A little update on the current travel. I’m in Costa Rica to become a divemaster.
A journey in South America
Since I came back from Antarctica via Argentina, I had the opportunity to visit places in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and in Brazil. So there’s some backlog in the pictures and stories for the blog. Working on my book The Fragility of Ecosystems, and on the articles I’m writing outside of the blog got a bit of a priority.
These days I’m spending my time in Costa Rica, on the Pacific side. I’m starting my Divemaster training with Rich Coast Diving here. Over the next 3 months, the plan is to combine that with the finishing of the book about the “Fragility of Ecosystems” and with some consulting missions I’ve accepted in New York and other places. Being a digital nomad, as one could say.
What is a divemaster?
A divemaster in the PADI curriculum is a diver who has reached the level of training where he/she can be in charge of a dive. When you dive in many places in the world, the person diving with you will be one of these PADI Divemasters. Becoming a dive master also helps in becoming a SCUBA instructor later. I’ll see how these 3 months go first, before I launch myself in that PADI IDC course.
Why a Divemaster internship in Costa Rica?
When I was researching where to do this, I had a couple of requirements:
- Distance to NYC
First, as I am figuring out how this location independent working style works for me, I needed to have a place where I can fly in an acceptable time (and budget) back to New York. Costa Rica has 2 airports that fly easy into the US. Being a loyal Delta Air Lines Customer, it was reassuring that from Liberia and San Jose, there are direct flights to Los Angeles LAX, Atlanta ATL, and New York JFK.
- Reputation of the Dive Center
When holding a Divemaster certificate, I wanted to make sure I was holding one from an institute that is highly recognized by PADI, and that had the highest level of Course Director. In Costa Rica, Rich Coast Diving is only one PADI Career Development Center (CDC) that has five stars. And on top, their course director (Martin Van Gestel) is one of only 70 PADI Platinum course directors in the world.
- The Fun Factor
Rich Coast Diving has an excellent reputation among the Divemasters and IDC-alumni. But they also make sure that the time you spend with them is not just carrying tanks and gear. Having an international crew shows that people actually WANT to be part of this group, and that in itself helps to create a nice atmosphere.
Of course, becoming a better diver will also give me an excuse and some extra skills to improve my underwater photography.