I am a PADI Dive Instructor! :)

Eight years since I last worked in scuba diving and I can’t be happier than I am at Asia Dive Academy(ADA) in Singapore.  Especially since the rollercoaster of the Instructor Exam is over! : )


I was most thankful to find out that this opportunity was real. On my flight over from Texas I was worried that this might be a gimmick and I might arrive in Singapore and find no one at the airport to pick me up! Thankfully I was wrong and upon arrival, there he was, Nicholas a friend from Asia Dive Academy came to pick me up.

With the great guidance offered by ADA’s Staff Instructors whom are assisting us through our Instructor Development Course(IDC), our learning curve doesn’t seem as steep as it should have been. After arriving here, a fellow diver (now a fellow Dive Instructor), Maggie, told me about how some other Dive Companies would train you for a week before the exam! That just still seem impossible to me. In no way can I believe that the majority of the PADI Dive Masters that went to take the Instructor Exam would have passed with only one week of preparation.  At ADA, we were given 3 weeks of training alongside current PADI Dive Instructors and PADI Course Directors. Lucky for us, with ample preparation, our group had a 100% pass rate this season, and if I had to do it again, you would surely find me with Asia Dive Academy!


After the weeks of preparation for the exams, I felt at ease even at 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 aint that surprise 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 group, everyone was happy and you could 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 before we finally called it a day.  I was a little unwilling to leave the pool which seemed to have ended a bit too 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!   Back to the point… Where was I?)

Sunday was a fun day; that is for sure. We sailed to Pulau Hantu for our Open Water Instructor Examination. Water was a nice temperature, visibility and current were fine too. Most importantly we were diving in the open water. This is the moment that I have been yearning for!

In the ocean we went thru our individual skills again and rescue breathing on an unresponsive diver at the surface. It was a good day with a good tan!  Like most diving days it ended too fast, and I can hardly contain my excitement for my next open water!


It is funny how slow time seem to move 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 shop, I am hoping time goes by even slower instead. 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 PADI Instructors, Nicholas Tan!

A special thanks to our PADI Pros with Asia Dive Academy who made it possible for us to become PADI Instructors!


Well that’s it for me today : P  Hope you are staying wet and diving every opportunity you get!

Signing Off,

Marcus Oliva

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