Having officially started the Divemaster Scholarship a few weeks ago, the main priority has been on learning the roles and responsibilities expected of us over the summer. The generic tasks are quite simple but keep us relatively busy; filling cylinders, maintaining the assortment of BCD’s and regulators, bubble testing the dry suits, checking the first aid kits and oxygen provisions, helping with the HUET, and cleaning the changing rooms…

When not in the kit room we may be providing surface cover on poolside and up at the lake, or sorting training equipment and paperwork in the classrooms. And when we manage to get the weeks tasks completed nice and early, you can find us up at the lake diving

As an existing Rescue Diver with a reasonable number of dives logged, and having completed a HSE Medical, I’ve been able to assist courses as a safety diver. To date, these have included two Open Water courses, two Drysuit speciality’s, an Underwater Photography speciality, and a 1-2-1 session in the lake. I have also been present for numerous Discover Scuba Diving, Refresher, Bubble, and Aquanauts sessions, all of which have been in the swimming pool. Whilst I’m busy in the water, the others have spent their time acting as surface cover or, when not needed elsewhere, getting their dives in. As we continue our training, and enjoying the facilities on offer at Andark, we should all soon be up to the same level of Rescue Diver with plenty of dives in our logbooks.

Assisting with courses both in and out of the water has already allowed me to learn from a variety of instructors as they each display differing methods of interacting with students. Of course, they all meet the required PADI Standards, but I’ve learnt that there isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ way to instruct, and it is clear that some things are taught a specific way because that is simply the best method for instruction. And on the odd occasion that I have questions regarding why instructors taught something a certain way, they are always more than happy to explain their process. The exposure to these different methods of teaching have been useful in expanding my own knowledge base which will come in handy when looking to my future career as a PADI Professional.

As the summer continues, more direct instruction in the Divemaster programme will be introduced regularly. The first of the tests have already begun, with the swim tests. While all of us did well, we each have definite areas for improvement, and we shall work to attain the highest scores in the weeks to come. Two of us have also passed our Divemaster exams, both attaining scores higher than we expected, and the other two are deep into their exam preparation study and will soon sit the exams themsleves. And as more of the tests are introduced, covering a greater range of the diving profession, I am sure that we will help each other develop any weaknesses that we currently have.

Finally, having now been here for a few weeks, I think we have all settled in nicely. We have grown closer as a group, but also have become more friendly with a range of the regular faces we see on a daily and weekly basis. We have accustomed to ways of working and moving forward things will naturally become second nature as we continue to find our place within the Andark team.

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