In November 2010 PADI announced the new PADI Divemaster course, however the new materials were not available in Indonesia until July 2011. Since then, Two Fish Divers have taught the new course to about 10 students in Bunaken & Lembeh, and we think that the new DM course is a great improvement.
What Has Changed
In summary, PADI have toughened the prerequisites, increased in-water training by 50%, and completely overhauled the dive theory part of the Divemaster Theory.
Slightly Tougher Prerequisites
Candidates must now have 40 logged dives to start the DM course (used to be 20). They will therefore get more out of their course by being more experienced divers before the course begins.
Additionally, the Deep Diver and Search & Recovery Diver specialty courses are highly recommended. Candidates with these specialty ratings can drop these two Practical Application Skills (see below), however we prefer to cover these anyway to make sure that candidates have up-to-date training.
Increased In-water Training
One of the biggest changes come in the water where PADI has increased the amount of in-water training by 50% including:
These workshops and assessments give the candidates the training and experience they need in order to carry out their functions after certification.
Overhaul of Dive Theory
Overall, the Divemaster Theory emphasizes the supervisory and leadership aspects of being a Divemaster. It has not changed much under the new DM course except that there is now a greater focus on awareness of the environment.
However, the dive theory part of the Divemaster Theory (physics, physiology, etc) has undergone an overhaul.
Under the old DM course, the most intense part of the course was the dive theory as candidates did the same dive theory as an instructor. Under the new DM course, the dive theory is now an “intermediate step” between whats required for the Rescue Diver and that required for an instructor. The dive theory is now a review of the theory from the prerequisite courses (OW, AOW and Rescue), and this is what it should be!
What about the exams? Now there are 2 exams, and they are written in less-technical language to “better assess comprehension of all the knowledge development topics”.
Divemaster Course Online
This was introduced at the same time as the new DM course. It is a great alternative to using the PADI Divemaster manual and DVD. It means that you can do all your DM Theory before you get to us in Bunaken or Lembeh, and more time can be spent on the skill development and practical applications.
Note that the DM exam is not included in the online program as its designed to be administered by us when you are here.
Revised PADI Divemaster Materials
The biggest change has been with the PADI Divemaster Manual itself, which increased from 200 to 300 pages. PADI says it “includes new course information and functions as an additional study tool for the DM exam. Each chapter now includes a case study based on real scenarios that illustrate sound judgement and other leadership skills.”
The Divemaster DVD also gets an upgrade, with new footage, plus video of the 20 scuba skills to “demonstration quality”.
Other revised material include the Divemaster slates that were revised to match the course content.
We think that the new format of the PADI Divemaster Course is alot more fun since candidates spend alot more time on the dive boats. If you are interested, there are a number of options to choose from, have a look at the the PADI Divemaster options with Two Fish Divers for more information.
Hope to see you in Bunaken or Lembeh!
As we all of head off to amazing scuba diving adventures, we are burdened with the pesky airlines’ baggage fees; thinking, are we even going to get our gear to the dive site or should we just rent gear that could be old, ugly, and questionable condition? It seems that there has to be a trade off, paying the cost of the airline fees versus paying to rent gear. Now there is a solution to this with Aqua Lung’s Travel Gear.
Travel Gear from Aqualung – Aqualung have developed a range of light-weight dive gear where everything, including the fins, has been specifically designed to provide you with max comfort while easily fitting in a carry-on bag. Pack light, travel more, “Why rent when you can travel light?” Just check out these weights!
On Aqualungs website they even have a handy weight calculator so you can calculate the weight yourself!
The Travel Bag
The Aqualung Travel Bag is made from heavy-duty PVC-free 600D nylon and total weight is only 7.26lbs/3.29kg for lightweight travel. It meets most major airline size requirements for carry-on baggage, and was designed to accommodate the new Aqua Lung HotShot dive fins.
The Zuma BCD is an ultra-light, weight-integrated, back inflation BCD that has everything you need, yet lacks weight and bulk. Once you lift it, you’ll feel for yourself that a size ML/LG weighs less than 2 kg (4.4 lbs), with the airway and weight pockets included!
Whats even more amazing is that it packs into a really small space!
Sport Diver Magazine’s Editor’s Pick, 2008 Gear Guide. Aqua Lung considers the Mikron Regulator to be the smallest and lightest weight regulator on the market today, weighing in at just 26 oz. (din) and 31 oz. (yoke). Even more amazing is that performance is not sacrificed by the extreme compactness of the regulator, and its balanced first and second stages produce exceptional breathing performance.
AirSource 3 Octopus
Sport Diver Magazine’s Editor’s Pick, 2008 Gear Guide. The Airsource 3 combines a high-performance second stage with a power inflator. By eliminating the need for a traditional octopus, the diver can streamline his entire system. In addition, unlike a traditional octopus that can drag in the sand or damage coral, you’ll take comfort knowing that the Airsource 3 is right in front of you ready to deliver life saving air in a moment’s notice.
The amazing Hotshot Fin has been engineered with the traveling diver in mind. It offers unsurpassed comfort, compactness for carry-on travel and power for a fully outfitted scuba diver. The foot pocket is designed to be worn with bare feet, and neoprene socks or thin-soled boots may be used for thermal protection. Its also very compact and light – it measures only 20.9in/53cm and so fits in carry-on luggage, and only weighs only 3.28 lbs / 1.5 kg.
Sport Diver Magazine’s Editor’s Pick, 2008 Gear Guide. The Micromask is a revolution in mask design. Never before have lenses been so close to the eyes. This not only results in an amazingly wide peripheral view but an extremely low internal volume, making it very easy to clear.
If you like the idea of having a snorkel that rolls-up then try the Nautilus Snorkel. It can be carried in a BC pocket or hung from a D-ring, and can be deployed in a snap, making it the most travel-friendly snorkel ever!
If you want a more traditional snorkel, the Impulse3 Snorkel consistently has been the best selling snorkel in the world. Available in a FLEX version that allows the patented COMFO-BITE mouthpiece to drop out of the way while switching from snorkel to SCUBA.
Adventure should take you anywhere, any way you want to get there and the Suunto D4i dive computer is a great choice. The new DM4 software allows easy synching with Movescount.com, where you can share your dive profiles, images, and experiences online. This makes the D4i a great choice for those who love socializing as much as diving. There is also the option of a wireless readout of your tank pressure and air time so you do not need those gauges anymore – another weightsaving idea!
Coelecanth is a Devonian lobed fin fish that thrived in the oceans 450-500 million years ago. Its importance lies in the fact that it is considered the “missing link” between fish and animals, ie they were the ones that crawled from the waters to create life on land. It is also an inhabitant of Bunaken Marine Park, and probably one of the most unusual inhabitants at that!
It is common to see dolphins in Bunaken National Park. There are 28 different types of whales and dolphins that have been seen in the park, however they are shy animals and most of the times we see them in the surface rather than diving.
When we do see them then often it is in very large schools of 50-100+ animals, as in the photo on the right.
Here a little bit more information about these amazing animals!
The current craze in diving is rebreather diving!! With a rebreather, all the air you breath out is captured in the unit on your back and the carbon dioxide is removed, and it is returned to you for breathing again. This means that you do not need as much air, therefore the tanks are only 3liters!
Its not new technology. The “thing” that removes the carbon dioxide is called the scrubber, its just a chemical that reacts with the carbon dioxide and therefore removes it, and was first used in submarines in 1885!
Rebreather diving also offers a different type of diving. During the dives you have to monitor the oxygen content of your air, adding more oxygen to your air if the content gets too low. This is the “technical” aspect with rebreathers, but many rebreathers do this automatically so you just need to make sure that the rebreather unit is doing this properly.
Why do it? Its not about deep diving but about getting up close to the underwater life. When you go diving, the bubbles that you produce scare the fish away, if you produce no bubbles then the fish life will allow you to get closer to them. We can personally verify this with the black tip reef sharks on Rons Point where we had an amazing dive surrouned by 5-10 sharks for ages!
How to get started? As part of becoming a PADI TEC center, we purchased some rebreathers and can offer some try-dives. We will also soon be offering the new PADI rebreather courses aimed at recreational divers:
After this, the next steps are the PADI TEC courses aimed at going on deeper/decompression dives, but thats the subject of another blog!
For more info, keep an eye out on our blog and our website tec diving page.