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Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… Divemaster Training

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The tank carrier, the equipment holder and finder… the credentials on the CV of a good Divemaster?… Only joking… and I actually am. In honesty, this is one of my biggest bugbears. Divemasters being used as the person to do all of the odd jobs that nobody wants to do, as a ‘learning’ experience, with the excuse that ‘we have all been there’ as if it is a right of passage. 

The Divemaster course should be fun. After all to continue the succession of diving, we need new divers. To get new divers, we need new instructors. To get new instructors, we need Divemasters to enjoy what they do and want to progress. It’s the circle of diving! 

How was your Divemaster course? Can you relate to this… I know I can. Being the person in 2 degree water before anyone else in the middle of winter, helping the student divers kit up, before the instructor came in after finishing a hot chocolate. A factor to once again prevent divers from wanting to take their Divemaster course here in the UK and head abroad for it, after all carrying tanks in the sun whilst getting a tan sounds a lot more appealing in itself.

The Divemaster course is one of my favourite PADI pro courses to teach. The excitement that divers have taken their first steps of the pro ladder. Ready to put their passion towards teaching the next generation of divers. Watching the pride on a persons face when they have passed and taken out their first group on a guided dive, enjoyed by all… priceless. 

There may be many of you devastated that your diving career was put on hold due to Covid, as your Divemaster internship has been cancelled abroad, but the UK has so much to offer too, and it’s not all sitting in lectures and diving in no visibility in freezing cold water. I can only speak about our own Divemaster course held here at Vivian, but I am sure many other UK centres will offer similar…. Just not better (only messing, love you all!) 

Just like abroad, our Divemaster courses involve assisting on courses, having a 5 star IDC centre will likely allow more exposure to different courses, as more of them will be taught there. In turn meaning that you experience different skills and teaching techniques. There is experience assisting on shore and boat dives, learning briefing, navigation and dive planning techniques… I mean, doing the Divemaster course has to be a good choice just for this reason… free dives out to explore the UK coastline as part of your course… who wouldn’t want to do that! And then there is the theory, which can now be completed online, giving you the opportunity to learn whilst you are working from home during lockdown. So if becoming a Divemaster was on the cards in 2020 and 2021 and was put on hold. Maybe consider the UK as your Divemaster location for 2022!


Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

Clare Dutton, is a PADI Course Director and Director of Duttons Divers and Vivian Dive Centre. At the age of 25, Clare was one of the youngest to be accepted on the PADI Course Director course. Her work in the industry has involved promoting cold water diving, putting sites such as the Menai on the map for divers, and assisting others to chase their ambition as a PADI Pro. Get in touch with Clare at www.duttonsdivers.com

Dive Training Blogs

Jump into… A career in diving

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A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’

I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!

I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!

If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles. 

Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at. 

There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.

So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour. 


Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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Dive Training Blogs

Tips for… Choosing Equipment

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We are divers…we all love the nice new shiny dive toys right?! But, how do we choose what is best to get? The best brand or because it’s orange? In our experience, we suggest that ultimately it comes down to what you are going to use it for.

Each year we have divers come onto our dive boat or for shore diving with their light fins that are perfect for the Red Sea, but end up with their feet in the air in a drysuit; and their regulators which are not cold water rated ultimately ending up in free-flow. So, our first suggestion with equipment is to not only consider the purchase based on what your current diving entails, but consider your future aspirations.

This does not just relate to warm water and cold water diving, but what you may consider in the future in relation to specialities. Will you be looking to progress into Advanced diving and using Nitrox? Then purchase a dive computer with this capability. It is easy to jump into buying dive equipment just because we want it now! But take a moment to consider your future diving journey.

I guess the next question that we get asked all of the time is what to buy? What items as a new diver should we get? Admittedly what we suggest and what others suggest will vary, however our personal suggestion is to get your own mask and dive computer. An ill-fitting mask will make your diving far from enjoyable and so this should (in our opinion) be a first for all divers, and a dive computer – well, we all want to start logging our dives!

Not only that, but these are two items you can take with you anywhere in the world… easy to pack into your suitcase and not specific to a local area. Getting these two items start your equipment purchase journey but also gives you the time to try the other items such as regulators and BCD’s and see what best works for you.

The last tip of ours in relation to equipment is… don’t rush into buying and buy what YOU want. Just because someone else has it, does not mean that it will work for you. If you want a red framed mask yet the store only has yellow, wait for the red to come on order. If you purchase correctly, you can most definitely have these same items for a number of years, especially when looked after correctly. Get it right the first time and save yourself the headache of extra expense in the future.


Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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