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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Straight from the dive shop- from a Dive Master Intern in Playa del Carmen

A Boy and His Big Blue Dream….

Hey there kiddos! Ah, the glorious life of a Divemaster intern. Some quick background on the locale of this particular internship… The shop here at EcoDiving Tours in Playa Del Carmen is a small one run by Mr. Jose Castelazo. The shop is only about 2 years old, yet is growing pretty quickly. While I might not have the bustling experience of a large resort dive shop, being able to work for a ‘small’ shop certainly has its perks. For instance, we get the down low on the ins and outs of the dive shop’s daily operations, accounting procedures, long/short term goals, and various other need to know information. Plus we have a fair amount of flexibility. Along with Jose I’m joined here by a fellow intern, Bradley, who joins us from across the pond in Wales. So that makes for 3 musketeers here in Playa Del Carmen. With snorkels instead of swords (pause for laughter).

Guess what? The first week has flown by. We hit the ground running with regards to daily operations and tending to the needs of the shop, we had a few brainstorming sessions on some growth strategy for Ecodiving, and we also managed to get our 25 skills done for divemaster training (in a cenote nonetheless, which is pretty wicked). Getting skills down to demonstration quality takes practice, practice, and more practice. If you can’t find water, practice your skills in front of the mirror. This also makes for a good laugh if your friends walk in on you.

So over the past couple of days we had some customers at Dos Ojos and Tajma Ha, two of the lovely cenotes out here in Playa. If I might say, to those considering becoming DMs, cenotes are not a bad reason to choose Playa Del Carmen. Did I mention the cenotes? Cenotes.

So with regards to the customers, we did the typical intern thing which meant assisting withtanks and setting up gear, and although it may seem tedious, it is actually quite exciting.

I’ll compare it to getting ready for a date with the girl of your dreams. You may be slightly anxious, but you realize you are going to have an amazing time. Ok, maybe without the kissing.

But jokes aside, one of our goals here is to act as a sponge, to learn and absorb everything we possibly can from our instructors/mentors. Ranging from how they interact with
customers to how they handle and care for their gear. And so far the Divemaster course, in my
young and humble mind, gives us the opportunity to learn about diving, the people who share
our passion, but also even a little bit about ourselves.