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Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


I have been thinking about doing my dive masters, preferably as a 3 month internship probably in SE Asia or Australia. I have done 30 dives and am padi advanced; I’ve dived in Egypt, Malaysia (not Borneo) and Indonesia (bali/gili t/komodo) and wouldn’t really want to go back to indo.

Do any of you dive pros have any recommendations for places and or shops?

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Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


eviljelly posted:

Depends on a lot of factors. Do you want to work afterwards? If so, where? How much do you want to spend? How good do you want your diving, vs. other considerations such as quality of life, etc.?

I trained as a divemaster on Koh Tao, Thailand. Looking back, I think I got very good training and the program was a great experience - I'd definitely do it again.

The diving is not top notch, especially compared to places like Komodo, but there's enough good diving to keep it fun - if you go with a shop that goes to the good dive sites (many dive schools only go to the closest dive sites to keep the diving fast and fuel costs low). Standards are fairly high for SE Asia (I remember diving in the Philippines and in Vietnam as a new-ish diver and in retrospect they took a lot of shortcuts which I would now find unacceptable) and probably a lot higher than in Egypt, but lower than in Australia (although, a few of my worst fun divers - including rescue divers and DMs - had been trained in Australia). The real pluses for Koh Tao are lifestyle (good nightlife, decent food, great weather), low prices (under US$1000 for the DM course which includes all the free diving you want, plus cost of living is fairly low), lots of hands-on experience (high volume means that you get to help out a lot).

I hate over-plugging my own dive school but the more I see of what other dive schools do here, the more I feel fortunate that I went with New Way. We are almost always the first boat at the dive site, as we leave at 6am from the shop every morning. It makes a huge difference having 20 other divers around vs. 100. In fact, these days, we have DMs, DMTs and instructors from other dive schools joining us on fun dives two or three times a week, because they never get to go to the good sites with their own dive schools and/or because by the time their boats get to the dive sites, all the fish have scattered and the place is full of bubbles. Although at times it feels like we're getting too big, we are still a small shop - it's a busy morning for us if we have 30 divers on board. Especially as busy season winds down, this means that you'll get to know all the instructors pretty quickly.

I would like to work but more as a plan b/escape from civilisation if I find myself unable to afford traveling without work. This would probably be in south/central America.

While I don't doubt the lifestyle is great and that working in a busy shop will prepare you well for the actual job Koh Tao does seem to have a bad reputation amongst the divers i know, is this just snobbery?

Ziggy Piggy
Sep 25, 2006


BiggerJ posted:

I'm impressed by all the traveling you guys do. Is traveling to third-world/developing countries risky or dangerous at all?

SE Asia is very safe and full of tourists from all over the world, from 18 year olds just out of school to groups of Chinese grandmothers. You have to work hard to get into any real trouble.

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