In the photo above is a "how not to do it". We are always telling people not to touch the bottom as it is a alive and part of the ecosystem. When teaching diving we look for spots where we can meet the requirements for the skills and do minimal damage to the environment. To reduce our impact we use the same spots all the time so that we are only damaging a very small area. This photo is in such a spot.
First, thank you to Juergen for joining a session in the water on the IDC and taking photos for us.
For this IDC we have had 3 instructor candidates and 1 staff instructor candidate, as well as a few Staff Instructors wanting experience to build towards their Master Instructor rating. Our candidates, that were looking to go from Divemaster to Assistant Instructor to Open Water Scuba Instructor, were Andy, Stephen and Mustafa. Learning to be a Staff Instructor was Dave. Staffing the IDC were Rick and Mohammed, led by Course Director extraordinaire Marlies Lang.
The candidates completed the Emergency First Response Instructor course as this is a prerequisite for being a PADI instructor. Unfortunately, not long after these photos were taken one of our candidates had to rush home to his sick mum.
Some people are unsure about the difference between a Divemaster and an Instructor. You can have both of them taking you for guided dives and refresher dives, also on PADI courses, so what separates them? A PADI Divemaster is trained to lead dives and has a similar knowledge base to an instructor and is able to take charge of qualified divers. A Divemaster can also assist an instructor when the instructor is teaching a course, by monitoring class members, leading them and even by repeating skills with a student in a remedial capacity (going over a skill that has been demonstrated by an instructor, but not completed successfully by the student). An instructor must always be the one to assess whether a skill has been completed successfully by the student diver. What a Divemaster cannot do is teach new skills to a student. The IDC is a course that develops the Divemaster's knowledge a little further, expands on the understanding of the PADI system for teaching and introduces techniques for teaching new material to the student diver and then teaching skills in the water using the PADI guidelines to put safety first. It does this in the context of a business in which the idea is to be successful and earn a living. All this packed into 10 days.