5 years since I last worked in scuba diving and I can’t be happier than I am at Asia Dive Academy in Singapore. Especially since the rollercoaster of the Instructor Exam is over! J
I was most thankful to find out that this opportunity was real. On my flight over from Texas I thought this must be a gimmick and I would arrive in Singapore and find no one at the airport to pick me up! Thankfully there was a friend from Asia Dive Academy to pick me up.
The amount of information one needs to learn is lessened as well with the great instruction offered by ADA’s Instructors. After arriving here, a fellow diver (now a fellow Dive Instructor), Maggie, told me of how some dive companies train you for a week before the exam!!??? I am still wondering how this is possible. In no way can I believe that the majority of the PADI Dive Masters that went to take the Instructor Exam passed in a course that only gives one week of preparation. We at ADA were given 3 weeks of training alongside current PADI Dive Instructors and PADI Course Directors. Our group with ADA had a 100% pass rate this season, and if I had to do it again, you would find me with Asia Dive Academy!
After the weeks of preparation for the exams, I felt at ease the morning of the exams. I would say I am surprised I didn’t become more nervous as the day went on, but when I think of how well prepared we were, I’m not surprised at all.
We started off Saturday with an orientation from our Instructor Examiner, Rob. It was nice that he presented the two days of exams in a relaxed manner. I’m sure this definitely helped all the candidates’ nerves relax a bit prior to beginning the written test.
Once we finished the written test and presentation, everyone was ecstatic. It didn’t matter if the candidate was from ADA or another dive program, everyone was happy to see the relieved faces of Instructor Candidates walking out of the testing classroom. Some faces looked a little paler than others during the test, but after completing the test, everyone had a shine about them and their worries were washed away.
Finished with the written exam and presentation, we were off to the pool. I’m sure everyone was ready to get wet after spending the last few hours stressing about the written exam. I know I was looking forward to the water all day long.
We completed our circuit skills and individual skills we finally called it a day. I was a little disappointed the pool dive ended a bit quickly compared to how much of the day we spent in a classroom, but we had Sunday to look forward to, as the open water portion of the exam would start in the morning.
Everyone had a little more spring in their step on Sunday. The last hurdle to jump in our path to becoming Open Water Scuba Instructors was before us. (Side note: I just found out if feels just as good writing Open Water Scuba Instructor as it does saying it. I bet all the newly certified Instructors agree with me on this one! J Back to the point… Where was I?)
Sunday was a fun day; that is for sure. Water was a nice temperature. Visibility and current were fine. Most importantly we were diving in the open ocean. I have yet to experience anything I enjoy more than this.
In the ocean we went thru our individual skills again and rescue breathing on an unresponsive diver at the surface. Good day and everyone got a bit of a tan. Like most diving days it ended too fast, and I can hardly contain my excitement for my next ocean dive.
It is funny how slow time went at the beginning of the training, but now that it is done it seems to have flown by in an instant. Now that I am in the stage of training students and working at the dive shops I am hoping time goes by slower, but I am sure when I look back it will seem like it flew by again. Though, I doubt I will mind if it seems to have gone by too quickly because of all the great memories I will have by the end of my time in Singapore with Asia Dive Academy.
So far I can only speculate how great it will be to teach students on my own, since right now I am sitting in on an Open Water class and learning through observation of one of ADA’s great PADI Instructors, Nicholas Tan!
A special thanks to our PADI Pros with Asian Dive Academy who made it possible for us to become PADI Instructors!
Well that’s it for me today 😛 Hope you are staying wet and diving every opportunity you get!!