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Displaying items by tag: IDC thailand

So today is the day…

Excitement and tension are high, after the next 2 days of examinations I will finally be a Scuba diving instructor and doing what I really love to do from the bottom of my heart, Teaching others diving and introducing them to this world underwater which has been capturing me for all my life.

But stop, how did I even get here?!

So, this is me, Magdalena, 36 years old, from Frankfurt Germany and I have been dedicating the last 1,5 years to start my career path in diving.

      

In 2017 I went on 5 days liveaboard trip in Thailand to the Similan Islands and fell in love with the country on land and underwater. On the second day on the boat, after seeing me diving, briefing my buddy and talking about the fish we saw during the dives, the trip leader approached me asking, if I ever thought about turning my hobby/ passion to a professional job. Well, the idea has been swirling around in my head already, but I had my concerns and doubts. I was in my mid-thirties, having a good social network back home and working as a Financial Controller in the automotive industry making good money. During the next days, we had a lot of conversations and I found out that there were many similarities in our life stories and the doubts started to get less. Returning from Thailand back to my “old” life in Germany was hard. Knowing what is awaiting me just a 10 hours flight away. So I decided to make a “light” life change. I planned to spend the next season (7 months) in Thailand, doing my divemaster training and working afterwards. 7 months is not that long, and it made it easier to process for my friends & family. So, I saved up some money, quit my job and apartment, knowing I could come back to it after the sabbatical, and booked a flight to Thailand.

DM Training was not always easy. This job is both physical and psychological challenges. Being continuously on a boat for 5 days/nights, having only 24 hours off in between the trips and then helping out in the dive shop as well. Some guests need more attention than others and although they are on vacation, you are not. But there is the other side of being able to dive every day in this wonderful tropical ocean, showing the guests this underwater life they might not have experienced before, meeting different people from all over the world having the most interesting conversations and the family feeling you develop throughout the month bonding with the crew on board. After 3 months I knew already that this is what I want. Although I felt a little drained after the entire season of 7 months, it could not as much as I felt content. 5 weeks after returning to Germany I took my next dive job in Mauritius.

     

After 1 year working as a Divemaster, I applied for my second season in the Similan Islands with Khao Lak Scuba Adventures as they could offer me to do the Instructor Development Course there as well. I arrived 3 days before the course starts and which I used to acclimatize to the tropic temperatures and the time zone change (6 hours ahead of German time).

The 14 days of the IDC were like a rollercoaster ride. A lot of highs and lows. Together with 8 other students, we studied, we laughed, we helped each other with the presentation in and out of the water and the bond we made, will stay for always special.

The diving skills I’ve learned in my DM time were profound, so I used the time to concentrate on my teaching skills. My Course Director, Mark Soworka, made sure we not just only passed our Instructor Exam, no, his focus was on becoming good dive instructors. He showed us, how to involve our future students in their learning process.

And here I am now on my Instructor Examination Day and guess what, I passed. 

And this is now my life as a PADI dive instructor at Khao Lak Scuba Adventures.

Diving…

Teaching…

  

Entertaining and enjoying...

   


 To know more about or various courses and packages, write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To browse through all IDCs of 2020, click here - https://www.dive-careers.com/idc-dates-2020

Our contact details - https://www.dive-careers.com/contact-us

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Almost eight months ago, I decided to give a pivot to my diving career and pursue my path as a Cruise Director. I became a diver back in 2012, worked as a researcher on coral nurseries and as a dive instructor for 4 years, but I had never experienced a liveaboard before, either as a guest nor as an employee. That being said, I chose the Similan Islands as my destination for doing so and during a holiday trip came to a little town, Khao Lak, in Thailand and signed up for the Trip Leader (Cruise Director) internship with the Manta Queen Fleet.

Everything started at the beginning of February in the middle of the high season. I was the newest one within a team of 50 people (awkward feeling) and  I was told that I would be trained by Joe (the trip leader) on Manta Queen 3 (the boat). It meant nothing to me then but means a lot now that I've finished my official training and have joined a few more trips. So, I’ve compiled a list of reasons on what made me change my mind and why you should consider MQ3 if you are thinking of enrolling in Cruise Director training.

 

       

 

   

 

Before you read any further,  I'm going to give you a bit of background. Joe's a guy from the USA who has done this liveaboard for 8 seasons and who has been the Cruise Director of MQ3 for the last 7 years. Meaning, he has lots of experience in the diving/liveaboard industry and he knows the boat, the company and the dive sites well.

1. Get you involved

Since the very first moment you'll shadow either Joe or Lud (the assistant on board), they, rather than tell you what, when, and how to run the boat, will get you as involved as possible in the daily routine of the trip. They show how to approach people, what factors to consider when making the diving groups, what to check when to do complete certain tasks. You will also witness how to deal with many different situations on the boat. You should pay attention and absorb as much as you can. 

2. Organization and Efficiency

As a trip leader, you will deal with at least 20 guests at the same time, different nationalities and therefore languages, ages and cultures. You have to be sure that whatever needs to be done, actually gets done on time (paperwork, payment, equipment, insurances, luggage, organizing courses, arrange transfers, etc, etc, etc). On this boat, you'll see an efficient, functional and organized way to do it.

3. Priorities: find below the main ones I've learnt.

- Safety first. One of the first things that Joe teaches you and goes over and over again is safety. You'll learn about liferafts, how to deal with issues underwater, diving emergencies, evacuations, dive profiles and the list goes on and on.

- Organization and planning: even though the dive sites and daily schedule are kind of fixed the final decision is not always as simple as following that plan. You will be taught about evaluating weather conditions, daylight time, currents, travel time to get to dive sites, different requirements during the same dive. You get to know that leading a trip is much more than sorting divers on the dive deck, making groups and briefings and welcoming people (Just in case that you're wondering, yes, you'll also get to practice/do them).

- Delegate: Your job as Cruise Director is to be sure that everything gets done properly, not to do everything yourself (better to have a good and prepared team). 

4. Learn, re-learn or refresh your knowledge.

There is no option of being a dive staff on MQ3 and staying out of the team teaching sessions, regardless of your position or how many times you've been on board. Any topic can be the subject of discussion, if you have no clue about it, you will learn, if you think/say you know, you'll be challenged, so, if you actually do know you'll reinforce your knowledge or get new ideas from the other members of the team. If you don't, no worries, you'll remember during the sessions and refresh what you think you knew. Even though it sucks to face the fact that you don't remember what you should/used to, It's great to refresh your knowledge. How much might you learn? Well, that's up to you. The doors are always open to ask, discuss or practice, you just have to call it. Joe, Lud or any other dive instructor on board will show, explain, help you out and get you involved in the dynamics of the boat, dive sites or whatever you want/need to know.

5. Last but not least, fun! An amazing team, laughing, jokes, great dives, monopoly, sunsets and sunrises, mantas, whale sharks and heaps of marine life, among others, create a great vibe on board of MQ3.

So, I have no reference to compare and I don't need it, I have no doubts about the quality of my training, I'm happy I got trained on MQ3 by its experienced team and I appreciate their time, effort and interest on making this happen.


 

To know more about or various courses and packages, write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To browse through all IDCs of 2020, click here - https://www.dive-careers.com/idc-dates-2020

Our contact details - https://www.dive-careers.com/contact-us

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1. The Island Life

Koh Tao – meaning "turtle island” is truly a premier destination for it’s beauty both above and below the sea. This tropical paradise consists of beautiful peaks with breathtaking views surrounded by pristine white sand beaches. Since being “discovered” as a travel destination in the 80s the island has attracted those seeking the tropical life from all over the world. Our community here has brought their food, passions and cultures with them. There is always something new to try with restaurants from every continent, new beaches to discover and adventures from rock-climbing to kitesurfing available year-round. 

2. Incredible Diving

Our island is, of course, best known for diving. With dive sites for every level of experience, there is constant opportunity to advance your diving experience. Situated in a marine protected area and with a concerted movement of conservation across the island’s dive community our beautiful dive sites are flourishing. The highlight of Koh Tao diving is the stunning whale sharks, along with other species of shark, turtles and huge schools of fish.  With crystal clear water and great diving conditions year-round it is always a great time to come join us.

3. The Best Training

With the quality and breadth of diving available, top divers from around the world have congregated here and are ready to share their knowledge with you. Whatever your interests maybe we can put you in touch with programs to help you grow as a professional diver. Tec diving or freediving courses are available to help take you deeper and longer underwater. World-class photographers can teach you all you need to know to record amazing moments. Almost every major equipment supplier is present on the island to help you service or learn to service and repair equipment (they’re even happy to give you a discount on any new gear you may wish to purchase!). For the conservationists, there are many programs involved in cleaning, monitoring and rehabilitating our underwater world. Whatever your interest may be, Koh Tao is waiting for you.

 

4. The Dive Careers Difference

Headed by the world’s most experienced Course Director Mark Soworka, there is no better place to jump-start your diving career. Dive Careers are the largest professional training network in diving, organizing professionally in diving hubs across four continents. Koh Tao is the home of our network where you will get quality personal instruction as well as access to our entire organization of dive professionals. No matter where diving takes you, the Dive Careers family will be there for you with advice and employment assistance.

5. A Life-Changing Experience

If you’re ready to get away from the 9-5 grind and pursue your dreams there is no time like the present. The opportunities within diving are nearly endless. Spend your days in a tropical paradise surrounded by like-minded people with a shared passion and commitment to diving excellence. Along the way, you will gain lifelong friends and mentors. We can’t wait to have you join us.

 

To find out how to, contact us at markThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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For more than ten years since her own IDC, Dive-Careers has worked with Marie-Lise Roux, right through to her becoming one of the most successful PADI Platinum Course Directors in the world.  After more than a decade of great successes working together, Marie now embarks up on a new chapter with her partner Arnaud to start a family.  Seems the perfect opportunity for us to take a look at the highlights and mishaps of Marie’s career over the past decade from Divemaster, dive shop owner, PADI instructor through to Course Director, from Egypt, to Thailand and onto Indonesia and Sri Lanka.  Such a wonderful career to recap with a few photos and a couple of stories.

 

I first met Marie at Buddha Bar when her then partner, Bas convinced her to come to Koh Tao for the IDC.  We had just had a Dutch speaking instructor leave, so there was an opening at Buddha View, Koh Tao for Bas to go straight into the team.  Both Bas and Marie fitted in great right from the beginning.

Marie and Bas had come from Egypt.  There they had met.  Bas was doing his diver training and Marie, as a divemaster, had opened a shop with her Egyptian husband.  This is sounding like a timeline of Marie’s relationships and not about her career as a diver.  Not meant to be that, but I guess relationships have also followed her career around the world.  Anyway, Bas swept her off her feet, probably with a bottle of vodka, and they left to get married on the shores of South Africa, a destination they would return to as Course Directors for Dive-Careers a decade later. 

 

 

Marie found work straight after her IDC on Koh Tao with Coral Grand and later came back to work with Dive-Careers and Buddha View.  Not only bringing a second language with French and a great personality but also a strong marketing acumen, she quickly made for herself a successful career as a dive instructor.  She has always done very well with getting people eager about dive courses right from open water through to the IDC.  Whether communicating on email or in person, that passion and enthusiasm she feels towards the dive industry is clear. This is why I pushed her towards Course Director and wanted her working with me. 

Marie started off as a Course Director with Dive-Careers on Koh Tao in 2015.  After so many years on Koh Tao, she had such a great base of friends and social network that guaranteed her successful IDCs on Koh Tao right from the beginning.  Her IDCs have always been fun and a great social atmosphere.  It is even how she met her now partner and father of their soon-to-be child.  Obviously very sociable events. 

I have relied on Marie for so much, from making sense of my accounts, keeping Bas in line and keeping up with the emails, through to being called out of bed in the middle of the night and told to find a way to Bunaken to start an instructor course the next day when I have been stuck at a border with passport problems. No complaints, maybe a quick snipe at my organisation abilities, and then she would just buckle down and get it done.  Turned up the next morning, half a world away and got the IDC completed.

The last couple of years Marie has been based on Indonesia where she has made many new friends and reunited with many old friends in the dive community.  She has also been conducting the IDCs in Sri Lanka for Dive-Careers and Poseidon Dive Station where she has developed the respect and admiration of the local diving community.  That great sense of community has always been so strong with Marie.

 

 

  

She has been a great asset to Dive-Careers and she has been an excellent mentor to so many of you.  Of course, we wish her the best with this new path as a mother.  But of course we wish to find a way to keep her part of the team, to keep her working with us and in touch with all of you.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will stay an active email.  She will be working at home from Canada helping out that Dive-Careers community and finding new members.  And maybe soon, especially as that cold Canadian winter starts to bite, we might just be able to tempt her back to Asia for an IDC or it might just be time to expand to Dive-Careers Americas?

 

 

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