Assisting With Student Divers - My Favourite Module (so far)
I knew the Assisting With Student Divers Module was going to be a long one so I started with a fresh cup of coffee. This wasn’t just to keep me awake. I like coffee. Combining diving with one of my favourite beverages would be sure to add to my enjoyment of both and since I can’t drink coffee underwater, this is the next best thing. All I needed was the beach... though I’m not sure how much study I would have completed had I been near one.
Anyway, lucky I had the coffee as it took me over two hours to finish the module. Partly because it included twenty other small videos and partly because I took quite a few notes. That’s not quite right. I took a lot of notes.
I like to have something to refer back to without having to watch the videos again. Given their length, I may need another coffee when I review them.
Why did I like this module?
I like to help others and enjoy teaching and learning new things so it was both relevant (as all of this training will be) and enjoyable for me. I suspect I may find some of the later modules a little dry in comparison.
The other positive was the refresher of the twenty basic skills from the Open Water course.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t practice these regularly. I have never needed to use some of the skills beyond training. This is a good since some cover what happens when things don’t go quite according to plan. It’s also bad because if something does go wrong and I haven’t practiced recently, perhaps I won’t do the right thing and may panic. While I think this wouldn’t happen, muscle memory would kick in and I’d stay calm, it’s not worth the risk. I know the more I practice something, the more it sticks in my memory and this in itself would decrease the risk that I panic.
After watching the twenty short videos demonstrating these skills, I am looking forward to practicing them again so I can assist others in learning them too. It will be good for my confidence as well.
I liked how this module also covered what the Divemaster does during training with the Instructor and other students. It included how to:
- position myself in the water
- demonstrate the twenty basic skills
- adapt my approach according to the various physical abilities people have
- skin diving requirements and
- problem solving.
Skin diving (prior to this training, I would have called it snorkeling however skin diving involves holding your breath and going underwater whereas snorkeling is purely on the surface) is something a Divemaster is allowed to teach once they are qualified. This means that all Divemasters need to demonstrate skin diving skills as part of their own training:
- vertical, head first dive (you may know this as a duck dive)
- 15 metre swim underwater on a single breath (this is going to be a flashback to seeing how far I could do this in backyard swimming pools when I was a lot younger!)
- snorkel clear blast method (this is when your snorkel is full of water, you reach the surface and using the air left in your lungs, you breath out heavily and the water shoots out of the top, clearing the snorkel)
- snorkel clear, displacement method. I’ve never done this one before and I think it can be done with a specific type of snorkel. I’ll have to look into this.
I’m looking forward to doing the practical parts of this module, partly as a refresher and partly because I want to be able to assist people to become better divers too.
Still quite a few modules before I’m at that stage though.
While it is possible to do the theory and practical component of the Divemaster concurrently, I want to maximise my dive time when I get to Mauritius and be prepared to ask any questions rather than combining the two components. I also like the self-paced approach of elearning and how it contains the video and slide components. This helps me remember it better.
It’s a personal choice that is a good idea to discuss with your Dive Instructor first and get their views too.