What a weekend !!! The past weekend was a big one filled with a lot of adventure and new experiences. We went down to explore the seas at Yeongdeok (The town famous for crabs) It was a long drive but also a beautiful drive to get to the resort. As we stopped at the resort we were greeted with big smiles and willingness to help us get started. The one boat captain called on his daughter who is a junior in high school to come help us with some English translations. Our first dive was a beach dive to just to get everybody use to the water again and we also did a search and recovery dive. We did a deep dive to 26m which was cut short due to poor visibility. We decided to continue diving the following day in hope for better conditions. We had 1 night diver which we conducted in the comfort of the harbor and actually saw an abundance of sea life down in the dark.
The evening was quite eventful. One of the owners of the resort invited all of us to join them for dinner and the nightly festivities which included barbecued pork belly to fill the bellies of just about the whole town and by my standards it was the best pork I have ever had in Korea. This was followed by another instructor making a chicken soup and another instructor serving us some sea cucumbers and so on. Felt like each instructor took their turn in serving and sharing some new experiences with us. And among all the festivities and feasting we promised our fellow Korean divers that we would dive with them the next morning at 7am pffff. That seemed like a good idea at the time.
The next morning we were all finally ready at 8:30 and did our first dive for the day down to the wreck again with much more favorable conditions. The thermocline hit us quite hard at 19m but the visibility was much better and the wreck was really cool. We explored the wreck and then the resort instructor guided us to the underwater crab statues. After that dive some breakfast burritos were served up and thanks to Sora for pre-preparing them some studying and Knowledge reviews followed. Our last 2 dives were Search and recovery dives in which almost everyone were certified for.
Yeongdeok was an amazing experience with some fantastic people who were really kind and helpful to us. We would love to return to this gem of a dive site. Thank you to all who made this possible…CONGRATS to the new specialty and Advanced Open Water divers from this past weekend! We are always looking for more 38th Parallel Divers!
So you are thinking about becoming a PADI Scuba Instructor, check out our club’s video of our IDC / IE experience. I know for me personally this was a big decision, because of the responsibility, time and costs. First of all if you are a diver (and at the point of considering becoming a professional scuba instructor) you know by now that this endeavor isn’t cheap. First you really should have your own equipment at this point, if not then perhaps you should come back when you do. Secondly you have to have a minimum number of dives, these are cheap either. Finally there are all the costs associated with getting to the Instructor Examination…
- Divemaster Course (if you are not already)
- Emergency First Response Instructor Course (EFRI) – course and processing fees apply
- Instructor Development Course (IDC) – minimum a week or longer (Assistant Instructor & Open Water Scuba Instructor Course) — price will vary here by your Course Director and location. We went with Platinum Course Director Camille Lemmens (www.idcthailand.net)
- Instructor Examination (flat fee for exam but does have processing fees not included, dives not included)
- Specialty Instructor (we completed ours with Camille, he gave us a great rate too). There are Course Director (CD) Costs plus PADI processing fees too. Dives may/may not be included depending on CD
- Lodging – don’t forget you need a place to stay
- Food – you gotta eat
Ok so you have the money…now your ready right? Ummmm maybe. Skills need to be perfect and at demonstration quality. You also have to be ready and comfortable to present knowledge development in a classroom and conduct confined and open water skills. Hopefully you haven’t forgot what oyu have learned in your other courses because you will need all that now. You must consistently conduct an open water rescue and be prepared to recall all the physics, physiology, environment & skills, eRDP (or dive tables) and equipment. Finally you still have one test left…and open book Standards test. This test isn’t as easy as it sounds, they ask some very specific and intricate questions that will have you searching everywhere to verify it isn’t a trick question.
Don’t be scared though, if you have a good Course Director (like we did) it will be a constructive learning environment that is as challenging as it is fun. Read our daily blogs below from our experiences:
- IDC Day 1 – Practice Tests and Skill Evaluation
- IDC Day 2 – Pool and Knowledge Development Presentations
- IDC Day 3 – Graded Skills
- IDC Day 4 – Graded Knowledge Dev. & Confined Water Presentations and Rescue Diver
- IDC Day 5 – Graded Theory Test & More Presentations
- IDC Day 6 – Graded Confined Water Presentations, Remainder of Presentations
- IDC Day 7 – Open Water Presentations & Rescues
- IDC Day 8 – More Open Water Presentations and Rescues
- IE Day 1 – Dive Theory & Standards Exams, Graded Skill Circuit, Graded Confined Water Presentations
- IE Day 2 – Open Water Presentations, Rescue, Knowledge Dev. Presentation and GRADUATION! Night Diver Specialty
- Specialty Instructor Day 1 – Search & Recovery, Navigation
- Specialty Instructor Day 2 – Wreck Diver, Sidemount
- Specialty Instructor Day 3 – Deep, Nitrox, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Gas Blender
Today our Course Director (Camille Lemmens) had three dives to do with us. We have definitely kept him very busy (and well funded) while he has been here. We started the day off with a late work call (0900…finally) at the dive shop. Everybody was doing the two dives required for PADI Wreck Diver Specialty Instructor. Both dives were at Ocean Park wreck site. The site has a fishing boat and a large man made metal structure. This made for a great site. Dive 1 we could map/survey the wreck and determine penetration points and also practice laying line through the tight spaces in the metal structure. Because of the depth 25m it was slightly cold for some of our warm water divers, around 10° C. Once all performance measures were complete we all slowly ascended for warmer waters. Once on the beat we headed back for about a 2 hour surface interval.
Dive 2 was a staged drop off. In buddy teams 5-7 minutes apart we descended down to the wreck to do a penetration, lay line and recover line in teams. The wreck is on a heading of 330° in 25 meters of water. 3 years ago the wreck was about 50 meters south of it’s current location and it was sitting perfectly upright, now it is laying in her left side partially collapsed. Once everyone had penetrated and exited we returned to the surface where everyone was eagerly looking forward to a break for the day.
Camille, Allen and myself went out for one last dive of the day. I was interested in doing the Sidemount Instructor course and needed to log a dive and conduct all the skills for sidemount. Usually I dive my PRISM 2 rebreather but for the past few months I put anyhting Tec/rebreather related away to focus on recreational diving for the IDC/IE. I completely forgot how comfortable, streamlined and awesome sidemount was. Once we entered the water and descended the tanks trimmed out nicely and perfect trim was easily achieved, no weight on my back and completely comfortable. Now THIS is the way to dive!! Makes me wish I didn’t sell my Razor bcd. I can’t wait to teach others this most excellent way to dive!
After we all got out of the water I think all of us were ready for some relaxation. We all came back to the hotel, washed up and tried catching a few winks…and of course making sure to update our blog.
We finished the night off with a short drive to Kyung Po beach for a walk on the boardwalk and some food. We got a 3 course dinner, Raw fish (Hwey), Sashimi mixed platter and seafood stew. It was a great way to spend our last night in Gangneung.