Wednesday 24 October 2012

The Dive Show is coming....

Tickets are in hand, travel arrangements are made, hotels booked and what talks you are attending are noted.  So are you prepared for the dive show?

What a difference a year makes for me at last year's show I was discussing the Course Director Training Course application with the PADI staff and now here I am a Course Director with some instructor courses under my belt.

The dive show is great place to meet people you have not seen for a while, look at what is new from the equipment manufacturers, scope out next years trips, see some great talks and, if like me, impulse buy something! Last year I bought a fab" Bite Back" hoody and it has kept me warm during the winter (and the summer with the weather we have had!)

We will be there both days, so keep your eyes open for us.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

The last day.....

I have now been back in the UK for several days and thought it was about time to tell you about the last day and the journey home from the CDTC.

The last day...

The last day started in the break out rooms with our final IDC presentation, where we are "IDC candidates" giving a presentation from the curriculum.  Our evaluator was Alan and all the presentations went well.  I was evaluating Antonio who used the IDC in Italian, but luckily his translator was on hand to provide the translations needed for the evaluation.

After the presentations, we had some lunch and a presentation by Johnny on the "role of a course director".  Then came the final counselling sessions where we found out if we were course directors!  One by one we were called into the room were the representatives from our region were waiting to give us the news.  The team members were like a CD at IE we were not only wondering what we got but also how our team members and friends in other teams had got on.  The tension in the room was high!  One by one we went in and when one of the three doors opened all heads turned to find out and a cheer rung out!

I was about third to go in to see Suzanne and Robby to find out I had completed all the sections needed and was a PADI Course Director!  I tried my best to do the sad face not completed act when I came out of the room but the grin was too big contain! Filippo congratulated me and said I was now a Course Director whilst he was still a Master Instructor, so I asked him to get me a coffee.  :)

The rest of the team went in one by one and came out with big broad grins until only Antonio was left. I am not sure who was more anxious to find out the result him or his brother and translator Fabio.  He went in and we waited with bated until he emerged with a big smile.  All team Satsuma were now course directors!

Now it was time to get ready for the cocktails and the grand banquet with Malaysian dignitaries.  I went back to room and tried to skype John, no answer :(

So I put I was a course director on Facebook and ask a friend to let John know and to tell him to get on skype asap.  We eventually got to talk and I told him he was the last to know!

The Banquet was supposed to be outside under the gazebo but the weather that had been unpredictable  during the course had shown its hand again and forced the banquet inside.

It started with a cocktail reception which was a great opportunity to get photos of teams, the females of the CDTC and the "Brits".

Once we had found our team table we were treated to traditional Malaysian/Sabah dance routines and invited to take part in some them.  We were shown a slide show about the Sabah area and I wished I had more time to explore the surrounding area.   The speeches were next and then the presentation time were we called up one by one by team to get "the envelope" this contained the certificate, PIC, CD badge and cloth badge.
We also found who had won the marketing challenge and it was team Satsuma!

The food was buffet style and the alcohol was free flowing!

Once we had said our goodbyes we took the certificate etc to our rooms and I skypedto the people who were going home that evening it was off out to one of the bars in KK.  Were we had towers of beer and danced to live band.  I started to flag at 1.30pm so got a taxi back to the hotel.

The next day started with a goodbye to the people off to Sipadan for the side mount course and some of us spent the day chilling by the pool between saying goodbyes to everyone going home.  Brad and I ended the day taking photos of the sunset in the sunset bar, something I had been promising myself to do for the two weeks!

The next day was my turn to say goodbye and go home!  Gianluca and I shared a taxi to the airport, but then wondered where to check in, Gianluca for Singapore and me for KL.  We asked at a desk where and were given the information.  There were two young men waiting near the desk and with all the PADI branding Gianluca and I had, one said to the other "there must have been an IDC".  I said to them "no it was CDTC, a course director training course", so they said "are your a course director?" and I replied "I am now".  "Congratulations!" they said in unison.

Gianluca had planned to wait together at the airport but he was an international flight and mine was a domestic flight so we were channelled into different areas of the airport!

In KL though I met up with Imad, he had spent teh day in KL and was on teh same flight as me to Dubai!

So three flights and travelling for 27 hours saw me picking up my luggage and meeting John in the arrivals lounge at Manchester,

So now the journey truly begins!!!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Day 7 and day 8...

Sorry again I did not blog last night..  we had some prep to do for today.

Day 7... started EARLY... we needed to be in the lobby for 7.15 so I was up and packed for 6.00!

After a short bus ride we took the boat, in our orange life jackets, to Mamutik island. This would be our base for the day,  The first activity of the day was to admire a coconut tree under the direction of Alan... aka the descent workshop!  I was the naughty student who would rather swim after a fish than stay with the line and the group!

After we all gave our briefings (and marked one) it was time to dive!!  The skills went well and so did the rescues.  So all too soon it was over and time to get out of the salty stuff and back into the sun!  The skill debriefs completed and dive one passed!

A nice BBBQ lunch under the trees gave us a chance for the groups to mix!  We had a visit from a monitor lizard who stopped by to watch the precedings!

The afternoon was a repeat of the mornings dive with skill briefs, skills + marking someone and then debriefs. Then it was back to KK by boat .

Last night I was socialable and ate with the brothers Meschiari and Brad from team Satsuma before preparing for today!

Day 8... All chnage, due to the weather conditions deteriorating each day as the day went on it was decided to move the pm pool to the am.  The session went well, we were marked by Suzanne and Finley!  Finley is a tough but fair marker so if you get a good mark from her you know you have done well!

After posing for photos with Finley and Suzanne it was time for a shower and get some materials for this afternoon.

The first presentation went well, the second even better!  Although I did have a laptop malfunction but managed to get that sorted and then we had a group discussion on what a umbilical torch is called during the middle of my presentation!  I was very tempted to offer to teach the digital underwater photographer (DUP) instructor to James Morgan during my presentation!  For those reading this who do not know who James Morgan is he taught the DUP workshop in the middle of the CDTC.

So now we have two sections passed open water and confined water. Which means all the "wet" sections are completed and my kit is drying on the balcony.   We still have one classroom presentation to give tomorrow.

So tomorrow is the last day of the CDTC.... culminating in the graduation banquet and results of the marketing presentation!

Watch this space for news on that and the results of tomorrows presentation.......

Monday 12 March 2012

Day 6 and 7....

One good reason to keep this blog is to keep track of where we are in the course and the course timetable.  If  I did not have my computer to tell me the day I would be lost!

Day 6 was time tabled as an optional day to do the digital underwater photography course.  I decided to have a rest.  This consisted of a lie in and a late breakfast,  you do realise you have stayed to long at breakfast when the start putting the food out for lunch!

The afternoon activities were really good fun.  We created a video for our marketing presentation today!  If yo have not seen it have a look at

We also created a web site and a facebook page.  A really big thank you to everyone that liked the page, added a testimonial or liked the posts on the page.

Day 7...

Today is a dry day for us... well dry inside  the hotel and pouring with rain outside!

It is the day we present our marketing plan to James and Danny to get them to choose our dive centre rather than one of the other 5 dive centres!  The video goes down well!

We find out who won the marketing challenge at the graduation banquet which centre gets to teach James Morgan and Danny Dwyer their IDC course.

This is followed by information from our local area office on who to contact about what for instructors exams etc.

We have a nice lunch..

Followed by or IDC Continuing Education presentations, everyone does really well so another part the CDTC is passed!

We then have a one-to-one counselling session with one of the PADI staff to talk about progress so far.

Tomorrow we are off the to Mamutik island for the day .....where are you tomorrow?

Saturday 10 March 2012

Day 4 and Day 5..

What has been happening the last two days?

Day 4 started in the pool, with a photo call with our favourite shark, Finley!

We then went on to present on first confined water presentation, mark some one and perform critique.  This went well and I passed all three sections!

....a break from doing the blog.....

... Back now... Sorry I just got distracted by the fabulous sunset!

The afternoon was our first prescriptive teaching presentation, mine was from rescue. Everyone did a great presentation and there were lots of laughs.

Last night I did some preparation for today, eat in my room. and fell asleep.... so sorry no blog!

Day 5.. THE SEA!!!!!!

After an early breakfast, we gathered in the lobby with our dive kit and got the bus to the marina, a short boat ride where we all got to wear orange life jackets.  So we were all now one big Orange team!

After a descent workshop, where I was a very naughty diver who decided to ignore my instructor and chase after a fish rather than follow the line down, we did our briefings and it was time to get in the sea!

All to soon the skills were over and it was time to come back to dry land :(  After debriefs it was back on the boat and back to the hotel for some lunch.

This afternoon's presentation was about social media, has anyone heard of Facebook, Blogs, Twitter... I have heard them mentioned somewhere but not sure it is something I would do and I do not think it will take off!

We then got to flex our Course Director muscles by presenting a presentation from the Instructor Development Course,  this was great fun!  Not least because I passed!

Tomorrow there are optional courses, I am not taking any of these so I can have a chill day and prepare for the rest of the course.

Look out tomorrow for my next adventure here in Kota Kinabalu..!

Thursday 8 March 2012

Day 3...

Just a short blog tonight ...

I have been busy most of the evening doing some work for our team's new dive centre ... Satsuma Dive Centre.

Watch my FaceBook page for further details when we are ready to launch...!

Today we have been learning about Project AWARE and how we can help and enthuse our candidates to help and inspire their students.  We had a visit from Finley one of Project AWARE's shark ambassadors.  You can follow their travels at

More tomorrow.....

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Day 2.....

Day 2... The adventure continues..

Today was a good day watching the PADI staff present and marking them!  We then got to role play the counselling of a IDC candidate and IDC staff instructor and watch James Morgan present a really interesting and funny presentation.

The afternoon pool session was entertaining for us and the other hotel guests.  With Suzanne Pleydell doing one of the most lady like rescues I have seen!  We then did some IDC marking with two groups combining, one as the students for the memnber of PADI staff and the other marking them.  We were marking first, after watching the skill being taught and debriefed we compared our scores with the control.

The groups then swapped round.  The other group was Japanese, so we had their translator translating into English for us.  One of our group has an italian translator, so it was interesting to say the least with Japanese to English to Italian!

The pool session finished with some rescue practice, that made the pool look there had been some major tradgey with 20 rescues all happening at once!

Tonight I am chilling in my room.. I must turn the temp on the air con up :)  Whilst eating pizza and drinking white wine.. Life is hard on the CDTC!

More tomorrow......!!!!!!