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Countdown to Instructor Examination

Preparation for the PADI IDC on Seaventures Dive Rig with Divemaster Jocelyn Hoon.

Eleven more days. Just eleven. The countdown to instructor examination has begun. Theories. Formulas. Test papers. Manuals. Tables. Workbooks. Slates. Digital Dive Planner. Underwater Skills. Presentations are we really ready for this?

For many years, some of us have been building a career in the diving industry as dive masters – where we learnt much about scuba diving, our local environment, safe diving practices, and also, how to make our customers happy. Most of the time, we get experienced divers here on the rig but sometimes, we do receive some who may require a little more attention underwater.

‘Come over here please’, you gesture…

‘Inflate your BCD’..

‘Relax, control your breathing’…

‘Time for our safety stop’..

‘Look up before you surface’…

Divemaster Jocelyn Hoon Seaventures Dive Rig Sipadan

What is the PADI IDC really? It is an Instructor Development Course meant for those who are PADI Divemaster levels and above, who would like to pursue the next level of scuba diving: teaching scuba courses. For every IDC, there will need to be candidates, a Course Director, his/her assistant(s) and an Examiner.

Our course director (or CD) is a local with many years of experience under his belt. In preparation for us to become PADI scuba dive instructors, he had decided to begin the IDC in 2 parts – the first – for us to know what would be in store for us (an introduction & prelude to the IDC), and the second – more theory, more practical, and confined water skills which we dearly hoped would prepare us for the final exam. So far, so good.

So, what exactly did we do?

Much of the first part of the IDC was spent in the classroom – going through some theory we may have forgotten from the past and a few days later, some basic underwater skills presentations. A few of these included memorising formulas but also, a good understanding of the factors that revolve around scuba diving. Imagine questions like What is the partial pressure of nitrogen at 50 meters of sea water? or Diving accident victims should be?

When we are not holed up in the classroom during the daytime, we spent our evenings going through past quiz papers by ourselves – we were literally scratching our heads at the way the questions were written, working hard to eliminate the information that was put there to mislead us and going Aahhhhh.. at the end once we finally had them figured out. Fortunately, once we had the ball rolling, it got a little bit easier for us. Bear in mind, some of us were living apart and had conflicting diving duty schedules – which meant we sometimes had to call each other up or knock on each others door if we ever needed any help

The practical bit was easier on all of us – easier because we spent most of our days underwater, so we were at least well accustomed to the local environment and scuba equipment. The situation however, was a different thing. We were accustomed to performing the skills by ourselves and sometimes, as a reminder to experienced divers but rarely ever to new divers (unless of course, we were assigned to assist on any such courses with a certified instructor).

A short boat ride to a nearby shallow dive site started off quite well. We had to search for an area in which we could all stand but must be deep enough for us to kneel with our heads fully submerged. A first back roll off the boat by my friend/co-worker resulted in hilarious laughter – he was a big guy and had touched the sandy bottom upon water entry and no matter what size or weight the rest of us were, none of us could perform a successful back roll. It was a light moment that lifted the seriousness during the IDC preparation, and a very well received one :)

Laughter aside, we turned to focus on the confined water skill presentation. For this part of the IDC, it would involve a little role playing:-\

1 IDC candidate to pose as instructor

1 CD + 1 IDC candidate to pose as students

1 IDC candidate to pose as a certified assistant to the instructor

1 IDCS candidate to observe and do the scoring

In total, there were 5 of us (all candidates are Seaventures staff).

Holding slates which were meant to assist us when we teach a course, none of us wanted to go first. We felt unsure, second guessing if we were doing it right, and also weary of the problem the students may encounter during the underwater skill. It was a bit tricky when you were trying to spot the problem, and was a test at how best to react at that time but overall, our CD certainly think that we did alright :)

Which brings us back to the question: are we really ready for this? Perhaps we are.

Seaventures Dive Rig PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) is from the 8-19th June 2017. For more updates with photos, follow us on our Facebookpage