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Zero to Divemaster - extended stay abroad, but need help!

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by flyver, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. flyver

    flyver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
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    Hey Scubaboard!

    I have decided that this february 2016, i am taking a 3 month leave from my work and will be traveling to Asia to educate myself as a divemaster. I have no certifications as of yet, but i have tried diving a couple of times before - and i absolutely loved it!

    I have a few problems though that i really could use some help figuring out!


    1. I am determined that i will be going to Asia. I have previously been to Thailand twice, and once to Hong Kong. I have been browsing the net trying to find places that will take me in, as well as provide accomodation, gear etc. during my stay. The so called divemaster internships. But i find it hard to find places out of Koh Tao in Thailand (but having been there twice, i would like to try a different country), which allows me to do this. Almost ALL of the places require me to have some kind of certification beforehand. Taking the certifications at home it not something i want or can. So, does anyone know of places which can help me plan an entire education from Zero to divemaster?
    2. There is of course the options of taking all courses seperately, but i would really like to combine them - for one reason mainly, and that is to have someone to do it with, that i can get to know while doing it. I would hate having to spend all my 3 months taking courses alone or with different people every second day. Also, i guess it would be more expensive and require a lot more planning.
    3. I have been really keen on going to Okinawa in Japan, as i heard good things about it. But as i am traveling from mid february to end may - this might to be too cold for diving. Can anyone confirm this?

    I really look forward to talking to some of you experienced dive people, because as things are right now - the more i research, the more i get confused about all this stuff and the more i feel lost in my decision about where to go..

    Thanks!
    Morten
     
  2. lerpy

    lerpy Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kingston Ontario
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    I do not have knowledge of Asia or companies that may be able to help you with your goals, however I would like to toss out some advice. The zero to divemaster approach in 3 months is very intense, and if you are already feeling lost you may want to seriously reconsider your approach. Even though you will be a divemaster at the end of the 3 months, you will not be an experienced diver, and possible not a exceptionaly safe diver. If you have that time and opportunity, I might consider going there for your 3 months, get certified in basic scuba when you arrive, dive for several days, then do your advanced, and dive some more. Use the time to get a couple of certifications, and then get some experience, and see some really cool dive sites in that part of the world. I have met people that have done the zero to hero as they call it, and it can sometimes give a person an undue confidence in diving, that can actualy get them into more trouble than good. JMHO
     
    jboneng likes this.
  3. flyver

    flyver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location:
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    Yeah i am also aware of that risk. The reason for me to do it is to get a feeling of accomplishing something that i can actually use when i get back home. Getting the divemaster education would really give me that, "only" getting the open water or similar will make me feel like i skipped out. I know it sounds silly, but i feel that i somehow need to justify this trip. I'm odd like that.
     
  4. jboneng

    jboneng Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Norway
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    As lerpy said, the best use of the time is to get the basic certifications lik OW, AOW and rescue and use the time to dive and enjoy your dives.
    A Zero to hero program will give you a DM certification, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily is qualified or experienced enough to be responsible for the safety of inexperienced vacation divers.
    Being a DM is a lot of responsibility, of course in an ideal world each diver is responsible for it's own safety, but as a DM in a tropical paradise you will encounter divers of all experience levels, educations and attitudes.

    Of course if this is what you really want then go for it. But be prepared for 3 months of hard work, study and looking at the sea and wishing that you could just go on the dive boat to dive and have fun.
    And be careful of which dive center you choose, there are a lot of shady operations in Asia.

    By being certificated as a rescue diver, you will be more educated than most divers, and also, you don't say where you are currently located, but remember that you are only certified for the conditions you are trained for or better, so if you are certified as a DM in 30 degrees Celsius and crystal clear water, doesn't mean that you are certified as a DM in the north Atlantic as an example.
     
  5. flyver

    flyver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
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    If i do it, i expect it to be something i take seriously - and a good experience. I am not good at traveling alone for that long a period of time, so "sticking" to a place or an education will give me some sense of belonging while i'm gone. Getting to a level where i feel confident acting as a divemaster will be tough, i acknowledge that. But i do not expect to work as a divemaster after i am done. Perhaps sometime in the future (if i grow tired of my office job :p ).

    I live in Denmark, which is also why i dont want to preeducate myself. The waters here are muddy, cold, and the marine life is extremely tedious. Also, the educations are expensive!
     
  6. Manneca

    Manneca Barracuda

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Memphis (TN, not, unfortunately Egypt)
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    I agree with the other posters that you need a lot more experience in diving to be a DM than 3 months will give you. That said, I'd suggest you contact Two Fish. I know they do a lot of training from OW to instructor. They have centers in Bunaken, Lembeh and Lembongan (and Bali). Currents can be wicked in Bunaken and Lembongan, but are not as bad as other places in the Pacific. At Two Fish, I've seen trainees move from center to center. Frankly, I'd consider zero to rescue a fine accomplishment.

    You seem ready to ignore the advice given you on this board. I wonder whether you have the mind set to begin training at all. Are you willing to listen to your instructors? Are you willing to admit your mistakes and learn from them?

    If you have no desire to actually guide divers, then why have you chosen this goal when AOW will get you to the same place.

    And by the way, there is nothing funnier to experienced divers than 90 day wonders who have no buoyancy control. I know, I've seen them. Experience is the only thing that will make you a good diver. You can take a ton of courses but it's really diving and constantly figuring out what you need to improve next that will make you a good diver.

    If you are not good at traveling for such a long time alone, why are you doing it?
     
  7. flyver

    flyver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location:
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    I asked for advice about where to go, and about how to structure my education - which i found hard to get information about online apart from the many Koh Tao shops.

    I am more than willing to listen and work hard, but you are all telling me not to do it. Why will i be a better diver from doing regular dives as an OW diver, rather than taking yet another step in my education towards divemaster? I do not see the point, i already said i do not plan on working as a divemaster.

    I like traveling, and i like diving. The fact that i feel like i want to hang around with the same people for more than a few days at a time should no be of any issue? Why are you commenting on that?

    ---------- Post added October 26th, 2015 at 02:25 PM ----------

    I am sorry if i offended anyone with this post. But i strongly believe that divemaster is something that i really want to accomplish.

    It is also a challenge for myself, being somewhat shy i like to take on tasks like this, to improve on my personality and expand on my skills as a person. I like doing that.
     
  8. jboneng

    jboneng Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Norway
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    I am not trying to persuade you to not do it, just saying that a zero-to-rescue will be challenging enough to be very rewarding, and give you time to actually enjoy and experience your new skills while you are at those great dive sites, before you head back home to Denmark where, in your words, "the waters here are muddy, cold, and the marine life is extremely tedious".
    In my head it is better to be a AOW and have experienced the marvels of the underwater world, than a DM and not really have experienced it at all. but that's only my 50 cents.
     
  9. flyver

    flyver Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
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    You do have a point. Perhaps i've been mislead in regards to how much it takes. Some sites claim to be able to educate a DM In 10 days, which i know it way too little.

    I guess it would be better for me just to travel around for a while, and then take each step of the PADI ladder as i feel ready for it? How much would realisticly be possible in 3 to 3½ months time?
     
  10. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

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    I don't know any place in SE Asia, but I know that there are several places in Roatan and Utila, the bay islands off Honduras, that offer exactly what you are looking for, and these programs are pretty popular. Personally I think its a fun way to learn how to dive and if you have good instructors, you can learn quite a bit. Have fun and don't worry about people on this forum telling you that going zero-to-hero makes for bad DMs. It's true that the big agencies are creating some very poor DMs and instructors by having such pathetically low experience standards, but who cares. You're doing this for fun, right?

    So if you want to re-think SE Asia, check out Roatan and Utila. I'm sure there are similar programs in SE Asia, I just don't know of them. I'm sure with a little digging you can find them.

    ---------- Post added October 26th, 2015 at 09:06 AM ----------

    I have seen people in Roatan go from OW through DM in about this amount of time. But your idea of taking it one class at a time is good. What I would do is take OW and AOW right away, then do a couple of weeks of every-day diving, then do rescue, then start on the DM internship, but plan on that taking all the rest of your available time. The reason is money; once you're in the DM internship, the good programs will put you on the boat as an 'intern' every day and you'll dive all the time. You won't be paying cash for all these dives, you'll be paying with time cleaning the shop, filling and hauling tanks, etc. You won't be expected to have any responsibility for anyone's safety during this time.
     
    stuartv and flyver like this.

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