Divemaster AdventureBritish Virgin Islands
Divemaster Internship Program
If you want to take your scuba skills to the first professional level, and are already a certified Advanced and Rescue Diver, Divemaster fits the bill.
PADI Divemaster training is designed to develop leadership skills by training shipmates to supervise dive activities and assist instructors. We teach our Divemaster course as an internship. This is the best way to prepare you for the next jump to Instructor level. Shipmates work full-time with our instructors for the duration of a complete PADI Open Water course. No other training method allows for such real life experience and, at AQ, our flotilla sailing concept allows students to learn techniques from up to 14 professional diving instructors. Divemasters who learn this way possess a much better understanding of dive training, as it gives a practical rather than classroom perspective.
As with all of our programs, you'll be in the water a lot, but it's not all dive, dive, dive. As well as learning to sail, water ski and wakeboard, you'll see all that the BVI has to offer; swim off the deserted beaches of Anegada, visit island towns, sample the local food and dance to the reggae beats.
Voyage Blog Entry...
Famous Awesome Sandwiches
Author: Michael L.
Location: Marina Cay
Today we woke up at Mountain Point. We had a later start for the first time and didn't have to wake up until 8! We raised sails on the morning and spent the rest of the morning practicing our sailing skills.
After our morning sail we picked up a mooring at Trellis Bay and spent the afternoon on shore. We ate FAS (Famous Awesome Sandwiches) at Trellis Kitchen and they completely live up to their name. Then many of us stopped by the local market to stock up on candy and nutella before returning to the boat. We left Trellis Bay around 3 and moved across the way to Marina Cay to fill our fresh water tanks and anchor for the night. The chefs cooked some great tortellini for dinner, the same meal we ate for our first night together. We are now cleaning up and preparing for Lifeworks tonight. It was a great day sailing out on the water and we're all excited to wake up and do it again tomorrow!
The First Few Days...
It's full on!
And now you know why we're called ActionQuest! It's full on, full-time, and this video is just a glimpse of what we did in only the first few days on the water.
Sydneys Peace and Love...
Alumni Author: Rachael W.
Rachel tells us about the longest day at AQ...
During session I and II in the BVI, the whole fleet gets together for a BBQ and dance night at Sydney's Peace and Love restaurant on the island of Jost Van Dyke.
It's a highlight of the session, and usually occurs on the same day as "the big hike" to the top of Mt. Sage, as well as the Sandcastle Competition at Sandy Spit... Needless to say, this is a HUGE day at AQ and you'll certainly be going to bed very happy, yet very tired!
Alumni Author: Hannah L.
Rotation days were by far my favorite days while on AQ. A rotation day is a full day where you do multiple activities all geared toward expanding your horizons and all very fun. From windsurfing to knee boarding to Scuba to Pico sailing, there is something for everyone. Each activity takes place in a set time frame that is plenty long to enjoy yourself and to get something done. But not so long that you get tired. Then you have about ten minutes in between to get to the next activity location. We all get to do each activity multiple times over the course of of the trip so you can figure out which you like best so if you can expand on these activities when you return home. Yes, rotation days are by far the most energy filled exciting days of all of AQ!
Voyage Blog Entry...
Another Divemaster Day
Author: Greg H.
Location: Vixen Point
It's gorgeous here. We haven't moved very far today- probably only a few hundred yards, but I don't think anyon minds considering the sunset we just saw. Today was a rotation day, which means nonstop work for the divemasters.
We woke up at 6 something, made scrambled eggs for 14 in 15 minutes, cleaned up in less than 10, and then had open water divers on our boat all day. Between tank runs, helping people set up their gear, and going underwater as divemasters. It was very busy day, but that's fairly normal at this point. What made the day unique for me was the Divemaster stress test- the concept is that you and your buddy swap all of your gear underwater while buddy breathing. It was the most fun I've had scuba diving! We just had dinner (chicken caesar salad with tomato risotto and corn) and the sun just set (best one yet). It's gorgeous here and I can't wait for tomorrow.
Just you, your shipmates and the power of the wind. Now, with the breeze in your hair and the helm in your hands, you realize how far you and your teammates have come. No longer passengers, you are crew – shipmates, staff and adventurers united for this awesome voyage...MORE > >
Submerged in a completely different world - a world where 'exotic' doesn't begin to describe what's in front of your eyes, that's AQ scuba. Through crystal blue waters with incredible visibility, you'll come face-to-face with spectacular marine life like hawksbill turtles, queen angelfish and schools of mirror-like silver sides...MORE > >
Can't picture yourself actually skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing? Think again! As you carve through the water, you'll feel the speed, the wind, the exhilaration and the accomplishment of doing something you never thought you could. You'll be grinning for sure...MORE > >
ActionQuest visits some of the most incredible places on earth - the perfect settings for watersports, cultural expeditions, hiking and exploring. The sights you see on an AQ voyage vary according to the destinations you visit, and all are extraordinary.MORE > >
Other Cool Stuff
Think that's all we do at AQ? No way. Along with the beach BBQ's and reggae dance parties in the BVI, you'll learn to drive a dinghy, tie knots, splice a line, sail a laser and even cook for 15 people at a time! While the Galapagos and Ecuador voyages are filled with unpredictable, priceless moments of cultural exchange, service learning, and adventure. You’ll see striking scenery, improve your Spanish, taste new food, and make friends for life as you immerse yourself in an entirely new culture. Every moment of every day will be jam packed with cool stuff to do, see and experience...MORE > >
Looking for the first step in working with scuba as a career? Your adventure into the professional levels of recreational scuba diving begins with the PADI Divemaster program. Working closely with a PADI Instructor, in this program you expand your dive knowledge and hone your skills to the professional level. PADI Divemaster training develops your leadership abilities, qualifying you to supervise dive activities and assist instructors with student divers. PADI Divemaster is the prerequisite certification for both the PADI Assistant Instructor and PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certifications.
PADI Emergency First Response & CPR
Take a step toward emergency preparedness and meet PADI Rescue Diver prerequisites with Emergency First Response. As one of the foremost international CPR and first aid training companies, Emergency First Response gives you the confidence to respond to medical emergencies - not just in the diving world, but in your every day world with your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers too.
VOYAGE ITINERARYPrevious Next
Throw your toothbrush in your bag and head to the airport! You'll start to meet our staff and other shipmates as you connect through St. Thomas on the way to Tortola. As soon as you arrive, it's straight aboard the boat where you'll meet your staff and choose your bunk. After that, change into your swim gear and take your first dip into the warm blue Caribbean water! You'll spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know your shipmates until it's time for all of you to prepare your first dinner aboard! Strangers will become fast friends as you end your first day chatting under the stars on board your new home.
It's up early with the roosters, and after a quick breakfast, you'll start off an action packed day. After swim tests are finished up, everyone will get together on the dock for the big program introduction. Next thing you know, it's time to slip your lines and get your first taste of sailing in paradise. Main from the Jib, Tack from the Clew, as you learn the boat, you'll practice tacking and trimming as you sail to Norman Island. After you drop anchor and enjoy lunch, there's a snorkeling adventure through the once treasure-filled 'Caves' on Norman Island. You'll spend your evening anchored beneath Spyglass Hill, and after dinner, we'll have the Divemaster course introduction outlining the academic, watermanship and examination schedules for the voyage.
The trend of waking up early continues as we get an early start for the fantastic training sail up Sir Francis Drake Channel. After anchoring halfway to Virgin Gorda for a quick swim and lunch, we set our sails again, making sure everyone has a turn at each job aboard while we work through learning 'man overboard' and the points of sail. As the golden afternoon sun begins to fade, we drop our anchors just off the sugar white beach in Savannah Bay. Once anchored, the chefs begin to create our evening meal while the rest of the crew tidies up the vessel. Post dinner, we gather to complete the Dive Planning lecture. Our next lesson is on Dive Management, so our homework is to read and do the knowledge review at the end of that chapter.
As the sun rises, so too does the level of energy and activity, on what will be a busy day. While the yachts we live aboard will not sail today, we will have a very big day on the dive boats helping the instructors teaching the Open Water course and having our first full underwater skills circuit demonstration and evaluation. Somewhere in the day, we will find time to go for a water ski and finish work on the Dive Management module. Lunch comes and goes in a blur of activity, and as the sun starts to set, you finally begin to wrap your head around all you have done in this very busy day. After another wonderful meal, courtesy of you and your fellow shipmates, we get together and have the Supervising Students in Training lecture.
As we make passage out of Savannah Bay and around the infamous 'Whale Rock Point', we begin to see The Baths in the distance, one of the British Virgin Islands' true natural treasures. We spend the morning climbing, swimming and exploring this amazing formation of granite boulders before pulling up anchors and heading for our first port of call in Spanish Town. Spanish Town offers a chance to call home, grab lunch and an ice cream ashore, and pick up any odds and ends needed. Once back out on the water, we have a high energy sail up past the eastern tip of Virgin Gorda and into North Sound, where we will spend the next couple of days. With the entire fleet rafted up, the usual meal preparation and shower time take an entirely more social turn. The evening finds us again meeting in small groups to work on our Divemaster knowledge. Tonight we will focus again on Dive Management and Control to help us prepare for the work we will be doing in the water for the next three days.
Another full activity day begins early at Vixen point, with Divemaster Candidates assisting in the water with the Open Water students as well as being evaluated on their rescue skill and problem solving abilities. The problem solving drill includes the challenge of exchanging all SCUBA equipment with another candidate while buddy breathing underwater. The amazing pace of learning and activity continue through the afternoon and by the end of the day, we will again have done more in one day than some people do in a week. The evening's activities for our second night at Vixen Point involve the candidates working through the Diving Physics lecture.
Day two at Vixen Point sees the same flurry of activity as the day before. Candidates begin to really solidify the skills they are learning. We are starting to really feel comfortable working with the students and are becoming very good role models with both our skills and enthusiasm for diving. In addition to working with the students, we will take our watermanship tests today. We will be scored based on the 400 yd. free swim, the 800 yd. mask, snorkel and fin swim, the 100 yd. tired diver tow and the 15 minute treading water test. As the late afternoon approaches, focus turns to the excitement of the beach barbeque and the D.J. who will be spinning tunes at the private beach party slated for our last evening in Gorda Sound. All the favorite beach barbeque staples are prepared and ready, and for the first time during the trip, there are no dishes! The evening begins with a wonderful sunset and ends with dancing to the sound of the island beats!
Sails are set and we are off to Anegada! It is just seven miles away but unlike the rest of the BVI's, this reef-encircled sandy island cannot be seen until we are almost upon it. Once we reach the western tip of Anegada, it is time to run and swim on miles of deserted beaches before packing up and setting our sails for the fast reach back to Mountain Point. After a big day of sailing, we find ourselves anchored under the towering rock formations off Mountain Point. A great Mexican night meal is followed by an open evening to review all the material we've covered in our first week.
Today the Open Water students will be doing their final Confined Water dive and the Divemaster candidates will be fully assisting the instructors in supervision, demonstrations and safety procedures while being evaluated on their ease of manner and professionalism. While the dive training we are doing is fun and rewarding, after lunch we take a break and go for a couple of runs behind the water ski boats or take a shot at sailing the small dinghies and windsurfers. After dinner, and a wonderful Mountain Point sunset, we once again hit the books with a lecture covering the Skills and the Environment modules.
On the water early again for another full activity day! With the Open Water students taking part in their first open water dive, we have our first chance at leading portions of underwater tours in addition to getting to enjoy the beauty of this great dive site. We alternate between diving with the groups and working as surface and equipment support for the dive boats. We will get an introduction to the use and maintenance of the air compressors used to fill our SCUBA tanks. After dinner, we take a much-needed night off from the academic portion of the course and enjoy a great night dive off the northern tip of Mt. Point!
A quick morning sail downwind to the island of Great Dog will put us in position to assist with the second open water dive at the always-impressive dive site called Coral Gardens. This site shows us the true wonders of the undersea kingdom and, if the conditions are right, we may even get to check out the wreck of an airplane that was placed in the sand beside the reef for the filming of a movie. After some great diving and lunch, we again set sail for the lovely little island of Marina Cay where we get ashore to make phone calls, grab an ice cream and take a quick look around the five-acre island. Fresh food arrives again today and the boats are rotated on and off the water dock to make sure the tanks get filled up. Just after dinner aboard, we do the lecture portion of the Dive Physiology module, then head ashore for some dessert and free time.
We have been working very hard with the Open Water instructors and we are rewarded with a trip out to the wreck of the Chikuzen, to dive with the Action Dive fleet on this amazing sunken freighter. After this incredible dive, we eat lunch while sailing to the cliff-lined cove of Muskmellon bay and anchor amidst the diving pelicans and circling Frigate birds. After dinner, it is time to finish up the Physiology section of the Divemaster course.
Muskmellon Bay once again provides us with a place to get all the equipment out for another full activity day. With the ski boats pulling skiers and wakeboarders outside of the bay, the inside of the bay gets divided into two areas for more small boat sailing and SCUBA diving. The Open Water students will be doing dive number three, which includes the CESA skill, so we will be called upon to provide an added level of supervision both above and below the water. We will also be diving separately with the instructors to continue working on our own skills to make sure we are bringing all of our demonstrations up to a professional level. As the afternoon's activities wrap up, we will be helping to break down the dive sites before moving over to Sommer's beach for a barbeque and relaxing evening on the beach.
The final SCUBA certification dive takes place today for the Open Water students, and we are again called upon to use our diving skills and training knowledge to assist the instructors conducting the dives. After lunch it's time for a quick tow behind the ski boats and some instruction in making monkey's fists and turk's heads out of line, and then a great sail down the northern coasts of Tortola to the famous Cane Garden Bay. Tucked into Cane Garden Bay for the night, we enjoy an excellent meal aboard and begin work on the emergency action plan we are required to research, prepare and present as part of the course curriculum.
The morning starts in a flash as we find ourselves standing on the dock at 7am, water bottle in hand, ready to make the hike to the top of Tortola. As we approach the summit, we are wrapped in the lush greens of the Mt. Scenery National Park with views of the entire British and US Virgin Islands. The trip down is much quicker than the way up, and by noon we are enjoying a "Cheese Burger in Paradise" in the very spot for which Jimmy Buffet is claimed to have written his song. Quickly following our burgers and ice cream, we depart for an inter-boat sandcastle contest on the deserted beach of Sandy Cay. In the evening, we head over to Sydney's Peace and Love in Little Harbour, Jost Van Dyke, as "the busiest day in ActionQuest" continues with another catered barbecue dinner ashore and a live reggae band to get us dancing. As the band plays the last note, we are all ready to call it a night and get some much deserved rest.
As the ActionSail fleet sets sail for sailing drills, we will hop ship and spend the day with ActionDive to do a pleasure dive at the Playgrounds in addition to a second dive working as dive leaders on the same site. In the afternoon, we will have the theory and practical lectures covering the use of the Recreational Dive Planner. After dinner, the evening plan calls for a review of the materials covered to date. We will also be planning for the completion of the program and making sure each candidate is up-to-date with log book entries and instructor sign-offs.
Our first "Race Day" has arrived! The goals of the day are to use our newfound skills to race in friendly competition with our peers. Our first race takes us from Sandy Spit to West End, where we stop for lunch, provisions and water. The second race of the day starts in West End and skirts the south coast of Tortola before crossing the Sir Francis Drake Channel to arrive in Great Harbour, Peter Island. Tonight we will get a chance to do a night dive on the Wreck of the Fearless, which was once the sistership to Jacques Cousteau's original ship, Rainbow. The ship sits, hauntingly intact, on the sand bottom just outside Great Harbour, Peter Island.
We start today with a motor over to Salt Island. After a dive briefing and story of the "The Wreck of the Rhone," we embark on what will be some of the best diving of the trip. To be able to spend the day leading dives on this famous wreck is a tremendous pleasure. As the final part of our Divemaster course, we will also be mapping the wreck. A good amount of our bottom time today will be spent as Divemaster buddy teams, mapping the wreck. Tonight we bring it all together by completing our final Divemaster exam. All of our hard work has paid off, and we have put the finishing stamp on this challenging course.
No trip to the islands would be complete without a trip to the small capital of the BVI's, Road Town. After a quick opportunity to get one last time behind a ski boat, we make the short sail over to Road Town. With an hour or two to explore, buy a souvenir and maybe grab a bite to eat, we are ready to hop back onboard and have a very relaxing reach down to Norman Island, the very first place we anchored on our first day of the trip. The last evening at anchor is really all about wrapping up our voyage together. The closing program that we do gives each shipmate a chance to reflect and express what the voyage has meant to them, allowing the crew to solidify the bond they have developed.
An early breakfast and then a skippers' meeting is held to determine the course and starting procedures for the final race today! Crew morale and spirit are running high as chants and cheering echo through the anchorage, while vessels are prepared for the big event. After an exciting start, the crews squeeze every bit of speed out of the vessels, sailing up the Sir Francis Drake Channel, over to a buoy off of Road Town, then to Great Harbour, Peter Island, for the exciting finish. After sailing back to West End, a BBQ at Pusser's Landing with a reggae band playing island tunes is a perfect setting for our final night. A final wrap-up with the entire flotilla takes place on the dock and is followed by the re-telling of the tales and adventures we have all had.
The tears start flowing with the first taxi departing before the sun rises as shipmates say goodbye and depart for the airport. Departures continue with the final group setting off for the ride to the airport in the early afternoon. Students arrive back to friends and family and begin to reflect and tell the tales of the sailing, diving, adventure and new friendships developed during their time aboard.
Having said that, when on program we follow strict guidelines as to when students may use their cell phones. The environment we strive to create aboard relies heavily on each individual remaining focused on the group and our experience. Being tied to the modern world of "instant communications" can, in certain circumstances, be a hindrance to the personal and group processes aboard. We feel that there is ample opportunity to make calls during personal time ashore.
Please be aware that ALL cell phones (this includes iPhones, Blackberries, camera phones etc.) will be collected upon arrival to the program and held in safekeeping. Cell phones will be made available to students at times designated for making phone calls when we are ashore.
We encourage our students to call home when they have the chance, however, we do not require this, as our staff are usually busy with other activities such as stocking the boats with fresh food over this time. The old saying "you can lead a horse to water..." comes to mind, as some shipmates call home every time and some never call! In the BVI, there are ample opportunities, and the phone service is pretty reliable.
FLIGHTS & TRAVEL INFO
To learn about student travel to and from the British Virgin Islands, please click HERE to visit our Student Travel page
Here you'll find:
> Contact details for Leah Hernandez, our student travel coordinator
> Options on how to get to the British Virgin Islands
> Info on how we accommodate early arrivals or late departures
> What you should consider in terms of passports and visas