If you’re the kind of person that goes stir crazy after a few days lying on a deck chair, then Divemaster training in Thailand could be the answer to your holiday woes. You will have plenty of time to spend on the beach but you will also keep you brain occupied, learn a myriad of new skills and make lasting friendships with people from all over the world.
Depending on current competency and qualifications, Divemaster training can be completed in as little as 3 weeks or as much as 3 months. It’s recommended that you take as much time as you can, enabling you to make the most of the learning opportunities and still getting a chance to soak up the sun. If you’re already a Rescue Diver then you can get started straight away, if you aren’t there are more courses you will need to complete, for more about those check out this article.
Becoming a Divemaster will put you on the first professional rung of the diving industry ladder. You will be able to take refresher courses and guide people who are already qualified at Open Water or above. Not to mention the fact that you can live on a beautiful island and dive every day while you do it, the lifestyle is a huge perk if you are considering this as a future career.
The Divemaster course is varied and challenging, you will spend time in the classroom, the pool and the ocean. You will learn about topics as varied as ocean ecology, physics, navigation and customer service. It’s also likely that you will spend time doing more specialised training in wrecks, deep conditions and using Nitrox.
So what does a day in the life of a Divemaster look like?
(Note: This is reasonably specific to the place where I did my training, many of them are similar but will all have their own idiosyncrasies and quirks)
If you have signed up for the morning boat you will be at the centre at 6am organising tanks, food and water for the trip. You will head out to the boats and the Captain will take you to the first of two dive sites. Over the course of the morning you will dive with your fellow trainees and you can practice your briefing, navigation and leading skills together. Access to diving will be unlimited so it’s an opportunity to build up your number of dives and practice integral skills like buoyancy. The boat will then get you back in time to sit in the school’s beachside restaurant and enjoy a delicious curry or soup for lunch.
Your afternoon might be spent in a classroom session, in the pool practising skills or perhaps you and some other trainees will take your scooters out to a bay and go snorkelling with some reef sharks. You might even sign up for the afternoon boat and do another 2 dives, this time you might be shadowing an instructor and assisting with their students. Whatever you choose you will be back on land by beer o’clock to enjoy a few drinks at the bar and dinner at a restaurant.
Thailand is a great destination for making your money work hard, it’s cheap and you can live well on what you do spend. A shared apartment will cost between 8-10,000THB a month and for 200THB per day you can eat well, a kilo of washing is just 60THB meaning you will never do your own laundry and hardly ever cook your own meals. The most expensive part is the extra technical and speciality courses you will want to do once you’ve caught the diving bug.
The beauty of this experience is you can make it your own. You don’t have to sign up for the morning boat if you’re anticipating a late night. Or you can do 4 dives in one day and go home to bed, the choice is yours. You might even take a weekend trip to Malaysia to renew your visitor’s visa. You have the freedom to set the pace and see the sun without letting your brain cells atrophy from lack of use. You will be surrounded by people with a sense of adventure and have the chance to do unlimited diving on some of the world’s best sites.