The first IDC in the new Blue Marlin Dive IDC Dive Resort in Gili Air has just finished and everything went on very well. Animish Limaye passed his Instruction Examination and he is now enjoying the island for a few days while waiting for his teaching status to be activated by PADI. Over a lunch with Animish we asked him to tell us a bit more about his experience during the PADI IDC at Blue Marlin Gili Air, Indonesia:
1. Hi Animish, first of all congratulations on becoming a PADI instructor! How are you feeling? Have you celebrate your achievement?
“To say the truth, I had a few apprehensions before doing the IDC, thinking the responsibility that comes with making divers would be too much at the moment. But, after doing the IDC and taking the IE, I’m feeling good and confident. Looking forward to making a positive measurable change for the oceans since that’s my primary reason for becoming an instructor and diving in the first place. The fact that I’ve become an instructor hasn’t really sunk in. Only when I start working in a couple of weeks and have my first students will it sink in, I reckon. Upon the completion of my first course, I will celebrate!”
2. Before asking you about the IDC… Tell us a bit about yourself. Where did you start diving, your experiences, etc
“I’ve always loved being in the water, and started swimming in the ocean and playing in the waves when I was very young. I was lucky. Til last year in April, I hadn’t done a single scuba dive though, never felt like it. I went swimming a lot and also did some shallow freediving, which was enough for my needs. But from that one hour spent completely submerged in the pool while doing my course and recognizing the possibilities, I got hooked tondiving. I have only scuba dove in Goa, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands, India. Some of the best diving I have done in my short diving career is during the months of March and April of this year around Havelock of the Andamans. There were many dives with so many different fish that it made me feel like I was getting into underwater reef metropolitans everytime I dove. I loved being a divemaster every bit.”
3. Nice! So from India, you went to Gili Air for your IDC? Did you have any difficulties organizing the trip?
“I had no difficulties organizing the trip but had some major problems executing it. My debit card ceased to function within a span of 10 hrs and I was detained at the airport since I couldn’t pay for an extended visa; I was really thinking about returning to India and doing the IDC at a later date. Luckily, I had Matt to help sort out most stuff and then Anne finished my rescue. The managers of BM also supported me in their scope. ”
4. Tell us about your learning experience? Do you feel you were well prepared and confident enough for the IE?
“I was well prepared to go through the IE without even the slightest hiccups. I was given clear cut instructions on how to improve my delivery and instructor traits. Even when there was one skill we had not prepared in practical performance and was my skill for the demonstration. I was calm since we’d gone over it verbally before in practice prep. I’m thoroughly satisfied with the quality of learning to which I’ve been exposed.”
5. Is there anything that you would have liked to be different? Anything to improve?
“The travel to and from the exam venue, which was on Gili Trawangan, should have been included in the IDC course price.”
6. What about BM’s Facilities? And the food, which is included in the course, was it satisfying to you?
“All the equipment were in great condition and not even once did I encounter a single malfunction. Very professional storage and maintenance of the equipment. The food served was delicious and the freedom to choose anything on the menu was a definite win. Maybe add cheap, basic accommodation.”
7. And what is your opinion about the diving in the Gilis?
“To be honest, I have been spoilt in India. I was diving in a restricted area with very minimal regulations, and it was a very densely populated marine area. But the diving in the Gilis was very good to say the least. The visibility was stunning. The macro life was thrilling with a very high occurrence of nudibranches. Some of the rare species in India were widely abundant here. And the abundance of turtles and sharks close by was another. Abundance of nudibranches and macro was another. Coral in the shallower bits were nice, especially bracket corals and slipper corals, not the other species. But to highlight again… the visibility was stunning.
8. How were the O2 provider course and the basic freediver course? Do you think these courses add good extra value to the IDC?
“Aside from being a scuba instructor, I first and foremost am a water lover and I think the basic freediving course is a definite plus to the IDC, at least for me personally. It’s given me to the tools to keep being in the water even on those days that I’m too lazy to carry my scuba equipment. As an amateur photographer, it is a big big advantage as I’d never be taking photos while I have the instructor hat on but, I’d definitely go and do some freediving while taking some photos at the same time! The O2 provider instructor course has given me a tool to broaden my horizons beyond just teaching diving-related disciplines and enter the dry land world to keep supporting my diving endeavors. I am really glad both of them were a part of the IDC. They increased the value of the IDC significantly.”
9. We are getting close to the end of this interview – what were your impressions of Matt?
“Matt is a caring CD. Goes out of his way to help out his candidates even when it’s really not part of his job to do so sometimes. Thanks, man! He definitely made me feel like I mattered and his course is definitely value for money! I really like his teaching style which incorporated a conversation which made me think of what really was being said during the seminars.”
10. …and now, do you feel like you are ready for the real-world and teaching in India?
“Oh Yeah, bring on the non-swimming, panicking, struggling, tensing Indian divers! I feel patient and competent enough to face the ‘the water is so salty’ and ‘it’s so deep’ and ‘there’re animals that can eat me’ statements when people will come diving. Also, people who have never put their heads underwater or people (Indians) who are traditionally ignorant of the oceans miracles. I feel empowered to share the larger portion of the Earth that they’ve been missing out on, stuck on only a quarter of the Earth!”
11. Would you recommend taking the IDC with Blue Marlin and Matt to a friend?
“Coming to Blue Marlin to do my IDC was an enriching experience. The course itself allowed me to realise my potential as a Scuba Instructor which was enhanced by the training I received. Matt’s awareness of my requirements and learning style removed my prior inhibitions. He was able to connect me with the material and translate this easily into an applied skill. As a trainer he was enthusiastic, passionate about diving and the ocean, and meticulous about teaching me not only the skills and theory, but the deeper roots of diving and the ethos of being a PADI Dive Instructor. I feel I have a sound base with which to further my professional diving career with confidence. Following this training programme I would highly recommend Matt as a Course Director and Blue Marlin as the Centre for an IDC.