confident that I was put through realistic scenarios for the best training possible, including rescuing dudes bigger than me.

 While the days become routine, each one is a little bit different. I’ve come to enjoy both my days in the water and days at the dive center working on theory. Because I recently finished my Master’s degree, the book-learning parts are comfortable reminders of my study routine in DC (it’s great that dive exams are multiple choice instead of essays!). Organization is part of my personality, so counting cylinders and prepping wetsuits suits me, though I’m still working on consistently getting the right pair of boots together on the first try. 😉

 Having other DMs around at varying stages of their own internships has been invaluable. They’ve been an ear to my questions and insecurities and have helped me work through parts of theory that I was unclear on. Not only that, they’re fun people! Between the DMs, Assistant Instructors in training, Carly, Dan, and great customers, I know I’ve made some friends that I’ll be seeing again!”

Divemaster Internship – Kieran, Paradise Divers Tenerife

Hi all, Kieran here,

So 5 weeks in and time to reflect on the experience so far, I’d love to say that everything has gone swimmingly, but that would be somewhat removed from the truth. As I am sure you are all aware, one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes and acting to ensure that you recognise where you went wrong and how to never repeat your error again. Well, during my DM experience so far I have managed to be the walking embodiment of that idea. It seems that whenever a hiccough, large or small, has arisen over the past few weeks, one has not had to search much further than the end of my rather sunburnt nose to find the culprit. Self-deprecation aside though, those mistakes, and more importantly, learning from them, seems to (and I commit myself to this tentatively) have stood me in good stead for the rest of my time with Paradise Divers; whisper it quietly, but it seems as though both the physical and metaphorical ropes have finally been learned. My knowledge of boat handling (and that pesky anchor in particular) has greatly improved, as has my diving in general, and my understanding of how a dive centre operates. I would like to thank Dan and Carly for their guidance and expertise, I can already feel the positive impact that they have had on my abilities and hope that it will continue for the remainder of my internship.  

The quality of the diving itself has been a welcome and pleasant surprise, although expectations were not particularly high, I have come to realise that Tenerife has some truly great diving experiences to offer; whether it be meeting the incredible and inquisitive wildlife that inhabits its shores or visiting the fascinating wrecks lurking beneath the waves, waiting to be explored; the island is a veritable treasure trove of diving adventures, provided you know where to go. Going to work every day wondering which creature you are going to meet and which customer’s holiday you are going to make is more than enough motivation for this budding Divemaster.

My time with Paradise Divers has already cemented in my mind that this is the career path for me! Here’s hoping that the next few weeks mould me into the Divemaster that I want to be, I’ll be sure to check back in and let you know, until then, remember I once heard it said that life is diving, everything else is just a surface interval…

Tenerife Divemaster Internship – Armande with Paradise Divers

A short introduction: My name is Armande, or Mandy. I am of Dutch origin and have lived in the tropics most of my life. I have been playing Underwater hockey at a high level for over a decade and I am an AIDA 2 freediver.

Previously I had an office job for about 10 years and I decided it was time for a lifestyle change. I decided to truly follow my dreams of turning my hobby of being under water, into a (future) profession as a Divemaster and hopefully Dive Instructor. And by breathing under water this time around.

The DM Internship so far has been a wonderful learning experience and I am still learning so much every day. To give you an idea, in a few weeks time, I have learned how a dive center operates, how to operate the compressor, how to guide dives, do boat and site briefings and attend to customers. I learned how to handle emergency situations and nervous divers and especially how to practice safe and responsible diving. Dan and Carly who run the dive center, are wonderful teachers who value quality and precision. For me this, in addition to experience which I am still gaining, is what makes a good diver and especially a great Divemaster and Instructor. In addition to being wonderful teachers, they are also wonderful people (with good humor) that made me feel welcome and part of the team as soon as I started.

The Internship overall is hard work. It sometimes feels like going back to school, but in a more rewarding way. What I like about the Internship is that the theory is immediately put into practice, and I myself learn best by doing something to remember it. We have multiple opportunities to practice and show our learned skills, which makes them become part of your routine. This goes for dive skills and procedures as well as learning nautical knots and boat handling.

I am now in week three going into week four of the Internship. Since I have been out here on the Atlantic, I was and still am amazed by the marine life. On my second day we spotted pilot whales for example. In a ¨general¨ week we see bottlenose dolphins, different types of rays and green sea turtles. On my first dive with Paradise Divers we saw Atlantic Stingrays, that were approximately 1½ meters wide, I think all the divers present heard my enthusiasm through the regulator during those 35 minutes. Sorry for the disturbance guys.

So to conclude this blogpost, I am a few weeks in and getting into the routine of the diving life and loving it. Unlike an office job the scenery is never the same and neither are the circumstances, even when you repeat a dive site. You meet interesting new people and work with colleagues from many different cultures. And the difference with an office job is that if you are having an ¨off day¨ that feeling is gone by the time the resident turtle greets you on your morning dive.

Divemaster Internship – Lucas – Paradise Divers Tenerife

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.

Peace, Lucas

paradise Divers PADI Divemaster Internship Tenerife

Hi.

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!

Krzysztof

Divemaster Internship – Final Blog – Zach – Paradise Divers Tenerife

Whelp. That’s a wrap, finished, over, donezo. 3 months of my Divemaster internship has finally come to a close. I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because I’ll start crying if I keep on talking. 

Zach trying out some sunglasses

Learning at Paradise Divers has given me so much experience, knowledge and understanding about diving, the industry, and all the people. Throughout the 3 months, I’ve met tones of amazing people and learned more about myself.  It wasn’t easy at the dive shop or diving everyday. I’m sure you’ll understand when you wanna just relax and talk to people. However, when the time calls jumping in the pool or rolling into the ocean; once there, made you appreciate what you are doing. 

I wasn’t lying when I said I was going to keep this short and sweet. Much thanks to Dan and Carly, Darri and Fabio. These people have always been there for help and understand, with many laughs and jokes, it was amazing. Thanks

Zach

Paradise Divers Tenerife – Divemaster Internship Blog – Zach

Hello! It’s Zach! All the way from Canada, please… send more Canadians, we need more normal people at the dive shop.  🙂

Anyways, my time at the dive shop has been wicked. I’ve learned so much from Dan and Carly. Everything from logistics to operations, it’s been a very busy few months. They’ve given me the opportunity to work by myself, and with the support of 2 other Divemasters (Darri and Fabio; Both from Iceland). Besides Dan buying us more donuts, I couldn’t ask for more.

Diving in Tenerife has been amazing, currently have over 60 dives. Within these dives, I’ve successfully completed my Rescue diver and Enriched Air. Also, the marine life! Wow! The water is filled with so many things.  I’ve had the opportunity to see so much, and when you come here; you’ll understand. With only a few more weeks remaining in my Divemaster internship, we are just finishing up skills and starting the testing. With that being said, I’ve gotta study and practice my skills!  Until next time!

Zach

Paradise Divers Tenerife – Divemaster Intern Blog – Darri

A long time ago (2 months) I landed on an island far, far away. These two months have been probably the best time of my life. The first two weeks were more about settling in on the job, learning the operations of the dive center, as in paperwork, how to deal with customers, book customers for dives etc. Including also, what my actual role here is all about, how to act on our boat and how to beahave in the water with customers.

The settling in on the island was easy, the weather makes you feel like you’re constantly on holiday and people are in general very nice. Dan and Carly also made it incredibly easy to settle in at the dive center, they are so nice understanding people that even after my first two weeks on the job, I felt like I’ve worked at the dive center much longer and known them even longer.

About the marine life, which is waaay different from what I’ve seen in the cold waters of Iceland, it is just amazing here. Here there are so many different colorful and interesting species, crabs, turtles, octopus, barracuda, cuttlefish and especially the sting rays and adorable angel sharks. Just thinking about the marine life gets me excited for every dive.

As time went by, we completed our EFR and rescue diver qualifications and the focus could be put on the divemaster element. The instructors at Paradise Divers, really are world class, they make the learning a lot easier and so much more enjoyable than I could have imagined, they don’t just teach you what you need to learn but they also enjoy so much watching you learn that you can see it in them. I’m really looking forward to my last month here as there are a lot of things still to get done.