Archive for the ‘Career internships’ Category

Congratulations to our new E learning Divemaster

Posted on June 23rd, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Congratulations to our new E learning Divemaster

Bryan Donaldson is Scuba Cat latest Divemaster having completed all the requirements for the course this week.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  E learning Divemaster


This is a very proud moment for all of us here as we have known Bryan for a while now and he has completed all of his courses with us here at Scuba Cat. Bryan is very unique to us as I am sure he is to , nearly all of his theory training has been done using Elearning, even one course that he has yet to complete the Practical training for!

Bryan spent along time working overseas and used the evenings to complete all of his theory before he came to us to complete all of the diving in Phuket.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Elearning

We first met Bryan over a year ago when he came to Scuba Cat to complete his Open Water Course with our Master Instructor, Sean Porter. He had already completed the E learning theory for this course. After a successful course went on to complete his Advanced Open Water Course then returned home but his diver training did not stop there.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand Dive Briefing


Whilst away he completed his training for the Rescue Course, Nitrox, and Digital Under Water Photography on line again.

Bryan came back to Scuba Cat later that year doing his Rescue Diver Course and EFR with another Master Instructor Claus. And the speciality training with Tony Lock completing 5 specialities, Night, Deep, Search and Recovery, Nitrox and Wreck. He was now with ‘s elite… Master Scuba Diver.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Divemaster


Returning back to his day job again Bryan embarked on his elearning for the Divemaster, not only completing this but also completing the Dive Theory online too.

Bryan came on board MV Scuba Adventure as part of his training to Hin Dueng and Hin Mueng where he practiced leading dives, got an insite into boat Management and of course drew maps and gave briefings, a great addition to his Divemaster Course. (and still found time to sleep!)

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

"Hard at Work!"

The practical portion of this course was recently completed, by his original Instructor Sean having been started by Master Instructor, Vince Callahan.

Bryan qualifies as a Divemaster on 18th June 2012 with 120 Dives and lots of experience assisting Courses, on Daytrips and Liveaboards.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

We are looking forward to starting Bryan’s IDC (Instructor Development Course) on 1st July, and yes you guessed it he has already completed the elearning portion of this course too.

Congratulations Bryan! Do you want to be next?

IE – Ivan Stanton Part 4

Posted on May 21st, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on IE – Ivan Stanton Part 4


The IE starts I have Finlay on the table, the Shark Project Aware mascot, (I had kinda stolen it during the IDC), the surroundings were beautiful it was the first time I had ever done an exam with flowers on the table and a table cloth, time and effort had gone in to making this a nice place to do the exams.

Scuba Cat Diving 5 * CDC Phuket Thailand


There were some speeches and some motivational stuff then we were given our folders with our skills for the next couple of days, I don’t really get that excited about things but when I saw the skills I had to present I really could of jumped in the air and shouted YESSSSSSSSS

Knowledge Development Presentation

Confined water teaching presentation

  • Demonstrate Rescue Breathing Using Pocket Mask only

Open Water Teaching Presentation

  • Mask removal and replace
  • Knot Tying Sheet Bend
  • Rescue Demonstration Mouth to mouth

And 5 skills from the skill circuit.

First exam


Question one, I knew the answer, and didn’t need to look it up, but I did anyway just to make sure many of the answers were like this, still I reminded myself not to assume I was right and double checked. I finished handed in my paper and got told take 10 have a break then come back, so off I went had a drink (coffee) then came back.

Second Exam


I finished with a lot of time to spare, I did not go back and check my answers I find that when I do that I end up doubting my original answer and getting it wrong so last box ticked and I handed it in I waited while they marked it finally ….. Congratulations you passed I had scored high on all of them lowest mark was 85% I scored 95% on standards too.

Relief now all I had too do was prepare for the next day,

I went back to the classroom with Roy and Marc and prepared for the next day’s class room presentation, and our slates for the pool.


Confined Water

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Red team (that was us) were first in the pool, I was relieved I wanted this over with, I swore that if I screwed up on the skill circuit I was just going to grab a load of weights and not come up ever, no way was I going to go back to Big Vin and say I failed, it was going fine until I did remove equipment and replace, I missed a release and yes the examiner saw it… now with Vin that would have been a 1… shiiiiit still just keep going.

Confined Water Presentation :  Mouth to pocket mask. I did my demonstration then had the students do it, 1st mistake pocket mask upside down spotted and corrected in about 5 seconds flat, second student dunked the head, I saw it coming next thing I know I was given the cut and skill over.. Fastest cut of the day … I knew that was a pass…

Scores were 4.8, and 23/25 not perfect but high.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Back to the hotel (Kata Beach Resort) ….

Knowledge Development presentation

I went second out of our group. This was not my best subject, lots to remember and lots of places to get it horribly wrong, but Sarah and Sean had done their jobs well Point by point I hit the critical attributes , Passed second highest marks…..4.6

That was it for Saturday that left Sunday, I knew that the game wasn’t over there was still time to screw up.

Open Water

Sunday again we were first in but first time to do an awesome briefing, this is where it matters almost more than in the water, while nobody wants a bad score it can happen, but a good briefing and de-briefing can save the day, I wanted points on my side just in case, I had been prepared well during the IDC by Sarah and Sean now all I had to do was apply it , briefing went well so as I swam out to the dive site I was hopeful but still mindful that almost anything could go wrong. One of my team mates was talking about skills, I told her shh you know it don’t wind yourself up, yeah but… no shh I started singing she joined in and chilled we got to the patch of sand laughing dropped the line in and were as ready as we could be.


Rescue Scenario

All was going well then a release on my victims BCD wouldn’t release; damn I missed a breath, immediately gave two breaths, no prompting and carried on….

Score 5

 Under water

I had dived this site and knew how much space wasn’t there, I swear it’s the teeniest patch of sand you have ever seen especially with 5 of you in it and skills to do.

People took their goes then it was my turn, 1st guy fumbled with his mask, cut redo…

Remember … damn he did it again… redo oh crap this isn’t good and again, stress levels are going up, am I wasting time? Have I nailed it? I could almost see it falling apart right here… stop breath focus, briefing was good just get this guy done and move on…job done, next one mask replace upside down… stop redo… remember… he got it right second time…. Up to the surface back to the beach

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Swimming back I knew in my heart I had done enough, but I had to sit on the excitement I still had the de-brief to do. Stress levels around me got higher, I stopped listening I needed to focus on my de-brief I wanted a 5 that mask thing was bothering me.

On shore, I wrote up my debrief. De kitted and packed my gear…then it was time

I listened to the others then gave mine…. Well done Ivan you passed 4.8

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Passed - The Red Team

That night I got a text message from BIG VIN… a man of few words, he did not disappoint ….”Well done mate welcome to the club”. Praise indeed.

IE Over and I passed it was the 25th of March 2012 and I had been at this since mid way through January. Final Hurdle the IE Party at Molly Malones………….

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC  Phuket Thailand

I stayed in Phuket until May team teaching and guiding, I also took some Speciality Instructor Certification with Scuba Cat.

It’s been one hell of a journey, and many people to say thank you too.

So I’ll just say thank you to every one that has added to the experience and knowledge I have acquired, ALL the Instructors and Dive Masters at Scuba Cat.

To Big Vin, for giving me all those 1’s and for sharing his knowledge…  If you ever want to become a DM I really don’t think you could ask for a better Instructor anywhere in the world.

Little Vince, For showing me more about how to help the qualified instructors during my Divemaster training, from setting up bouylines to accounting.

Kiwi, for being a mine of information and having time to answer even the dumbest of questions.

To Sarah and Sean for giving us hell and preparing us to go through the IE with the highest scores.

To my partner Cameo, for making it possible for me to be here and keeping our world running at home.

And to my Dive Buddy, Patience that sat and helped me go through all the e-mails and number crunching at the beginning and had faith in me during my journey.

IDC – Ivan Stanton Part 3

Posted on May 21st, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on IDC – Ivan Stanton Part 3

IDC Phuket Thailand March 2012

The IDC is two weeks of intense learning, it takes the skills you have and teaches you how to teach them, instills the standards that are expected of you by and prepares you for the Instructor Examination.(IE)

If Vin gave me the ability to demonstrate the pool skills then Sarah ( Course Director) and Shaun ( Master Instructor) taught me how to Teach the skills.

Confined and Open Water presentations

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

Rule 1 ….Never Ever Ever loose contact with your students… ok to dive master, ok to students have 1 student come to you, have the Dive Master hold the students that are left, damn I got turned, oh look one has quietly swam off and the others drowned (theoretically) and the dive master is on planet zorb…. 1


Here we go again with the 1’s if you hadn’t guessed by now 1 is a fail….

Back to class let’s do a presentation on ow confined 1…. Write it up present it… yep you guessed it 1.

Wait for Sarah and Sean to stop laughing, be told how to do it properly.

Do another get a 3.5  yaaaaaaay it worked (bout blooming time)

More Physics, more theory aced every thing with one exception….. physics;  now physics is actually a subject I like, It really isn’t complicated but I was failing and just couldn’t figure out why, as Sarah kept saying RTFQ, problem was I was reading the FIN question and totally not understanding it, ask me the question and I could tap my calculator and give you the answer no problem give me it written in form well I might as well of been reading Chinese, finally I cracked it 95%.

Class Room presentations

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand

These turned out to be the hardest yet simplest of things to do, hardest because you have to learn how exactly to put over the information that you need to but done to a formula laid out by , once you understand what is needed it becomes easy

Standards preparation

Standards are exactly what the word means, it is the bible of what you are and are not allowed to do under rules, two books are used in this exam, Sean goes through it lots and lots by the time he’s finished if you don’t actually know the answer to a question you will know where to find it.

AI exam

I woke up in the morning the sky was blue and I knew I was going to pass which felt kind of odd because Physics still wasn’t going right but I knew that I knew the answers to any thing that was asked and that today the questions were actually going to make sense.

Scuba Cat Diving  5 * CDC Phuket Thailand


Went to the class room sat down got the exam, and away we went box after box to be filled in, I finished Roy my class mate was still doing his, If I failed this I would not be going to the IE it was make or break time, I got up gave my paper to Sean he asked if I was sure it was done I said yep just mark it please, and then went down stairs for a coffee.

You have to understand that going to the IE for me was a journey that could end at any moment, I could of failed my Divemaster and now I could fail the AI exam, its most definitely a one step at a time journey, I finished my coffee and Sean came down, well done mate an easy pass I had scored out of the exams 2 100%’s and physics 95% I was going to the IE.


The night before the IE, I was on facebook I posted some music and a couple of comments, Big Vin posted …. “You should save your Energy for the Job in hand Ivan” the truth is that’s exactly what I was doing, trying to stop my head from making mountains out of mole hills, The IE if you let it can be a stressful time, 3 days of exams; first is the written exams on the Friday, physics, physiology, standards etc, Saturday brings pool skill circuit and your demonstration of a skill or two, Sunday is rescue and open water skills.

I was sitting on the balcony of my apartment reflecting on the journey so far and the three days that were ahead, my phone went Big Vin ….. Don’t let the others stress you out just do what you have to do good luck mate.

To say I wasn’t nervous would be a lie, but I was if not confident then hopeful, I knew that all I had to do was not be a Muppet and just do what I had been taught, as for the exams there wasn’t a question I didn’t know the answer to or couldn’t work out, I just needed to RTFQ and do it.

People get stressed about exams but this was the first exam that I wasn’t stressed about, a thought came in to my head and it stuck and everything became easy, An exam is really just a bunch of questions you already know the answer to…

Divemaster Course – Ivan Stanton Part 2

Posted on May 20th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Divemaster Course – Ivan Stanton Part 2

I arrived at Scuba Cat Diving in Phuket early January 2012.

I was ready having completed the Elearning dive theory on line. I had a few little problems with physics but that was easily sorted out so I got good scores in the on line exam.

After a couple of days trying to acclimatise it was off to meet my Instructor/mentor for the Dive Master course, It was the unenviable task of Big Vin (Vincent Callahan, Master Instructor) to get me ready to become a Dive Master.

The next few weeks were spent either on the boat assisting other instructors or in the pool doing skill circuits.

Class Room: start time 07:00 am

Dive Theory, Physics, Physiology, RDP; ERDPml, The Environment and more, Big Vin is in a word awesome.

Scuba Cat Diving Phuket Thailand  Dive Master

Big Vin

Vin’s class room is Neat and tidy I don’t honestly think a speck of dust would dare soil his space, the chairs are nice and comfortable, the lectures and lessons began, much of it covering the things I had already done in the e-learning so no drama, I screwed physics up, Vin sent me home to study and study I did, re-did my physics the next day and got 95%.

The Pool

I think it was about Day 4 we hit the pool we started with the swim test, 800 metres Mask Snorkel and Fins swim, followed by 400 metres swim, followed by 15 minutes treading water.

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

Kata Big Rock

What a cluster F*** about 200 metres into the 800 my legs were burning, a nasty realization hit me, I wasn’t going to make it….. For the first time in my life I failed a swim test this was a very bad day, This failure was going to hang over me for the next couple of weeks, I drank more water, took electrolytes eventually I passed on my second attempt.

Pool Skills

24 pool skills not so difficult after all its something you start in the open water, WRONG, Vin demonstrates the pool skills ONCE and only ONCE now you might think ok so I get it wrong and he will show me again, you weren’t listening were you? He said once and that’s exactly what he meant, the first thing you need to do that’s different is take control of your DM and your students, dm watch students, students watch me… (Under water) remember deflate… skill signal… do skill…. Think yep got it Big Vin is frowning and writing on the slate scoring you and shaking his head.

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand  Divemaster

You go through more skills.

Debrief on the mask clearing you forgot to show that the strap was not twisted and the hair was not in the mask you scored 1, on CESA your spg touched the bottom 1, and so it goes on, by the end I was scoring 4’s and 5’s but damn was it hard to please this man, there was only one thing he required…………PERFECTION.

In between pool sessions and class room sessions I was on the boat assisting other Instructors with courses, DSD‘s or Fun Dives, I racked up something like 50 dives in 4 weeks I had about 3 days off, I hurt, I ached my aches had aches and my head was spinning.

Finally Vin signed me off as a Dive Master, I was now ready for my IDC, with about a week to spare, first thing I did was take a day off, then I was back on the boat guiding………

Rescue to Instructor – Ivan Stanton Part 1

Posted on May 20th, 2012 by admin-scubacat-dw  |  Comments Off on Rescue to Instructor – Ivan Stanton Part 1

Why Scuba Cat Diving?

At home in the UK:  SEPT 2011,

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand Internships


I had decided that I wanted to take my Scuba Diving to the next level but really had no idea of what that meant, so I hit the internet I found myself on the website looking at a flow chart.  I had Advanced Open Water and wanted to go further, I chose my target level which was Open Water Scuba Instructor (OWSI) or Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) depending on time and costs involved, first I contacted my local Dive Centre and did my Rescue Diver.

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand  Internships

The real problem came with finding the dive centre to do my Internship :

  • What was it going too cost?
  • Where would I do it?
  • What level of training would I get?

So I started contacting Dive centres across the globe, trying to get the information I needed, I visited the Dive Show in Birmingham hit all the stalls met some interesting people got contacts and sent more E-mails, did more research, checked out one dive centre called Scuba Cat Diving,

I hit trip advisor and it came up with a 5.

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand Dive 2011

By now replies were coming back yes, yes we can do your IDC;

the ones that said come have fun and become an instructor got binned, yes I wanted to enjoy the course but “Fun” was not my main priority, I wanted professionalism and high level of training.

Finally I narrowed my search to about 10 centres across the world, weighed the pros ‘n’ cons and reduced it to 5.

Now anybody that has looked in to this will tell you that cost is a big part of making a choice, Value for money by the time I got to 5 places to choose from I had numbers swimming round my head, my poor dive buddy and my partner had both helped crunch numbers trying to make sense of it all.

  • fees xxxx AUS$
  • Accommodation xxx THB
  • Course fees xxx THB
  • Materials xxx THB

Heads hurt, numbers became meaningless and just a bunch of zeros with strange letters after them….. I had as they say had enough, I sent out 1 email to the 5 places on my short list….. My head hurts how much is it going to cost me for everything excluding flights and living expenses??? 4 came back pretty much restating what had been sent out originally blah blah + blah blah but 1  came back with a simple answer,

It will cost you X amount in THB that’s approximately £xxxx gbp .

I was trying to find somewhere to learn, I sent 5 e-mails asking one question, I got 1 back that actually gave me the answer I needed, If I am going to learn then I need to have information presented to me in the simplest form in a manner that I can understand only 1 Dive Centre actually answered the question I asked in the manner that I asked for and that was Scuba Cat Diving.

Scuba Cat Diving  Phuket Thailand Internships

The Decision was made………