Becoming a PADI Diving Instructor at Oceans5 Dive: An interview with IDC Graduates Mermaid Meg & Scuba Sal

Becoming a scuba diving instructor is a big investment. And we’re not talking about the money. The Instructor Development Course (IDC) is an investment of your time and energy, as well as a commitment to a new career and potentially new lifestyle. It’s a big decision, but one no one regrets!

Diving instructor graduates

Anyone that scuba dives knows that it is an addictive sport. There are always more marine creatures to find, new sites to explore, and different locations to dive. There is also the community you become part of when you dive. Especially here at Oceans5, where all our divers are welcomed into the family. It’s no wonder why people chose to make diving their way of living. The opportunity to travel the world; live in exotic locations, meet new people and dive every day, is something that most divers dream of. As a PADI diving instructor, you can live this dream, and share your love for the ocean with others.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? So first you need to complete your IDC.

Megan and Salvador with their Instructor certificates

In October Megan and Salvador, better known as Mermaid Meg and Scuba Sal, completed their IDC at Oceans5. We can keep telling you all the great things about our IDC, but nothing beats first-hand experience. As half of the cutest couple in scuba diving, we thought we would let Mermaid Meg give you her perspective on what it’s like to complete your IDC and become a diving instructor at Oceans5.

Megan staring our to sea on our dive boat

So, why did you decide to leave home and make scuba diving your way of living?

“We decided to ‘take a break’ in 2016. Sal had been working 18+ hour days as a chef for nearly 15 years, and I had just completed graduate school. So, we both felt a trip was well deserved and we headed off to explore South East Asia. It was incredible. That was when we discovered and fell in love with scuba diving. As Sal says, ‘it was classic post full moon party learning to dive in Koh Tao’ moment.  But seriously, it was life-changing, I mean look where we are now!”

Megan and Sal looking at a fish ID book after a dive
What did we spot on our dive today?

How long have you both been diving?

“We started diving in March of 2016. Timewise, we haven’t been diving that long, but we have gained a lot of great experience and have had the chance to dive in some awesome places!”

Meg and Sal underwater selfie diving
Best buddies!

Where did you guys complete your divemaster?

“We completed our divemaster together in Hoi An, diving around the Cham Islands. Following our divemaster internship, we worked in Hoi An for 6 months guiding fun divers and assisting the diving instructor with Open Water students.”

Megan diving in Gili Air

Why did you decide to become diving instructors?

“To share our love for the ocean with others and further our own diving education. We had the most wonderful Open Water and Advanced Open Water diving instructor, who taught with such passion that it made you want to be a diver. The love and appreciation we have gained for the ocean over the last year and a half is astounding. We owe it to ‘her’ as ocean ambassadors to show and educate others on her beauty and fragility.”

Megan and Sal teaching in the swimming pool

Why did you choose Oceans5 for your IDC?

“There was an incredible diving instructor that we worked with in Vietnam. He was the youngest on the crew but was easily the most knowledgeable, skilled, and professional. When we ever had any diving or theory related questions we could always rely on him for guidance. Plus, his briefings were sensational! Of course, we were curious where he got such thorough training and he said Oceans5. He spoke so highly of the staff, location, and environment at Oceans5 that there really was nowhere else that could compare.”

Group shot of the IDC candidates in the swimming pool

What advice would you give someone that is thinking of becoming a diving instructor?

“The BEST advice we would give to someone is to get experience. Dive, dive, and dive some more. Work as a divemaster if possible. We were so much more prepared having worked as divemasters for 6 months. Diving with different nationalities and skill levels made us much better divers, learning to adapt quickly, guide effectively and prevent problems. All vital skills for an instructor.”

Practising Rescue Breathes in the pool
Rescue scenario number 7 is an important part of the IDC

What was the hardest part of the IDC?

“The most challenging part of the course for Sal was the physics and understanding “PADI language”, which can sometimes be a little confusing! But Joeri, our course director was super helpful in getting our heads around it all.

For me, I would often be hard on myself and begin thinking that I had ‘failed’. But you have to remember that is the point of the IDC. It is tough as it prepares you for the final Instructor Examination. You have to fail during the IDC in order to succeed. So, my advice would be this: don’t be discouraged when you get 1’s, it will teach you to not make that mistake in the future. Actually, the IDC was much harder than the final IE. It pushes you to prepare you to deal with all situations. Once you get to the IE, you have practised the teaching scenarios so many times that it becomes part of your nature.”

Sal looking out on the dive boat
Contemplating a great life ahead as a diving instructor!

What was the best part of the IDC?

“You gain so much confidence in yourself throughout the process. You learn to dive for others rather than dive for yourself and to have excellent control underwater, staying calm in any situation. The best part of the IDC for us, was doing it together. Yes, I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true! It was doubly stressful for us, but it was also doubly rewarding. We struggled together, and we succeeded together. And of course, becoming part of the Oceans5 family is pretty awesome too!”

IDC candidates coming back from a training dive
5s across the whole team!

Would you recommend the IDC at Oceans5?

“Definitely! The facilities are perfect for operating an IDC. You really could not ask for a more ideal set up with the equipment room, 2 air-conditioned classrooms, and 2 large pools. It was, hands down, the best place to do an IDC. The environment is professional, friendly, fun and the dive sites are well equipped for training sessions. Sal and I both really enjoyed our experience at Oceans 5 and would recommend to anyone wanting to become a PADI instructor.“

IDC candidates on the boat after the IE
Friends for life

So, what’s next for Mermaid Meg and Scuba Sal?

“We just want to continue to enjoy diving, and to share our enjoyment with others. Ideally, we want to find instructor positions here in Asia. After gaining some experience as instructors, we plan to travel in Central and South America, with a little time back home in California. We have some beautiful grandbabies that are growing up too fast.”

Meg and Sal kissing after the IE graduation
Too damn cute!

Thank you Mermaid Meg for sharing your experience with us! We wish you both all the best in your future careers.

If you’re ready to take your diving to the next level and become a diving instructor, Oceans5 has an IDC starting every month in 2018.  

Our 6-course directors cover multiple languages and have over sixty years’ worth of diving and instructing experience between them. We don’t just teach you how to pass the instructor examination. Our team strives to ensure that you become a capable and confident instructor, ready to take on any challenges you might encounter in your new career.

Sal completing Sidemount speciality

The support we offer is not just limited to the duration of the IDC. Prior to the course, we provide free workshops to make sure you are fully prepared to hit the ground running. We also offer a whole host of PADI speciality instructor courses and Disabled Diver International instructor training. Plus, team teaching with our diving instructors to help build your confidence and give you real-life experience with students.

As a multi-award winning 5* PADI CDC centre, with unrivalled facilities and first-class training, situated on an idyllic island in Indonesia, this really is the perfect place to complete your training.

Don’t just become a scuba diving instructor, become part of the Oceans5 family!

Candidates celebrating after the IE

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