An interview with Simon Kong Win Chang
PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre / Career Development Centre
Canningvale, Western Australia
Describe a typical day in your working life as a PADI Divemaster
One thing that I have learned is that there is no such thing as a “typical day” in diving. There is always something new to discover, to do, to see and new people to meet. This is what makes diving and working in the dive industry as a PADI Divemaster so interesting. If I had to describe a “typical day” though, it would be the Club dives.
I run some of the free club dives that Perth Scuba organise every Sunday morning (day dive) and Wednesday nights (night dives). It involves choosing a dive site that would be appropriate for new divers while keeping things interesting for seasoned divers. We prepare a schedule so that the dive sites are not the same every week – then later weather conditions are taken into account to decide where we will actually be going.
On Sunday mornings, we start at the shop bright and early, preparing the free barbeque for all our Manta Club divers. This gives everyone a chance to socialize while we eat breakfast and to provide all divers with a pre briefing of where we’re going for the day, along with maps of the dive site and directions.
At the site – with everyone ready – we carry out a proper briefing pointing out interesting features and covering all the important safety points. Considering their diving experience, divers are paired with an appropriate buddy. Pictures of all our divers are always taken for our blog that I prepare at the end of the day. When the dive is over, I make sure that everyone is safely out of the water and all divers log books are signed.
When and where did you start diving?
I am originally from a small island east of Madagascar called Mauritius. Being born on a tropical island, I always liked the water and always wanted to dive. I was able to start this activity after moving to Perth, Australia and completed the PADI Open Water Course in December 2013. In the past 6 months, I have logged over 100 dives, diving in different countries and in different conditions, from the 12 degrees of the lakes in Houston, Texas, USA to the 26 degrees in Perth, the differences in dive conditions are quite amazing.
When and where did you become a PADI Divemaster?
Where else to become a PADI Divemaster – if it is not where I did my Open Water? Perth of course! With all the great support from the Perth Scuba staff, the PADI Divemaster course was made enjoyable and fun to do. I completed my DM course in April 2014 and have now scheduled to do a tech course.
What made you choose to become a PADI Professional?
I found diving to be extremely fun and wanted to share this experience with as many people as possible. Becoming a PADI Professional means that I get to show more people dive sites and help more people discover the amazing world of diving.
What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster course?
Helping students who are having issues – and seeing the student succeed, is probably one of the most rewarding feelings and the highlight for me.
What dive locations are on your bucket list and why?
I have always been fascinated by penetration dives and history. So the many historic WW1 and WW11 wrecks of “Scapa Flow” come to mind – well preserved by the cold water off the north coast of Scotland. Another interesting site is the “Lost city of Shi Cheng” in China where an entire ancient city was submerged when a dam was built.
What has been the most memorable dive of your life?
Diving in Dunsborough on the HMAS Swan wreck – while at the bottom at around 31 meters – and still being able to see the surface! Experiencing the sight of this huge wreck at the bottom of the seabed was breathtaking!
What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?
If you like to meet people and help them, while having fun in the process – becoming a PADI Divemaster will give you that!