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A word from an upcoming Perth Scuba Instructor

written by Jocie Tysoe – Perth Scuba PADI Instructor Development CandidatePerth Scuba Instructor Development Course by Johanna Pool

The Instructor Development Course. Reportedly the hardest week of your life.. Akin to participating in Army Boot Camp.. At least that is what we were told.

To be honest, the IDC run at Perth Scuba by Garth Schumann, was one of the most rewarding training courses I have attended. After the last few months of chipping away at getting my Dive Master (or for those who had their DM for some time) this week seemed to solidify all of the bits and pieces learnt along the way and give you a reason for everything you have been through.

We participants turned up on day one, expecting the worst, waiting to be told that we would be attending class from 730am – 9pm with hours of study and gruelling exams, only to find that Garth had the week mapped out with a completely different plan in mind. The Perth Scuba IDC 9 day course consists of minimal classroom and homework, and maximum practical ‘in the water’ skills.

Day one was a classroom based day. Orientation, “getting to know you’s” and introduction to the topics to be covered throughout the week. I will admit, the following 8 days loomed large at this stage! So much to learn – so little time! The afternoon got us started on the topics, with a surprise presentation by each of us thrown in!

Day two saw us head up to Bayswater Waves, a morning bringing with it memories of DM skills days and fitness tests.. eughh :P Then the afternoon, back to Perth Scuba into the MAGICAL air-conditioned training room – rugged up in jumpers like we were in the arctic while the rest of the shop was sweating it out in the mid 40’s!!

The next two days followed a similar pattern. Bayswater waves for the morning, where we interspersed our Confined water skills practice and demonstrations with bagging out all of the non-Perth Scuba groups for their terrible training form (jokes…) and enjoyed the sunshine (a little bit too much for some.. namely me :P). Afternoons were spent in the class, doing practice exams, paperwork and presentations and trying to decide if we really wanted to fork out the extra money to complete the Master Scuba Diver Trainer in addition to the Instructor (to which we all in the end decided it was definitely worthwhile!)

By the mid way point (Wednesday)..There were muscle strains, bruises, exhaustion from the day in day out water sessions and not feeling like the demonstrations we were doing were EVER going to hit the mark! I know I was starting to wonder if this ‘diving malarky’ was really the way to go.. The plan was to change it up and head to Rockingham Wreck Trail to get started on our Open water sessions. I am not sure if Garth was feeling sorry for us, or if he really thought the weather was too messy to dive, but half way to Rockingham we all got the shoutout to head back to the shop as it was ‘too rough’ (not that I’m complaining!). We waited out the windy weather days in the classroom, finishing up presentations and delivering our own presentations to the group.

By this time, with Garth’s nicknames (Monsieur, Jackie Chan, Victoria, Josseeeee and The boss) and the fact that we had all been up the front of the class making a fool of ourselves several times, the group was all beginning to get to know each other quite well. There is something so comforting about other people getting up and being just as nervous as you are that makes you feel ok to get up and mess up in front of them!

Friday, after the weather blew over, we headed back to Rockingham. A first time trip for some of the group, who had never even had a ‘Perth’ dive yet. Alas with the ‘limited’ visibility on day one, Rockingham didn’t put on too much of a show, but for our open water presentations and rescue scenarios, it did the trick.

The weekend came, and with it, a feeling of excitement. 7 days down – only 2 to go, and we hadn’t ‘failed’ yet!! As long as Chun managed to get to the dive trail on time, and Garth managed to learn french so he could mark down some notes for Alex, it looked as though there was a chance we were all going to survive this course! A marked improvement could be seen in the presentations delivered by all of us (although – and I’m sure Vicky will agree, us girls totally kicked ass!). I know that by the time we were done filling out our obligatory paperwork on Sunday, I certainly was feeling a lot more comfortable and (hopefully this doesn’t jinx me to say it) prepared for the Instructor Exam in a weeks time!

With the exam looming large in each of our minds, I can say with complete honesty that I’m so thankful I completed my IDC with Garth and Perth Scuba. I feel like the IDC training, as well as the Emergency First Response accredited Training, and MSDT has given us a really great foundation and prepared us for what to expect in the IE and (hopefully) given us the skills to pass with flying colours… but I guess that the proof will be in the pudding and by the end of the weekend we will know for sure. What a fabulous way to spend the Australia day weekend :P

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