I am not going to lie, when Midge talked to me about training to become a PADI Divemaster for Scuba Blue I had my doubts, mostly due to my limited confidence in my abilities as a diver and what I perceived as my lack of patience when dealing with others. I think I decided to start the course because there was a group of us who dived regularly together all agreeing to undertake the training.
Brian, one of Scuba Blue’s instructors, delivered all of our PADI Divemaster training; he was hugely knowledgeable, supportive and patient. The Scuba Blue approach to delivering the course was great fun, we would all gather around the kitchen table at Brian’s and go through the theory, it was great to have the support of everyone else and there were many laughs. Big shout out to Janet (Mrs Brian) for providing excellent cake each time! (Note: Mrs B says you were all a nightmare to cater for with highly specialised cake preferences .. how can anyone not like lemon drizzle cake???)
Not long after starting my course, my confidence took a huge knock when I had a bad dive at Swanage. I am the sort who is really hard on themselves and I remember getting back on to the boat and demanding a course refund! We still had another dive to go that day so I put ‘my big girl pants on’ and got back in and had a fantastic drift dive with no issues. Nevertheless, I still had doubts about my ability to be a good divemaster and not let Scuba Blue down.
Shortly after this adventure/disaster, it was time for one of my PADI Divemaster assessments in the pool. As part of the course, I have to demonstrate one of the skills that a diver on their open water course needs to be able to complete. I was working with Midge on this occasion and he had briefed me beforehand on what skill he would like me to demonstrate, so I was all prepared. Unfortunately, Midge’s regulators malfunctioned and he was not able to effectively demonstrate the skills to the students so as the DM it fell on me to work through the skills with the students. This is the best thing that could have happened to me, I had not prepared for this but I had to come across as confident and professional to the students. They all paid close attention to me and successfully completed all of the skills. I was hooked from that moment on!
One student in particular, who I was lucky enough to work with closely throughout their open water course, only helped me further to realise that deciding to become a DM was the best decision I ever made. If I didn’t have a mortgage to pay, I would love to do this all the time! The student struggled at first with mastering one of the skills needed to qualify as an open water diver, I got the opportunity to work with them one-on-one and give them the confidence and a couple of tips to help them nail the skill. I think it helped that I had struggled with some of my learning so I understood how they felt.
That is one of the things I love about being part of Scuba Blue, they never rush you or make you feel silly, they do all they can to support you through any difficultly.
If anyone were thinking of undertaking a PADI Divemaster course, I would highly recommend doing it with Scuba Blue. We got to work with real students, had fantastic support from the rest of the team, who are highly professional but most importantly love to dive. I completed the course within 8 months, building up constant experience in this period. The Scuba Blue family has a passion for diving and teaching diving well and this passion is infectious.
Scuba Blue totally believes in their ethos of ‘start diving, keep diving’ and this is clear throughout everything they do and I will make sure I help support this in my time as a Scuba Blue Divemaster! Scuba Blue is not all about how many courses you can do; Scuba Blue is about going diving, supporting each other, socialising and having fun.