Published: October 10th 2008October 9th 2008
It may be hard to understand but travelling is hard work. We stay in a guesthouse for a few days, do our walking tour, see the sights (day and night, it’s usually different), eat the local food and sit back and see what the people do. Then we hit the road again, which can sometimes be a 16 hour journey. After 3 months of this we were tired, grumpy, and wanted a rest.
We decided to hit one of our favorite places, Phi Phi Don Island, Thailand. This will make our third visit here. After chilling out for a few days and getting back into the island groove of things, all was good again. If you remember, before we left I got a tattoo on my back. Well after searching around I decided to get another one. This time it was a dragon. Dragons are a good luck symbol in many cultures here in Asia; I figured it really couldn’t hurt to have a little good luck on my side. I decided to have it done the traditional way, by bamboo. After finding the artist I wanted to do it, the work began. Four sessions and fifteen hours later it
After letting the tattoo heal for a few days, I decided to get along with furthering my dive certifications. In Vietnam I got certified as a PADI rescue diver, I decided to keep going and take it to the professional level by becoming a divemaster. A divemaster is the person who guides you while on your dives. This involves a thorough knowledge of dive theory, equipment, physics, physiology, and environment. I had to complete my classroom time, a written section, a skills test, and make forty dives (all while be graded). On the day I finished my divemaster course, my course director said he thought I would make a good instructor. He said think it over because the Southeast Asia Instructor Development Course (IDC) would be starting in a week. Of course I fell for it. My relaxing time off had come to an end.
It began with becoming a certified Emergency First Responder and AED instructor. Then came fourteen days (8am-6pm) of classroom instruction with an even greater knowledge of the five areas mentioned above. The dive portion was supervised and graded by three course directors, all while your fellow candidates were playing the part
of the worst possible students ever, making every mistake ever made. You have to pass this IDC before you can be considered to take the Instructors Exam. Our course directors put us through a sort of boot camp.
After completing this phase we (six of us from South Africa, Australia, Germany, England and me) were ready to take our Instructors Exam (IE). We took a ferry to Phuket, Thailand where we met our fellow candidates from schools in China, Korea, and Malaysia. The examiners were flown in from Germany and Australia. We took a 100 question open book exam and a 75 question closed book exam on day 1. Day 2 was the confined water exam in pool and day 3 was open water (all while throwing different scenarios at you with the examiner hovering over us in the water grading us).
I am now a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor qualified to teach anywhere in the world as well as an Emergency First Responder Instructor (Adult, Child, Infant) and Automatic External Defibrillator instructor.
When I got back from testing, I was offered a job by the dive shop where I trained, “Barakuda Dive Shop”. I did
a couple of jobs for them and made a little money while I was at it. The guys I worked with were from all over the world; Australia, South Africa, England, Germany, Spain, Israel, Iran, and Sweden, I am the only one from the US. Hearing all these different accents and picking up some new phrases was really cool, no one could tell where I was from. It was a lot of fun and I got to dive one of the top 10 dive sites in the world every day and actually get paid for it. Well enough of this, we are off to Malaysia where I am going to Sipadan, Borneo and dive one of the top 5 dive sites in the world.
Enjoy the underwater photos they are from Lee Black who also worked on Phi Phi Island as a dive photographer.
There are more photos below