A Day in the Life of a Divemaster Trainee

September 14, 2017: Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Local kids in Jungut Batu playing with the most popular toy — a kite.

Listening to: ODESZA — Across The Room (ft. Leon Bridges)

Two weeks down, two to go of my Divemaster training. Where is the time going? I can’t believe how much has happened in the past two weeks. As I’ve mentioned, no two days are alike, but here’s an example of a “day in the life”:

6:30–6:45am — Wake up. Rub eyes. Throw on a swimsuit, my World Diving t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Grab my dry-bag and I’m out the door. Exchange pagi’s (“good morning”) with all the locals on my 15-minute walk.

7:00–7:30am — Coffee and fresh yogurt at Bali Eco Deli, review any skills/requirements in my Instructor Manual that I need to perform based on my DMT agenda for the day (e.g. assisting with an Advanced course, conducting a role-play Discover Scuba Diving course).

7:30–8:00am — Arrive at the dive shop, Selamat pagi, pagi, pagi! Look up conditions — wind, swell, high & low tide — on Magic Seaweed and fill in the white board. This is how we choose dive sites for the day. (For example, when the tide is low, currents on the north side of Nusa Penida are too strong to dive. If the swell is too big or the wind is too strong, it causes too much surge for dives on the south side.)

Get all my gear together to take down to the boat and set up before guests arrive. Maybe have another coffee because… coffee.

8:00–8:30am — Guests start arriving, help them kit up and make sure all the gear bags are taken to the correct boats and arranged according to dive groups.

8:30–9:30am — Supervise guests on the boat as they set up their own gear, help if needed. Conduct boat briefing and cruise to the first dive site. Conduct a dive site briefing when we get there.

9:30–10:30am — Back roll into the water for the first dive! Shadow a DM/instructor as they guide the dive, or lead a group on my own with a DM/instructor observing. Swim through a real life aquarium for an hour and maybe hang with some manta rays or a Mola Mola (ocean sunfish) if we’re lucky. Try to find cool stuff to show divers while keeping an eye on their depth and air consumption. Make approximately a hundred mental notes about each dive site for when I inevitably have to guide or conduct a site briefing there.

10:30–11:30am — Surface interval on the boat. Set up gear for the next dive, grab a banana leaf filled with nasi campur for lunch and relax on the top deck with the DMs & guests until it’s time for the second dive. Apply sunscreen. Watch dolphins swimming alongside the boat.

11:30am–12:30pm — Dive #2, different site, same process, more cool fishy things, probably a drift dive because we have some legittt currents here. :)

12:30–1:30pm — Cruise back to Jungut Batu, bring gear up to dive shop, wash everything and put it away. This often consists of me jumping into the wetsuit washing tub and stomping them down into the water, grape-stomping style. Try not to think about how many guests peed in their wetsuits that day.

Meet guests at the dive shop bar to fill in their log books (things like depth/time/water temperature and critters we saw).

1:30–2:00pm — Maybe take a break, maybe not.

2:00–4:00pm — Water skills/teaching practice in the pool on my own or with an Instructor; complete role-play courses (Discover Scuba Diving or Skin Diving) with an Instructor for sign-off; OR study theory in my Divemaster Manual, complete knowledge reviews, or study for the Divemaster Final Exam.

4:00–10:00pm — Walk home, shower the saltwater off my body and head back down to the beach for sunset somewhere (like our dive shop’s aptly named Sunset Bar). Dinner at the bar or a local warung. If it’s Wednesday or Friday (Quiz Night or Beach BBQ at Blue Corner) or just a fun crowd of divers, maybe a drink or two. Lembongan is social since it’s mostly surfers and divers who come here, but it’s not a party island at all, and I don’t mind. Chill vibes :)

Back home again, study and/or write until I fall asleep.

10:00pm — Goodnight! Usually dream about diving. Occupational hazard.

Like what you read? Give Tristen Mills a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.