I first came to Bezz Diving last year to do some fun dives and my PADI wreck specialty course. I thought Malta would be a good place to do it because of the abundance of wrecks and the warm, clear water. It turned out to be an excellent decision. The quality of instruction was excellent and there were more wrecks to see than I could hope to visit in one week. In addition, the team at Bezz diving were so warm and friendly that it made all the divers relaxed, happy and chatty, so after the first few minutes, there were no strangers, only friends.
When I decided this year to do a PADI Divemaster internship, I knew that good customer service would be a really important thing for me to learn, as well as the dive skills, so it was an easy decision to come and join the Bezz family.
I was a little nervous on my first day, because now I was no longer a customer… I didn’t know how I would fit into the team and I knew I had everything to learn, but I quickly realised I had nothing to worry about. Mark, Mery, Christian and Diego were just as lovely as I remembered, and they quickly made me feel like part of the family. Mark gave me an orientation of the dive shop and my role, then I met lovely Dani, another divemaster trainee (DMT) who was just finishing his course. Because of the flexible nature of the training, we were able to complete various skill and stamina requirements together, and one of his last things to do, and one of my first, was the theory exam.
Dani was amazing – he’s Spanish and he’s studied all the coursework in Spanish, but he sat the exam in English, and I’m happy to say we both passed with high marks. After the classroom work, we headed across the road to the beach to do some stamina assessments. For the last 9 months, I’ve been training 5 mornings a week at a local swimming pool, and today I got to see all that work being worthwhile – what a relief!
On the days where there is an instructor free, training days are scheduled for me and the other DMTs. On one of these days, Christian took us out to Cirkewwa where there is a natural pool that has perfect conditions for doing confined-water skills. He had us do our equipment preparation and deep water entry as if we were demonstrating to new students. There is a lot to remember – going slowly, ensuring key steps can be seen, being logical and methodical, and giving details as to why something is done a certain way, if it is significant.
Under water, we continued doing skill demonstrations – 5-point descent, mask flood and clear, mask remove, replace and clear, mask remove and underwater swim then replace. Then we did kit remove and replace underwater, first weights, then BCDs.
We had an hour on the surface to review our performance underwater, then we went back underwater to practice our mapping skills. This is definitely an area where I will benefit from practice. I need to look away from the beautiful fish and concentrate on my surroundings. Mery is a qualified architect and she did a beautiful job of mapping the area really thoroughly and accurately. I will need to work hard to reach her level!
On busy days, I arrive at the shop early, and meet the instructors there. Together we prepare the equipment bags for ourselves, our visiting divers, and a bag of spares. We load trolleys with weights and cylinders, then move them out from the dive centre to one of the vehicles. Ideally, when our divers arrive, all they have to do is check their equipment bag to make sure they have everything, then we each carry a bag out to the vehicle, put some good music on, and get to know each other better as we drive out to the dive site.
It has been a fascinating experience going to all the dive sites with divers of all different abilities, and seeing how the instructors subtly assess the divers’ comfort levels and assign the divemasters to where they will be the most beneficial to the group. I’ve been getting good experience with buddying less confident divers. I still remember when that was me, and how reassuring it was having someone with assurance in the water always within arm’s reach, steadying me in the water. It has been so satisfying to be able to give that support to other divers. I have also been getting experience in closing the group, where I stay at the back and make sure that no divers get lost or left behind. This is a role I enjoy a lot, because I can see everyone and also get a good feel for the dive site. I have also had the opportunity to lead the group occasionally. This is a lot harder – I have to keep track of where I am by looking out for landmarks, as well as monitoring the divers behind me, being sure that they are all still there, that they are at the right depth, that they have enough air. All this and hopefully be able to point out interesting fish for them too! The instructors assure me that this will get easier with practice.
At the end of the diving day, we unload all the gear from the vehicles and bring it back into the shop for thorough cleaning. Even this is a lot of fun as we work well as a team and have a good rhythm.
Also thanks to the Bezz family, I have discovered a new passion. On our days off and after work, we go rock climbing. It is the best fun I’ve had above the water. It is really lovely when some of the people who come diving with us also come climbing. It is a wonderful activity to share with friends and the trust between us has grown so strong.
It is the best thing to work in a place where everyone is doing what they love, and every day is a good day!