Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This blog is simply about the transition from divemaster to scuba instructor.

It is in no way attempting to affiliate with any particular certifying agency, group or store.

This blog is in whole controlled by shellsearch and as such will moderate comments as seen fit.  

Comments are welcome, but will be moderated, i.e. rejected if not in the best interest of the blog or students and if not in good taste.

Please feel free to comment, diversity is important, but leave the ego and agency home.  I know each student appreciates constructive criticism and praise.  Their path is not an easy one right now.

Thanks for reading!

Day 11 Pool Training

Things are shifting now.  

One candidate demonstrated how to gear up poolside, don fins then giant stride entry.

Next, Scuba Bailout with concentration on demonstrating the skill not just doing it.

Following this was discussion on teaching and demonstrating the skill versus performing the skill itself.  The candidates then demonstrated removing and replacing the scuba unit under water.

At each point the students evaluated one and another and received evaluation from the instructor.

Next, explanation and demonstration of alternate air source air share with buddy.  Each student assumed the instructor position, the student position and the assistant position.

The last skill worked on for the evening was the scuba rescue.  This is a complex set of skills that is very difficult to demonstrate, as they saw.  Each student in turn demonstrated the scuba rescue with discussion.  Each was evaluated by their peers and by the instructors.

Last, open skill practice for 7 minutes.

Every candidate is making significant progress!!!

To whoever it may concern

First of all I would like to thank Dean for putting together a forum for us, the instructor candidates, to communicate through. Secondly, but not less important I would like to thank the other instructor trainer for the opportunity to learn from all of their many years of experience. I would also like to say I am proud to be a member and hopefully soon to be an instructor for an organization that believes the quality of the instructor is far more important than the four letters of the certifying agency. I did not decide to train with a certain agency, I decided to train and dive with a group of people I trusted. As I continued to train I have gained trust in the organization in which I have become a member. However, it is the people I dive with and train with of which I am most proud.

Now, this is for you, Mr./Mrs. Padi the right way/ Padi instructor. I know this forum is in a public place for public consumption and while I have no idea why you have any intrest in our blog, I appreciate the fact you have decided to join us. You see, there have been several people who no longer dive with us who have gone on to other things, which I personally wish them the very best! If you are one of these folks that's Ok, if you are not that is Ok too. I would expect your dialogue in our forum to be as professional and constructive as that of other PADI instructors that I have talked to.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scuba Instructor Presentation: Snorkel

On youtube at

Scuba Instructor Presentation: Masks

On youtube at

Scuba Instructor Presentation: Fins

At youtube at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bubbling Together

I have experienced a unique group dynamic several times, the dynamic of group cohesiveness.

Usually, everyone begins as separate bubbles traveling in the same direction. As the time traveling increases the bubbles come closer together, until actually rubbing. Usually with some friction.

Then for some unknown reason, be it time together, contact with the other bubbles or that the path of travel becomes so difficult that the bubbles snap or pop and suddenly become one large bubble. It travels along as a whole, no little bubbles left behind. The individual bubbles have coalesced together with a bond stronger than the individual bubbles themselves. All traveling happily to the goal.

This is a group dynamic that is positive.

Sometimes if the bubbles remain separate, they all pop...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 10 Pool training

This was the first official pool session of the year.  The fourth actual pool session.  Everyone has come a long ways.

The training is not easy, but the end result is a better diver and instructor.  

The ultimate goal is demonstration quality skills that are performed with ease and efficiency.  It is the getting there that is so difficult.  The skills are not just the open water basic skills but all the skills through Divemaster, all demonstration quality.  All done while teaching someone how it is done, the right way.

Tonight, started with a bailout.

After the bailout everyone geared up and read the first of 4 notes written and weighted down on the bottom.

1   ditch scuba unit
snorkel 50 yards
go to 2

2 ditch mask and fins
swim 50 yards
recover mask and fins
go to 3

3 recover scuba unit
get neutral and hover
wait for buddy
perform scuba rescue

4 perform demonstration of
mask clears
regulator recoveries
fin pivot
swim 50 yards fast

Almost all the tasks were completed.  A little rust had to be knocked off.  But overall, I think the year started out right with definite forward progress.

Next academic session is on wednesday.

Day 9 Academics

This session began with discussion and review of Teaching courses and Programs. This includes the very important idea of RUMBA and the 1 through 5 grading system.

The class next delivered oral presentations while being videoed. (hopefully up soon) The students will evaluate one and another as well as receive evaluation from the present instructors next week. New topics were selected for next weeks oral presentation.

Also next week, we will go over risk management and insurance.

The Pool is now open. The pool session will be a little different this year!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Conclusions from the dry suit tests

Well, we are happy to report all tests were completed without incident and with some pretty surprising results. It would have been nice to have our other participant there with his crushed neoprene dry suit to compare the results, (John ) but hopefully we will get those results later. None the less, listed below are the conclusions from our testing.

1. first I was suprised to find out that my undergarment and the air they trap is 12 lbs positive.

2. We discovered that it is very difficult to totally flood the dry suit . We had to really work at getting the suit totally flooded due to the squeeze of the suit at 13 ft of depth and the pressure of the water pushing on the suit.

We discovered you would have to have a major breach of your suit to totally flood it.

3. Once we were able to get the suit flooded, we determined bouancy was not affected at all by the water inside the suit. I was easily able to swim to the surface, without putting any air into my BCD.

4. I was able to swim on the surface with no gear on with the suit totally flooded. I was also able to tread water easily with the suit flooded. also, getting out of the suit in the water was easier than getting out of it out of water.

5. we had no luck purging the water from the suit from the inverted position by adding air throough the port on the front of the suit. it appeared the pressure form the air being added to the suit was not enough to displace the water in the suit. We should have stuck our octo down the suit to see if that would work.

Having heard many different opions about what would happen if you flooded you dry suit, it was very enlightening to find these answers for ourselves first hand. we will return to try John's suit and determine the effects of our undergarments on our conclusions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 8 Academics

This session was dedicated to going over the next oral presentation. Some improvements were discussed and will be implemented next session.

The instructor evaluation test was discussed.

A lengthy discussion was also held on the transition from Divemaster to Instructor.

Here were a few of the topics discussed:

Utilization of divemasters
Correction of divemasters
Team teaching
Teaching master diver, rescue and divemasters
Teaching techniques
Having fun

Next academic session will be presentations. This will be followed by going over the chapter about teaching courses and programs. We will also begin going over the risk management handbook.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sink or Float ? Confined Water Lab

Well, this is what happens when you have instructor candidates with too much time on their hands.

we have heard all of the speculation, theory as well as some first hand knowledge concerning what would happen if you happen to totally flood your dry suit. We have speculated on every scenario from , sink like a rock to somewhat buoyant.We will be searching for the following answers for ourselves in our first CONFINED WATER LABORATORY ( the TJC pool)

we will attempt to discover the following:

1) buoyancy characteristics of a totally flooded dry suit.

2) if negative, how much lift will be required to reach the surface.

3) can you actually invert yourself and purge the water from your flooded dry suit. ( can't wait to try that one, might be ugly! )

all experiments will be conducted in a safe controlled manor with safety divers and observers present.

we will let you know the outcome.

Sink or Float

What would happen if your dry suit fills with water?

Can you even swim?

Will you sink like a rock?

How will you recover from this situation?

These question have been asked.

Thursday we find out, in the pool.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Polar Bear Dive, Tyler State Park

The Second Annual State Park Polar Bear Dive, was once again done on the first day of the year.

Last year, its debut, 3 people participated (while completing their dry suit training).

This year a total of 9 people were in attendance.  Noticeable absent was Steve Lockhart!

Of note this year, one young man was diving his first dive after certification.  Wow!

Outside temps this year were in the 50's that quickly climbed to the high of 61F.  The water temperatures were in the low 50's (52F).

One diver's family graciously provided chicken and dumplings for the post dive feast!

What a pleasure to see and dive with everyone on this fist day of 2009!

Day 7 Academics

This night the students evaluated one another's recorded presentation and their own.  They were most critical.

A lot of insight was obtained with the stress of the camera and being evaluated.

Following the evaluations, teaching theory and instructional techniques was completed.

Student to instructor ratios confined water and open water were emphasized.

As it is the holiday season, the pool is closed.  Next academic session will be another assigned topic presentation.