Becoming a PADI Instructor

One of our resident dive instructors, Lynsey Bartram writes about her life changing experience in becoming a PADI Instructor.

What's The Worst That Can Happen?

Dive Theory, PADI IDC, Koh Lanta PADI Instructor Course, Thailand Instructor Course
My first time to Thailand was in 2008 - I took my PADI Advanced Open Water Course and fell in love with tropical diving and Southeast Asia. All I wanted to do upon returning to the UK was live the life my scuba instructor was living, but also remember thinking surely there must be drawbacks; it just can't be that easy.
For the next 6 years I came to Asia nearly every year for diving and to catch up with my instructor Tony, by now a good friend; year after year he advanced in his diving career and always had great stories of where he'd been, who he'd met and photos to prove it - but he must be just 'lucky'? My instructor, Tony Andrews is today field service manager at PADI EMEA and now based in the UK.

During my annual diving trip in early 2013 to Thailand I met many new people who were already climbing the PADI ladder and this is when I thought to myself, "What's the worst that can happen if I took the plunge and followed in their footsteps?" This is also around the time when I met my future PADI Course Director Azman Sulaiman. When I returned home to the UK from that trip, Azman and I corresponded over email about all the courses I still needed to do, with him giving me invaluable advice on what to expect from the courses and life in Southeast Asia in general - even though I had already made my decision over cocktails on the beach before I even boarded the plane home.

So, after a few long months I quit my job, found a tenant for my house and was back on a plane to do what I should have done 8 years ago. Become a PADI diving instructor!

The journey has been nothing I could have ever imagined. I spent 8 weeks doing my Divemaster training on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia under Azman's tutelage; an amazing experience where every day was exciting and different. After having learnt so much from the divemaster course, the next step was the instructor course - preparing me to share my knowledge with people who have never dived before.

During the 2 week Instructor Development Course (IDC) at Anti Gravity Divers on Koh Lanta, I learnt how to fine tune my diving skills and expand on my dive theory knowledge but most importantly how to translate my passion for diving into teaching and giving people a brand new experience in life - a chance to see the underwater world in a safe and fun way! Our Course Director Azman offered our group complete dedication to make us the best we could be, both as divers and future instructors. I couldn't have hoped for a better teacher, mentor or role model.

By November 2013 I had passed the Instructor Examinations (IE) and became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and was offered a job with Anti Gravity Divers. Under the guidance of Azman and the more experienced instructors around me I was handed my first 'students'. I was excited and anxious all at the same time and had one of the best days of my life that day. Although my students were discovering diving for the first time, I was discovering the feeling of helping them achieve that. It felt like I was trying diving again for the very first time. To see their amazement and excitement was second to none, especially as the day had started with two very nervous people. In fact, they were so happy they wanted to dive with me again the next day!

So, this is now my life. Every day I have the opportunity to see people learning about and sharing the underwater world that I love so much - plus I'm always learning something new with each student! But it's not all just about the diving; the 'diving community' is full of different people who share the same passion for fun and diving, who enjoy the island lifestyle and want to share their experiences with others - along with sharing great food and a couple of drinks of course. Also, living on a tropical island isn't that bad either :)

During my time here I haven't just learnt a lot of dive theory and teaching standards to make me a confident dive instructor. I have also made some of the closest friends that I know I will have for life. Also laughed a lot, cried a lot and maybe had a couple of late nights here and there :)

So, what's the worst that could happen? I have a few funny tan lines from time to time.

Lynsey Bartram - UK
PADI Instructor #333738

Airlines Flying to Krabi Airport

There are many Budget Airlines that offer great deals for flights to Krabi. We have listed some of them below and some schedules for the most common flights within the Southeast Asia region.

We arrange pickups from Krabi Airport that will bring you directly to Amantra Resort where our main dive centre is based. We also arrange return airport transfers. Please do not choose a morning flight (before 11.30am) on the journey out of Krabi as the first minivan transfer only leaves Lanta at 7.30am therefore you need to allocate enough time to get to the airport (at least 5 hours before flight time).

Some websites for comparing cheap flights

Some of the Airlines flying into Krabi

 Malaysian Airlines
 Malindo Air

Flights we can recommend

 Airline  From  To  Dep  Dep  Dep  Dep
 AirAsia  KUL  Krabi  07.00  13.15  16.25
 AirAsia  Krabi  KUL  14.25  17.20
 Malindo  Penang  Krabi  11.15
 Malindo  Krabi  Penang  12.30  14.05
 AirAsia  Singapore  Krabi  15.00
 AirAsia  Krabi  Singapore  11.30
 TigerAir  Singapore  Krabi  10.05
 TigerAir  Krabi  Singapore  11.50
 AirAsia  Bangkok  Krabi  07.10  09.05  11.40  13.50
 AirAsia  Krabi  Bangkok  13.30  15.35  16.10  17.50

Zero to Hero - Beginner to Pro

Beginner Diver to PADI Professional…
Heading for a career in Scuba Diving?

Your first diving experience may be like a fish taking to water, the equipment feels comfortable and buoyancy control comes naturally to you. Alternatively it might be more like a buffalo crossing an African river full of crocodiles...awkward, nerve wracking and far from graceful! Either way once you descend and get a good look at life below you will be awe-struck, fascinated and hungry for more. 

For most people, that first time kneeling on the ocean floor and taking a moment to relax, letting the inquisitive fish swim around so close among the sway of water, then looking up to see the sun twinkling on the surface and breaking through into majestic beams of light, is the moment they realise that this will not be the last time. Good dive professionals will make you feel safe, confident and enthusiastic and they make it look like a breeze because they enjoy their job. 

Such individuals can inspire the idea of becoming a dive professional yourself. But what do you need to do to get to this level? Can anyone do it? The first step would be to make a plan for your time and also your finances. Diving courses can be expensive but absolutely worth the price!

You must first pass your Open Water Course (3-4 days) in which you will study diving theory after which you must pass an exam to complete the course. You will master certain skills initially in the pool and then in the ocean. During this course you will learn about equipment function, safety and emergency procedures for both yourself and your buddy. You will learn everything you need to experience our underwater world. 

Advanced Course (2-3 days) will fine-tune your competency and judgement. You will learn more about marine life and the importance of your respect for the ocean. You will learn how it feels to dive at depth during your deep dive, and the importance of dive plans and being a conservative and safe diver. You will have better buoyancy control and air consumption. 

Rescue Diver (3 days) and EFR (Emergency First Response) will take you through the more serious diving emergency procedures, including how to rescue panicked or unconscious divers both on the surface and at depth, and how to deal with immediate first aid in any situation.  

After this, you are free to move onto the first step of becoming a dive professional, your Dive Master Course. Bear in mind you must have 40 logged dives before you can start this programme so make a plan and keep diving! For many people the DM course is a stepping stone to becoming an Instructor, or if photography is your thing then you may want to become a DM then focus on underwater photography as a career. These are some options to consider. 

Where do you want to do your DM Course? Study the suitability of countries and options, this course will take a minimum of around three weeks in order to cover all topics and gain sufficient experience. Some shops offer internships, which allow you to work in all areas of the dive shop and boat, this may take much more time but provide you with valuable experience and knowledge of career possibilities within the industry. For more detailed info, check out this video from PADI.

Next up? Your PADI Instructor Development Course. Here you will be guided through everything you need to be able to pass on your love of the sea to others. You will be able to introduce people to our amazing underwater world and get to witness first-hand the awe that new divers experience - that same awe you had yourself when you first started diving :)

Being a PADI Pro will take dedication, patience, fitness, health and an eagerness to learn. Are you a team player? Are you a natural leader? Are you energetic and keen to take care of the safety and happiness of your customers? Most importantly are you dedicated to Scuba Diving and the protection of marine life? If the answers to these questions are yes then you are definitely on the path to a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle and career!