No Pictures Just a Rant

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May 10th 2006
Published: May 12th 2006
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Well it’s been over a year since I started my blog and I am pretty proud that I have kept it up I am not sure what the future is going to bring as Cairns seemed like the ideal place to start my entry into the diving industry but after my experience the other day here I am still looking for work. So what was so bad I hear you ask well hang I will tell…….Well after using my amazing charm I managed to secure myself a three day trial with a local dive operator whom I can tell you are huge turning over about 7000 Open Water Students a year besides everything else.

Day One I was on the boat and scheduled for I don’t know what but they decided in the end that the best use for me was sorting out fins and masks for snorkellers and then standing on the snorkel deck all day: no big problem with that I can see they were testing me ok boat comes back to the dock and I am assigned to clean all the toilets: no problem again testing me “ok yeah I would love to do that” over the top enthusiasm. So all in all the first day was great the crew made it all worth while excellent people.

Day Two I am told to go to the shop instead “oh dear I am thinking what did I do wrong” no problems Bruce we want you to see you in the classroom and the pool environment. Ok that means I must have done the boast duties fine I guess. So the classroom is going pretty well not all lot you can get wrong or teach wrongly except nobody has had a book before class. So with the 3 knowledge reviews done we head to the pool. I am feeling ok at this point but it all starts going horribly wrong now……….Class are all lined up and told to copy the instructor who is demonstrating to 16 people how to put his kit together!!
Ok that’s a bit weird I am thinking but ok “Ok Bruce can you get them all a weight belt get them kitted up show them the buddy checks and get them in the water” Now I am seriously thinking is this guy being honest or is he testing to see how stupid I am no he is deadly serious “bloody hell I am thinking this does not go down like this in Mermaids”.

So off into the water and we go all 16 of them and the instructor and myself. “First thing we are going to do is all put our heads under the water and breathe” the instructor shouts to 16 people. What followed was a catalogue of standards and practises being broken.
So the Instructor is briefing everyone and I am demonstrating the skills to 16 people at once and I know they can all not see me especially in this leaf infested pool. So after feeling a bit uncomfortable demonstrating fin pivots on Confined Dive 2 without doing some of the actual skills that were actually needed for Dive’s 1 and 2 I was told to perform skills from Confined Dive 3. I was pretty sure I knew things were not right but I trusted the huge reputation this place and the four multi million dollar yachts blah blah blah that they trade off. It just shows you can have all the bells and whistles for a company and be let down by one individual who has become frustrated with the job or the sport they once had as a hobby

I decided that I would see the day out get my slates and confront the Course Director of the school the next day and tell him to poke his job. So that’s exactly what I did I went in told him about all the problems that I had seen and told him that I was not comfortable working for a dive operation that trained its students in this manner.

I ended up feeling that students trained in this manner are never going to want to either get back in the water after passing their Open water or they would just not have the confidence to seek the advice of another PADI professional as they may feel like they were going to get treated the same way as they did in Cairns. This is not to say they are all like this here but if this was anything to go by then I will wait with baited breath

Once again I was reminded of what a superb place Mermaids Dive School is in Pattaya, Thailand and if you are thinking of doing an Open water course go there on your way through to Cairns and enjoy the barrier reef with the confidence that you have been trained in the most professional manner in Thailand.

Apart from that there is little to offer in the way of gossip or news apart from on Tuesday 16th May I am going on the TAKA live aboard boat for free and I can dive twice a day the catch I am going to be the cleaner and general skivy for the three days it is at sea but I am saving myself $650 doing this so it’s a good deal.


12th May 2006

Mermaids and reality
I knew we were living in a dream world there. Look at the name. Mermaids - they don't exist! Did the course director have anything to say or is that just the way they do it?
12th May 2006

Ah Shite
So sorry to hear your first teaching experience outside of Mermaids wasn't all you had hoped. Hang in there and keep up those high standards and you will soon be at the top of your game. Just remember Mermaids isn't the real world.
12th May 2006

I think you should.........
Just go back to Thailand Bruce and I'll meet you there! LOL! You know you want too!!!
12th May 2006

Hello mate, Good to hear things r going well 4 u!!!!! hope u find something better then that in those parts. Sure things will b all good, speak soon.
12th May 2006

Bruce "the Head Cleaner" Ritchie
Bruce we all know you love cleaning toliets... thats why Mermaids toliets were always CLEAN! thanks bruce
13th May 2006

Standards Shmandards
Did you get all up in his grill, B??? They don't call the boats going out of Cairns 'Cattle Boats' for nothing. It could be worse you could be in Chicago and seeing your breath because it's so friggin cold or maybe that's the liquor vapor-not sure. Hang in there B, keep 'living the dream'. Have fun on the live aboard, want to hear about that.
13th May 2006

tryed and tested
hi bruce sorry to here about your diving in oz.head up to port douglas and check out a boat called the calypso thats who i dived with ,a very professional boat,and all round good egg! keep up the blogs
13th May 2006

Hello mate Can I copy and paste some of this stuff and use it? Harv
17th May 2006

Burce, now you know why I
try not to dive with civilian-trained folks - or at least only make the most basic dives (i.e. I can surface with someone in tow on one breath). You just never know what you're getting when you dive with a stranger. This is one reason why, while buddy diving was ingrained in me from my initial military training, I can't argue against solo-diver certifications. Keep your to your standards: the first time you compromise and a student subsequently gets injured or killed you will stop sleeping well at night. Imua!

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