In less than 2 weeks I’m flying to Costa-Rica to start my PADI Divemaster Internship. During my Divemaster Internship in Costa-Rica I’m going to at least weekly blog about the adventures I get up to during my Divemaster Internship. I’m going to do my Divemaster Internship in Playa Del Coco with Rich Coast Diving. In this blog I’m telling you all about how I found the perfect PADI divemaster internship for me and how you can find the perfect divemaster course for you. As you might have already noticed…. there are so many options that it can become quite the struggle to actually see the difference between good and bad internship options. And then again, what is bad and what is good?
Why do you want to do Divemaster Internship?
Really, this is the first question you should ask yourself. The answer will help you to define what to look for later during your search. In my case, I really enjoy learning and developing myself. I got Master Scuba certified in 2015 with 51 dives, a rescue diver certification (ofcourse) and 6 specialties. It was at that moment that I started thinking about Dive Master, the only logical next step if you want to continue. For me the main focus with Dive Master will be becoming a better diver, more confident and wiser and a much more reliable buddy. The extra bonus, that is not one to be ignored, is the opportunities being a DiveMaster creates to work abroad. Though in all honesty, I think if I want to really get serious into the dive field, I would go for Instructor. Alone for the reason you can work in more places and you get paid more / more work. But for me to get to that stage, I need more confidence in my own diving and experience really.
So to summarize, I need a Divemaster internship with plenty of time to dive and do all kinds of dive related tasks. Not a rush course where you can get certified in 2 weeks or w/e, but a place where I have the time and opportunity to get plenty of diving going.
Where do you want to become a PADI Divemaster?
For me, that was the second question I asked myself. I’ve always combined diving with travel. Ever since I learned to dive in 2012 I’ve made sure to combine my travels with specialties and courses that were appropriate for the place where I was at. I decided I wanted to focus on a Spanish speaking country because I would love to improve my Spanish. And so my search started. I first found an internship at the Galapagos Island, I was over the moon!! What I had done was google for PADI dive shops Ecuador and then I had e-mailed them to ask if they offered divemaster internships. One replied and said they did and also offered cheap accommodation (200 USD a month for a private room). But as time progressed they couldn’t give me the details or finalize the agreement. Then I finally got a whatsapp message saying they calculated that is was better for them to charge me per dive than offer me an internship, this way they made more money. Seriously guys? I was shocked they had wasted my time for months and following up with an offer like this. It would come down to around 2000 USD, just for the dives and no real internship. Needless to say, I walked away from that one and gave up on the Galapagos specifically. I quickly learned after, through facebook, that the Galapagos Islands can’t offer divemaster internships apparently due to the rules that are in place on the Galapagos Islands about work. Even stricter than the rules on the Maldives islands.
How I found my divemaster internship in Costa-Rica
Right, so after the Galapagos disaster, I decided to try a new approach. I threw together a decent facebook post and posted in the “Dive Jobs Worldwide” facebook group. This is a facebook group where dive employers and dive personnel find each other all over the world. This group also allows users to look and advertise Divemaster (and instructor) internships. After my add got posted I got a bunch of replies. Mostly also from dive schools that actually were in Spanish speaking countries and offered lengthy divemaster courses. Perfect! Now it came down to getting in touch with these people and figuring out who was the best fit. A few looked very promising at first in the facebook chat and they promised to send over more information through e-mail, sadly, not many actually did and I just didn’t feel like chasing them. The thing is, if you promise to supply someone with information and then wait for ages to do so, or even complete neglect doing so, to me that place become unreliable. So I let those go. There was one dive shop that got a lot of recommendations but when I spoke with they directly made it clear how inflexible they were. It was exactly their way or the highway, which made it all very impersonal. So I walked away from that one too! Seriously, if you’re going to commit for an X amount of months, you best get off right from the start and work with a dive shop that you really connect with.
Make sure you ask them questions about sleeping arrangements, working hours/ days, are the possibilities to earn some money? Anything you find important you should try to mention / ask before making a final decision. Sometimes I felt a bit awkward for asking questions like working days and hours, because I didn’t want to come across as lazy or looking for the easy way. I really wanted to protect myself from not working 7 days, 10 hours with no pay. There is so much modern slavery everywhere, also in the dive industry.
One of the people that replied in my facebook post was Brenda, the owner of Rich Coast Diving. I felt we directly had a good vibe going and she supplied me with loads of information. Every question was answered and it just felt good. So, we got to an agreement! One that works perfect for both of us and I can’t wait to start. They could also hook me up with a nice spacious private room for most of my stay. In the upcoming 3 months I’ll be blogging about everything going on at Rich Coast Diving to give you a glimpse of what a Divemaster internship can be like!