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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
Floating with ease.. neutrally buoyant.. thoose have been the last 2 months of my Divemaster internship here at Paradise Divers DIve Center.
I am called Fabio and i have been one of the three interns here last two months here at Paradise Divers and only one month to go until i´m quilified Divemaster.
Dan and Carly the instructors here are really patient, kind, funny and straight up professionals. When i came here i had no expirence and took my open water and advanced open water courses with Dan and Carly and since then i have become better than i could ever imagine, they have tought me so much and i am planning to come back in end of this year to do my instructor course with them because i wouldn´t want to do it anywhere else.
In this time i have been here i have seen so many awesome creatures as Atlantic rays, Angel sharks, Dan, Golden spotted snake eel, lot of diffirent types of octopus and couple of wrecks wich have been very much fun to see and i can´t wait to explore more in the near future.
Being here have brought me to the level that i can call myself a Padi Pro and that is all Dan and Carly to thank for.
Me and the other interns we might be hard to handle at times but that is just because we are just way too awesome as a trio 😉 Being here has made us all a very close group and good friend, Dan, Carly, me and the other two interns Darri and Zach.
But unil next time, keep diving and remember the first rule in diving.. don´t poke the Angel shark.. he doesn´t like that hehe
It is now 6 weeks into my internship and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by. I have 6 more weeks to go and a handful of things left on the docket. I have now passed the Deep Diver specialty course as well as the Rescue Diver portion. I found both courses to be very informative. The deep specialty took me 43 meters (143 feet) under the sea. You can feel the weight of the world on you from down there….literally. No time to waste at that depth as your air goes considerably fast. As for the rescue course, a lot to learn in the water on how to deal with both panicked divers and unresponsive divers. The techniques on how to be most effective in these situations were eye opening. Dan and Carly have demonstrated their dedication to my learning and development. Poor Carly had to play panicked and dead for half a day. I am glad she is such a good sport about getting in the water to help me learn.
I am officially now working on the actual dive master skills and literature. I have completed my reading and theory portion as well as a few of the practical tasks. I have a lot to go in the next 6 weeks, but each week is another progression. I have even considered looking for jobs around the world using my dive master certification. My initial intent was not to use the certification just yet, but the more I am in the water, the more I don’t want to get out! I also had no initial intention of becoming an instructor, but I now foresee that in my near future. This internship has been a great eye opener on the possibilities diving has to offer no matter what continent you are on. As much as I love to travel and swim with the fish, I may have found a great niche for me.
This week has been the beginning of Carnival here on the island. I have the weekend off and will be heading up to Santa Cruz to enjoy the festivities. I am excited to see all the costumes and dances. After this weekend I will be buckling back down for a mapping project with Carly and a couple more specialty courses. Stay salty my friend, until next time!
Forgive me Padre, It’s been 2 weeks since my last blog and here are my confessions.
I’m madly in love with this island especially from the viewpoint of the boat. You can look up and see El Teide, the volcano, and directly down into the sea to see how much life is down there waiting for you. The views are breath taking.
I came here with about 36 dives and have now logged about an additional 20 in total. In 20 dives, I have managed to gain many things including expanding my marine life knowledge as well as where each is commonly found. The hidden nooks and crannies that so many hide in I never really noticed before because I was too busy looking at the big picture. The dives I have been doing have helped me to focus more directly. Having this extra knowledge is helpful during a dive to point out what other divers may miss and would like to see. I have now been able to spot various species on my own such as a couple absolutely stunning nudibranchs. Both were bright yellow with neon blue trim and only about 1.5” long. In a sea that swallows entire freighters….I’d say they are pretty small in comparison.
Week 4, I lead my first dive and the good news is- it went off without a hitch. We did not anchor in the general area that we normally do due to other dive boats. Despite this, I was able to not only find the wreck, El Condesito, but lead the group around, monitor air, point out sea life and safely make it back to the anchor. This was a liberating feeling. I had done it! I knew when it was all said and done that I had done a great job. Dan reassured me too that I had done well. I was very confident, from the ropes at the dock, to the organization of getting everyone in and out of the boat. This confidence in my performance is why I am here. I wanted to become a dive master to better myself as a diver in all aspects of the trade.
This next week I should be finishing up my rescue diver course which I’m sure, like most anything I have done so far, will be challenging. I anticipate being sore and tired! I will let you know how that goes !