Most days, you can find Hayley Mitchelmore either on board a 51 ft Catamaran, or diving amongst the longest fringing reef in the world. How does she do this? Hayley is a PADI Divemaster with Sail Ningaloo, in Western Australia. We asked her to share a bit more with us about her love for diving and what a typical day as a PADI Divemaster is like.
PADI: Describe a typical day in your working life as a PADI Divemaster.
Hayley: I work for Sail Ningaloo who run snorkelling and diving liveaboard trips on board, ‘Shore Thing,‘ a 51ft catamaran. My days are always full of activity and excitement. Here’s a description of a typical day on board a dedicated diving trip:
- I get up around 6am to prepare breakfast for the guests, clean the cabins and start preparing for lunch. Following this is usually a fresh morning dive.
- We’ll head back to the boat for morning tea – usually this will include scrumptious cookies – and we’ll then move on to another spot for a second dive before lunch.
- Lunch is buffet style, unsually consisting of fresh salads, BBQ meat, pies or slices, and home-made bread – all of which has been discreetly prepared in between dives.
- Following lunch we’ll have a little siesta before we’re back in the water again later in the afternoon. We normally do a sunset dive, or maybe a night dive.
- Guests will then shower and change into comfortable clothes while i prepare a gourmet sit down meal.
- Finally, everyone goes to bed and I will set the breakfast table, prepare a few things for the next day and then head to bed myself, ready to do it all over again the next day.
PADI: When and where did you start diving?
Hayley: I learnt to dive when I was 16, back in Kenya, East Africa, which is where I grew up.
PADI: What made you choose to become a PADI Professional?
Hayley: When I first qualified, I never really knew at that point that I would actually work in the industry. I saw it as a challenge that I really wanted to succeed at, all the while exploring an alien world.
Hayley: I became a Divemaster right here in Coral Bay! It was the first time I came here in 2009 and it’s a great feeling to be back in the area and working again.
PADI: What highlights do you recall from your PADI Divemaster course?
Hayley: They thing that stands out most to me were my two awesome instructors. I was lucky enough to have all their attention as I was the only one completing the course. I love that I am still friends with them today!
PADI: What dive locations are on your bucket list, and why?
Hayley: I still haven’t been to Truk Lagoon in Micronesia and everyone I know has been! So this is a trip I need to get organised. I’d also really love to dive in Antarctica because I think it would be truly exhilarating – but I’m not such a fan of the cold, so this might never happen.
PADI: What has been the most memorable dive of your life?
Hayley: I don’t really know why this sticks out, but I divied ‘The Blue Hole,’ off Gozo Island in Malta some years ago. It was cold (about 13 degrees celsius) and I didn’t see anything particulaly special or out of this world, but it is basically a tubular vertical hole that you descend through and then a small arch at the bottom you get out through to see the rest of the reef. It was really surreal.
PADI: What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers thinking of becoming a PADI Divemaster?
Hayley: Wow, words of advice – that’s hard! I’d have to say ‘do it.’ It truly is a great experience and you learn a lot about yourself, especially if you have a hard core team training you – but it also gave me incredible confidence in my own diving skills.