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Zanzibar Adventure School students enjoy a PADI Openwater Course

Posted on Mon December 14, 2020.

Just recently here at Buccaneer Diving we had the Zanzibar Adventure School visiting during which time 32 of them Gained their Padi Open Water Certification and a further 12 went on to take the Padi Advanced course.
Let us talk to Instructor Willie on what the week was like:
Wow Willie that’s a lot of students, Talk us through the organisation needed to co-ordinate that amount of people at one time?

PADI Instructor Willie teaching gear set up

  • The organisation of a group this big can be quite difficult so its important for the instructors themselves to be well organised. Making sure that the academics has been completed before the pool starts and everyone is fit to dive.
  • Planning for boats space and making sure you have enough equipment for everyone involved is high on the list too. If you have everything planned beforehand, if and when small things come up they are easily resolved.
  • It is Crucial to meet up with the students beforehand, pairing off into groups and introducing yourself. Getting to know the individuals and explaining a plan for the week.
  • Letting the groups know what is expected from them, what to expect from you, getting everyone on the same page.
  • Next we need to organise a big pool that can hold this amount of students, both in the shallows and deep end for the skills.
  • We need to Make sure the instructors have a good vibe, excitement breeds excitement which will help you to make the course run smoothly and can help to dispel any worries sitting in the students minds!

–Where are the students from (Country) and how old?
Most of them are from Denmark and surrounding  Scandinavian countries, aged between 17-22.
-It must have been a lot of fun, tell us how the week unfolded?
Saturday: We, the instructors: Willie, DiDi, Polar, Arnold, JoJo and Beka, headed to the Adventure school for a meet and greet. After a short welcome and introduction to who we were we broke them all up into teams of 6 or 5, with aquatic names for fun: Lionfish, Dolphins, scorpion fish, stone fish, seahorse and clown fish. Each team had a sit down and chat to get to know each other and talking about what the week had in store. Before heading to the dive centre to get sized up for equipment.
Sunday – POOL DAY: Bright and early we all headed to the pool, starting them off with a “wake up” survival swim and Float. After that came the “equipment preparation and care” teaching the students about the equipment, how it works, how to set it up and then check that everything is working correctly.Confined water followed this, 5 sections of skills, easily broken down for ease of learning, and maximum FUN!
Monday: was a rest day (mostly for the instructor!!) but also we used this as a catch up day for any students who needed or wanted some extra time to master the Skills.
Tuesday: Open water dives 1 and 2: always a lot of nerves on the first dives so being upbeat and encouraging is a must for the instructors, explaining thoroughly and slowly how everything is going to run. And what amazing dives we all had, 12m down with the spotting of stingrays and Seahorses among many others.
Wednesday: Brought us Open water dives 3 and 4, always a little bit easier as the students have already experienced the underwater world and are keen to get back down. 18m maximum depth for these two dives bringing the course to its completion.Huge congratulations and big excitement for all new members of the Padi Underwater World.
–With that many people there must have been a few that struggled, as an instructor, how do you troubleshoot, deal with and ultimately help the student overcome their fears/difficulties?There will always be 1 or 2 students who have difficulty mastering the skills. Key is to remind the student to be patient with themselves, stay calm and allow them to get there at their own pace. The nice thing with a big group is that you find everyone rallies around, encouraging and helping each other to overcome any issues. Remember, There is a reason we dive with Buddies, not only is it more fun, but we are there to help each other out.

What was your favourite part of the week?Always the pool session. As an instructor it is hugely rewarding to take someone who is apprehensive, excited, but nervous, to be breathing underwater, to that first ‘WOOP” when they surface having had an awesome dive. You learn a lot from your students during the pool, and this can help to determine how the rest of the course will run.

-What is entailed in the Padi Advanced course? And why do YOU think it’s an important course to take?
This is such a great course as it works more on the fun side of diving, focusing on the actual diving side od Diving rather than just drills and skills. It gives you 5 more dives with an instructor briefing you, leading you and helping you to develop. You can take part in Deep dives, Photography dives, learn how to Navigate properly and become a pro at Buoyancy. Not to mention the epic-ness of night diving.It opens the diver up to newer, deeper dive sites, more varied and diverse. Helping to truly experience the full extents of the underwater world.

Logging that dive!
Thank You Willie, Sounds like you all had a lot of fun!