I get asked this at least once a week, and to be fair it is a valid question. I remember I was also once confused. The titles sound pretty much the same and are comprised of the same words.
So you’re sitting there wondering…What is the difference between the two? Which one is higher in the diving world and why does it all have to be so complicated? In the diving world, there is actually a significant and distinct difference between the two.
So if you feel too silly to ask someone, I’ve got you covered.
First, let’s start with Master Scuba Diver. A common misconception is that there is a specific course to become a Master Scuba Diver, however it is actually not a course in itself. It is a set of requirements that need to be met before one can apply in order to get the special Master Scuba Diver status.
The requirements as per PADI are:
So once you meet the requirements and apply, you are essentially a Master Scuba Diver! Not as hard as you thought, right? There are so many awesome specialty courses that PADI offers, from Underwater Videographer to Ice Diving, all the way to Fish Identification (yup, that’s right, naming fish).
Now, becoming a Divemaster is a bit different. It is essentially an entry-level professional certification.
During your PADI Open Water, you may have noticed divers helping out you and your instructor – They were Divemasters! A Divemaster leads dives and assists dive instructors and they are a respected and important part of any dive shop or diving team.
The requirements as per PADI are:
The Divemaster course is not an easy course to pass, one must meet a long list of requirements and the course itself takes a significant length of time to finish with multiple components. Once you are a Divemaster, you can pursue a career in the dive industry and work just about anywhere in the world. The Divemaster course is a stepping stone to moving up in the professional diving world as you can then apply for the PADI Open Water Instructor Course!
So there you have it folks, now you know the difference between the two similar sounding PADI diving qualifications! Remember to thank your hard working Divemasters who often volunteer their time purely for the love of the sport! Go Divemasters, we love you!
If you are interested in getting your Divemaster or Master Scuba Diver qualifications, feel free to contact us with any questions or enquiries. Now that you know the difference, you are well on your way to choosing the next adventure that suits you best!
So I am going to simply pick one dive to tell you about.
Why just one dive? There will always be time to write about the other amazing dives, and if any of our Bahamas adventurers wish to submit their own story-experience here, then by all means, fill your boots (send to: firstname.lastname@example.org). Share away. As winter sets in, we sometimes suffer a bit from lack-a-scuba-itis, so reading about your diving experiences actually helps soothe this trial period.
The Washing Machine Video
It seemed this week on the Aqua Cat, that I popped up from every dive exclaiming, “That was the best dive ever!” ...and the “Washing Machine” was no exception.
What is the “Washing Machine”? It is a drift dive that is the stuff of fairy tales. Well, maybe a scuba diver’s fairy tale, anyway. The current runs between two islands here, and a bowl shaped area has been eroded away where the current turns around on itself; where divers delight in a good tumble.
To begin the dive, all divers must be ready at the same time, lined up to 3 dive deck exits at the stern of the boat; so much like little para-troopers, we count down to the jumping phase, and then DIVE, DIVE, DIVE! One after another, we jump in, negatively buoyant, and begin to drift. The water is swift, our buddies are all around us, and there is the distinct sensation of flying like Superman. We are Supermen. Or Superpeople. Whatever. What a feeling.
After a couple of kilometres of “flying” through water, listening to our meditative breaths in, and our bubbles out, we encounter the Washing Machine itself. The current is strong, and turns back on itself in the carved out “bowl”, and I can see my Superbuddies in front of me starting to do somersaults in the churning water. I enter the arena and I’m immediately tumbled in circles, pushed down low, then sucked up high, and as I laugh through my regulator I am vaguely aware of my computer complaining about the crazy ups and downs, “Beep beep beep beep beep!” it complains. After thirty to forty seconds we are spit out the other side to continue our relaxing flight through water.
Along the way, we come across a stingray buried in the sand. The current is much lighter here so we hover to take pictures, and I can see his stinger tail slightly elevated and rigid in warning. After tolerating a few seconds of this he decides it is time to relocate, and gracefully turns and swims away.
Then I spot a small reef shark approaching. Just a leisurely swim today, he sails past without a second look.
And THEN, wonder of all wonders, there is a turtle. A loggerhead, I think, although some of you may correct me if I’m wrong (see video). He is resting under a coral head with two remoras. Looking like a very relaxed dude, he simply observes us for a while as we video tape. I am amazed at how close I am to a turtle - I have always wanted to see this - most of my turtle viewings have been very fleeting. This was just incredible! He too gets tired of the attention (I’m sorry dude, we just love you so much), and swims away to a place where divers may not follow. Soon, dive leader Diego gives the signal it is time for our safety stop, and it is with some regret that we all grasp the line when it is time to ascend. We pop up shouting, “That was the best dive ever!” or if you are Bree, “I’ve seen everything on my list now, that was amazing!”
I’m jonesing for more. Counting down the days until we are there again...