Intern James

Ex Dive master intern James share his gap year Dive master internship experiences from Koh Tao

Name:James Crossley

Age:21 Nationality:UK

What were you doing before you joined the PADI Divemaster internship in Koh Tao?

Before going to Koh Tao i was working at Currys [electrical appliance store] generally wishing i was dead. After hearing about the course from a friend i started 2 weeks later.

What's your opinion of Koh Tao? Do you think it's a good place to take a Divemaster internship?

Koh Tao island itself is like paradise on earth. If you dont like cheap alcohol, cheap food and beautiful surroundings dont bother going. Everyone was very friendly and i felt i made some friends for life in my time out there.

What was the best thing you saw underwater during your diving internship?

The best thing i saw underwater was a topless snorkler with big ***s. Aquatically speaking i was delighted to see a turtle and my first experience with a shark was something i will never forget.

I also enjoyed seein mitch get bitten on the ear by a big wrasse [a very small fish]. I didnt expect it to make him cry but it was very funny. I was also lucky enough to be let on a wreck dive. Seein a huge ship at 45m was exillarating and is something that i would love to do in the future.

Which part of the Divemaster internship did you find trickiest?

Academics has never been my strong point so i expected this to be the worse part of the course. However, the instructors were always on hand to help out and give various lectures which was really handy. It didnt seem to be much of a chore to revise about something that you enjoy in the surroundings you are in.

Learning all those new formula and laws was pretty hard. However i passed thanks to some hard graft from Alex, who took his own personal time to help out.

Throughout your time on the dive internship, what was your most memorable dive experience?

The deep wreck diving was an amazing experience. The wrecks were very eerie and looked almost haunted. The dives i did were like no other i did on the island.

The conditions bought a whole new aspect on diving for me. The visibility was only a couple of metres but you still appreciate the size of the wreck. It was also quite weird dealing with narcosis. I found myself giggling at a net full of fish!!!

How did you find the PADI Divemaster swims?

The swims went well i thought. A good pair of swims was essential. However i did think that alexs lap counting was a bit off. I still think i swam more than necessary. The only advice i can give here is to swim as much as possible between dives and dont turn up hungover. I attended the gym for at least an hour a day to prepare [incase you're wondering, he didn't]!

Was taking the Divemaster Internship a productive experience?

The internship i believe has given me higher confidence when dealing with people. Its also given my life a new purpose, to become a dive instructor.

Which was your favourite scuba diving site?

My favourite dive site was a toss up between Japanese Gardens, with its abundance of little fish and interesting rocks, and chumphon pinnacle where there were plenty of sharks, rays, eels, the occasional octopus and beautiful colourful corals. However a highlight for me was seeing a turtle at a site called 'The Lighthouse'.

What did you think of the underwater equipment exchange?

The underwater equipment exchange was fine. I felt very safe with dive god alex watching over me. However mitchs fins were a little small. He is only size 7 and i am an 11. That was a little uncomfortable but in general it was ok.

How did you find giving dive briefings as part of your Divemaster course?

Dive briefings made me a little nervous at first as i didnt want to get anything wrong. After a few i felt more comfortable. I recieved feedback from the instructors all the time so by the end they became quite natural to me.

Tell us about your sailing liveaboard adventure to the Chumphon Marine reserve?

The liveaboard was fantastic. The cleanest toilets i came across whilst on the island! We dived some very remote sites that are dived very rarely so very unspoilt.

We also got to see some more of the remote islands of Thailand, including the one where jurassic park was filmed apparentely. The liveaboard was surprisingly comfortable and it was a great experience to sleep under the stars after the most delicious meals ever.

Once you graduated from the Divemaster internship, did you enjoy guiding certified divers?

Leading the dives was brilliant as it gave me a real sense of responsibility. It was also good to be able to lead to where ever i wanted to go instead of having to follow. I also felt very proud when finding a fish of interest to show a group.

What will be your next diving adventure?

My next dive adventure, financially allowing, will be the tec diving courses offered by DJL. I found myself immensely envious when all the 'tec divers' went off for a wreck dive to ships that hadnt even been found before. When they came back looking very smug with themselves i knew i wanted to be a part of there elite group.

Any advice for anyone considering taking a Divemaster internship with DJL Diving?

The only advice i can give is - DO IT. Its without doubt the best 3 months of my life. Something new and challenging each day in an environment you have to experience to believe.

So what are your plans now?

I now have 1 sole purpose in my life. Save save save before i can go back to DJL and begin new and even more extreme courses. The diving industry is definitely the life for me and DJL hold the big fat shiny key i need to unlock it.


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