Week 1 of Divemaster Internship in Bunaken
And so one gets to spend his 51st birthday diving, studying diving skills, getting underwater experience, new knowledge of marine life, new friends … and a school of dolphins frolicking on the surface after a dive! It overwhelms the emotions to think of the winter I left behind and the warmth I find myself in.
Week one of my DM internship here at Bunaken is now completed and oh, yes have I made a few mistakes. The guys on the boat won’t let me forget my first day of diving with them — showing my stuff, showing what a solid diver I was — and backrolling into the water without my fins! (.. and now, if I could only get them to stop mentioning it
It only took a couple days to go from a new arriving outsider to feeling very comfortable as a “regular” around Two Fish Divers. The welcome orientation is so thorough and full of information, I really felt like a Knowledge Review was coming my way when it was finished!
Of course there’s work to do, but there’s also plenty of joking around with the dive guides, boat crew and other staff, and I immediately took the liberty of throwing in my own humor. The world over, laughing ties us together and is a great way to get over the initial awkwardness of unfamiliarity. And there’s grace in the shared effort of all that it takes to make a dive operation chug along smoothly. The knowledge, skill and cooperation of the dive guides and boat crew is vast and essential, and I’m finding that you just give your best effort, help, work in good faith, with good attitude, and I’ve seen that the full force of the staff’s goodwill helps in my professional development and in so many other ways. It feels good.
Dion is my instructor and he is both skill and heart. He’s firm and knows how to lead, and to laugh. His seriousness — and look of terror in his eyes — was obvious during our first pool session, my initial confrontation with learning and exhibiting 24 diving skills at demonstration quality. Doing the skills and DEMONSTRATING the skills are quite different. I need to get better.
Variety is the spice of life in the DM intern program at Two Fish. I was happy to spend time with instructor Mesak (left in picture above) and his Open Water student Matthias (center in picture above). Observing and assisting in pool skills sessions, a Discovery Scuba Diving dive, and Open Water and Advanced training dives, I learned about working with students and divers with different experience levels.
The first week was the time to reveal and start to improve my weaknesses. It’s the very beginning of a journey of, first, wanting to be better, realizing the need for improvement, and then putting together the practice and routine to elevate skills to a higher level.
And, don’t forget to work on your musical skills! The Two Fish staff is deep in musicians and singers, and the evening fun down at the Blue Parrot Cafe, catching the moonrise over the sea — well, it’s pure sweetness and smiles. If only I had a little energy left over in the evenings to more fully participate!
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