A Day In The Life
Being part of the Crystal Divemaster Team requires hard work, commitment and dedication. Early starts, late finishes, 12 hour days become the norm.
This is how an average day on the DM team looks….
06:00am, alarm goes off, I snooze it. Alarm goes off again, I snooze it again. You can see a pattern here. 15 minutes or so later, I get up, make a quick breakfast and do all the usual morning stuff. I look out the window to assess the weather situation (nothing diving related, just like to know if I’ll get wet), jump on the bike half asleep and let the breeze wake me up on the way into work. If I’m lucky I can look at a nice morning sky as I ride.
At 06:40am, the hard graft begins! There’s a boat list that’s kept in the office which has details of the equipment that needs to be packed. We check the numbers and head straight to the kit room. Here, the team all pitches in to pack regulators and masks for students and fun divers. We check the emergency O2 tanks, pack spare kit and make sure the first aid is fully stocked before heading down to the boats with the stuff.
The team rushes around sweating, double and triple checking that enough kit has been packed, lifting tanks between the boats, and generally ensuring that everything is in order for the first trip of the day.
The boat is set up and ready by 07:00am. One of us makes contact with the office and lets them know so it can be announced to everyone to make their way to the boats.
Depending on what your duties are for the day will depend on whether you are based on land or the boat.
I stay on the boat once it’s packed and ready to go. We do the “meet and greet” for customers; help them onto the boats, pass their equipment over, direct them to their assigned set up area if necessary, and wish them a pleasant dive.
Everyone’s on board now, so once the boat has departed I head back and get the kit room cleaned. Sweeping up, tidying the wetsuit hangers and refilling the dunk tanks with clean fresh water are first up. If I fancy a coffee after this, now is the time. The scuba reviews (skill refreshers) start at 08:00am so if customers are booked in I’ll start setting up equipment around 07:30am before they arrive. No time to waste.
Once the morning duty is done, I await the boats return, usually around 11:30am, ready for “meet and greet” round 2. Helping the divers off the boat, ask about the dives, and making sure the office staff have given me numbers to help prep the boat for the afternoon trip out. Then grab a quick bite to eat before cracking on with the afternoon shift.
So I’m at the kit room at 06:40am packing equipment for the boat. Once this is done, some of the team will head down to the boats to set up while I go to the office to find out who my customers are. When they arrive, I’ll take them to the kit room to get sized up for whatever gear they need – perfect time to have a chat, get a bit of background knowledge on their diving experience and generally get to know them a bit.
Once I’ve got the group organised and together we’ll head to the boats once they’ve finished setting up. On the way to the dive site I’ll give them a dive brief, assign buddy teams and tell them a couple of fun facts about the spot we’re visiting.
Each boat trip has two dives. On the way back from the morning boat I’ll have had communication from the office as to what my afternoon schedule is.
Surface Cover Duties
After setting up the boats I come back to the office and pick up the boat list while all the divers make their way to the boat. I give it a couple of minutes, collect my dive bag and check to make sure everyone has left Crystal so that I’m last on. Important first step is conduct a roll call to make sure everyone’s on the boat. Even more important is doing this after each dive, to make sure they’re back!
While we’re en route to the dive site and the instructors are briefing their students I’ll note down everyone’s equipment numbers, just in case anything goes missing during the course of the day. I set up my own equipment so that I’m “rescue ready” and list all the buddy teams. For each dive team, it’s important to note time in and out of the water, just in case people lose their buddies (this is why we have our kit set up for emergencies!).
Generally, a smooth, emergency-less boat ride ensues, and I am there to help students in and out of the water and make sure all equipment is returned. I will notify the office when I’m heading back in case any equipment needs fixing, and to give an ETA for a meet and greet to be there on our arrival.
I arrive in the morning and relish in the fact that I am the chosen one who gets to sit in the office while everyone else sets the boat up. However, the early morning check-ins/check-outs, and people arriving for their dives is enough to stay busy while making sure there are enough tanks on land for the pool session. Once the boats have left the pier at around 07:15am it quietens down a bit. I grab a coffee to see me through the morning.
Next thing I’ll do is start preparing a boat list for the afternoon. Get it started nice and early so when people come in to book some dives, you can add them straight onto the afternoon list. You can also get a good idea of what kit will be needed so we can pack or unload the boats accordingly.
It requires constant communication with the boats to make sure any faulty equipment is topped up with new stuff from land. It’s also important to maintain contact to ensure all staff on the boat are in the loop when it comes to their afternoon schedule.
The afternoon boat arrives back around 17:00pm. This is the time when the team comes together again and everyone pitches in to clean the equipment, count the stock in the kit room and make sure it’s all returned. Worst case scenario is, kit has gone missing and we need to search everywhere for it until it’s back.
Best case scenario is, we count everything, hit the numbers spot on first time, before locking up and heading to the bar!
Author: Lee Pizzala (PADI DM #380258)