Advanced Open Water - check.
Enriched Air Diver - check.
Rescue Diver - check.
Dive Master - CHA-CHECK!
After eighty or ninety dives, many hours in the pool, long afternoons on the boat, too many early morning zombie walks to the dive shop, and more than a few nights out, the Dive Master program at Crystal Divers on Koh Tao has been completed. It took just about four weeks (6 counting sick days and a visa run) and there were only a handful of days that were so arduous I want to forget about them for eternity.
A brief outline of the requirements to achieve such a "prestigious" (their words) title :
- Water skills - float, swims, tows, swap gear, etc
- Diver Rescue - Still a personal favourite, though I hope I never have to perform on an actual victim. This is the process where you bring someone who is not responding up to the surface from depth. Diagnose their condition, provide rescue breaths while you tow them to the boat and then carry them up the ladder to administer first response care. In reality you'll probably just watch them die but in a perfect scenario they regain consciousness. In a medium happy world, the patient is handed over EMS and recovers in their care.
- Literacy - yes, the capacity to read and comprehend
- Demonstrate Skills - We all know I have a copious amount of skills to demonstrate but this pertains to those required for open water courses.
- Map a Dive Site - go underwater with a slate, pencil, and compass to draw what you see
- Show Patience - This includes demonstrating the ability to be treated like a child even though you have lived on your own for years and managed to navigate the globe
- Lead a Dive - In a nutshell, get a bunch of schmucks together, tell them what you are about to do, proceed to do it safely, return and then talk about all the fun you had.
I'm glad to have done it and I'm glad that it's done. As equipped as I am to complete a very high level of dive activity I still only consider it a springboard to other opportunities. So here's to the future, Cheers!
Please don't kick the coral. Thanks to Heather for the underwater pictures. Hello Turkey.