How She Re-Energized Her Life Through Divemaster Training
• 4 min read
Charlotte, half French and half American, tells us all about her divemaster internship she did in Indonesia. Working as a management consultant in Sydney, Australia, she is passionate about scuba diving, sky diving (she has 80+ solo and group jumps so far!) and has just started learning to sail!
Charlotte, can you tell us why you decided to do your Divemaster? What were your main motivations?
I made the decision to become a Divemaster for two main reasons:
After close to 10 years of working full time, I wanted to take a break from an intellectually challenging, intense, exhausting deck job and experience what it’s like to have a very different kind of job which would allow me to meet people from various backgrounds and nationalities and be connected to nature/the ocean every day. And all the while learning new skills.
I had reached a plateau in my diving skills and wanted to challenge myself in a way that would allow me to become a better diver: when doing 4-10 dives a year, I wasn’t really improving and was eager to reach a point where I would feel comfortable in most situation. The focus for me was to learn how to reduce my air consumption, be better at buoyancy control and comfortable in currents.
Being a divemaster trainee is quite different from the consulting management job you were doing at the time. What have you learned through this experience?
Besides new diving skills, this experience taught me so much on a personal level. Being a DMT (Dive Master Trainee) is actually very hard work! I had full work days from 7am to 6pm, seven days a week, rarely had time for lunch or breaks throughout the day and was exhausted by the time the day was over.
But when you’re doing something you are passionate about, are working in a relatively stress-free environment with amazing people, are outdoors and active all day and get to help people discover what you love doing, it’s all worth it and you don’t want it to end.
My body had never been fitter, I had never had so much energy, I had rarely felt so strong/positive mentally than when I was a DMT. I also learned that the more I dive, the more I love it!
How was it to be leading dives?
There’s something very new, gratifying about leading dives and guiding people instead of tagging along: you’re not following anyone so can choose where you want to go and have brief moments when you feel alone with the ocean. This is also an opportunity to meet amazing people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures who tend to be very different from your group of friends back home so you learn a lot from them.
Which advice would you give people who want to do their divemaster?
I did my DMT at Gili Divers on Gili Trawangan over a period of 4.5 weeks in 2016. Take your time: 4-5 weeks is very short, it’s a very intense program so it’s best to take 7-8 weeks minimum to do it to enjoy fun dives, downtime, “dry days”, etc.
Choose a location with a lot of dive sites as you’re going to be diving 2-4 times a day almost every day for over a month.
And chose a location with a lot of activity or time when it’s peak season for diving, this will allow you to have a lot of experience guiding, helping with courses/intro dives, etc.
Choose a place with good equipment and/or bring your own equipment.
DMTs are often asked to leave the newest equipment to the clients and use the older, worn out versions of everything (my regs were often faulty so I had to frequently use the alternate source) – and it’s just disgusting after a while too (especially wetsuits…).
What’s the next thing you want to do in diving?
I would love to take the 40m deep dive technical certification. Maybe Nitrox as well and if possible, find a way to work as a DM (Divemaster) over the summer.
Maybe I’ll want to do my Instructor Development Course one day!
What’s your next dive destination?
A liveaboard at the Great Barrier reef where I got my Open Water certification 7 years ago as it’s close to where I live today. I’m also going to Papua New Guinea with SeaCrush in August!