Whether waking up on dry land or on board our live aboard vessel and islands, expect each morning to wake up early and see out long days, where every moment is utilised for either learning, researching, or improving your personal dive skills.
During your first week you will be given an orientation tour of Cairns. This will be followed by a few days in the classroom before moving to the boat in order to complete your Advanced Open Water course, as well as your Emergency First Responder, and Stress & Rescue Diver course. This theoretical and practical training will equip you, mentally and physically, to meet any diving or emergency situation that you may encounter.
Week 2 - 3
Week two and three is where all the science begins, now that your diving skills and knowledge are perfected and you’re all trained up to watch out for other divers and help them in the event of an emergency. You are ready to start learning exactly what you’re going to be surveying and why; and most importantly how to, accurately!
You will be taught the different survey techniques that we use and given in-depth classes on fish and coral identification. You will be shown how to input the data into our different databases. You will also begin in-water sessions, improving your dive skills at the same time as learning to identify everything correctly 100% of the time!
Toward the end of the first month, you can expect to have finished your Advanced Open Water Course; become an EFR and Rescue diver; and have already been surveying coral and fish populations and contributing vital data to our databases. You will also have started your Divemaster and Commercial Scientific diving courses.
During week 5 you will have perfected your dive skills, having racked up more than 50 dives with us by now, with constant reassurance and advice from our instructors. You’re now bound to be feeling comfortable underwater, have perfect buoyancy, and be able to balance on the sand on just one fingertip. You’re a true Scubabo Aquanaught by now!
So, this will be the time we hand over to you, the precious, precious camera equipment. You’ll be taught lessons in underwater photography, macro photography and photography for ID purposes, with Pat Smithson, who has over 15 years’ experience as an underwater photographer. You will learn how to use in-water camera equipment, strobes, lighting and photoshop to take perfect photos for worldwide research projects, ID databases and your own research or portfolio.
Week 6 -8
Now that week 6 has begun, you’re now living the life of Quantum, settling into the routine for the rest of your stay. You’ll be constantly working on your own research; surveying sites for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; ticking off parts of your Dive Master and Commercial Research Divers course; and working in the best office in the world - underwater.
With rotation on and off the land, to and from the sea, in and out of the water, a lot of work will be done. You'll have the experience using slates, string, charts, compasses, pipes, lights and even top of the range underwater camera setups. Expect to be busy! You will be given the opportunity to expand your knowledge whilst being able to educate and assist the marine community as a whole with your studies from the Great Barrier Reef and beyond!