From Dive Master to Dive Instructor
I have lived in the Virgin Islands for about a year now. My hardest month by far is has to be September. That is when the most activities happened. I took my PADI Instructor course during that month. When you take the PADI Instructor course most of your time is dedicated to only that. That meant I had to take off from work for two weeks. If you have never been down here, the cost of living can be expensive. Luckily though I was living with my girlfriend and instructor Claudia. She understood the fact that I would be work and that I may be strapped for money. Dinner and snacks were always on her. She was very good to me. With that set next came the actual course. I felt like a kid on the first day of school again. Luckily though one of my co-workers, Austin, also was taking the class. It is always good to have a friend with you, at least to eat lunch with.
The world is a small place. This is how small it is. Once I sat down, the Course Director had us introduce ourselves. The guy next to me said he was from New York, where I am from. At our first break I asked him where in New York. We got to talking and found out that we not only were both from New York, but went to the same college at the same time. We were both also in Greek organizations and possibly knew each other.
After all the intros, it was nine full days of presentations and demonstrations. It was all in preparation for two days of final exams from an examiner, who was flown in from PADI Headquarters. The test had four parts. First was two different exams. One was all theory of diving. The second was all PADI procedures. Everyone felt that that was the hardest part. Most likely because we were trained well in the other aspects. Next came teaching presentations. We had about an hour to prepare. When we did these some of us had to do the presentation with just the examiner there. With just one man in the room it can be stressful.
That was day one. On day two we started with confined water work. This is the practice pool skills, but we had to pretend we were demonstrating them. Each person was given two skills and had to preform them and get a score of 3.5 or better. Then we were in the open water preforming two different skills and trying to get the same skills.
Once it was over the instructor gave everyone their scores on the boat on the way home. And we all passed. As soon as we got back we celebrated and got our awards. It was a stressful two weeks, but now Cruz Bay Watersports has two new instructors. The two of us are waiting for you to come down and try your diving experience with us.