For me, the choice of “who”, “when” and “where” to do my Divemaster Training (DMT) was relatively simple.
Generally, it comes down to just a handful of points.
1. Geographical location
2. Intended dates
3. Course length
4. Dive company
You may consider other factors, but for me, these were the main ones.
Geographical location is important. It’s essentially the first thing to consider, as it can help with deciding on points two and four too. Perhaps even point three if it’s flexible and you can sneak your way in there for a little longer, am I right?
Think about the type of diving you want to do. You’ve got a myriad of options. Are you interested in tropical diving only? Are you happy to dive in strong currents? Do you want to see a lot of coral and fish, or are you more interested in wrecks? I’m sure there are all sorts of questions you could ask yourself to help decide where you go – everyone has their own feelings on what diving they enjoy.
I never even got to the point of thinking about it though.
Once I’d voiced my thoughts on doing the DMT, a friend piped up that he’d be interested in joining. He already had a place in mind – Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.
As is my way, I agreed, and aside from a couple of questions along the lines of “is the diving good?”, I didn’t do much more research into it.
The result is that I’m possibly in one of the most challenging places to do my course, but it’s also one of the most stunning. I’m thinking the beauty definitely outweighs the difficulties.
Another easy one for me (my friend had a two month window for our course only), but it’s still an important one to consider.
It’s hard to believe, I’m sure, but not all locations provide epic diving all year round. What a shocker. If your heart is set on one place in particular, you’re going to need to time your life around it, if necessary.
And if you’re hoping that the company may just want to keep you on as a guide afterwards, then get in there at the beginning of the season.
You should also keep in mind different highlights of places across the year, and just what you’re hoping to see there. For instance, in Labuan Bajo, there are a lot of mantas to see in the early months of the year. From April, these sightings are less frequent, but you start getting better visibility in the north, which allows dive sites to open up there (and I can tell you that these are amazing).
Consider things like temperature, visibility, migration patterns etc etc.
Most dive centres will tell you the course takes a minimum of six weeks.
Some will let you do it in less though. A friend of mine is doing it in Malaysia over two weeks.
Based on my experience so far, I’d say the six weeks minimum is fair. Time will tell how my friend handles the course load over two weeks. I’m two weeks in, and I’ve barely made a dent in what needs to be done.
On top of that, you’ll already be paying whatever fee it is to do the course, so why not take your time and take advantage of all the opportunities to dive (at no extra cost)? Some centres will let you take more than the six weeks. Where I am, there’s no defined time limit. They actually recommend eight to 10 weeks in their brochure, but I imagine most people stick with around six. I’ll be here for about seven by the time I’m done.
Keep in mind that some dive shops will define this period for you. The first place I looked at had a set six week period. The six weeks would begin on a set date so that all new DMTs were working to the same schedule.
Quite possibly the most important factor.
You’re stuck with this place for several weeks. You will eat and sleep with these people. You will essentially see each other half naked (in your swimsuit) for days on end. If you’re really lucky, you may even see some of them naked as they complete the tradition of the naked 100th dive.
Basically, you want to like these people. And you want to like them enough to spend those six weeks with them.
Do your research online – find the best companies in town. But then visit them if you can. Get a feel for the people at each place through your communication with them.
You’re unlikely to forget these new friends – so you’d better make sure you get good memories.
If you’d like any tips on courses in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, or you’d just like to run through some more information on the Divemaster Training, comment away and I’ll help you out!
Read More at: Indonesia Travel
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