Tag Archives: DMC

Rethinking Divemaster Training

To become a PADI Divemaster you are required to complete several prerequisites including being at least 18 years old, having completed Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, and Rescue Diver certifications, attaining at least five PADI specialties, and having a minimum of 40 logged dives before you can begin the course. By the end of the course you must have a minimum of 60 logged dives. Since I meet all of the prerequisites by attaining the Master Scuba Diver with 10 PADI specialties, and over 70 logged dives, I have already started my Divemaster Candidate (DMC) course and am working on completing all of the necessary internships and course requirements.

The other day while I was at our Hawaii Kai dive shop getting signed up to intern a couple of classes one of the instructors that I had for one of my classes a couple months ago asked me if I was ready to be a Divemaster. When I said yes, he walked away shaking his head. This has bothered me ever since, at the time making me very upset.

Another instructor stated that I needed to be signed off on setting up a dive site, to which I stated that I already had completed that part of the training the previous week and was already signed off on it with a near-perfect score (44/45 points). He asked where I did it and I told him on the North Shore on a shore dive and he said that doesn’t count because I did not have to tie off a boat at a mooring during the dive site setup, so he asked who the instructor was. When I told him that I chose to work with Michelle at the Scofield Barracks location because I knew her longer he said “isn’t she a new instructor?” smirking and walking away.

A DMC can work with ANY PADI Instructor on their course requirements, another reason I chose her is because she is a fairly new instructor, completing her Instructor Development Course at the beginning of this year. To become an instructor she had to perform all of the skill requirements that I am required to perform, all to demonstration quality as I have to perform them. So I knew that her demonstration quality skills would be sharper than an instructor that had to perform theirs years ago that may have become lax in their quality over the years. I also know that the examination is performed in front of PADI Instructors who are coming from the mainland and since she had recently performed hers in front of them, she may be able to give me some tips as to what they are looking for now that may help me with my testing.

The one that really ticked me off was when an instructor the other night said that he was worried that I was rushing through my training. This same instructor was taking his Divemaster training when I was taking my Rescue Diver course, and now not quite two months later he is already an Open Water Scuba Instructor! In the past month and a half he has completed Divemaster, Instructor Development Course (IDC), and this past weekend he completed the Instructor examination and is already teaching new students. PADI requires that a new instructor wait until they have received their certification and have it in-hand, which takes about a month, before they start teaching classes. Yet somehow the very next day after he finishes his testing he is teaching an Open Water Diver class, before PADI even has a chance to start processing his certification. The comment that I seem to be rushing my training, coming from him of all people, really got to me, I have almost as many dives in as he does.

Michelle made the comment last night that the Hawaii Kai shop is in one of the most challenging areas to operate a dive shop because of the strong currents that are there year round. That’s why I am grateful that almost all of my dives have been out of that dive shop. The South East Coast of Oahu has some ripping currents year round that we have to deal with, which is why we do so much drift diving down there. Almost all of my dive training has been in those currents, which I feel has made me a better diver and a better DMC.

I feel like I am being targeted and harassed because I chose to pay cash for my training myself instead of going through their “Hawaii Scuba University” (HSU) eight week course and letting the government pay for my Divemaster training which they would receive more money for. When I paid for my Divemaster course I was told that if I go through HSU for the course, it was a scheduled eight week course, and I would be required to meet at the Hickam shop two nights a week, but if I paid for it myself instead of letting the VA pay for it, I complete it on MY schedule, so that is what I chose to do. However after paying them the money, that’s not how it has been working out. I wanted to start my DMC course on April 3rd, right after receiving the Master Scuba Diver certification, however I kept getting put off every time I asked the instructors about how to get it started. I kept getting told that I had to wait until the next HSU class started, to which I would reply that I am not part of HSU and am not bound to their schedule and that I complete everything on my own schedule.

I was finally able to get the course started by taking it upon myself to ask Michelle to start working with me on the course and my internships because no one at the Hawaii Kai shop seemed to be interested in it. But even now I still run into problems with getting skills checked off because since I am not part of the HSU program and am doing it on my own schedule, I don’t have access to a pool for my skills. I will have to perform them out in the ocean and deal with surge and silt getting kicked up while I try to do the equipment exchange skill. I feel that I am clearly being discriminated against because I chose to pay for the class myself instead of letting the government pay a higher price for the exact same training.

With all of the flack that I have been getting this week from other instructors I am starting to rethink even becoming a Divemaster. If this is the type of person that I will become when I become an instructor, I don’t want any part of it. Right now, I have no interest in continuing with the training. As a DMC I dive for free for the next year, so I plan on using that benefit so that I do not have to pay for dives. As far as getting certified as a PADI Divemaster, I don’t think so.

As a Divemaster I would be required to carry additional professional liability insurance on top of what I already carry as a First Aid & CPR Instructor. I would have to pay an enormous fee to PADI every year just to stay active as a Divemaster. The chances of being hired as a Divemaster by one of the dive shops here is extremely remote because they all would rather hire Instructors who can teach more classes than a Divemaster can. Instructors here barely make more than minimum wage each year. After adding it all up, it doesn’t make financial sense for me to get certified as a Divemaster, so why bother with it.

On top of all of that I am tired of putting up with all the BS from some of the other instructors from Island Divers Hawaii. Several of the instructors from the Hawaii Kai shop have stated that they will not sign off on anything that you do once or twice as a DMC, you will have to do it multiple times before they will even consider signing off on it. This is not PADI’s procedures, and doesn’t make any sense to me. Once a person completes an internship, they should get graded on the internship, and if they receive a successful grade, the internship is complete. This doing the same internship over and over again, hoping that the instructor will finally be in the mood to grade you on it, one of these days, is complete hogwash.

Many other dive shops on the mainland and around the world offer the DMC course as an 8-DAY course. If I ever become interested in completing my Divemaster training again I will go to one of those shops to complete it, without all of the BS that comes along with it here. For now, I am fine with just keeping the Master Scuba Diver rating.

Dive 80

Date: May 23, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 2

Time In:  15:50  Time Out:  16:26  Time:   :36

Dive Location: Angler’s Reef,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Discover Scuba Diving – DMC Internship

Dive Type:  Boat      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  5-7′ Swells, Moderate Current & Surge   Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 40-50′

Air Temp:  82° F    Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  38′    Average Depth: 18.7′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 3,084   End PSI: 1,201      Air/EANx:  21%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, iGills


For the second dive of the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) internship we headed over to Angler’s Reef, a reef line just West of the Koko Craters dive spot. After an uneventful tour of the area we headed back to the boat with the students.

Back at the boat we were able to convince the female student that had panicked on the first dive into getting back into the water with just Kendal and myself which she agreed to. I hovered nearby as a precaution as Kendal calmly talked to her and relaxed her. He was finally able to talk her into descending a little while holding onto the descent line and was able to take her down to about 22 feet and hang out there for a few minutes.

Once we were back on the boat she said that she was grateful that we took the time to work with her by herself and she loved the special attention that she had received by us going out of our way with her.

That’s what great customer service is all about.

iGills Snapshot

Dive 79

Date: May 23, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 2

Time In:  14:37  Time Out:  15:09  Time:   :32

Dive Location: Koko Craters,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  N/A

Purpose: Discover Scuba Diving – DMC Internship

Dive Type:  Boat      Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  5-7′ Swells, Moderate Current & Surge   Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 40-50′

Air Temp:  82° F  Btm. Temp:  76.5° F

Max Depth:  35′    Average Depth: 19.5′

Safety / Decompression Stops: None

Start PSI: 2,915   End PSI: 1,456      Air/EANx:  21%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, Dive Light, Scuba Pro Jet Fins, iGills


Today I did an internship with a Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) class taught by Kendal, a recent addition to the teaching staff at Island Divers Hawaii from Australia. The class started off with the students watching a video at the Hickam shop while I assisted Kendal with getting the student’s gear ready. After the video was finished we headed over to the pool to teach the students mask clearing, equalization, and regulator recovery skills.

Most of the students picked up on the skills quickly, however we had to work with one for quite a while on the regulator recovery skill. Every time she would take the regulator out of her mouth and start to recover it she would panic and stand up in the pool. After working with her for about an hour in the pool we were finally ready to head over to the Hawaii Kai shop to meet the boat for the next part of the class.

Once on the boat we headed out to Koko Craters for the first dive of the day. This morning the visibility was about 15 feet so we were a bit apprehensive about how the dive would go. Thankfully the visibility at Koko Craters has improved today after the high tide came in from about 15′ to about 40-50′.

At the surface as we were about to descend the student that was having so much difficulty with the regulator recovery skills started to panic and did not want to go down. As Kendal guided the other students down the descent line I had her turn over onto her back with her BCD fully inflated and talked to her to get her to relax while I towed her back to the boat. Matt, the owner of Island Divers Hawaii was Captaining the Sea Fox today so he said he would work with her on the surface at the swim step of the boat so that I could catch back up to our students.

Once we were all at the bottom we began a tour of the area showing them the sea life that we typically find here which included a large school of Sergeant Major fish, moray eels, and nudibranchs. We also saw a cloud of thousands of Sea Hares floating past in the current. one of the Sergeant Majors took particular attention to one of the students who was too close to his eggs and started pecking him over and over again on the top of his head. It looked like a wood pecker searching for a meal. I started laughing so hard I almost lost my regulator as he fought off the pesky fish.

Another student lost part of his weights and it we had to catch him before he floated up to the surface and replace his weights. A few minutes later he had a similar problem when he got too high and once again he floated to the surface while I fought with him to keep him down. It finally took both me and Kendal to push him back down until his wetsuit compressed enough that he could stay down with the rest of the group. He was a little bit underweighted so we gave him a couple extra pounds of weight and he was able to continue the dive.

iGills Snapshot

Divemaster Mapping Project

As part of my PADI Divemaster training I am required to create a map of a dive site to teach me underwater mapping and reinforce the underwater navigation skills that I learned in the Underwater Navigator Specialty course that I took last month.

For this task I was allowed to choose Koko Craters, a popular dive site off the South East coast of Oahu. Because I dive this site very often, and had already started a rudimentary map of the location in the Underwater Navigator Specialty dives it would save me some time.

Normally the mapping project is done by a group of Divemaster Candidates (DMC’s) who collaborate on a finished map. Since I am doing this mapping project alone I would have to do everything myself, which would mean multiple dives at the location to get measurements, compass headings, etc.

Unfortunately we have been getting hit with a south swell for the past couple weeks that has made diving on the south shores almost impossible. Most of the dive boats have cancelled their dives and everyone is shore diving up at Sharks Cove for the past two weeks. In order to work on my map today I was forced to do a solo kayak dive in very rough waters.

I ended up getting rolled 4 times today while trying to get out to the site. Once I was offshore out at the site the seas were much calmer and I was able to get some diving done. Unfortunately the visibility was very poor for this location, normally we have around 100′ visibility at Koko Craters, but because of the south swell today it was only 10 to 15 feet, which made working on my map very difficult. There was also a strong current which also added to my challenge, luckily I had strapped one of my DPV’s to my kayak in anticipation of the strong currents and surge. Using the DPV I was able to overcome the current and get some work done on my map.

Here is the map I made of the Koko Craters Dive Site. Hopefully it will be good enough to pass and I can get signed off for this project. I don’t see how I can make it much better.


You can download a Printable .pdf version of the map by clicking here or a larger .jpg image by clicking on the map above.

DMC Course Update

After we completed the last of the required dives today for the Open Water Diver course a couple of the students had to retake their written exams, so I used this opportunity to take Part 1 of my Divemaster Final Exam. I had already completed Dive Theory Online so that will take the place of Part 2 of the exam, keeping me from having to take another exam.

Since my score on the Dive Theory Online exam was a perfect 100%, I was very nervous about todays exam. I needed to make another perfect score. Unfortunately that is part of my Type – A personality I suppose. I have always been very hard on myself, and demanded only perfect scores for any exams that I take.

As I took the exam the nerves and butterflies in my stomach started in, which made it difficult to concentrate on reading the questions. I was finally able to complete the exam, now I just had to wait what seemed like an hour for the score (it was actually only about 5 minutes). I told her that I may have missed one question that I was not sure about, but I know the rest were all correct. She said “I bet you missed more than one” and went inside to grade the exam.

I waited outside the classroom while Michelle graded the exam, and when I went in to check on my score she had a disappointed look on her face and said that she couldn’t help me with the exam, because I got a 100% on it. I was starting to think I had failed the exam somehow, she scared me.

Afterwards we went over my Divemaster Application packet to see what I had already completed in the past couple of weeks, and what I still needed to complete. As she went down the list checking boxes and signing off on items listed I started to feel better about my progress in the course. Basically I have about half of the course requirements completed, and now I know what I need to work on next.

I will try to complete my Mapping Project this week. In it I have to create a dive map of a dive site. Michelle let me choose the site, so I chose Koko Craters, because I dive there often from the boat out of the Hawaii Kai shop and it would be easier to get enough dives at the location to create the map by myself since I am not working as part of a group on the Mapping Project.

If things stay as scheduled now, this next week I will complete my required water skills on Thursday evening. Hopefully Wednesday or Thursday I will have a chance to check off some of the other requirements that I still need, that is if the boat goes out from Hawaii Kai then, it has been canceled this week due to the high south swells that we have been getting the past few days.

Confined Water Dives 3, 4 & 5

Yesterday I completed the PADI Divemaster Online course and am finishing up the last chapters in the Divemaster Manual this weekend. I’m not sure why I am required to do both the online course, and the knowledge reviews in the book since they are both the same course, but alright, whatever it takes to get it done.

I assisted with the last Confined Water training session for the Open Water Divers class at the MWR pool last night. Extra equipment was brought just in case, and sure enough it wasn’t needed. Equipment only seems to break when you don’t have replacements handy. This time I was able to get in the water to assist Michelle with the class instead of watching from the side of the pool.

Once the classroom portion of the training was completed the class was divided up into two separate classes with 8 students each for the pool sessions. Our class was down to just 5 students for tonights class, which would make the class go much quicker than Wednesday nights class did, or so I thought.

Some of the skills the students would work on tonight were the alternate air source ascents, controlled emergency swimming ascents (CESA), mask clearing, weight removal and replacement at the surface, and BCD removal and replacement underwater. Just before getting in we went over the procedures for the skills that we would be doing while the students were getting their gear ready and doing their buddy checks.

One of the students upon entering the deep end of the pool almost immediately gave the out of air signal and started heading back to the surface quickly. At first we were thinking “we’re not ready to do that skill yet”, but when Michelle reached the student she realized that the students dive buddy husband had mistakingly turned her air back off during the buddy checks. Apparently he had forgotten which way to turn the valve on the tank. I remembered once when a dive buddy of mine in my Open Water class back in January had done the same thing to me, and the panicked feeling that it quickly brought.

Along with supervising the students that the instructor was not working with at the time, I also demonstrated the Fin Pivot and Hovering skills to the students. While I watched them struggle through their skills tonight it reminded me of how I struggled with those very skills just a short four months ago, and now they seem like second nature to me.

After the pool session was completed we headed back to the Island Divers Hawaii dive shop on Scofield Barracks to rinse the gear and refill the scuba tanks that were used. We finally got out of there just past 11:00pm once again, and because of the late night again without eating dinner, I am fighting another migraine this morning.

The open water dives that were supposed to be held this weekend have been postponed until next Saturday and Sunday because the surf conditions were going to be too high for the shore dives that were planned. Unfortunately that means another whole week before I can get signed off on anything for my DMC training.

Confined Water Class Fiasco

Last night was the first night for the Confined Water skills portion of the PADI Open Water certification course that I have been assisting with this week for my Dive Master Candidate course. All in all everything went well. I showed up at the Scofield Barracks dive shop and loaded 20 scuba tanks for the 16 students while the instructors assisted them with getting their wetsuits, BCD’s, and weights, then we went over to the MWR pool a few miles north of the base where we would hold that nights class.

The students started off with their laps and other swimming skills before putting their wetsuits on for the scuba portion of the class. Once all of the swimming skills were completed I demonstrated the correct assembly and disassembly of their equipment and described each piece and what it does. Then the students were required to assemble and disassemble their own equipment three times.

While the students were assembling their equipment we found that an o-ring on one of their submersible pressure gauges had blown and we searched for a replacement for it. Luckily Davie, a female instructor recently added to the dive shop from Australia, had brought a backup regulator assembly and we were able to switch the student over to it.

Just as we got that student’s situation resolved another student found that they had a blown o-ring on their alternate air source. So once again we were scrambling around trying to find a resolution to the problem.

Unfortunately we could not find a replacement o-ring for the student so our only option was for me to disassemble my rig and let the student use my regulator assembly for the class, which meant that I could not be in the pool with them to assist with the class and demonstrate the regulator recovery and mask skills to them so that I could get signed off for my DMC requirements.

At the end of the class Michelle asked me if I would assist the students with disassembling their gear while she worked with one student that would not be able to attend class on Friday night, so while I helped everyone get their gear loaded back up for the trip back to the shop she worked with the last student completing confined water dives 3, 4 & 5 so that she would be ready for the open water dives with the rest of the class this weekend.

I have today off to prepare for the rest of the class starting tomorrow. I need to decide today if I am going to finish assisting with the class even though I won’t be credited for it, or if I will just skip it and wait two weeks for the next class to start. It’s a tough decision.

Dive 70

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 3 of 3

Time In:  13:28  Time Out:  14:13    Time:   :45

Dive Location: Sea Cave,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat / Drift  Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Mild Current    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 100′ +

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  77′    Average Depth: 46′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,840    End PSI: 472      Air/EANx:  35%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


After switching over the students scuba tanks and eating lunch we decided on doing a drift dive at Sea Cave. For a drift dive from the boat we would use a “negative entry” meaning that we would empty all the air out of our BCD’s and descend from the surface as quickly as possible so that the group is able to stay together.

After a site briefing on the boat and quickly checking the students to make sure their equipment was ready the captain maneuvered the boat into position for our entry. Once in position, everyone quickly entered the water one after another similar to paratroopers jumping out of a plane.

As we descended I looked around and counted that we had everyone in the group together then Nate headed toward the Sea Cave leading the group as I followed along behind. We reached the entrance of the Sea Cave at about 50′ and stopped for a moment to check the current patterns, then proceeded inside up to about 20′ depth at the back of the cave. Frequently we find the highly endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals playing around inside the cave and I was hoping we would find some on this trip, but unfortunately there were none to be found today.

We were able to find one of the area inhabitants that are rarely seen in the area though, a Dragon Moray Eel. Because people can sell them for a lot of money we don’t often see them so it was a treat to be able to see one today. I will try to check in on him on future dives here.

After checking out the Sea Cave for a few minutes we headed back out to continue our drift dive of the area.

Normally when I have dove this site as we leave the Sea Cave we always drift to the West along the wall, but todays currents were backwards so we drifted to the East along the wall at about 70′ deep for about another 20 minutes before we deployed a delayed surface marker buoy and started to slowly ascend and make our 3 minute safety stop at 15 feet.

Once surfaced we realized that the seas had changed over the last 45 minutes that we were down and it had become quite choppy on the surface. Once the boat had maneuvered back into position we all swam for the current line trailing behind the boat and made our way back up the ladder.

Unfortunately the only injury of the dive came while floating on the surface waiting to get back aboard the boat when I was stung on the back of my hand by a jelly fish because I had forgotten my gloves onboard when I was assisting the students and reading them for their entry. I am severely allergic to jelly fish and insect stings/bites so I was very concerned. I had no idea how good he got me so as soon as I was back on the boat I readied my EpiPen just in case I started having an anaphylactic reaction to the sting. My chest started tightening making it difficult to breath easily but it was still manageable so I held off on administering the shot and applied a hot compress to my hand which was temporarily partly paralyzed from the sting and continued to monitor my breathing and pulse rate.

About half an hour later my breathing improved as we headed back into shore and I started to be able to move my hand again. Since the feeling was coming back into my hand, unfortunately so was the searing pain which subsided after I kept applying hot compresses to it for the rest of the night along with taking a Vicodin for the pain and 10 Benadryl tablets to help stop the rest of the reaction from the sting.

If anyone was to get stung on the dive I am glad it was me and not one of the students or other customers that we had on the boat today, so all in all it was a good day.

Dive 69

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 2 of 3

Time In:  11:38  Time Out:  12:07    Time:   :29

Dive Location: YO-257 Wreck,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Mild Current    Wt:  16lbs

Visibility: 70-80′

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  95′    Average Depth: 56′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,800    End PSI: 730      Air/EANx:  34%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


On this dive I would be assisting Nate with the Wreck Adventure Dive for the Advanced Open Water certification class. While on our surface interval I switched over the students scuba tanks so they would be ready for the next dive. Again my job was to follow behind the group observing the students making sure they did not have any difficulties.

We descended onto to the YO-257 and briefly toured its deck. Since the Atlantis Submarine was not around right now, the current was mild, and the visibility was good we decided to venture over to the wreck of the San Pedro which lays next to the YO-257.

As Nate lead the group across the ocean bottom to the San Pedro I remained behind to make sure that all divers made it across between the ships safely . The Atlantis submarine tours back and forth between the shipwrecks so basically I acted like a crossing guard making sure the way was clear for the divers.

We toured the wreck of the San Pedro which is much more deteriorated than the YO-257 is and then swam back over to the YO-257. I could hear the Atlantis submarine in the area but could not see where it was at yet, so as we were crossing back over I kept looking for the Atlantis and making sure that no divers were left behind on the San Pedro.

Upon returning to the Yo-257 we began touring the openings that have been cut into its hull allowing the divers to swim through it for their first experience of penetrating a wreck. Since my penetration experiences during the Night Diver Specialty dives and the Wreck Diver Specialty dives I was able to do the penetrations without a problem. It also helped that I was able to keep my concentration on the students instead of what I was doing.

As we reached the mooring line and started our ascent the Atlantis submarine came into view  just off the starboard side of the YO-257. As it got closer to the side of the YO 2 advanced divers that were not staying with our group were coming out of the holes in the side of the YO and were surprised by the Atlantis which was about 20 feet from them. They stayed close to the ships side and ascended up to the rest of us on the mooring line.

We ascended up the mooring line and made a 3 minute safety stop at 15 feet before climbing back onto the boat for our surface interval and lunch before our third dive.

Dive 68

Date: May 5, 2013         Repetitive Dive: 1 of 3

Time In:  09:53  Time Out:  10:20    Time:   :27

Dive Location: Sea Tiger Wreck,  Oahu, HI.

Dive Shop:  Island Divers Hawaii

Purpose: DMC Practicals – Con Ed.

Dive Type:  Boat   Environ: Ocean / Salt

Conditions:  Very Slight Current    Wt:  20lbs

Visibility: 50-60′

Air Temp:  80° F  Btm. Temp:  77° F

Max Depth:  97′    Average Depth: 63′

Safety / Decompression Stops: 3 Min @ 15′

Start PSI: 2,790    End PSI: 747      Air/EANx:  32%

Exposure Protection: 5-Mil Full Wetsuit, Hood, Boots, Gloves

Equipment: 3cf Spare Air, 2 Dive Lights, Scuba Pro Jet Fins


This was my first dive for the practicals portion of my Dive Master course. Today I assisted Nate Jonson with the Deep, Wreck, and Drift Adventure Dives of an Advanced Open Water course for 2 students.

My job today started off with preparing and loading scuba tanks on the boat for a total of 15 divers, then selecting the wetsuits, BCD’s, regulators, computers, fins, and masks for the divers who did not bring their own with them. Actually this was the hardest part and most stressful of the day. I am so bad at guessing peoples equipment sizes based on their height and weight, especially with the females. I have been slapped too many times by females for guessing their weight incorrectly while growing up that I suppose I am “scarred” from the experiences.

With assistance from Nate I was able to get all of the divers gear ready for them before they arrived at the Island Divers Hawaii dive shop in Hawaii Kai, and all of the gear was the correct size for them.

Our first dive would be the Sea Tiger which was highly requested by several of the divers (not just me). I have been waiting since starting to dive in January for a chance to dive the Sea Tiger. We normally only do this dive location with our three tank dives on Sundays, so I have never had an opportunity to do this dive yet and I was excited for the chance. After an initial weight check at the surface and assisting a PADI Course Director who was visiting from the mainland with adding additional weights to her BCD we started our descent down to the Sea Tiger.

Since I was diving Nitrox today I could not descend all the way to the bottom which was about 120′ with Nate and the students. Instead I hovered above them at the deck of the Sea Tiger at 97′ while observing them go through their skills. Once they had completed the required skills for the deep dive they joined me on the deck for a tour of the ship. My job then was to follow along behind the group which was lead by Nate observing the students for possible hazards and making sure they did not have any problems on the dive.

After taking a tour around the Sea Tiger we started our ascent back up to the boat. At the mooring line I reminded the students to deflate their BCD’s for the ascent so that they would not be too buoyant while coming back up. At 15 feet we made a 3 minute safety stop and then surfaced and climbed back onto the boat without incident.

Because I was assisting with the class today as a DMC (Dive Master Candidate) I carried extra weights in my BCD pockets in case the students needed additional weights. I only carried 2 additional 2 pound weights, but I could really feel the difference as I was very overweighted.

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