*sigh* It’s a common whinge of mine…
My local dive shop, whose name I shall withhold, exercises what I consider to be extremely poor diver training procedures.
They let kids go straight from open water, to advanced open water, to rescue diver, to divemaster training. No other diving done in between, just straight up the certification ladder.
I know PADI has some rules about needing [x] number of dives before you can officially enroll in the DM training and become a certified divemaster. But the local dive shop is bending those rules, to allow people to be doing their DM training without officially being enrolled until they get their dives up.
So imagine that I, as a paying customer, ends up on a dive trip with one of these non-official DM trainees as my “guide”…
The DM indicates to me that they’ve got 20 bar left in their tank (E.g. almost empty). I wonder wtf is wrong, because I look at my spg, and I’ve still got 150 bar (3/4 of a tank). I’m thinking they’ve got a leaky reg or something, although I didn’t see any visible problems during their dive. I make sure we check their gear properly before we go in for a second dive, and lo and behold, same problem. They’re signalling 20 bar when I’ve still got over 150 left.
Turns out they’re just shit on their air consumption.
Also turns out they’ve got terrible buoyancy control and like to kick up the sand and mud in an already low-viz environment, but I digress…
As a paying customer, this pisses me off. I do not want to be having to cut my dives short because the “divemaster guide” is incapable of appropriate air management.
Seriously, why do dive shops take on divemaster trainees who are totally incompetent? Before accepting them as trainees, the instructor trainer should force them to show competence in the water. Should force them to show appropriate buoyancy control. Should check that they have a reasonable air consumption rate.
It’s patently ridiculous that I’ve got 5x as many dives as some of the instructors out there, let alone the divemasters who get foisted upon us as dive guides.
I might only be a mere rescue diver, but having more bits of paper than me doesn’t make you a better diver than me. You know what makes you a better diver? Diving. Not a piece of paper from PADI. Some guys (and it is guys) need to pull their over-inflated egos out of their asses before they ascend too quickly.
I dive for fun. It’s not fun when I’m having to deal with the incompetence of the dive guide. Because “no solo diving allowed!”. It’s even less fun when I’m paying $250 for a 2 tank boat dive and having to surface really early because the fucking divemaster is out of air.
Yeah, you can tell how much I enjoyed that trip, can’t you?