This is a guest post from the adventurous Sarah over at Coffee With a Slice of Life. We’re stoked that she wanted to share with us what it’s like being a Divemaster and living in paradise…check out this article and hopefully get inspired!
I had pieced together my dream job/situation while backpacking through Latin America last year. Every spine tingling moment, every experience that took my breath away, every thought of “I wish I could stay here forever” played a part in the final draft of what it was I REALLY wanted to do.
After all, there was no way I could settle for a 9-5 job in London now that I had seen what it was like to live in different cultures and countries.
After my trip, I knew it. I knew for the first time what I REALLY wanted to do.
Become a Divemaster on a Liveaboard.
I wanted to be in a country I had never been to before, where the waters were warm and the sun was warmer. I wanted to be somewhere I could continue working on my blog, and shamefully to say, somewhere with internet so I could make this point achievable. Becoming a Divemaster seemed like the perfect option.
In the back of my mind, and when I said it out loud, I knew this could potentially be one of those dreams that never become a reality. Then I got angry at myself for questioning it. After all, I was the last person I would let come between me and my dreams.
So I went for it.
Becoming a Divemaster
In order to live out my dream, I needed to complete my Divemaster Course. You need to be a Rescue Diver with over 40 dives under your belt to apply. To qualify as a Divemaster, you must have completed the required course, be a rescue diver and have at least 60 logged dives. Nothing else except a great personality is needed!
I spent 2 1/2 months in Turkey with good friends while obtaining my certification. I did my course over the span of 2 months, so I got about 100 dives in! The course cost 1,000 GBP ($1,500 USD), which included 2 months accommodation in a private room and unlimited diving with equipment.
I knew the only thing left was for me to knuckle down and apply for every Divemaster job going.
And that I did.
Applying For A Job
I probably sent over 60 emails applying for a job. I sent emails to companies that weren’t even looking to hire. When I heard nothing back, I emailed again to check if they got my first one.
PadiPro website was such a great source for job hunting! I was on it every day checking for new job postings, and almost always I got a reply back. In fact I had a few Skype interviews and was even offered a job in the Caribbean, which I turned down as it was working in the dive shop rather than in the water. I was pretty focused on not losing sight of my dream job, and was excited that it was looking possible.
There was one string of emails that looked promising: working on the world’s largest and first liveaboard in Micronesia. I had absolutely no idea where Micronesia was. Even when I googled it, I still wasn’t sure where it was located – hopefully this map will help you out!
So of course I hounded the owner, most days. I sent him pictures of what I was up to (I was back in Turkey paragliding), to show him I was adventurous. I sent him links to my blog posts to show him more of my personality and basically just tried as hard as I could to convince him I was worth the risk!
All of my persistence paid off. I was offered the job just before Christmas last year!!
And here I am now.
I’m typing this while watching the sun go down on the Pacific Ocean (yes, we have internet on board!!)
A Day In The Life
My daily routine on the boat starts at 6:00 am with a dive meeting to decide which 5 wrecks (of the 60) in Truk Lagoon we’ll dive that day. Then a breakfast of my choice – fresh fruit, eggs and breads. First dive is at 8:00 am, then back to the boat for snacks. The second dive is at 11:00 am, followed by a 3 course lunch to replace any burnt calories, and then back to the ocean for 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm dives.
We have dinner and then there’s an optional night dive at 8:00 pm. By then I am absolutely shattered and hibernate to my own private room and fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Then I’m up again a few hours later to do it all over.
Salary and Perks Of The job
To be honest, the wages are low. It’s hard to make a ‘living’ out of diving, but it’s the incredible lifestyle that you sign up for. I earn $25 a day and usually get about $300 in tips a month.
However, if you take into account the free food and accommodation, you are not much worse off than if you were working a 9-5 job and paying a mortgage…and the benefits are a lot better. I get to meet people from all over the world, have great experiences, network with people, and obviously the free diving is pretty great! Some people pay hundreds of dollars for what I get for free!
Pros and Cons
I think I’ve gone through a lot of the pros, but there are also a few cons of being a dive master on a liveaboard. It is lonely on the boat when there are no customers and you get kind of sick of working with the same people week in, week out. For me, I crave a cocktail and some girly gossip! If you just want to go for a walk and get away from it all, you can’t do that on a boat, the furthest you can walk is to the deck. Also, work is never over when you live at work.. even on your day off.
Why I Love Being a Divemaster
Divers come from far and wide to discover the underwater mysteries of Truk Lagoon, and I get to meet all kinds of interesting people. But what I love the most about working as a Divemaster is that as soon as I’m in the water, my age and life experiences dissolve with the salt and the customers trust and respect my position. They listen to everything I have to say (or watch my underwater signs!), which is an incredibly fulfilling feeling.
Sometimes I think it is crazy how I ended up here. From piecing together my dream job to actually doing it is an overwhelming sense of achievement. I look back to when I created my dream job in my mind and laugh at my forwardness and courage. But if it wasn’t for the commitment to my dream, I never would have ended up here.
The most important thing I have learnt through the whole process is that anything is possible, and a dream only stays a dream if you let it!
Check out this awesome video…but be warned, you’ll want to become a Divemaster immediately!
Do you have a dream job? What’s stopping you going for it? If you really REALLY want it you can do it too!
About the Author:
Self proclaimed global gypsy, Sarah is a scuba obsessed travel blogger wandering the globe one cup of coffee at a time. Originally from the UK she has an incredible sense of adventure and an extra measure of courage which see’s her living her life the way she chooses. You can follow her adventures on her blog Coffee With A Slice Of Life and on Facebook and Twitter.