So the IDC started out as a relatively stressful time. It's more about the unknown than being scared of the information. I've been working as a Divemaster at Crazy Scuba in Dallas for a little over a year now, just not as much as I'd like with all my elective surgeries. Carl made the IDC fun and over-prepared us for sure. I heard throughout the IDC that he grades harder than the examiner would so that by the time we get there everything would be second-nature.

So the IDC started out as a relatively stressful time. It's more about the unknown than being scared of the information. I've been working as a Divemaster at Crazy Scuba in Dallas for a little over a year now, just not as much as I'd like with all my elective surgeries. Carl made the IDC fun and over-prepared us for sure. I heard throughout the IDC that he grades harder than the examiner would so that by the time we get there everything would be second-nature.

IDC Dive Sites:

We started the IDC a day earlier than expected, which is why I moved in Thursday night rather than Friday. Wyndham was going to charge me for the Friday night even if I wanted to shift everything forward, so I just left it as is and they handled it locally. Anyway, the IDC was full of 8-10hr days with homework to boot. This is one reason there were no updates from me during...even with the days off; I used those for sanity days. 

Saturday, we ran through an exam just to see where everyone was in regards to the written parts. (Physics, Physiology, Equipment, etc) Also during the weekend we learned how to write Knowledge Review presentations. This would be important for the exam, as we would be given about 45minutes to create one from scratch. Basically we had to learn how to make missing a problem fun and informative. Monday, was the first day we actually went diving. We went to the pool to run through all of the presentation-level skills and rescue procedures. We needed to make sure everyone knew how to teach the skills to that level and run through PADI rescue procedures for the same reason. PADI is actually more thorough than SSI when it comes to their Rescue course; A lot of the same information, but PADI takes it further. We ran through the rescue procedures after every dive session we had throughout the IDC.

Over the next few days we wrote our confined water presentations to be presented for the next time we went to the pool. We would use these to actually brief before we went below the water to show the students how to perform the skills and why it was important to know how to do this. PADI really has the learning system down to make it all fun. Wednesday we ran through another exam to see how everyone was doing. I was feeling better and better about this whole thing as time went on. I felt like I knew all of the information, Carl was just organizing it for me in my head.

Throughout the rest of the week, we ran through the specialty courses and on Friday did the Emergency First Responder Instructor course. Over the weekend we went diving to cover the actual open water portion of teaching and teaching the specialties. We did a cost analysis at one point, which really did explain why instructors don't make all that much. I had heard that they didn't, and that you really had to be committed to make a career out of teaching scuba, but this really laid the numbers out for me.

We took Monday off to study and prepare the rest of our specialty Knowledge Review presentations which we presented on Tuesday. Wednesday we had a little fun and went to the Sydney Fish Attracting Device. It's basically a big pyramid in Sydney Harbor that was put there to attract fish...and it works! We practiced taking backup tanks (as seen in the pics), looking at color changes, looking at No Decompression limits drop, and the effects of Nitrogen Narcosis. This was also where the North Head Cuttlefish Encounter was filmed.

Thursday, we went to La Perouse and did the Search and Recovery course specialty. This is one of my favorite courses because using a lift bag and really wrapping your head around buoyancy is just so much fun. Plus, you can really use it to make money if you know where to recover anchors at...or find things people have lost. While we were here, Carl told us the story about an old restaurant that used to be here. but burned down. There are old coins and things you can find in the wreckage, so we dug through that for a while and found some 50+ year old coins. Kinda fun.  When we got back we went through all of the paperwork to make sure we had what we needed to give PADI during the exam. We took Friday to get all of our gear together and study anything else we thought we might need to study. I had to get Kevin from Crazy Scuba to send my First Aid/CRP card, which he did post haste! (Thanks Kevin!).

The stress of the exam didn’t hit until we started the written test. I was fine all morning until he handed out the actual test. Everything went well though; I got 3/5 100’s and 90+ on everything else. On the presentations and skills, I got 4+ out of 5! Lost points for not pointing out the difference in my gear on 2 presentations.  Because I have a harness-based system, I was supposed to show the difference between what most shops use and what I was using. Oh well...I passed!

There was always a plan to have a party, but apparently everyone who worked at the shop expected us to have the party in South Sydney. Since I'm not from Sydney, and I'm a city boy, I wanted to go into Sydney proper to have the party. Jen picked out a nice bar to go to, and Stuart didn't care, so we went there. Unfortunately most people canceled or didn't write it down right, so it ended up just being the three of us. Jen said we'd pick another night to really go out since none of us had an income yet. We had a few drinks during happy hour, then walked around Sydney for Vivid. Unfortunately I only had my GoPro with me and didn't know how bad it's low-light shots were...I won't do that again. I got a few descent shots, but not enough to make me happy. After vivid, we went back to the intern house and Stuart picked out Dumb and Dumber, as Jen hadn't seen it. It was quite entertaining when Jim Carey asked Lauren Holly where she was going, she said Aspen, Jim said "aahh...California", and neither Stuart nor Jen laughed.  When I chuckled, Stuart asked if Aspen was in California...so I explained. To be fare, they have had to explain where several places here in Australia are, and how to pronounce them for that matter.

Anyway, here's the IDC blog several weeks late. There are lots of details missing, but I've been busier and more stressed than I'd like. Hopefully as I get to do these closer to a real-time post they'll be smaller and more detailed. :) Feel free to ask questions in the comments below!

-Brenden

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