What ‘Diving Lifestyle’ Internship program did you complete?
What were you doing before you joined Crystal Dive’s team to complete your scuba diving internship (Diving Lifestyle Program) on Koh Tao?
I was working for the last ten years in the gym/fitness industry. I was studying sport since in Cologne and was working for five years in Berlin. Another five years I lived in Karlsruhe on the German border with France and was working there also in a fitness club. Then I quit my job, sold my car and other stuff, and was moving back to Berlin (my hometown) and a few days later I was going to Koh Tao.
The first ten days my parents joined me for their holidays. I was diving with my dad and was showing the island to my parents. I have visited Koh Tao on two previous occasions and knowing the island, I was like a guide for my mum and dad. When they left the island I started my DMT adventure at Crystal. In the start I did a lot of fun dives to increase my dives in the log book. Then the EFR and Rescue Diver before starting the Divemaster course.
How long have you spent completing your scuba diving internship?
From start to finish it took me six weeks. There were a lot of days off in between, either just fun diving or chilling out at the beach or something like that. The Christmas holiday with the other guys from Crystal was pretty special and very cool. For New Year’s Eve I was going to Bangkok on December 29 to visit friends and celebrate the New Year. There was an impressive firework display all over the city!
In January I took the bus to Siem Reap (Cambodia) to visit the temples of Angkor Wat and make my Visa extension. I was going around Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor for three days. It’s so beautiful and impressive over there! It feels like Lara Croft when I explore the temples inside of the jungle and there was nobody else. It was an amazing trip!
I returned to Koh Tao on the 7th of January and continued my Divemaster course. I finished mid-January. After I became a certified PADI Divemaster I started the ‘Working Internship Program’ at Crystal. This was just like working as a normal Divemaster, giving me my first experience in the scuba diving business.
The last exam to become a real DM was my ‘Snorkel Test‘ with Peter and Maggie from team China. Finally, I left Koh Tao in February to return to Germany.
What was your favourite part of the scuba diving Internship and why?
Puh… I had so many great moments on the Divemaster course and the Internship… One of the biggest benefits was to join so many different new people from all over the world, customers, DMTs, DMs, Instructors and to spend time with them and make new friends… that was really nice!
During the DMT course one of the best parts was the Eco diving with Jenny and Kiwi Sam. It was a 75 minute dive to transplant corals at Junkyard. And also the other Eco stuff was cool. My most beautiful dive was at Pottery Pinnacle with Sine, Hellen and Tennessee when we saw a turtle and dived with her for a while.
During the Internship my most favourite fact was to be a part of the team and work with all these great guys together. It was not like a normal boring office job, it was like a big family. Everybody is helping each other and you talk a lot with the other guys and spend a lot of time with them and enjoy so many good experiences with them.
What was your least favourite part and why?
To complete the knowledge reviews, especially chapter 7-9. That was a lot of stuff to read and a lot of paperwork to complete. That was not so exciting like all the practical things such as diving!
Who was your favourite Instructor and why?
That’s difficult! There are so many great instructors! I had a really good time with a lot of them. Dirk S. was my mentor during my DMT. He was like a big brother for me. I learned a lot with him!
With Tina, I did my O2 Provider, Nitrox Specialty, Wreck Specialty and Deep Diver Specialty. She is lovely and we did so many great dives together. I had also my dive #100 during my Wreck Spec with her, at the penetration dive. She didn’t need a torch for the wreck penetration, she saw all the time my white shining ass! And I was so scared about all of this sharp and broken metal in and outside the wreck at this dive!
Manu was my Instructor for the Rescue Diver, it was one of the most favourite courses! It takes so much fun and I’ve learned a lot during this course. I had some really cool dives and a good time with Jenny. During the Eco dives I saw lots of cool stuff and got a better understanding for the ecosystem and the marine life. We transplanted corals at Junkyard and participated in reef clean ups at various dive sites removing lots of trash.
Also on the Eco programs were land and beach clean ups as well as clean ups in the shallow water close to the beachfront. We also helped to build special cages to protect the giant clams which was cool. The team of Crystal is like a big family. I spend so much time with these guys and I had so many great moments with them. All of them are awesome!
As a qualified PADI Divemaster what are you future plans with regards to scuba?
I’ll start working in March on a cruise ship as a gym Instructor / Fitness Trainer and as a Divemaster as well. I’ll continue my scuba diving education to become an Instructor at the end of august 2016 when I complete the PADI IDC – See you soon!
And what about Koh Tao?
Koh Tao is my second home. I fell in love with this island. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Nice weather, beautiful nature, awesome beaches, great dive sites and lovely people! It’s not so busy and stressful like other islands or places in Thailand.
Everything is at a little slower pace which I like. If it is heavy rain and storm and the electric power is interrupted, who cares, chill out take a drink and wait for the power to come back on. Everybody is relaxed, friendly and open minded. The people here are more helpful if you have some problems.
And your favourite restaurant on Koh Tao?
‘La Carotte’ the vegan and vegetarian restaurant in Mae Haad. Best food on the island for sure! I’m missing it already!
How did you spend your non diving days on Koh Tao?
Mostly hanging out with the other guys from Crystal and going to snorkelling or laying at the beach or explore the island. But on lots of my days off I was often going fun diving.
Where are you heading next?
After 6 weeks in Berlin (Germany), with a couple of journeys to Hamburg, Rostock, Dresden, Karlsruhe and Stuttgart, I’ll start my new job on a cruise ship (AIDA Cruises) in March. I’ll be going all over northern Europe (the North and the Baltic Sea) with the cruise. It will be my new home for the following five and a half months. I will working there in the gym on board.