I have been a certified for 10 years now but never thought about becoming a divemaster. Not only that, for no particular reason I also hadn’t even dived for 5 years when I decided to come back to Gili Trawangan for a 2-week holiday in September. Once I had done a quick scuba review my time here re-affirmed my passion for diving.
I hadn’t chosen a dive school before arriving and my first day on Gili T was spent wandering around speaking to various dive shops. I picked Gili Divers as Patcy, who was sitting on the shop front. She was really welcoming and took the time to explain how fun diving worked here and it sounded ideal. Also on a side note, the coffee and sandwiches at 50 Bar coffee shop just upstairs of the dive shop are excellent!
While I was here I met a lot of divemaster trainees (DMTs) doing their internship and it looked as though they were having a lot of fun. I began to appreciate what a divemaster does and I thought I would love to advance my skills and progress in my diving.
As soon as I got back to the UK, I did some further research and decided to come back for two months in January to do my Divemaster course with Gili Divers. Now I have been here for two weeks and I am loving it!
Thankfully I already had my required 40 dives to start the course. I still had to complete my Emergency First Response and Stress and Rescue course before progressing to my divemaster internship. I would advise anyone who dives to do the EFR and Rescue Course, even if at this stage you don’t think you want to do the DM course. I am definitely a better, safer and more informed diver after doing that course.
Ibai was my instructor and he was amazing. I learned so much. The first couple of days was spent in the classroom and the pool practicing skills and then we got into the sea where again we practiced many skills and then for the last 15 minutes we had a fun dive.
The last day of the Rescue Course we had a small amount of classroom work and I watched a few more training videos first. Then it was time for our ‘Hell Dives’ where things are meant to go wrong. I won’t go into too much detail on what happened but it was super crazy.
The boat master warned everyone on the boat that we were doing a Rescue course and that things may be slightly weird. Needless to say, it was! We had 3 DMTs role playing difficult or stressed customers. Underwater I had to deal with the DMTs removing equipment, running out of air and fighting, along with many other potential problems that could happen. It was our job as Rescue Divers to solve these issues quickly and calmly. Surprisingly it was so much fun and we learned so much but I was glad when those dives were done! Post dive we had a debriefing clarifying what we had learned and Ibai informed us we had both passed.
I’m now 4 days into my divemaster training. I have assisted an Open Water course and a Discover Scuba Diving aka Introduction Dive and I think I’m really going to enjoy being here. Being a rescue diver has really changed the way I dive. I am so much more confident as a diver and truly believe if something happens to me or my buddy during a dive I could deal with it with ease.
I’m so glad I chose Gili Divers to do this with! They seem to have the balance between doing things safely but in a really fun way and I can’t think of a better way of spending 2 months on Gili Trawangan. I don’t know if I will work as a divemaster once I have completed my course as I have a job back in the UK that I love but I learned a long time ago Never say Never!
Maybe see you out in the blue.
Written by Simon Streeting