Monday, 9 May 2016

STRESS TEST

April 28th was D Day.  Online dictionaries define D Day as “the day on which an important operation is to begin or a change to take effect.”  D Day for the DMTs means the equipment exchange and stress test.  It’s the last day of the course and a good way to end on a high note.  I thoroughly enjoy it for many reasons, but mainly because (i) I am in charge and (ii) I am really good at giving orders…..

After consulting the Instructor Manual for the rules and grading criteria for completing the equipment exchange, I gave the group a few minutes to powwow aka create an action plan (see the photo below).  PADI lists the equipment exchange as:

“In confined water, demonstrate the ability to effectively respond to an unusual circumstance underwater by exchanging all scuba equipment (except exposure suits and weights) with a buddy while sharing a single regulator second stage...”



We even had paparazzi underwater.  One of our guests volunteered to take photos of us throughout the morning.  After a fun morning underwater, we took apart our equipment and rinsed the sand out of our hair, bodies, and kit.

The snorkel test took place on the 30th where Scuba Junkie proudly welcomed 6 new divemasters to the professional world.  Sadly, both Daniel and Peter left us the next day.  The girls (Katrine, Moa, Sara, and Shantha) signed up for the 6 week Eco course.  They are currently working on the finishing the Reef Check course, shadowing divemasters, and going on boats.

Pssst, whalesharks have been sighted recently!  If you have any questions about our DMT program, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Congratulations to Daniel, Moa, Shantha, Sara, Katrine, and Peter!  We hope to see y’all underwater soon!



DMT CONDUCTED PROGRAMS

Toward the end of the month, we focused on the DM conducted programs.  These programs include:

     *ReActivate, which is a program designed to refresh water skills and scuba knowledge when a person hasn’t dived in a while;

     *DSD diving, which is a program designed for people who want to experience diving without completing the open water course;

     *Discover Local Diving, which is a program designed to introduce people to a new diving area; 

     *Skin Diving/Snorkeling

I divided the candidates into two groups of three again.  While I was working with one group, the other group shadowed different instructors on a variety of scuba courses and divemasters leading fun dives.  After five days, we switched.

The first five days I had Daniel, Shantha, and Sara practicing their briefings and guiding.  Below is a photo of the team taking a break on the jetty.



Here is a silly photo of Daniel, Sara, and Katrine practicing their buddy checks.



The last five days of the course, I worked with Peter, Moa, and Katrine.  Here’s a photo of them right before a debrief.




It was great fun working with so many different personalities on the course.  As with anything, each person has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.  For instance, some people are stronger at briefings while others have stronger underwater skills.  What made this month really special was how everybody helped each other out.  It was awesome watching my scuba babies grow as divers!


MAPPING PROJECT

After a week of paperwork and lectures and just being INSIDE the classroom, the divemaster candidates finally made it to the water to tackle the mapping project.  The group split up into two teams of three people.  They practiced skin diving techniques, measuring distances with fin kicks, navigating around Awas and the House Reef with a compass and using natural features, and learning how to plan and work together as a team.  Take a look at the photos below.  




Daniel, Shantha, and Sara drew a map complete with very colorful pictures of each of the structures.  Peter, Moa, and Katrine produced a PIRATE’s treasure map.  Both groups displayed such creativity in their efforts.  It’s been really amazing to see them grow as divers and as friends!


DMT BLOG

It’s the time of the month. Without further ado, I would like to introduce the April divemaster candidates:

KATRINE
Hi, I am Katrine, a Belgian girl living in Malaysia, who loves diving!  I love it so much that almost every “long time off”, I come to this amazing island to dive with Scuba Junkie.  I can never get enough of it!  The combination of always wanting to be under the surface and my curiosity to learn made doing my DMT the next logical step.  I did all my other courses here at Scuba Junkie, so I signed up for the 6 week Eco DMT program.

DANIEL
My name is Daniel, and I am from Spain.  As a child, I always loved snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea.  In 2011, while I was studying biology at university, I decided to go deeper by taking my OW [open water] course.  Since then, I cannot stop diving, and I have fallen even more in love with the underwater world.  Completing my DMT course while enjoying the beauty of the Coral Triangle’s biodiversity is a dream come true.

MOA
Becoming a divemaster has always been a dream of mine.  When I came to Scuba Junkie six weeks ago, I realised that enrolling in the course was something I could actually do.  So now I am back in Semporna and Mabul fulfilling my dream.  I can’t wait until I am able to guide divers in this awesome underwater world.

PETER
Why do I want to be a divemaster? Why NOT?
We’er only here once.
Live what you love doing.
Soak up the sun while it shines.
Drink a beer while it’s cold.
Escape the concrete greys.
Walk amongst the tall greens.
Swim in the deep blue.

SHANTHA
Although I was first certified as a scuba diver 20 years ago, I didn’t find many diving opportunities in Colorado, USA, where I grew up.  When I quit my job as a surgical technician 2 years ago and began traveling the world, I realised that I had the chance to start diving again.  I fell in love with diving all over again and have been diving and traveling ever since.  I am hoping that I will be able to travel to many more countries as a divemaster, which will enable me to see even more of the world – both above and below the surface of the sea!

SARA

I am Sara, a Swede living in Melbourne, Australia.  I have been fascinated by the underwater world for many years.  More recently, I have started to enjoy capturing macro shots with my camera, so that I can show my non-diver friends how amazing this underwater world is!  I am doing the DMT course because I want to learn more, challenge myself, and see if this industry could be for me.  I miss my coffees, aerial yoga, and being able to make cakes whenever I want, but Mabul, diving, and the DMT course is making it all well worth it.


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

SHARK WEEK!!!

It's that time again! We are in the middle of our Shark Week! A week dedicated to our beloved friends in the ocean. During this week we can highlight the dangers that face these graceful creatures, inform guests and the local community about sharks, and share what can be done to help them.

So far, along with Green Semporna we have worked with the local kids and the Kolej Komuniti, teaching them about shark conservation and biology, and why they are so important to the ocean ecosystem. There have been Presentations given by our environmental officer Dave, and a few of Scuba Zoo photographers/videographers, Bertie and Jason. A fund raising Pub Quiz as well as multiple beach cleans. 


Shark conservation is Crucial to the health of our oceans. Lets protect these animals from extiction!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

DMT Update

After 4 Weeks of Training in Theorie, In water Skills, Mapping, Deep Diving, Search and recovery,  and lots of assisting in Courses from Discover Scuba Diving to Rescue Diver Course our latest 4 Dive Masters have finished the Course by way of the Snorkel Test and are now part of the Family here at Scuba Junkie and PADI Worldwide!


Well done guys and Girl and all the best for your Future as PADI Dive masters!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Month of March 2016 sees 4 New DMT Candidates from 3 Countries

DMT UPDATE

The Month of March 2016 sees  4 new DMT candidates from 3 Countries, Netherlands, Germany and Malaysia.



Uli
I have done my Open Water Course with Scuba Junkie in 2011. After I did most of my Fun diving around Mabul and Kapali with Scuba Junkie. Since I am fascinated by the Underwater world, I made the decision to become a Diving Instructor, so I can show the beautiful world under the Surface to many more ppl! I hope to be able to change the behaviour of ppl so they take more care about our Oceans. To be a Diving Instructor is my biggest wish to give my Life another challenge and meaning. The Diving is still the most fascinating thing in my Life as I get to see something new every day!


Marcel
Because of the programs I saw on TV of Jacques Cousteau I started diving in 1978 and from the start I loved it. Unfortunately I had to stop diving because I couldn’t afford to buy my own Equipment back then.                                                                                                                                                            Only 4 Years ago I had the chance to start over again with diving after we ended up in Koh Tao. From the first second in the Water the feeling was perfect and after that Holiday our way of Travelling changed as well. Since that day we only travel to dive!!!                                                                 The diving went so well that we decided its time to deepen our knowledge.  We did different specialties and became advanced Divers. During this 4 Years we’ve visited Scuba Junkie 3 times and last September we decided to do the DM Course because of the encouragement we got from other DM’s here and after a talk with Dave and Audrey  we took a sabbatical from our work for 3.5 month to become DMT’s. After completing out DM course we will be better divers with a lot more knowledge about all the aspects of diving. Furthermore is being a DM a good back up if we might decide to leave Holland one day to start a new life and maybe become Instructors.

Marielle,
My love for diving started in April 2012. We used to travel around the world a lot, but I was always scared of what was in the water. But on one if our Trips to Burma I got really sick and we thought it would be better to go to Thailand where medical cure is way better. We decided to go to Koh Tao, so I could relax on the beach, maybe take a cooking course or just read a Book while Marcel could go diving. We ended up in a dive Resort and the fact that every time the Boats came back in, so many happy ppl got off, made me curious and that same evening I decided to sign up for the OWC. I had an amazing Instructor, who made me feel comfortable from the very first moment. And I knew after my first dive that I had discovered a completely new world, A new Love!  I finished not only my OWC but my Advanced as in that same Week. Since then our travelling is all about diving and a whole new world is open for us again, full of secrets and beautiful creatures. Last Year we decided we wanted to do the DM Course, not only because it will make you a better diver, but also because it will broaden your view on diving and the aquatic world. I’m even thinking about a career change. Maybe after 25 Years in the Chemical Industry its time for something more adventurous and new. In the end , me getting sick made me so much stronger and completely changed my point of view, not only on my work but also on my life and future. Who would have thought that I, who was so scared of everything in the water, would do diving and 4 Years later be a certified Rescue Diver and on the way to become a DM ?!  I had to think of that this past week… and it put a huge smile on my face!! ☺ 

Faza

I got my OW 6 Years ago and have loved it ever since. I’ve been travelling on and off for the past 3 Years and always making sure to include diving as part of my Trips. Last December I decided that I need a change and bought a Ticket out of Canada. After a couple of Month travelling, here I am in Borneo making diving and travelling as my Lifestyle. I’m so exited and looking forward for my Divemaster Course this month!!