So it was with a heavy heart that I left Africa and back to SE Asia. Africa had been awesome, looking back we had been to so many places, travelled huge distances and experienced many different lifestyles and cultures. Topographically Africa had blown my mind, it was everything that I had envisaged and more not only in surrounding beauty but also in terms of culture, society and heritage.
I was now at the end of my scheduled trip and I had to decide what to do next. Either head back home or start earning money or earn and stay abroad. As I had been having such an amazing time and wanted to stay out longer, the only logical solution that I could come up with to fulfil the last 2 solutions was to do something that I was really enjoying and could take further – Diving. I had been exploring this idea for the last 3 months and now it was time to decide with who and where I should do my Instructors Exam (IE).
In order to do the IE (a 3 day program that finally signs you off as an Instructor) you need to go through the IDC to prepare you for the exams that come up. The IDC course I choose was for 21 days and then a final 3 days of the IDC. I thought this was more than adequate to really understand the principles of everything I needed to relearn from my Dive Master days and also how to teach in a controlled, relaxed and informative manner. It was the teaching side of things that was the most worrying for me, having not taught much in my life!
I decided to choose Blue Season Bali in the en as the course director had come recommended and course was very thorough. It was like going back to school again on the first day as all the other students on the course got together and we were given schedules, a full timetable and so many books to read. Pleasantries exchanged we all got down to some heavy reading and started to test our knowledge again. Basically the course is divided into main structures such as
- Theory – knowing everything you can about diving ranging from equipment, physiology, environment, physics and $$$$$$
- Standards and Procedures – ratios of students to instructors and the elements of what can and can’t be taught.
- Teaching – putting the previous two in a teaching format above and below the water.
The team gelled well and in the next few days we were all studying together and helping each other out. At first there seems so much to take in and study, but through the process of re-testing, repetition and asking as many questions (no matter how stupid) things began to settle and by the end of the 3 weeks the last few days were taken in fine tuning the last of what was needed. During our time together we spent a lot of time in the classroom but also some practical days out in the ocean and pool. We were all marked very hard and even the smallerst of points were picked up so that when it came to the IE we would breeze it.
The last 3 weeks had built up to this 3 days of intense examination processes. I was slightly nervous but happy to be getting the dull stuff out of the way first which was the theory side of things before then getting into the swimming pool to teach confined lessons and then the day after into the ocean to teach the Open Water, Advanced and Rescue skills. all the training we had done had boiled done to this and to say we were good was an understatement, not sounding too cocky!! Our course director had down us proud, he may have worked us really hard but it was to our befit in the end and looking at some of the other candidates from other dive shops in the room we felt proud and determined. No need to worry as we all passed with flying colours and not a mark dropped in the water sessions.
As with most exams there is a time to study and a time to party so we did until the early hours of the morning. The next few days were then focused on completing my specialities, tech introduction course and what the hell was I going to do now.. where to go, what to do!!!
The only logical Solution – go diving somewhere. As Sarah had recently come back to SE Asia and was itching to go diving we thought we would start looking for work (me only as Sarah was going back to England in a months time) in Indonesia and specifically Sulawesi, the home of muck diving.