Living the Life of a Divemaster Trainee in Khao Lak Thailand: Dive Guiding The Boonsung Wreck From A Long-Tail Boat

November 2019

Since arriving in Thailand and starting my divemaster internship all of my dives have been out in the Similan Islands. While that is the local diving hot spot (and it is quite spectacular!) there are a few other dive spots around and thanks to a client booking today I had the opportunity to shadow my instructor Peter while he guided the Boonsung Wreck!

Living the Life of a Divemaster Trainee in Khao Lak Thailand: A Typical Day Around The Shop

November 2019

Leading up to my departure I had grand visions of spending my two months in Thailand getting to dive in the ocean or be in the pool teaching almost if not every single day. And sure enough my first few days did get me off to an impressive start with a solid 10 dive tour across the Similan Islands on the dive shops liveaboard the Similan Quest.

But of course I'm not here just to have fun. My other main goal is to complete my SDI divemaster certification and that involves a theory portion requiring time spent in a classroom. Basically you go back and for all those cursory rules you learned in Open Water and Advanced Open Water you dive a little deeper and *sigh* learn how to do the math. And of course I'm getting exposure to the ins and outs of how things work around the Sign Scuba shop and how they run the boat. This is how my non-boat days typically go.

Living the Life of a Divemaster Trainee in Khao Lak Thailand: Great Wall of China Toboggan, Arrival & The First Week

November 2019

As I mentioned in my recent site update I decided to forgo returning to gainful employment for the moment and with no small amount of encouragement from my ever supportive girlfriend decided to take the opportunity to fly out to Thailand for 2 months to pursue my divemaster certification.

The divemaster certification is different from the other scuba certifications I've been collecting as it's the start of the dive professional track aka it's where I can start guiding and assisting in teaching basic courses. (Also it's something completely different from the master diver certification which is basically a pat on the head acknowledgement you've done about as much as you can on the recreational track.)

I looked at options for doing the program locally in Southern California but the part time nature of most of the dive professionals out there meant it wouldn't be quite as involved as I really wanted. Meanwhile it just so happened that my free time corresponded with the start of the diving season in western Thailand and a friend and former student of mine had a connection with a local Thai dive shop there in Khao Lak. The shop was named Sign Scuba and they operated a liveaboard out in the Similan Islands meaning I'd get lots of opportunities to dive out there in addition to pool and classroom learning.

So one day after wrapping up my commitments to the Fall Advanced Mountaineering Program and 2019 Wilderness Travel Course in a slightly frantic weekend out in Joshua Tree I said goodbye to Jen and flew out of LAX at 1:40 am to spend the rest of the year out of the country.