On December 12, 13, and 14th, 2014, I began my dive master training with Blue Horizons Dive Center in Glen Mills, PA. By gaining this certification, I will be able to lead other certified divers on local diving excursions and build my confidence in supervising interns who dive with the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership as part of research projects. Successfully earning this certification will also bring me one step closer to getting an instructor certification which means we could provide dive training opportunities as part of our programming on Hurricane Island.
To earn the Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) dive master certification, an individual must complete timed waterskill exercises and challenges; master underwater demonstration-quality skills including how to conduct a diver rescue, how to complete the 24 skills in the basic open water skills circuit (e.g. partial and full mask clearing, swimming without a mask), and how to accomplish practical skills (e.g. dive site setup and management, mapping a dive site, giving a dive briefing, and executing a search and recovery scenario); demonstrate they can teach workshops including SCUBA Review in confined water, skin diver course and snorkeling supervision, discover scuba program in confined water, and discover local diving in open water; complete practical assessments in working with open water diver students in confined and open water, continuing education students divers in open water, and certified divers in open water; and demonstrate their knowledge with a final exam. Finally, dive master candidates are also evaluated on their professionalism.
In the video, I was in the midst of working through my first skill circuit as part of my dive master training. I definitely have a lot to learn and improve upon. For example, I'm not always using the correct hand signals and I don't quite have a great handle on my buoyancy which is an extremely important component of diving to limit damage to the marine environment. Going forward, I am excited to continue to improve upon the skill circuit and increase my comfort level with teaching scuba skills rather than just practicing them while conducting dives for the scallop project. Stay tuned next month for more updates about my progress!