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'Caribbean' Ian
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<font color='#348781'>Hi,

Just thought i'd guage peoples opinion on this one!

My girlfriend's thinking of taking a couple of months off work next year to do the Divemaster course and is looking at doing it abroad in a fairer climate.

My question is:

Where would be a suitable place to go, bearing in mind decent diving, cost of living & the fact that she's a she etc...

Anyone out there had any experience in this matter?  
 

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Hi,

I did mine on Koh Tao, Thailand for a couple of months and had a great time.  They were mostly British Instructors, professional, competant and thorough.  SIDS-Planet Scuba.  I have a friend who just did the same with them a month ago and she had a blast.

I had considered Cairns when I was there but it was way to expensive to do a long internship and pay for digs/food/beer with no income; so I worked instead, lived like a monk for 2 months and took my savings to SE Asia.

Sometimes you can get a deal thru these types of DMT contracts, they may through in cheap digs as alot of operators have hotel/chalets as well; nothing ventured nothing gained, especially if she goes in the off season.

The thai Islands are great diving, I lived like a king for £5-10/day for food/hut/beer doing the classic beach hut thing.

Being a Budhist country it is very accommodating to Women and the natives are a great crowd; in todays current climate I would, if I were a women, think twice about living in a muslim country alone.

Be warned though it was F**kING hard work!  12 hour days 6 days a week, 4 dives a day.  It was a steep learning curve and they too a very dim view of slackers, of which there were a few, and rightly so.  You get out of it what you put in, a cliche I know but true non the less.

If your lass is not very comfortable in the company of strangers or doesn't have professional customer facing skills she might want to think strongly about the venture.  DM training puts great store in the customer/business activities of DMTs.  Exemplary diving skills apart, if a DM can't act as a "role model" "Customer host" and all round wonder-child with the punters they are not much use, then getting a job will be murder.  Of course if she is not thinking of going pro then the above won't matter.

Whatever though, I wish her luck, she will have fun.  If you have any further Qs don't hesitate to ask away.

Dive Safe

Ross
 

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Hi again,

Just noticed your name!  What ya ride?

I was about to buy an Aprilla Mille untill I was quoted over 2 grand for TPFT!  They take the piss I think?

Maybe go for a cheap 600 now.....but wht?
 

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'Caribbean' Ian
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<font color='#348781'>Suzuki SV650S, fantastic handling bike only needs a race can or two.



It'll be up for sale soon if yer interested!
 

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'Caribbean' Ian
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<font color='#348781'>Yeah, I was thinking of Thailand myself from the cost of living point of view.

Was also wondering about Mexico, only prob is that i/we have no experience of these places.

I was in Oz last year for a couple of months, i've pretty much ruled that out because of cost and unless you can get right out the diving aint that great
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>How queer, I was looking at a SV650 yesterday near my gaff, nice bike in silver, great sound,  I think he had an Akropovic fitted.

Why you selling?

I would be intersted but I will soon be moving a wee bit south so an estate/landy type motor for dive gear is at the top of the list.  However, the bike is further down the list but not off it.  Maybe later in the summer, I am thinking of a big traillie as I will be out in the country.

Mexico?  Can't really comment.  Alot of yanks though, they can be VERY demanding.  It is expensive to get to and living costs would be, I imagine, pretty high.  Thailand would be a wee bit more exotic and interesting I think, if that is of interest to you both.

I looked to working in the Caymans last year and the insurance was prohibitive to the point of taking the piss just cos most of the punters would have been yanks.  It was all to do with the litigious nature of them. I would guess that the same applies to Mexico.

Go to the book shop and get the lonely planet guides for an insight into independant costs; they are usually very thourogh.

Personally I would not embark on a DM course if I couldn't get a personal and impartial reference from someone who had used that particular operator; but that's me.

Hope this is all of use
 

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'Caribbean' Ian
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<font color='#348781'>I'll certainly mention Thailand to the missus, i'd be well up for it, not too sure 'bout her, I think she'd worry i'd go running off with a ladyboy or something!  


I can imagine you're probably right 'bout Mexico and insurance etc...

Bought it new last year and used it to commute for a couple of months b4 going to Oz. Nice bike just can't justify hanging on to it at the mo, insurance due an all that!

Only just sussed that you're from Glasgow, in Kent myself bit far to go for any bike really!!

Huntin round for a land rover myself, same reason, the hatchback can't really cut it when it comes to dive gear!
 

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I did my DM with Emperor Divers in Sharm.
The standard of tuition is good.
It's relatively cheap to live out there.
The work is normally six days a week, 2-3 dives per day.  You're not expected to haul tanks or fill them as in other places though - the locals take care of the heavy stuff.
The diving is fantastic - I never get bored of the sites.
As for being a single female out there, the dive professionals community is very strong and you will be looked after.  It's a very safe place to live generally anyway.

I spent a couple of months there this year and the only downside was coming back
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>Hi

I too did my dm course in thailand on koh tao however i did with Buddha View. It was fantastic, well taught caurse. We didn't have to the heavy stuff though we were expected to help get the kit put out. There was also th option to do as much diving as you liked as all the academics were in the morning. there are a range of great dive instructors to assist with and they make sure you are well briefed as well as giving you the option to get a feel for many different instruction techniques.

As for living out there it is very cheap and very friendly, as a lone female teenager travelling on my own i had absolutely no trouble getting round whatso ever and especially on koh tao everyone knows everyone else. Getting down to the island was also no trouble as the resort have a travel agent dave based in bangkok who will sort out all your travel requirements. i even managed 2 weeks sightseeing around thailand by myself with no problems

I would recommend doing the course in thailand and more particularly with buddha view - personal bias. not only did i get a lot of diving and experience but i also had a fantastic time. It is definitely well worth it.

Annalisa
 

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Why take time off and go overseas? (D'oh! Stupid question, but...) Do an internship in a UK dive shop!

But if not, yes I would vote Koh Tao too - or rethink Oz, not Cairns but Exmouth (providing it's really the diving you're in to, not the partying).

Good luck to 'er, anyhows!
 

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I have got more or less the same question as your girlfriend and have been looking into a months internship somewhere hot from mid-April.

So far I have come up with the Philippines, Mexico and Egypt.  As I have travelled all over on my own I might not be as worried about being a female on my own as she is.

I had a quote with Asia Divers for a months B&B in a reasonable hotel in Puerto Galera, Philippines including flight and course, transfers and a night in Singapore on the way back for £1700.  Today I phoned Diving World and spoke to a knowledgeable sounding instructor who is going to come back to me with a cheaper quote using Auquanaut (i think) divers in the same area.  She also made the point that it is best to do the course where there are a lot of students passing through doing various courses so you get to help out in a variety of situations - something I hadnt thought of before - Egypt and Thailand would be excellent for that.

One of the people who answered your query said to avoid muslim countries.  I would completely disagree.  As long as you take heed of local custom when away from the dive resort areas you will be fine.  ie dont stroll around town wearing short shorts and a singlet.  I spent 3 months in Malaysia in 2003 on my own doing some of the best diving of my life.

I can reccomend the Perhentian Islands or Tioman Island, Malaysia for diver training in a cheap living environment (not as cheap as Thailand though better diving I thought) am not sure which schools do the divemaster course.

I did my Rescue in 1999 at SIDS-Planet Scuba on Ko Tao (Thailand) and had a great time - I thought the level of tuition was good and it was an excellent divers island with enough nightlife.  I was on my own (as usual) and found it really easy to meet people as the dive school put me up for about £2 a night in my own big room with bathroom and a balcony (and mossie nets) with all the others doing courses.

tell your girlfriend good luck and sorry I cant comment about the motorbike - I presume that was what everyone was going on about!
 
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