Monday, 9 May 2016


April 28th was D Day.  Online dictionaries define D Day as “the day on which an important operation is to begin or a change to take effect.”  D Day for the DMTs means the equipment exchange and stress test.  It’s the last day of the course and a good way to end on a high note.  I thoroughly enjoy it for many reasons, but mainly because (i) I am in charge and (ii) I am really good at giving orders…..

After consulting the Instructor Manual for the rules and grading criteria for completing the equipment exchange, I gave the group a few minutes to powwow aka create an action plan (see the photo below).  PADI lists the equipment exchange as:

“In confined water, demonstrate the ability to effectively respond to an unusual circumstance underwater by exchanging all scuba equipment (except exposure suits and weights) with a buddy while sharing a single regulator second stage...”

We even had paparazzi underwater.  One of our guests volunteered to take photos of us throughout the morning.  After a fun morning underwater, we took apart our equipment and rinsed the sand out of our hair, bodies, and kit.

The snorkel test took place on the 30th where Scuba Junkie proudly welcomed 6 new divemasters to the professional world.  Sadly, both Daniel and Peter left us the next day.  The girls (Katrine, Moa, Sara, and Shantha) signed up for the 6 week Eco course.  They are currently working on the finishing the Reef Check course, shadowing divemasters, and going on boats.

Pssst, whalesharks have been sighted recently!  If you have any questions about our DMT program, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Congratulations to Daniel, Moa, Shantha, Sara, Katrine, and Peter!  We hope to see y’all underwater soon!


Toward the end of the month, we focused on the DM conducted programs.  These programs include:

     *ReActivate, which is a program designed to refresh water skills and scuba knowledge when a person hasn’t dived in a while;

     *DSD diving, which is a program designed for people who want to experience diving without completing the open water course;

     *Discover Local Diving, which is a program designed to introduce people to a new diving area; 

     *Skin Diving/Snorkeling

I divided the candidates into two groups of three again.  While I was working with one group, the other group shadowed different instructors on a variety of scuba courses and divemasters leading fun dives.  After five days, we switched.

The first five days I had Daniel, Shantha, and Sara practicing their briefings and guiding.  Below is a photo of the team taking a break on the jetty.

Here is a silly photo of Daniel, Sara, and Katrine practicing their buddy checks.

The last five days of the course, I worked with Peter, Moa, and Katrine.  Here’s a photo of them right before a debrief.

It was great fun working with so many different personalities on the course.  As with anything, each person has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.  For instance, some people are stronger at briefings while others have stronger underwater skills.  What made this month really special was how everybody helped each other out.  It was awesome watching my scuba babies grow as divers!


After a week of paperwork and lectures and just being INSIDE the classroom, the divemaster candidates finally made it to the water to tackle the mapping project.  The group split up into two teams of three people.  They practiced skin diving techniques, measuring distances with fin kicks, navigating around Awas and the House Reef with a compass and using natural features, and learning how to plan and work together as a team.  Take a look at the photos below.  

Daniel, Shantha, and Sara drew a map complete with very colorful pictures of each of the structures.  Peter, Moa, and Katrine produced a PIRATE’s treasure map.  Both groups displayed such creativity in their efforts.  It’s been really amazing to see them grow as divers and as friends!


It’s the time of the month. Without further ado, I would like to introduce the April divemaster candidates:

Hi, I am Katrine, a Belgian girl living in Malaysia, who loves diving!  I love it so much that almost every “long time off”, I come to this amazing island to dive with Scuba Junkie.  I can never get enough of it!  The combination of always wanting to be under the surface and my curiosity to learn made doing my DMT the next logical step.  I did all my other courses here at Scuba Junkie, so I signed up for the 6 week Eco DMT program.

My name is Daniel, and I am from Spain.  As a child, I always loved snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea.  In 2011, while I was studying biology at university, I decided to go deeper by taking my OW [open water] course.  Since then, I cannot stop diving, and I have fallen even more in love with the underwater world.  Completing my DMT course while enjoying the beauty of the Coral Triangle’s biodiversity is a dream come true.

Becoming a divemaster has always been a dream of mine.  When I came to Scuba Junkie six weeks ago, I realised that enrolling in the course was something I could actually do.  So now I am back in Semporna and Mabul fulfilling my dream.  I can’t wait until I am able to guide divers in this awesome underwater world.

Why do I want to be a divemaster? Why NOT?
We’er only here once.
Live what you love doing.
Soak up the sun while it shines.
Drink a beer while it’s cold.
Escape the concrete greys.
Walk amongst the tall greens.
Swim in the deep blue.

Although I was first certified as a scuba diver 20 years ago, I didn’t find many diving opportunities in Colorado, USA, where I grew up.  When I quit my job as a surgical technician 2 years ago and began traveling the world, I realised that I had the chance to start diving again.  I fell in love with diving all over again and have been diving and traveling ever since.  I am hoping that I will be able to travel to many more countries as a divemaster, which will enable me to see even more of the world – both above and below the surface of the sea!


I am Sara, a Swede living in Melbourne, Australia.  I have been fascinated by the underwater world for many years.  More recently, I have started to enjoy capturing macro shots with my camera, so that I can show my non-diver friends how amazing this underwater world is!  I am doing the DMT course because I want to learn more, challenge myself, and see if this industry could be for me.  I miss my coffees, aerial yoga, and being able to make cakes whenever I want, but Mabul, diving, and the DMT course is making it all well worth it.