Nerdy Cat Scuba Travels

A Cat Lovin' Engineer taking a career break by traveling, doing a divemaster internship, and diving around the world


Continuing Scuba Education – PADI or GUE

PADI DiveMaster

I thought becoming a PADI divemaster would put me into an elite stage in scuba diving. However, after a few dives in Monterey, CA, I’m quickly learning that I have barely scraped the surface into scuba diving. There are so many more things that I need to learn. I feel confident that I can help other PADI open water divers and advanced open water divers, but I want to challenge myself.

Global Underwater Explorers (GUE)

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 12.18.59 PMUp until a few weeks ago, I had no idea GUE even existed.  Another divemaster at my new shop introduced me to his fellow GUE divers.  He explained to me that this was another diving organization.  His short explanation to me was that it teaches all divers to dive use the same equipment configuration, dive in group formation, and a higher level of buoyancy and trim requirements.  Essentially it means, whenever you dive with another GUE person, you always expect the same type of diver.  You could dive with someone you just met, and feel like you have been dive buddies for years.

Comparison between PADI and GUE

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I’m done! Well Kinda…

divemaster collage iceland Yay! I’m done! Well kinda… I finished all my internship hours yesterday. These three months in Iceland have really flown by. There were definitely days where I missed America, but there were many more days hat I was really happy to be learning something new and be in a new environment.

For the last week- it’s been a real rush to finish my program. On July 4th- a fellow DMT and I took our final exams. The exam consisted of 120 questions. At lest half of the questions were easy things that were was or watched in the DVD and Divemaster manual. About 20 of the questions- I really just guessed on. I had read the manual but didn’t memorize these little details. The good part is that after the exam we went over each wrong answer, so now I know what I didn’t know.For example, if a diver comes out of the water with bright red lips, what does that? Carbon Monoxide poisoning!  ( I didn’t know that prior to the exam, but now I will never forget!)

Over the weekend we did our Divemaster workshops. The discover scuba pool session was pretty fun. Patrik was able to find a real student for us. (Thanks Deb!) We all then watched him conduct a DSD and then did our simulated sessions. This practice made it easy when we went to the open water. Continue reading

And So it Begins- Dive.Is Divemaster Program


Today I received my PADI divemaster package. In Iceland the package costs 41,000Kr (approximately $341) Pretty standard price across Europe.  On it was about $300 including shipping. This cost is not included in most PADI Divemaster programs. Its considered something else you need to get on your own (like your gear).

The one most important thing I learned was not to lose the GREEN Sticker, as that was proof that I bought an authentic and unique PADI divemaster package. A $300 green sticker. Wow.

If anyone is thinking about doing the  DM program, I would recommend getting the package yourself before starting the program.

At first glance, I was pretty happy with the package. The Recreational Diving book has everything! It reminded me of the old days (times before Wikipedia).


I’m a sucker for hard copies the book has very detailed information on the physiology of diving to polar cells and global wind patterns.

The PADI Pro Black Zip mini binder contains slates and the instructor manual.  The slates have a lot of useful information on the workshops that you need to complete during the course.  One thing missing is a good old-fashioned pencil.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember the last time I actually used a pencil. Add these things to “Stuff to get before you start your Divemaster program.”

Speaking of which. “DOH! moment of the day” – Before starting the dive program I learned that I needed to get a physical / doctor’s note.  I have a regular doctor at home that could have done the examination, but now I need to try the Icelandic Health system and see how it goes. Hoping I get it done before my first day on Sunday. Gulp.

Lessons Learned: Things to do before actually starting the PADI Divemaster Course

  • Buy your Divemaster Package online (amazon or ebay) for a better price
  • Get a physical; get the doctor to sign your divemaster candidate application
  • Buy a pencil and a sharpener and figure out some way to attach it to the slates while diving
  • Once you get the Divemaster Package, don’t lose the $300 green sticker