Part of the internship I paid for included the 25 certifications I needed to get my full MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) certification. This allows me to train somebody from a new diver all the way up to a Master Scuba Diver. The Master Scuba Diver is Open Water Diver + 5 specialties. By the time this is over, I'll have more than 5 I can train just based on the stuff I've done on my own.
Once I had my MSDT, I spoke with Carl about job opportunities and work options; pay vs type of work, etc. Unfortunately, instructors truly don't get paid all that much...even here in Sydney. I was hoping that the pay would go up with the cost of living, but it doesn't appear to be the case. I don't mind making less money, as long as it's cheaper to live...which in Sydney it is not. I think Sydney comes up as one of the top 5 most expensive cities to live in.
That being said, I've decided not do continue doing scuba instruction as a main source of income/career, but do it on the side. I still enjoy it, and I'm not unhappy that I did what I did by coming here and trying it, but it just doesn't pay enough to live comfortably here in Sydney. I could probably take work somewhere else and survive, but I chose Sydney for a number of reasons that none of those others can fulfill. If I can find an I.T. or Sound Engineering job here in Sydney that will sponsor me, I might stay. Even that is starting to look unlikely. I'm just going to finish out my internship (trip to Cairns and some gear service classes) and see how things go. If it was meant to be then it'll happen...if not, I've started conversations with friends in other places so I know what my options are. Hawaii? Back to Royal Caribbean? Florida? California? Who knows?
In waiting for the trip to Cairns to come around, Carl got a call from a friend of his up in the Whitsundays islands looking for somebody to work on a live-aboard for at least 6mo, AND the guy who called got a sponsorship from this company, so it was looking promising. Whitsunday didn't really fulfill all of my personal life desires, but it was a job I was willing to work with for a bit. So for about 24hrs, my life's direction stood in the balance. It turns out they were looking for someone who could stay longer without sponsorship than I could, so I wasn't the fit they were looking for. Even before this event, I was supposed to go to Heron Island after Mike Ball (Mike Ball = Live aboard I'm still going to). Then Heron fired their dive shop manager, so that was off and I was to go to Lady Elliot (Other island they work with). Only Lady Elliot requires that I have a Commercial Diving Physical and some other safety certifications. These were going to cost me around $400ish plus flights from Mike Ball to the island. I was ok with Lady Elliot until the $400 additional price tag. This is why I was happy to hear about the Whitsunday deal.
Well once both of those were out, I found out 2 of my fun students Suzanne and Andi were doing an upcoming wreck course and were willing to drive me up for it. I decided to spend the money I would have spent on the flight and safety certifications on the wreck certification since I was going to do it one day anyway. After I signed up for this course, Carl comes back saying Heron is now available again (the one that doesn't need the extra physical). The only problem with that is that now I've spent the flight money on the wreck course, AND She-who-shall-not-be-named is going up there.
This next part is about somebody who has finally made a big enough impact on my time here to mention. I've decided not to identify her, but she knows who she is. This person has got to be one of the most self-centered people I've ever met. If you're not talking about her or doing something for her, then you're ignoring her. And if you're not her pal, you're her enemy. One of the biggest problems with that is that she's VERY vocal, stubborn, and headstrong...even when she's wrong. It's funny listening to her talk; she will have just learned/heard something and come back and talk about it like she knows everything there is to know about it...and with such confidence! She was the reason we had the fun day from the last post...apparently me not being her pal and ignoring her bothered her so much she went into the shop and started crying away to everyone. The first part of our issues was just a misunderstanding, but her always having to be right and feel like she's got control over everyone brought the truth to the surface, and she couldn't handle it. I don't even remember what it was I said, but she asked me for the truth and I told her...and since then, she just wants to be housemates...but not friends. Though I'm confused because she wants me to ask how her day was and talk to her while she's here...must be a British thing.
Anyway, back to the fun stuff. So I did my Wreck Course and Sidemount Course! w00! The wreck course allows me to scuba dive on wrecks with a linear distance of 40m from the surface. That means from the surface to wherever I'm at in the water can't be more than 40m. So 30m down and 10m in is ok...20m down and 20m in is ok. As long as there's a line somewhere that gets me to the surface within 40m. The sidemount course unlocks the full potential of my equipment I bought a few years ago. It allows me to mount 1 tank on either side of me to double my gas supply and offer redundant gas if needed. Even better, Carl taught me in a method that, once finished, will make me a sidemount instructor! Yay! I'll have more stories about sidemount once I get back from Mike Ball Dive Expeditions.
As you may be able to tell by my videos, I'm getting better at the videography stuff...holding the camera still, lighting from different angles to get rid of the backscatter, etc. There's not really a book for videography, so I'm having to figure it out as I go. Carl noticed my video editing skills, so I'm working off some of my accommodation costs by working on a video project for him. More on that as it develops too. Right now it's in storyboard phase, and we have some footage, but we'll probably make more progress once I'm back and Jen gets back so we can do the voiceovers.
Next post will be about my short holiday in Cairns! Don't forget to comment!