A Week in the Life of a PADI Divemaster Trainee in Gili Air
After spending two weeks at Two Fish Divers Lembongan where I completed four PADI specialties (Deep Diver, Enriched Air/Nitrox, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Manta Awareness) I transferred to Two Fish Divers Gili Air to officially start my Divemaster Training.
Here is what my first week as a Divemaster Trainee in Gili Air has been like:
After having breakfast by the beach I went to the dive shop at 8:30 to prepare my gear and get ready for my first two (fun) dives to discover what the Gilis look like underwater (spoiler: it’s beautiful!).
Back on land I spent the afternoon in the pool, successfully completing a 15-minutes tread (stay afloat by treading water, drown proofing, bobbing or floating for 15 minutes, with hands out of the water for the last two minutes – one of the graded exercises of the Water Skills and Stamina part of the PADI Divemaster Course) and doing my first skills circuit training.
I ended my first day as a Divemaster Trainee in Gili Air by going through a couple of chapters of the Divemaster Manual and mentally preparing for my swim test scheduled at 7:45 the next morning!
Once the open water swim test (slowly) completed (400 meters without stopping using no swimming aids and using any stroke or combination of strokes desired) I went for two fun dives and discovered Turtles’ Heaven – which is exactly what it sounds like!
I spent the afternoon in the pool assisting an instructor for the confined water sessions 1 to 3 of a PADI Open Water Course attended by a lovely couple from Denmark and continued my reading of the Divemaster Manual.
During the first morning dive I shadowed the instructor for the ocean dive 1 of the Open Water Course students, where they applied the skills they had learnt the previous day, and followed another instructor leading a Discover Scuba Diving dive for another couple during my second dive.
The afternoon was again spent in the pool for the last remaining sessions of the Open Water Course I was assisting.
I ended my day by starting reading Chapter 9 of the Divemaster Manual (Dive Theory) – the most challenging – but also, in my opinion – the most interesting one as it glues everything together (and suddenly so many things make perfect sense!). It’s been a busy day today as a Divemaster trainee in Gili Air!
The two morning dives consisted of the ocean dives 2 and 3 of the Open Water Course students and, as I didn’t have any pool session scheduled in the afternoon I enjoyed a couple of cappuccinos by the beach while reading about decompression theory and learning how to use the Recreational Dive Planner.
At 5pm, we all met back at the dive shop for the Beach Clean Up (each dive shop on the island is organizing one for a determined area on a bi-weekly basis) and went on (together with half a dozen volunteers who took some time off their holidays to help us) picking up bottles, food wraps and any other non-organic waste for about one hour.
I started the day in the ocean at 7:45 for the open water snorkeling test (swim non-stop for 800 meters face in the water using a mask, fins, snorkel and swim suit only) and surprised myself by scoring a 4 (out of 5) – which I think I owe to one of my friends who advised me to use light rental fins from the shop instead of my regular heavier diving ones.
I went on with my day with assisting the instructor on the last dive of the Open Water Course students (who I think set the bar pretty high for any future courses I will assist, or teach should I become an instructor!) and used my second (fun) dive to mentally take notes of the topography and landmarks of the dive site to prepare for the mapping project (of another site though) that is scheduled for me the next morning.
After ending the afternoon by going through a couple of the Divemaster Manual Chapters’ Knowledge Reviews with my instructor I attended a conference organized by the Gili Sharks Conservation Project (a conservation and data collection program, whose goal is not only to raise awareness for shark and marine conservation but also assist the local community and helping the Gilis to become plastic-free) and learned some interesting facts that could later be relayed to the guests while delivering dive site briefing on the boat.
I spent my breakfast time re-reading the different mapping techniques in the Divemaster Manual and tried not to stress myself too much about it.
On the boat ride to the site I chose for this Practical Application Skills’ part of my training, I discussed what exactly was expected by my instructors so that I could focus on gathering the correct data during my two dives. On the (above water) map I visualized where the site was located, where we would be entering and exiting, took note of the cardinal points and drew the shore on my slate.
During the first dive I noted the depths, landmarks and bottom composition of the site to be able to translate these later into the drawing of a readable and useful map for recreational divers. During surface interval I gave a site briefing to my instructors based on the information I gathered earlier and then used the second dive to add a little more details to my draft map and check if everything made sense. The sight of an eagle ray slightly messed up my fins kicks count but that was worth it!
I completed another Skills Circuit in the pool during the afternoon, before resuming my reading on Dive Theory. It really is non-stop here in high season!
The week ended with a pre-dive dry practice of the different methods for executing a Search and Recovery scenario before going for the real thing underwater.
After a fun dive, I reviewed the upcoming exercise with my instructors, as well as the technique to use a lift bag, and off I went looking for the hidden weight belt. Once said weight belt found and safely lifted out of the water, we fun dived for the remainder of the time allowed by our tanks.
Then after spending another afternoon in the pool for the last Skills Circuit of the week, I was off to enjoy a sunset on the beach to relax and get ready for the second week (that would start with assisting my instructor for a Discover Scuba Diving program in confined water followed by an ocean dive).
I am really happy with everything that we managed to accomplish during my first week as a PADI Divemaster Trainee in Gili Air- thanks to a rigorous and manageable schedule provided by my instructors (and their undivided attention for the execution of the plan)!
Do you want to join us and become our next Divemaster trainee in Gili Air? For more information about our PADI Divemaster Internship in Indonesia, or fun diving and staying with us, fill in the contact form below and we will get right back to you.
We look forward to diving with you in Gili Air soon!