Hello! Having worked at Davy Jones’ Locker on Koh Tao for nearly three years I have always found my job to be very enjoyable and rewarding. The bread and butter of a working instructor is the PADI Open Water Diver course. This entry level certification always poses different challenges and no two courses are the same. PADI talks alot about transforming lives which I know can come across to some people as a bit cheesy but I see it as transforming any negative diving situations into positive ones.
Not every student diver is perfect when they first get in the water and people can have problems. Our job is helping people get over these problems. A common example is clearing a mask of water. The problem with problems is that you see or here of some intructors who will ignore the problem or let the odd student fall by the wayside. I’m proud at DJL that we spend time with students who may have had some difficulties, and give them the attention they deserve.
A recent student called Katy springs to mind. I think some people can feel pressured when they are finding things difficult and the rest of the students are getting it straight away. I think it’s important in these situations to remove the pressure which invariably leads to stress. Katy was in the pool with myself and three other students and was performing the skills very well but struggled a bit with mask clearing. The three other students were clearing their masks at the first attempt and I think Katy unnecessarily felt she was holding the group back and started to work hereself up which caused stress and therefore elevated respiration. Breathing is everything in diving and elevated respiration (rapid breathing) usually results in a rush job, more mistakes, more stress, more rapid breathing, more rushing, more mistakes, more stress etc. you get the picture. I decided to give Katy a break and she and I went back into the pool the following morning just the two of us. This I feel removed the pressure and therefore the stress. Unsuprisingly Katy did herself proud and nailed the mask skills first time without a hitch. Watching this develovement was very rewarding for me and Katy was clearly elated. The big positive in all this was not only that Katy rose to the challenge, re-joined the other students and completed the Open Water course, she loved it so much that she went on and took the PADI Advanced Open Water course. Katy is now an accomplished, confident, and happy diver. Power to her.
On a related topic we can also look at the importance of equipment. I spent time with Katy finding a mask that she was happy with. I’m sure most musicians will agree that nothing compares to the feel of playing your own guitar, violin, or whatever your instrument of choice may be. This is much the same in diving. There’s nothing like diving in the comfort of your own gear. The mask I would consider to be the most important bit of kit. They’re cheap, small, light and can make every dive that bit more enjoyable.
To sum up, at DJL Diving we guarantee to spend all the time necessary to see that all your needs are met.