Sicily PADI Dive Instructor Course and Diving Week.

Great PADI Professional Diver Training planned for Sicily October 2016.

Sicily IDCSicily IDC

This October we have a great couple of weeks of diving planned in Sicily, Italy.  We kick off with a PADI Dive Instructor course starting on the 7th October.  On the 12th of October PADI representative Jonas Samuelson and Fabio Figurella will conduct a Go-Pro Evening for all PADI professionals and anyone interested in becoming a dive professional. Scubapro will be running equipment workshops and world renowned Akim Adhari will be conducting free diver training.

Sicily IDC
Deborah giving confined water briefing to marco on our Sicily IDC

The PADI Dive Instructor Course, PADI IDC, will be attended by candidates from all over Europe and taught by Platinum Course Director Mark Soworka and Master Instructor and owner of Sea Spirit Diving Sicily, Carmelo Sgroi.  The course starts on October 7. We have a great couple of weeks planned with loads of extra workshops from Marine Resource Management Seminars through to diver rescue scene management training. Sea Spiriti Sicily is a great location for your Dive-Careers.com IDC.  We use the facilites at Ata Hotel.  Olympic swimming pool for the skills, confernece room for the lectures and nip out on the zodiac to Isla Bella for some diving.  Excellent logistics making your instructor training relaxed and enjoyable.

sicily idcsicily idcSicily idc

 

On October 10 Mark Soworka will conduct a Scubapro ProSales workshop.  This is free of charge and all are welcomed.  Participants will have an in depth look at how dive equipment from regulators to computeers function and the importance of equipment sales to a dive business.  Seminar completion is awarded a ProSales certificate from Scubapro.  Federico Garaventa, the Area Manager for Scubapro Italy, will also conduct an equipment workshop on the afternoon of October 12.  PADI have offered all PADI professional attending this seminar, free Equipment Specialty Instructor rating.  Sign up soon to ensure your place.

Sicily IDC
Scubapro Equipment certificate issued to our candidates on our Sicily IDC

Also on the evening of October 12, Jonas Samuelson, PADI Regional Director, and Fabio Figurella, PADI Regional Manger, will condcut a GoPro evening for all in Sicily area.  They will be providing aperitivo and will look at the myriad of possibilities you have as a dive professional.  Career pathways from technical diving, liveaboard work through to apnea will be discussed.  Should be a great evening with a remedial day the following day unwind and wake up late after enjoying a night of Sicilian hospitality.

Sicily IDC
Successful completion of the Sicily IDC. Now for aperitivo

After the PADI Instructor exam on 21st and 22nd October, it is planned for world renowned free diver, Akim Adhari to conduct free diver training.  Akim has given a great offer to get PADI instructors certifed as PADI Free Diving Instructors with a 5 day course.  Excellent opportunity to hone your free diving skills in the picturesque waters of Taormina, Sicily, where many scenes in the free diving cult classic ‘The Big Blue’ were set.

Sicily IDC
Become a PADI free diving instructor with Akim Adhari on our Sicily IDC

We also have loads of diving planned for the  Sicily IDC, with specialty instructor training diving the canyons of Isla Bella and deep dives down to ancient Greek columns.  Plenty of time to enjoy the great diving conditions Sicily provides in October.  Our October 2016 IDC programme on Sicily is packed with so many great workshops and seminars to help you become a confident and competent dive professional.  There is no better way to launch your PADI professional dive career than joining the Dive-Careers.com network.  It is your passport to a truly global netwrok with genuine job placement opportunity.  Join us this October 7 2016 or enquire for our programmes in 2017 May 6 and Otober 11 2017.  Contact mark@dive-careers.com to launch your career int he dive industry.

sicily idc
Out diving ancient Greek columns on our Sicily IDC

Our First Bali IDC in Amed

Excellent Destination for your Bali IDC

Bali IDCBali IDC

In July 2016 we conducted our first PADI Dive Instructor Course, the IDC, in Amed, Bali, with Two Fish Divers.  The location was perfect for dive instructor training with such easy logistics, helping create such a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere.  We conducted the IDC at Suriya Rainbow resort, Amed, Bali.  Calssroom is in the on site classroom, 15 meters away is the swimming pool and jump over the pool side to the beach and we had our open water destination.  A thoroughly enjoyable IDC with Andrea and Melissa participating and Matt staffing. Great location to teach in and eagerly awaiting the next IDC in Amed starting the 23rd of October 2016.

bali idc
Candidates on the Amed, Bali IDC relaxing int eh pool.

During the IDC we ran a Scubapro seminar for our candidates which was joined by some staff.  This gives them a more in depth look at dive equipment how it functions and importance to dive businesses.  Participants were issued with Scubapro certificates.

Bali IDC
Scubapro Equipment certificate issued to our candidates on our Bali IDC

Yvonne from the Two Fish Technical Diving Department also gave the candidates an intro into sidemount and technical diving.  Gave them a chance to play around with different configurations of diving equipment in the pool.  Even Remi from a previous Koh Tao IDC joined in to get a taste of tec diving.

Bali IDC
technical diving intro conducted on our Amed, Bali IDC

Half way through the IDC we had a GoPro evening with some wine and some beer sponsored by PADI.  It was  a great chance to meet a load of dive instructors from the other dive centers in Amed.  We had short talks about the state of Bali reefs by Reef Check representatives, Technical Diving with Yvonne from Two Fish, Free Diving wit Yokram Zekri from Ocean Prana and I looked at other opportunities in the dive industry.  An excellent evening to look at many of the different paths you can take as a PADI Dive professional.  We will do another evening like this when back in October.

Bali IDCbali idc

And,most importantly during the Bali IDC we got to dive on some great artificial reefs.  We conducted specialty training on both the Liberty wreck and artificial reefs of Jamyluk.  Great dives and definitely a drawcard for completing your IDC in Amed, Bali.

Bali IDCBali IDC

I am looking forward to being back in Amed for another Bali IDC on October 23 2016. I had a great time on the July IDC and judging by the reviews, so did Mel and Andrea.  Congratulations on becomign instructors and already finding successful careers.  See you in Amed again soon.

Top Course Director!

“I can only recommand course director Mark Soworka if you plan to become a dive instructor 🙂 He not only prepares you for the exam, he adds extra courses about marine life, equipment and has a lot of anecdotes to share with you that will prepare you for your future carreer as an instructor! ” Melissa

Dream Job as a PADI Dive Instructor on Koh Tao

“See you soon on the way to work (usually it’s a nice walk on the beach) or in the office (yep…that will be underwater!)!”

The dream job…this is what we always hear.

Working in the diving industry is as a matter of a fact the dream job. The office for us, is “The sea”. How does that sound to you?

Koh Tao IDC
Out in the water after your Koh Tao IDC

Every month, along with Dive-Careers.com, our PADI Dive Masters take the step up to Instructor. Once their have completed their IDC (Instructor Development Course), they are ready to work, to share their passion to others and start their new careers.

Dive-Careers.com is not only offering a great training, but we are also offering a lifetime of support once our candidates have completed their training. Helping them finding a job is part of what we do, what we want and like to do.

Job opportunities are not only for Koh Tao, Thailand. The fact that we teach IDC’s in 8 different locations around the world, that we’ve been in the industry for two decades, that everywhere we go we like to meet and spend time with our former graduates, gives us the advantage of having a great network throughout the industry and the strong plus of being able to really help our dive instructor candidates network and find great careers.

The PADI Dive Instructor level is a ticket to travel the world. Certification is valid globally. The PADI Instructor is the one that can grab his bag, go where the sea looks great and settle down for the time of their life.

Last month on Koh Tao, we had 9 IDC candidates. I am writing these words 1 month later and I am proud to state that all 9 of them are now working as dive instructors.

Koh Tao IDC
Successful group of new instructors after their Koh Tao IDC

This time, most of them chose Koh Tao  for now, but who knows what destination they might end up in as PADI Dive Instructors.  That’s the beauty of our job anyway, being able to simply choose.

Shadeh, England, decided to complete her MSDT along with the new trendy specialties of Sidemount and Self Reliant. Not even having the time to complete her internship, poufffff, she is now working and applying to her daily life what’s she likes.

Koh Tao IDC
Shadeh teaching her first Advanced student after completing her IDC on Koh Tao.

Lisa, New-Zealand, started off with some assisting courses as part of her MSDT and, as well, didn’t get the time to complete it yet as she has been asked and contacted for work in dive centres around the Island.

Koh Tao IDC
Group of happy students taught by successful Koh Tao IDC Instructor Lisa.

Carlos, Portugal, started off right away with Open Water and Advanced courses. And in Portuguese as well! What are the chances to teach his first course in Portuguese,  his native language?! It all happens for a reason!

Since he started teaching and freelancing around the Island, we tried to get him to teach a course for us…but he is always busy!!

Koh Tao IDC
Carlos with newly certified divers at Siam Diving center after his Koh Tao IDC.

Szandra, Hungary, got a call for 2 Open Water students. She thought she would be more assisting to get use to the dive center’s operation, but no! Surprise, they are yours!! Ready for it?! Of course she was! Nothing can stop Szandra!!

Koh Tao IDC
Szandra on her first open water course at Coral grand Divers after her Koh Tao IDC.

Stephen, England, used to work as a Photographer/Videographer. He decided to leave the camera on the side and start teaching instead. First phone call: Rescue Course. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!! The one that a lot of Instructors fear (which they really shouldn’t!). Did he get it done, yes he did! Was the student happy, Yep! Since then, the phone is ringing non stop! When was your last day off Stephen?!!!!

Koh Tao IDC
Anna with a group of Open Water students after completing her Koh Tao IDC

Anna, France, is jumping around! She is literally walking around with her arms up, dancing and singing on the “I love my life” beat! Her first course was a PADI Scuba Diver in English. It has been followed by some DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) in French and it is continuing with Open Water Diver student in Spanish! Speaking a few languages can be pretty useful sometime!!

Ming, Wen and Shun, team China, didn’t waste time and were in fact assisting courses the morning after their IE (Instructor Examination), meaning the morning after the IE Party (I still don’t know how you managed that!!). Waiting for their numbers, they were assisting on Chinese Courses, but as soon as they received the email from PADI with their Instructor number, paf, straight into work with their own courses. Ming is now on a holiday in Bali (not a bad life isn’t!!) and Wen and Shun are on the boat…diving everyday! Though life!!!

Koh Tao IDC
Chinese team out teaching open water courses with whale sharks after their Koh Tao IDC

And this is just the last IDC we had! Every month it is the same. Here and every where we go to teach our Instructor candidates.

These guys are in, doing what they like, sharing their passion and promoting themselves via social medias which is now a very important of their and our job.

Australia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sicily, South Africa, Sri Lanka, it’s the same every where we go. The words “Dive-Careers” stand for something important and we make sure we are there to support it with our huge network around the globe.

If you fancy the sea as your office, don’t hesitate! It’s possible as you can see!!

Cheers and see you soon on the way to work (usually it’s a nice walk on the beach) or in the office (yep…that will be underwater!)!!

Cheers!

Marie

Platinum PADI Course Director

marie@dive-careers.com

www.dive-careers.com

www.divingonkohtao.com

 

Conducting PADI Divemaster Internships on Koh Tao, Thailand

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao
PADI Divemaster Skills workshop in the Buddha View pool, Koh Tao Thailand

My father once said, “if you find a job you love, you will never work a day in your life.” I think this was the best advice I could have ever received, and I used it as a catalyst in finding my dream job as a dive instructor in paradise. Now working with students hoping to enter the professional world, just as I once had, I hope to inspire and help lead the way. Running the Dive Master program in one of the busiest dive schools in Thailand, has been an amazing experience so far. It definitely keeps me busy and there is never a dull moment.

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster Beach Clean up on Koh Tao, Thailand

My days are usually filled with workshops or lectures on diving theory. This allows me to have constant variety in my schedule, and the flexibility to try new things. Since I’m constantly working with divers of such a diverse background, I can easily adapt and change things to meet their needs. For example, if I know they have completed the workshop before, or have more experience under their belt, I can add new skills to challenge them. I always enjoy coming up with new ways to make my workshops as beneficial as possible for my candidates.

PADi Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster Skin Diving Workshop Koh Tao Thailand

Allowing myself to keep learning as well, definitely gives me an advantage in my own teachings. I was very excited to complete my Tech40 & Side mount course. Even though I’m teaching within a recreational scope, I can incorporate these skills in my workshops to make my candidates more knowledgeable and well-rounded. In Tech40, a large amount of time was given to dive planning. We calculated our own personal surface air consumption rate, then used a more conservative SAC rate, to figure out exactly how much gas we would need for each stage of our dive. Every single ascent and stop was planned in advance, and we were taught to follow it diligently. It was great to apply this concept to the Deep Dive Scenario workshop. I had the candidates collect data on their dive to calculate their own SAC rate, then use it to plan the second dive. Supervising the workshop in side mount configuration, allowed me to also act as an emergency drop tank, where my candidates could simulate emergency decompression, breathing out of my long hose. ( A great tip a I learned from my Tech Instructor Julien Fortin). The point is that the more we learn, the more we can pass down as teachers. Even if it doesn’t directly apply to you and what your are doing at that time, it will allow you to have a better understanding and respect for your trade.

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster certification Buddha View, Koh Tao Thailand

I hope to keep my candidates excited about diving, and allow them to continue to grow as I do. It’s an amazing feeling, to see how much someone can accomplish in such a short time. I remember how it felt to lead my first dive, and the pride that came with being a leader. I can see that feeling evolve in my own students, and I am glad to be a part of it.

Everyday I get to wake up and go to a job I love, in an office that constantly amazes me. Thanks for the great advice dad!

PADI Divemaster Koh Tao Thailand
PADI Divemaster celebration at Buddha View Koh Tao, Thailand

Andrea’s Scubapro Equipment Training Expereience

SCUBAPRO PROSALES TRAINING

Scubapro equipment training
Andrea’s Scubapro Equipment Pro Sales certificate.

Living life as a professional diving Instructor, has allowed me to do some amazing things. The Scubapro Equipment Training Course, took me on an exciting adventure to the other side of Thailand. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned, not only now, but to everyone who is joining me in this amazing Industry.

Scubapro Equipment training
John and Andrea modeling the new Scubapro Hydros BCD

As a instructor, it is part of the job to help your students find the equipment that best suits them. This can a daunting task for most brand new instructors. I know myself felt the same way coming out of my own Instructor Course. The idea of selling, made me feel like a used car salesman. This is the exact stigma that we want to get away from.
Once completing the Scubapro Pro Training Course, I was certified as a Professional Equipment Advisor. This has given me the self-assurance to be truly confident in the equipment I’m recommending for my students.
The course was broken up into individual pieces of equipment over the span of four days. Not only did we go through the interworking’s of each piece, we also went through techniques on how to comfortably asses our customer’s needs. It was all about listening to what the customer really wanted, and finding the piece that benefitted them best. Since we had spent so much time looking at all the features and characteristics of the equipment, I found it incredibly easy to take each feature, and personally connect it to a variety of customers and students.

Scubapro Equipment training
John Seddon presenting Scubapro regulators

I think what we can really take from this course, is that you are never really selling if you understand and believe in your product. I was excited about the equipment line myself, and could see how so many pieces benefitted me as a professional diver. My biggest mistake when purchasing my own personal equipment, was not understanding what I needed, and what I could need in the future. I limited myself to equipment that suited me at that moment, and did not grow with me as I continued to move forward. I now know, I will not make that mistake again, and will not allow this to happen to my students.

Scubapro Equipment training
Scubapro Equipment catalogue

What is great, is Dive-Careers, will now be offering this seminar on every Instructor Development Course. I am optimistic that all new diving professionals will enjoy it the same way I have. It will hopefully allow them to have more confidence in the future, while advising new students. As divers, it is our responsibility to keeping growing and learning every single day. I can not wait to continue to work with Scubapro, and learn more about the equipment that will help me grow into the diving professional I truly want to be.

Another Successful Pondicherry India IDC – Dive Instructor Training

Once again had a great time in Pondicherry India on the PADI Instructor course.  Pondicherry has a wonderful French colonial feel to it and it is always great fun to get back in touch with the guys from Temple Adventures 5 Star IDC.  Plus I get the chance to take the bullet for a ride, at least when I can get it started.

India IDC
Always enjoy a ride on the bullet during the IDC in India

The India IDC had a great group with Meenal from Chennai, Vinay coming down from the Andamans, Shannon joining us from northern Ontario and Rajesh, I think finally working out that he is from Bangalore.  Leon, one of the Temple Adventures instructors, joined us for some more PADI Specialty Instructor training.

India IDC
Out at the quarry for our open water presentations on the India IDC

Shannon actually completed her divemaster with us on Koh Tao and followed Julien our tec instructor to India for more experience with the tec diving.  She is now back on Koh Tao for the MSDT internship and will once again follow Julien to Mexico for some cave diving.  She is obviously a Julien groupie.

India IDC
Shannon demonstrating skills in the container on the India IDC
India IDC
Shannon finding her way int he quarry during open water presentations on our India IDC
India IDC
Shannon descending in the quarry on our India IDC

Rajesh was actually working as a divemaster for Temple Adventures 5 Star IDC and has stayed on in his new role as instructor.  Vinay has returned to working in the Andaman Islands, and Meenal has gotten a job with the newly opened Dive Chennai.  Great to see you all doing so well.

India IDC
Rajesh with a mask removal and replacement demonstration on our India IDC
India IDC
Rajesh with my mask when he forogt his for the confined water presentation on our India IDC

And of course I appreciate the feedback:

“Dear Sir,

Yeah I survived the party and it was a blast. It was a privilege to be with you and your guidance helped me a lot during the entire course.  I am back in Andamans and I hope too see you soon here.  Please keep in touch and I would always be grateful for all your help.  Take care and once again my heartfelt THANKS!!!!”

Regards
Vinay Raj

India IDC
Vinay having done his hair before a photo at the quarry on our India IDC
India IDC
Vinay demonstrating during India IDC

Hi Mark,

We all had a fantastic time during the course and the party. Been seeing your facebook updates and looks like Thailand was fun. 
Thank you for all the effort and the faith you had in us.”
Meenal
India IDC
Meenal doing a CESA during our India IDC
India IDC
Meenal in the container during our India IDC
I even completed some further Scubapro technician training with Jonah Skoles from Temple Adventures PADI 5 Star IDC. It was an excellent opportunity to meet many dive professionals from around India and valuable training with the equipment.
India IDC
IDC candidates in the container on India IDC

Nusa Lembongan – IDC Destination Manta Ray and Mola Mola

I recently completed our first Instructor Development course on the Bali Indonesian Island of Nusa Lembongan.  The course was held in conjunction with Two Fish Divers that have had a successful, well respected dive resort on Nusa Lembongan for the past four years. Nusa Lembongan, just a 30 minute boat ride away from the main island of Bali, Indonesia, is growing quickly as a popular destination for divers, regular manta ray and seasonal mola mola sightings, plus a laid back vibe drawing divers from around the globe.

Bali IdC
Celebrating great presentations on the IDC

Our PADI IDC in Nusa Lembongan had a great group of students from around the globe.  Plus it was an excellent opportunity for me to catch up with many old friends that are now settled in Nusa Lembongan.  I had a great time on the IDC.  Maybe a little too much some nights but it was great fun catching up with former candidates and friends.  And I think the candidates had a great time as well judging by some of their reviews.

Mark the miracle man!

“Couldn’t have been happier with my IDC experience with Mark. I call him a miracle worker as the person that walked through the door at the start to when I walked out at the end are two very different people. I’m extremely happy with the outcome and feel that he trained us to a very high standard which meant that the exam was a breeze for all of us. Mark’s years of experience are very evident in the way he teaches, he has it down to a fine art. ” Nicole from Adelaide, South Australia

Bali IDC
Rhome practicing her pick up lines during the IDC rescue training.

Amazing course director

“Doing the IDC with Dive Careers and more specifically with Mark Soworka, was for sure the right choice. We had 12 solid days of preparation including a lot of theory and GSP exams which made us 100% ready for the IE. The inwater preparation was also great as we had to demonstrate and brief several skills in both confined and open water. A few days before the exam, we also had a mock IE which allowed us to put ourselves in the propel exam conditions! Sharing my IDC experience with others, I realized that we had much more training than usual which made all of us succeed! I will highly recommend Mark! Also the people at Two Fish have been very useful during the whole course which could be a bit stressful. Special thanks to Frederic Brysse, Brice, Rowan and Danielle Drury”  Rhome with an accented e, from the Basque region of France.

Bali IDC
Typhoid Flora and Tristan practicing the CESA on open water presentations on the Nusa Lembongan IDC

Professional & fun

“If you are considering a professional dive career than look no further, @ Dive-Careers they know what it’s all about.” Ben from the Netherlands.

Bali IDC
Kim looking decidedly happy after IDC evaluating.

Staffing the Lembongan IDC

“Mark and his exceptional knowledge made the IDC for all candidates very interesting and fun. Loved staffing the IDC at Lembongan!” Kim from the Netherlands via Koh Tao

Fantastic Time – Friendly and Thorough

“I had a fantastic time doing my IDC. Mark and the staff instructors were excellent and we couldn’t have been any more prepared for the IE. I was lucky to have some awesome team mates which made the whole experience really fun and enlightening. I would recommend Dive Careers and Two Fish to anyone wishing to do their IDC and have complete training and enjoyable experience at the same time. Two Fish staff were excellent and always willing to help and offer advice ranging from tips for being an instructor to fixing my regulator. Thank you to everyone:)” Tristan from the UK.

Bali IDC
Matteo and Tristan figuring out the compass on the Nusa Lembongan IDC

Good staff & people..

“The IDC at Two Fish Divers on Lembongan was a nice and educational experience. The staff, lead by Mark Soworka, were extremely good at teaching and knew their stuff.” Mikko from the cold, desolate Arctic, a man of much emotion.

Bali IDC
The IDC group together on the beach.

On our May IDC we had pregnant manta rays circling overhead.  The next Instructor Course is scheduled for September, mola mola season.  Looking forward to it.  If you have nay questions about our Indonesia programs just check out www.dive-careers.com and email me on mark@dive-careers.com .  Look forward to seeing you on your instructor course soon.

 

An IDC Success Story – Roshan Deepal Sri Lanka

Roshan Deepal – Teaching form the Heart

Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, boasts spectacular coral reefs and famous shipwrecks for year round diving off many parts of the island. Tourism and scuba diving holidays remain on the rise after the end of the war making it critical for dive operators to continue to provide safe diving practices and develop comprehensive marine conservation measures and systems.

IDC Sri lanka
Roshan by the pool as a successful dive instructor in Sri Lanka

Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka Water Sports Centre located in Seenigama, is a not-for-profit community based tourism initiative managed by Sri Lankan NGO, Foundation of Goodness (FoG). Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka is committed to delivering a high quality recreational scuba diving operation while educating their customers, the local village community and area fisherman on marine conservation. FoG, in partnership with PADI and Platinum Course Director Mark Soworka sent Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka head dive master, Roshan Deepal to Temple Adventures in India to take part in the PADI Instructor Development Course. This was all made possible through PADI’s Scholarship programme whereby Roshan’s PADI fees were fully covered by the organisation enabling him to obtain this esteemed certification.

Roshan’s scuba career began over 20 years ago in a small coastal fishing village in Dodanduwa in southern Sri Lanka. His first memories are of the sea where the village community comes together for work and life. He was given the opportunity to obtain a certificate through the Sri Lankan government in basic diving and swimming skills. Little did he know his first job as a lifeguard at a hotel in Negombo would be the start of an exciting adventure ahead. The hotel expanded on his government training and enabled him to be employed at their onsite diving centre taking hotel guests on scuba day trips. There began Roshan’s passion for showing others the wonders under the sea.

IDC Sri Lanka
PADI Instructor Roshan and PADI Course Director Mark Soworka meeting up after the IDC to see how Roshan is goign as an instructor

Roshan is very grateful for the opportunities he has been provided all along his scuba career and the pinnacle has been his recent IDC at Temple Adventures in Pondicherry, India. With PADI’s scholarship programme assistance, Roshan was able to secure something he never thought possible. He also met many new friends, networked with other professional divers and to his delight, went diving in a fresh water quarry for the very first time.

Roshan has since returned to Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka with an enthusiastic outlook on growing the scuba industry and awareness of marine conservation in Sri Lanka. His first major task will be to teach OWD and conservation topics to the many disadvantaged rural young people who have gone through FoG’s diving & training programme. Without Roshan and FoG, a PADI certification would not be attainable within the resources of this rural community. He will also introduce marine conservation materials and coral planting initiatives to Foundation of Goodness for possible funding to continue preserving and repairing the coral reef off the Seenigama coastline.

In the coming years, Roshan would like to widen his experience and become qualified as an equipment specialist as this specialty is rather unique to Sri Lanka. He is grateful for the many opportunities and has always felt that his role within the Foundation of Goodness was serendipitous. Before he was hired on as Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka’s Dive Master, he was merely weeks away from leaving his wife and two small children for a long-term diving job in Oman.

PADI IDC Sri Lanka
Roshan on his PADI Instructor Examination

Roshan never wants to stop learning and growing in his career. He wants to teach from his heart and ensure his students, Sri Lankan and foreign, are excited and learning to dive at the highest level of safety and care. He feels it’s his destiny.

www.diveseenigamadivelanka.com

More information:

The Foundation of Goodness, a local NGO located in a coastal village named Seenigama has been in operation since 1999 but really became most effective after the 2004 Tsunami which resulted in over 150 lives lost in Seenigama alone.

Before the Tsunami, for many generations, one of the main livelihoods in this coastal region was coral mining and burning to make quicklime, which was illegal, dangerous, and an environmental nightmare. Research conducted after the tsunami quickly showed that in areas where coral reef had been destroyed, the waves were much more powerful and destructive. This research led to the banning of coral mining resulting in many people (and youth) losing their means of making an income.

In response, the Seenigama Diving & Training Centre commenced in 2008 to redirect local diving and swimming skills from a destructive purpose to one that is constructive. Through our training programme, rural young people have the opportunity to gain diving qualifications to achieve well-paid employment in the technical and recreational diving industry. It is only through previous donation and support that the Foundation of Goodness has been able to successfully implement this project. In recent years, with the economic recession, it has become more difficult to fund this vital programme.  Therefore, in 2013, Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka Water Sports Centre was established as a community based tourism initiative to sustain the Seenigama Diving & Training Centre. Dive Seenigama, Dive Lanka is the first not-for-profit dive centre in the region and 100% of the profits are reinvested back into the Foundation of Goodness.

 

Complete your PADI Instructor Course in El Nido, Philippines – Our newest location

El Nido is a truly magical place, with beautiful limestone cliffs, white sand beaches and a great marine bio-diversity.  Stunning scenery, great dives and a genuinely friendly atmosphere in Deep Blue Seafari Dive center make it an ideal location for the Dive Instructor course.

Philippines IDC
The view from the beach of our El Nido IDC

March 2016 saw our first IDC In El Nido.  Only a couple of candidates, Sean and Chris, made a great little course.  Allowed us to even schedule to meet Seans special needs.  Guess they had a great time judging by their reviews on  Scubatribe

Great IDC, amazing people and beautiful place

“Scenery that cant be beaten and staff that were amazingly helpful and friendly made for a great experience during my IDC. The guys at Deep Blue Seafari made me feel like a part of their shop family and did everything they could to make my time there as easy as possible. The shop, their boats, the staff, everything was 5 stars. Mark the course director wasn’t bad either. 🙂 All in all a fantastic place to do an IDC.” Chris.

deep blue seafari idc

“What a great experience! The owners and staff could not do enough to make our stay and learning experience there as great as possible. The diving was awesome with deep blue seafaris many dive trips and saw many critters and flambouyant cuttlefish on night dives but now need to return for some more caves after a taster!” Sean.

I also had a great experience.  El Nido, for me, was like a trip back to Koh Tao in the mid 90’s.  Felt like a 20 year old backpacker again.  Evan shared a house with the IDC candidates.  That helped ensure Chris would make it home after the beach.  We managed to intermingle the IDC presentations with some good restaurants and chilled little beach bars, an excellent, relaxed atmosphere facilitated by the incredibly helpful staff and owners of Deep Blue Seafari Dive Center.  And, importantly, resulted in the guys getting great results in the Instructor Exam and feeling confident to get out and work inthe industry as dive instructors.

My trip to El Nido was also a great opportunity to catch up with candidates from previous IDCs in Thaialnd and Philippines.  Even got visits from former divemaster candidates from years ago, with a social call from Tamara.  Excellent to see our candidates making a success of the dive industry, Tom getting into some interesting conservation projects in Palawan and Pauline and Simon running a great video training company in El Nido.

IDc Philippines
Some of the marine life during your presentations on your El Nido IDC

I would like to thank Diana and Jose from Deep Blue Seafari for having the vision to bring PADI instructor courses to El Nido and for making it such a relaxed and enjoyable experience.  As they say:

“We like our guest and students to feel like part of our family. We focus on quality customer service, quality equipment, very professional training and safety.”

IDC Philippines
Sean practicing rescue Ex 7 during the El Nido IDC

As the Course Director I had a great experience and so did the candidates.  Dive-Careers.com looks forward to continuing to develop the IDCs on El Nido with Deep Blue Seafari.  For 2016 we have 4 IDCs scheduled and look forward to a successful IDC future in Palawan, Philippines.

If interested in joining our El Nido IDc programmes or divemaster training contact me on mark@dive-careers.com

PADi IDC Philippines
Confined water during the El Nido IDC. Such a specatcular setting

The First Sri Lankan PADI IDC

Sri Lanka is truly an amazing country.  A generous and hospitable nation filled with wonderful stories, a rich and diverse culture and history, and fascinating dive destinations.  I had the great fortune in February 2013 to conduct the first PADI Instructor Development Course in Sri Lanka.  It was an excellent experience.

Sri lanka IDC
IDC Sri Lanka down on the beach

The IDC was conducted at Poseidon Diving Station Hikkuduwa with all Sri Lankan nationals as candidates.  Right from the beginning the stories and experiences started flowing.  The dive center was started in 1973 by Swedish adventurer Sven and Lesley Sembakuttige, father of the present owner Chami Sembakuttige.  Fortunately Sven was actually visiting with his family so I had the opportunity to listen spellbound to his stories of diving Sri Lanka in  the seventies.  At 82 he only gave up diving last year and has a lifetime full of adventures from diving in the first ever made dry suit, discovering wrecks and treasures around Sri Lanka, even showing me the tiny compressor that they smuggled into Sri Lanka to fill those first tanks; through to the stories of the importance Chamis dad played to the local community.

No greater tribute to that exists than the comparatively low loss of life on Hikkuduwa in the 2004 tsunami.  Chamis family have strongly advocated protecting Hikkuduwas reef for decades.  During the IDC we had Oliver Ridley and Green turtles nesting and hatching right in front of the dive centre.  Swim twenty meters out to where we were doing the confined presentations and you have hundreds of trevally schooling, incredibly enormous turtles swimming around and interfering with the confined skills and a school of bumphead parrotfish.  A great testament to the local community protecting their reef. Reefs either side of Hikkuduwa have been decimated by generations of limestone mining.  During the tsunami, those areas that had lost the natural barrier protection of the reef were completely devastated with massive loss of life.  Few died where the reef remained relatively in tact.  A legacy to the forethought of Lesley Sembakuttige.

Some of the guys leading dives there, like Lal and Sunil, have been leading dives in the local area since the 70s and 80s.  Such an immense wealth of local knowledge and experience.  Lal was actually on the fisrt Sri Lankan IDC and has been a registered PADI divemaster since 1993.  When I checked his card at the commencement of the IDC I remarked on how worn and water logged the card looked. He replied how he actually lost his wallet in the tsunami, only to rediscover it three years later on the inner side of the reef, PADI Divemaster card still in tact.

Sri lanka IDC
One of the first Sri lankan PADI Dive Instructors

Next IDC I really hope I can organise a trip with these guys out to the Great Bassos 1701 silver wreck found by Arthur C. CLarke in 1961.  They still know where the treasure lies. But then again, I would also like to go diving in March/April off Tincomalee after seeing the video from one of the other IDC candidates, Menake, of diving with a pod of sperm whales.  Guess I will have to do several more trips to Sri Lanka.

WE also conducted the first Enriched Air instructor course on Sri Lanka.  This was at the insistence of Lakshmann who was doing his staff instructor course.  After years of diving on mixed gases and blending his gases at home, he thought he better do the course and check that he has been doing things correctly all of these years.  I guess that he has not blown himself up is proof that he was following correct procedures. He actually started diving with Mike Wallis who was filming underwater Sri Lanka back in the 60s and 70s and was invloved with Arthr C. Clarke in the finding of the treasure on Great Bassos.

PADI IDc Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka IDC celebrations begin after a super successful PADI Instructor Exam

Teaching the next generation of Sri Lankan divemasters and PADI Instructors is well underway.  Poseidon Diving were also hosting Plongeurs du Monde at the same time of the IDC.  Plongeurs du Monde is a group of committed dive instructors that devote their time and money, with support from PADI, to training scuba diving to local children in under developed regions.  Louis, the president of Plongeurs du Monde, has established programmes in Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and is also looking at India.  Since the 2004 tsunami they have trained over 200 kids in Sri Lanka.  This year saw their first batch of successful PADI Rescue Diver candidates and next year will be the beginning of PADI Divemaster training. They are doing a wonderful job at helping foster an appreciation and respect in local communities for scuba diving and the underwater environment, plus helping mould our next generation of PADI dive professionals.

PADI IDC scholarship
Community development programmes run in conjunction with Plongeurs du Monde

Such a wealth of experience on this IDC, but they were all still very nervous when it came to completing the PADI Instructor examination.  They did not know what to expect from PADI.  At the beginning of the IDC they had recounted how on the first ever PADI Member Forum conducted by Johnny Chew after the tsunami, they had all turned up nervous and worried, expecting PADI to administer exams and check their knowledge.  Luckily the PADI examiner, Rob Scammell put their fears to rest and made the IE as relaxing as possible, creating an environment conducive for these guys to show how knowledgeable as divers they are and how good as instructors they will be.  Drummers on the beach and drinks and curry we celebrated 100% success for the first ever IDC on Sri Lanka.  Congratulations Menake, Praveen, Feroz and Lal.  Sri Lanka will continue to grow as a dive destination with continued support from you guys and I look forward to IDCs on Sri Lanka in the future. Thanks also for the support and help during the IDC from Chami, Lakshmann, Devsiri and Rob.

EFRI IDC Sri Lanka
EFRI Trainer programme

IT was really a week of firsts.  After the IE Rob Scammell conducted the EFRI trainer course with Rob Partridge for Temple Adventures in Pondicherry, making him the first EFRIT in India.

After the IE I had the opportunity to travel around Sri Lanka for a few days and found a wonderful country rich in history and culture.  Visited some of the best ruins and examples of buddhist art that I have seen anywhere.  Plus glimpsed great national parks with a wonderful diverstiy of wildlife.  I really look forward to returning to Sri Lanka.  It is sure to become a must see travel destination in the near future and is simply a fantastic destination for an IDC.

Sri Lanka - a wonderful country to travel around after your IDC
Sri Lanka – a wonderful country to travel around after your IDC

Currently we are conducting three IDCs per year on Sri lanka.  March/April in Hikkaduwa, June/July in Trincomalee and November/December again in Hikkaduwa.  Contact me at mark@dive-careers.com if interested in being part of these programmes.

IDC Sri Lanka
Sunset on our Sri lanka IDC