A wet and soggy summer in Ireland and a few months on the surface convinced me that this was the perfect time to escape the weather, spend some time under water and improve my skills with a DM internship somewhere sunny, so here I am in Marina Rubicon doing an internship with the talented instructor Rich as my mentor!
I left Dublin airport in the dark early hours of the morning and a chilly 2ºC and arrived in Lanzarote to a bright sunny morning and temperatures in the 20’s. The dive centre van was waiting outside the airport for me with Phil and Lizzie ready to take me to Playa Blanca and show me around the centre and the marina and then to my flat.
I have heard lots of horror stories of what people are made to do while they are trainee divemasters, and I think I chose my dive centre well. I’m the only trainee, so I have a mentor to myself and am free to annoy any of the team of instructors with my questions! Rich does all my theory sessions with me, Lizzie did my Emergency First Response refresher course and the other instructors, Josean, Chen, Phil and Victor are always on hand to give advice, to correct and to help me out with all the tasks I have to tick off before I finish the course. The student – instructor ratio has definitely worked in my favour and I’m learning something new from the instructors every day. The only downside is that my air consumption has definitely increased because I know that underwater I’m constantly being watched and as soon as I surface I’ll be told all of the things that I need to do better next dive. The eeriest feeling is knowing that the dive centre owner, Chris, is lurking somewhere, undetectable with his bubble-free rebreather and all-black dry suit
I had never been to the Canaries before, and didn’t know too much about the diving, so by the end of the week I was delighted with the great visibility and water temperatures, and happy to have seen lots of angel sharks, stargazers, morays, barracuda, arrow crabs, puffers, groupers, stingray, octopus, and an electric ray during a DSD shore dive right beside the dive centre.
My first week ended with dinner in “Spices” Indian restaurant on the sea front in Playa Blanca to wish Jeff, a dive centre regular, goodbye until his return in December – delicious food and a welcome chance to relax and get to know the dive centre staff knowing that I wasn’t being watched or tested!
I’m making headway with my divemaster manual and the Encyclopaedia of Recreational Diving, but I’ve got a lot to learn in the next three months, on the surface and under.