IDC Diary – Day 12

Winners! There is a Brazilian song that says something like: everyday gods are born, some bigger and some smaller than you. I felt like part of something today. I felt like we are gods borN now and because everyday gods are born again. And those gods are now our students, and the feeling of being part of this chain is something incredible. Now it is our time to create new GODS everywhere.

First part of the day was really quickly! Around 8am we were in the ocean, with all ready to go for the Open Water skills test. Two groups divided here, each of us with two skills to present, with a scenario. The examiner assigns some problems or mistakes for the students, and you have to be able to identify and correct the exact way to perform the skill. From all courses: Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, Search and recovery and dive master. After something like one and a half hour we were all done with our skill.

The last minutes of the IDC were straight away: the demonstration of the Rescue Scenario #7. Respond to a non breathing diver on the surface. Back to the boat, some few more minutes finishing the debriefing, and a clap of hands! We are all approved in the Skills!

We are done with the IDC!

Twelve days of training, two days of examinations. We are now proud of present ourselves:

Felipe dos Anjos,

Gabriel Hernanez,

Ghislain Guillet,

Holly Surrat,

Luis Antonio,

Manuel Vazquez,

Remy Bousquet,

Sandra Soares,

from Brasil, Costa Rica, France, USA, Chile and Portugal. We are PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors now.

Congratulations to all of us guys! A few words with Gary Newman, our examiner, and now in about one week we are already able to start teaching!And congratulations for all of the other candidates! We all did a good job! Now lets start spreading knowledge and bubbles all around the world

But before thinking on that, there is still a last small step. The Emergency First Responder Instructor course. Since 2004 it is mandatory that all Open Water Instructor have this certificate as well. So we still have two more days of training. Since the day was still on the first half, we decided to take the first part today still. First was just a few workshops about how does the EFR entity works, then a few more teaching techniques and finally some other applications for this course and how to use. Tomorrow again, we are gonna practice some scenarios, and by the end of the day we are gonna be finished with this course as well.

It is been 14 days studying and practicing hard, but also making strong friendships. During those days we got to meet new long time friends. The experience bounded all of us, we could see in the eye of each others how proud we were of us.

A few more drinks to celebrate the new conquer! But still, back to some more studying for the next step! Now it is only a preparation for the real celebration.

IDC Diary – Day 1

Today was a sunny busy morning at Rich Coast Diving. By 7am, all the staff was already full on working. That would be a good scenario for the beginning of the high season here in El Coco, but actually those are the firsts minutes of the Instructor development training. Instead of checking bags and loading tanks, the morning started for us with a check-list through all the candidate’s paperwork following by the introduction of all the participants.

The next 12 days are going to be fun and lot of hard working. And I’ll be sharing my experiences as a Instructor Trainee with you guys

Not only learning how to teach, we will definitely learn a lot about global culture and languages: the group consists of two French, two Costa Ricans, one American, one Portuguese, one Chilean and one Brazilian. And we’re lucky, not only on counting with 2 course directors to teach us, but also to have support in all those languages during the classes. I was really glad about being able to get some details in my native language, makes the whole training much easier.

After a brief introduction from all of the participants, we started the studies. The day was full of information about the PADI standards and the role of a Dive Instructor. We started focusing on understanding all the IDC Crewpack materials and how to use best all of the books. Then, for a break, we had some good time practicing some knots already for the next step.

The best you can get from being in a group so vastly different is about sharing experiences with each other. And that includes all of the staff. By some point even the boat captain was teaching us his own (and really fast) technique for tying the knots!

The afternoon was busy as well while we were finishing the presentations about the PADI Instructor Manual and the Guide for Teaching. For tomorrow we are going to start working on the basics of our presentations.

As you can see, lots of hard work around here. But the reward is worth all the efforts. I’m sure that the end of the training I’m not only gonna conquer my PADI Instructor license, but also lots of friends and different dive travels and adventures still to come

Bats Season

I’m a Dive Master floating weightlessly at 30m/90ft, backing up a group of nervously excited Advanced Divers where the instructor leading the group is pointing out big dark looming shadows of the world’s third most dangerous shark left, right and centre.

As I turn around slowly, to see when my turn will come, a large female bull shark is cruising slowly to my intermediate left eyeing up the group trying to work out who these strange, noisy bubble-blowing sea creatures are. Its Bat Island season in Costa Rica and Rich Coast Diving is taking a trip at Islas Mucielago, famously one of the few places in the world where you can dive with bull sharks.

Did that really just happen? I slowly regain my composure and begin to think in words and sentences again, rather than in raw emotion. I was an intruder on that fish’s marine turf – and it simply let me be. It allowed me to share its space. This is one of many regular bull shark sightings that draws hundreds of dive tourists to this region of Costa Rica each year between May and November.

Affectionately known by English speakers as the “Bat Islands,” Islas Murciélago sits offshore from Santa Rosa National Park near the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border. Fearless bull sharks stretching 6 feet to 10 feet or more; enormous manta rays big enough to block out the sun; and zebra eels as long as a garden hose are just a few of the sea creatures that adventurous souls can hope to encounter on a single diving expedition within these protected waters.

The main island is composed of rolling, lush green hills – a shade of emerald lime so stunning it almost looks like an artificial backdrop. It’s one of those magical, picture-perfect places that you have to convince yourself is actually real. The lone building on the island, a ranger station full of Costa Rican law enforcers and environmentalists, is the only sign of human life. Everything else is primal, and probably exactly as it was thousands upon thousands of years ago.

On any given boat trip out there we encountered pods of dolphins, humpback whales, 100’s of golden rays shining beneath the surface and devil rays jumping out of the water to shed parasites collecting on the surface of their skin. The first dive site: Big scare is where we find the bull sharks and on the way home we stop at Black Rock to dive around a huge pinnacle with swarms of jacks, rays and if we’re lucky reef sharks. There’s only a few weeks left and visibility and water temperature is at its peak in July/November,


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