So you’ve looked into what it takes to do a divemaster internship, and have decided you’ve got what it takes. You may be thinking: “Island life? Diving everyday? Sounds like a dream.” And we’re here to confirm that yes, it is. But have you really got the low down on what the day to day of a dive shop is like on a tiny island outside of Bali? If you’re curious as to exactly what your days may look like while doing a divemaster internship — maybe what tasks you’ll be assigned or what roles you’ll be expected to fill — this post is going to outline what a day in the life of a 3W divemaster intern looks like.
Your divemaster internship with 3W Dive
All jokes aside, a divemaster internship is serious business. At 3W Dive, we sincerely value not only getting real dive shop and guiding experience, but the entire experience of living in the Gili Islands of Indonesia. So let’s dive into what a day in the life looks like!
How long am I part of the tribe as a divemaster intern?
As a 3W Dive divemaster intern, you get to choose how long you’ll be living on the island. Our divemaster internship can be anywhere from 2 to 6 months long. However, we recommend you stay for the whole 6 months if you can, because we and past interns can tell you now that you won’t want to leave after just 2 months.
It also takes some time to get into the groove of the divemaster life and most interns find that they’re just starting to find a rhythm between their internship and island life after a few weeks. If you’re able to, we believe it’s better to stretch the process out in order to learn as much as possible and gain real divemaster work experience, rather than just checking off all the boxes. We touch further on the importance of this here.
Getting initiated into island life
First thing you should know, if you’re not walking to the shop you’re riding a bicycle. Shoes optional. That’s your first initiation into island life. (Although of course you can wear flip flops and there are few reasons you may want to at times, but that’s a different blog post.) It never takes more than 15–20 minutes on average to get anywhere on Gili Air, so the commute is the least of your worries.
What will I learn as a divemaster intern?
Essentially as an intern, one of our instructors will be assigned as your mentor. This involves a lot of shadowing: observing how they conduct themselves with guests above and below the surface. Over time, after you’ve picked up enough knowledge, your mentor will start handing more and more tasks and responsibilities over to you to test out your abilities as a divemaster. This not only includes everything you need to know about gear, guiding and navigation, but also customer/diver handling.
After you’re a few weeks in and you’ve learned the ropes of the shop, as a divemaster intern you spend the first part of the morning setting up gear for guests, and possibly preparing the briefing for the dive if you’ve gained a good awareness of the site you’re visiting that day. This is a busy part of the day that tends to fly by as guests begin to show up as you have coffee with the rest of the tribe.
Depending on the season, you’ll be assisting or practicing guiding usually 2 dives a day, getting experience with customers of all skill levels and personalities. Throughout this process you’ll be learning how to navigate underwater while becoming familiar with all the sites that we dive off of the Gilis. This is super valuable knowledge if you’re considering becoming a dive instructor on the island at some point.
On our island Gili Air, there’s a number of great local spots to grab lunch from, and being a very small island they’re all just a short walk or bike ride away. Every diver finds their favorite place, whether it’s the food or the locals that keep you coming back. There’s never a lack of familiar faces on Gili Air.
If you’re around for the afternoon, the shop usually quiets down and interns often take this time to study up on theory for their exams. Once done with that, our interns and instructors get to hang out at the front of the shop along one of the main roads of the island. Whether you’re practicing your balance board skills or going through diving footage from the day, it’s a chill time to spend with the tribe. We’ve also got a great space for a dive shop with plenty of options if you’re looking to hang out with the tribe and customers, or seeking some time to yourself.
At the end of your divemaster day, you’re still on an island
Once done with your last dive of the day, you’re usually hanging around the shop talking to potential customers, and preparing gear and dives for the next day. Your day will be filled with familiar faces passing by and through the shop. If you didn’t already know and you should, it’s a social job being a divemaster.
Then it’s off to the sunset viewing point of your choice, and for such a small island you’d be surprised how many options there are. If you’re rolling with the 3W tribe this usually involves live music and a few bintangs (beers). Then you get to do it all again the next day.
As always, if you’ve been left wanting more, we’ve got a ton more blog posts that go more in depth on specific diving topics and our divemaster internship. We’ll see you soon!
Written by Margot McManus