What ‘Diving Lifestyle’ Internship program did you complete?
What where you doing before you joined Crystal Dive’s team to complete your scuba diving internship (Diving Lifestyle Program) on Koh Tao?
Before joining Crystal Dive I had a professional career in Houston, TX, USA. I was badly in need of a lifestyle change and I couldn’t have made a better choice. I enjoy being active along with the challenge and stimulation of learning something new, so the DM lifestyle program was a perfect fit. I’ve also made many friends with diverse backgrounds who are grateful to be here every day.
How long have you spent completing your scuba diving internship?
The DM training took me 7 weeks and the internship was 2 weeks. The DM training is at your own pace but the internship is extremely busy.
What was your favourite part of the scuba diving Internship and why?
My favourite part was leading fun dives. I sometimes led up to four dives a day, which helped me quickly improve navigation and familiarity with the dive sites. I had to plan and brief each dive, assess diver skills, and solve problems on land and in the water.
The internship was a great way to quickly consolidate the skills learned during the DM training and improved my confidence tremendously.
What was your least favourite part and why?
My least favourite part was during the mornings and afternoons when I felt like I needed to be doing two important things at the same time; preparing the boat and greeting my customers. This was difficult to manage and I felt like I couldn’t provide the level of customer service I would have liked.
Who was your favourite Instructor and why?
I’m thankful to all of the instructors I worked with during the DM training. They were all very professional and had excellent skills in and out of the water. They were also respectful and gave constructive feedback which I very much appreciated. As one of the instructors in charge of the DM training program, Manu was the most influential.
He kept my training moving along at the right pace and also worked directly with the DMTs on skills demonstrations and the skin diver and Discover Scuba Diving programs (DSD). He also helped me wrap-up my DM training by squeezing in final tasks when he could.
As a qualified PADI Divemaster what are you future plans with regards to scuba?
And what about Koh Tao?
I really enjoyed Koh Tao. It’s a small island but has plenty to offer in terms of food and nightlife. The views are amazing and the island has a casual, laid back feel. It’s also draws an incredibly diverse range of students that travelled here to experience diving for the first time or take professional courses such as DM or IDC.
And your favourite restaurant on Koh Tao?
My favourite day-to-day restaurant was Yang’s. The food was good and cheap with large portions perfect after a long day of diving. For special occasions, Barracuda was my favourite. They serve excellent seafood at reasonable prices, especially compared to what I would pay back home.
How did you spend your non diving days on Koh Tao?
Diving can take a lot out of you so my non-diving days were filled with relaxation. I stayed in Chalok which is a more calm part of the island perfect for a late breakfast at a beach front restaurant, reading on a bean bag, or going for a massage.
Where are you heading next?
Next, I’ll be heading to China to work as a business lecturer at a university in the Northeast. The university has long breaks at the end of each semester which would be perfect for exploring new dive sites throughout SE Asia or pick up more freelance work during the high season here in Koh Tao.
I think this would be the perfect lifestyle balance for me and something I couldn’t find in a corporate job back home. It was a leap of faith to leave home but I’m very happy with the way things are coming together.