How to prepare for your PADI IDC & IE

Preparation is the key to your successful and fun PADI IDC.

Prerequisites for your IDC

In order to participate in a PADI IDC you must of course meet all the prerequisite requirements:
  • Be certified as a PADI Assistant Instructor, PADI Divemaster, or be an instructor with another recreational dive organization.*
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be fit for diving and submit a medical form signed by a physician within the last 12 months.**
  • Have been a certified diver for at least six months
  • Logged at least 60 open water dives with experience in night, deep and navigation prior to the IDC***
  • Logged at least 100 dives prior entering the Instructor Examination (IE). ****
  • Submit proof of CPR & First Aid training within the last 24 months.
  • Be ready to change your life and have some life changing experiences.

* If you have trained with another agency we specialize in crossovers.  Our Course Director has been an instructor with most agencies and is familiar with your previous programs.  This helps make an easy transition to the PADI system.

** Its possible that you can get a medical in the resort you are doing your IDC in before you begin the course at a fraction of the cost, check with your Course Director
*** You will need to provide your diving log to your Course Director or Staff Instructor during your IDC as proof of your diving experience.
**** You normally only do 4-6 open water dives during your IDC so you should ideally have 95+ logged dives prior to starting your course. This is unless you done your IDC at a PADI 5 Star CDC (Career Development Center), where you can sit the IE if you have a minimum of 60 dives but will not get the certification until you log 100 dives, assuming that you pass the IE.


These are the documents you will need for your PADI IDC
  1. Passport photos, for your new certification cards and for your Course Director's file. If you intend staying in your resort and working then you may need photos for work permits and other official documentation, take 4-8 photos.
  2. Diving certification cards, bring your most current PADI certification card (either Divemaster or Assistant Instructor) Also you will need the dates of all your other courses, so either bring a list of your certifications and dates or just bring all your cards. If you have lost your cards its normally not a problem as your course dates are available online from PADI and your Course Director has access to this information.
  3. If you are transferring from another non-PADI dive agency then you will need photocopies of your certification cards to sent to PADI at the end of your IE.
  4. Logbook, you will need proof that you have 60 logged dives for your IDC and 100 logged dives by the time of your Instructor Examination.
  5. The PADI materials that you have been told are compulsory for your IDC, currently they are: a digital or paper Instructor manual, The Guide to Teaching, Open Water and Confined Water cue cards, Open Water Training Dive Lesson Preparation Slate, Confined Water Lesson Preparation Slates, The Best of the Undersea Journal, and the RDP table and ERDP. If you have a digital instructor manual installed on your Laptop you will need to show the Original Installation disk from PADI.

    You will be pleased to know that you can buy all the required IDC / IE materials in one go at a discounted price by purchasing the PADI IDC Crew Pack, you can order this from your local dive centre or order it in the resort you are doing your IDC so its in your room when you arrive, you may also find the standard PADI manuals from your previous programmes are required. Potential PADI Scuba Instructors normally don't travel light!
You will be able to get all the materials you require from your Course Director who is conducting your IDC and if you can organise this prior to your arrival at your IDC location you can be guaranteed of all your materials at a price that will possibly be better than you can achieve in your home country.

Dive Knowledge Preparation

By the time your IDC starts you should know all the dive theory on the courses you have done yourself inside out. Don't forget that once you pass your IE you will be eligible to teach Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Rescue and Divemaster courses so we recommend that you review each course manual and complete all the quizzes, exams and knowledge reviews.
If you have bought the PADI Guide to Teaching you should complete all 16 IDC knowledge reviews, this isn't compulsory but will ensure you are the best prepared you can be and will give you valuable extra free time for other parts of the IDC you may need extra time on.
The Knowledge reviews require you to read and understand some specific sections of your PADI instructor manual, PADI Guide to Teaching, The Best of the Undersea Journal, The Law & the Diving Professional and The Business of Diving.
You should really be confident and happy with dive theory before you actually begin your IDC, you shouldn't turn up on day one of your course and expect to be taught Dive Physics or Physiology as the IDC has so much other information and skills to teach you there is no time to learn the theory. A good way to check your knowledge is to get new divers to ask you about things they are not 100% sure about. You only truly know diving when you can explain it to others. Try using these questions and answers as a guide for yourself to try to explain to others about dive theory

Instructor Manual paper or digital?

We would really recommend the digital manual, but why?
  • Most new Instructors will either have a laptop* or need to have a laptop to work effectively around their resort location.
  • Environmentally friendly, the PADI paper Instructor manual has hundreds of pages. Save the planet.
  • Easy to update, you can electronically download updates for your manual.
  • The paper manual quickly becomes 'dog-eared' and unprofessional looking
  • The paper manual is heavy! Its the last thing you want to be carrying around with you everywhere you go.
  • Its cheaper (its only a little cheaper but we expect it to be much cheaper then the paper version in time)

* Laptops not only can be used to install your Instructor Manual on but when you are an instructor you will need a laptop to communicate with PADI via email, it can be used to access the PADI pro website, it can be used to store and view your underwater photos and video, it can be used to view your PADI course videos on it. A laptop is already an essential piece of equipment for most PADI instructors and its more common to see instructors with a laptop than without one.
Most Course Directors offer a period of revision and practice for their IDC before the actual IDC begins (traditionally the IDC begins on a Monday and the 3 day Pre-IDC course begins on the Friday. IDC Guide really recommends the Pre-IDC courses as they usually do not cost that much more when added on to your IDC package and it will get you familiar with the training facilities, swimming pool and IDC instructors before the rest of the course members arrive. Its good to know that all IDCs and IEs within a specific location or resort all take place at the same time, so if you are booking a holiday or vacation to do your IDC within a resort like Phuket, Sharm or Utila you will have to book it around the existing IDC dates that your Course Director normally publishes on their website one year in advance.

What else can I do to help me pass the IDC?

The most important thing is get involved in real life classes with qualified Scuba Instructors. You will see how relaxed and comfortable students absorb dive knowledge, your goal is to be a chilled-out super confident, friendly, happy, font of dive knowledge that students feel happy and safe with.
Ensure that all your kit is working and serviceable, you need to be super-aware of your BCD and weights, it should be second nature to you where your releases are and how you fasten it up. Go on then get it out now and practice putting it on and taking it off so you can do it with your eyes shut. Now practice untying your tank band and re-fastening it, you don't learn this on your IDC but there is nothing worse than as student asking you to fix their tank to the BCD when you have no idea how to do it, so now is the time to learn.
Watch all the PADI videos.
Get in your local dive center swimming pool and practice your skills again and again, you should be super-cool in the pool with your skills and be able to do them to demonstration quality 'before' you begin your IDC. Concentrate on buoyancy skills like fin pivots and hovering.
Knots, this is part of the IE, you are expected to know how to tie and teach knot tying, now is the time to learn. You should know how to tie;

Anything else?
All working instructors have a SMB and a reel, you don't get taught these or given them so buy a set and become familiar with them.

News from Down Under

Daily two tank dive charters call 251-968-3483 (DIVE)
Tropical Storm Debby:
Looks like the first little storm of the season has moved east of us.
In her wake and to the dismay of the cave diving community she has flooded cave country and closed some major roads in northeast Florida.
As far as the Gulf beaches go, we are currently dealing with low viz on the beach due to the backwash from the storm surge.  We only expect this to last a few more days.
Offshore conditions look great.
As the water warms up it gets "hot" in more ways than one.  Here come the jellies.  If you don't like spicy dives check out these new 1mm long sleeved shirts and full suits.

July Course Schedule:
  • Group OW and Beginner Courses: July 2nd & 16th
  • Nitrox Diver: July 7th & 20th
  • Advanced OW: July 8th and 21st
  • Rescue Diver: June 29th & July 28th
  • Search & Recovery: July 1st & July 29th
  • Public Safety Diver July 9th & Aug 2nd

For course details: Click Here

Become a PADI Instructor Aug 14th
Are you looking for something extraordinary? To do something others can only dream of? To help people transform their lives? To open doors you didn’t even know existed? All of this, and more, awaits you as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.
This year alone the Down Under Team has taught nearly 300 different certifications ranging from Beginner level to Pro and the sport is still growing.
Click Here for Details. or Call today to sign up. 251-968-3483

Become a PADI Sidemount Diver/Instructor/Trainer

Sidemount diving enables a unique way of buoyancy control resulting in a more streamlined profile that reduces drag making finning and moving through the water easier and more efficient. Offers a greater comfort level as sidemount equipment and harness can be custom fit to each individual, accommodating divers of all shapes and sizes. Great for divers with any disabilities, as you carry the cylinder(s) separate from your harness to the water. Whilst within the water you would then attach your cylinders and weights, making the entries and exits to dive sites much easier. Safer option in terms of air management as you have an easier access to your cylinder valve(s), first stage(s) and alternate regulator should a problem arise. One harness and BCD does it all. This statement is now true as the same sidemount equipment you use, can be used for more advanced types of diving i.e wreck, technical and cave diving."

Sample Schedule
Day 1 Sidemount Equipment Orientation, Confined Water Dives
Day 2 Openwater Dives 1-3

Email Bryan for details


News from Down Under

Greetings divers,

Well another month has come and gone.
It looks like we are kicking this summer off in old school Gulf of Mexico fashion, with spearfishing tournaments, lots of certifications, and tropical weather.


The Redneck Riviera went off with out a hitch.  All of the hunters stayed safe and brought in some amazing fish.
Congrats to the winners.


Our Facebook is up to 900 followers as of today.  A big shout out to Michael Nickoletti for being the 900th today.  Tell your friends to join us on Facebook to get the latest and most up to date info out there.

We might get a new Wreck to Dive!

The 272' Yokamu.

For more details read the blog.

Congratulations to all of the newly obtained Certifications this past month.

Coach Lila's PADI Seal Team and Jounior Divers:

John and Caleb

Open Water Divers: 

Trevor Atkins, Metta Roberts, Jarratt Ure, Sherry Wright, Andrew Eggert, Robert Rogers, Derek Boone, Jessica Simpson, Bryan Gray, Jason Parker, and Jonathan Moody.  Welcome to the team.

Advanced Open Water Divers:

Dirk Pechacek, Mark Johnson, MandiJohnson, Corey Dendy, Seth Malin Bruce Hulsart,Robyn Hulsart, Daniel White, Jarrod Smith, and Milfred Howard.

Enriched Air Divers:

Dirk Pechacek, Robyn Hulsart, Bruce Hulsart, Jason Parker, and Timothy Wilson.

Full Face Mask Diver:

Timothy Wilson

CPR and O2 Providers:

Bruce Lea, Matthew Lechner, Matthew Lechner, Joe Cesario, and James Mcevoy

Congrats to James Brett on obtaining the EFR Instructor Rating.


Take the next step and build upon your confidence and experience by taking the PADI Rescue Diver certification!
In the PADI Rescue Diver course, you’ll build on your existing emergency prevention and management skills. Most divers find this course both demanding and rewarding, and at the end, say it’s the best course they’ve ever taken.
You’ll develop accident prevention and management skills that include self-rescue, assisting a buddy and working within a team during an emergency response. Your training will focus on scenarios in which you adapt rescue techniques to your personal strengths and adjust to the situation.
To sign up for your PADI Rescue Diver course, call or email us and we’ll get you started.
After completing CPR and first aid and the PADI Rescue Diver course, you should take the PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider course Together, these three courses round out your ability to handle scuba diver emergencies.

Cost: $350 total (including Fee paid for Elearning)
The Complete Rescue Diver: $550 including Fee paid for Elearning,CPR,AED,First Aid, O2 Provider and Search & Recovery)
Day 1. Complete eLearning or Crew Pack and DVD
Day 2. Knowledge Review and Pool sessions.
Day 3. Rescue Scenarios 1 and 2 in Open Water.
If you have any questions about joining us for some local diving or taking the PADI Rescue Diver Course, give us a call or pop into our store.
New Gear in the House!!!

Gopro Hero2 HD $299

Flat Lens Dive Housing $49.95


The Yokamu

Hello Divers, Some of may have heard the news of the possibility of having a new wreck to dive. Debbie Williams from WKRG's article "GULF SHORES, Alabama -- It's been months in the making but the 270 foot freighter the Yokamu has finally reached it's new home on Pleasure Island. A two hour delay outside the mouth of Mobile Bay delayed its arrival but once it got inside the bay and then into the intracoastal waterway, it was clear sailing. "I'm hopeful Alabama can come up with the money for the ship and we can get it sunk here." It's the brain child of Orange Beach businessman David Walter. "I just thought, I'm going to buy that ship and I'm going to bring it home. I hope somebody will make an artificial reef out of it." It will be the star of a reality show called "Reefmaker" being produced for The Weather Channel but the reality is it could be a big boost for the local economy. "It could be amazing," says Mitch Craft of Downunder Dive Shop. "Finally we could have a shipwreck that is big enough and sunk in the right place that all the divers can go see it." Craft says having an artificial reef like this off Alabama's coast would be huge. "Having a ship of this caliber in shallow enough water to where all divers can access it would be amazing." Walter's agrees, "I really want to to see it here. We don't have any full size ships off the coast of Alabama. Pensacola has 12." Turning the ship into an artificial reef is estimated to cost about half a million dollars. Alabama has already pledged 100 thousand dollars to the project. Florida is also in the competition." Mitch is right. This wreck would be a huge boost to our local economy and ecology. The Oriskany alone has brought thousands of tourists to Pensacola. We could easily do the same. We have the numbers to prove it. Is you have seen the Sidemount Training video filmed in Gulf Shores you will be amazed at how dilapidated the Navy Tug appears to be in the video. Our old right of passage training site the Southwind Barge (3mile Barge) is almost burried, Atlantis is falling over, Notch Barge is crumbling, and many more are fading away. It's time to step up, Alabama. Look at what Florida has done. 12 wrecks in just a few years. This thing is going to cost around $400,000 to scuttle. Alabama has pledged a quarter of it. What can we do? Demand that we get this ship. Show Alabama that we will use it and make something of it. When the diving community steps up as ambassadors to the aquatic world. Awesome things can happen. Let's preserve our beloved sport for future generations on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Stop by Down Under and sign a petition to show your support for a renewed reeding program. Tell your friends and help get the word out to the diving community. Let's get the Yokamu and see what happens after we show it's success. -Bryan Alabama Artificial Reef Program Facts Alabama's Artificial Reef Program is the product of a cooperative agreement between the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The program is the culmination of many meetings, letters, reports and workshops between various user groups within the coastal area and while the system addressed on this page is the current program, it is intended to be dynamic with changes occurring as technology develops on artificial reef construction. Approximately 1,200 square miles of offshore waters are included in the artificial reef general permit areas of Alabama, making this the largest artificial reef program in the U. S. (Reef Zone Map) The five permit areas are set forth inside bold lines on the map and are called the Hugh Swingle General Permit Area, the Don Kelley General Permit Area - North, the Don Kelley General Permit Area - South, the Tatum - Winn General Permit Area - North, and the Tatum - Winn General Permit Area - South. Within these general permit areas, artificial reefs can be constructed by individuals by acquiring a permit from the Marine Resources Division. Offices of the Marine Resources Division are located in Gulf Shores (Telephone 251-968-7576) and on Dauphin Island (Telephone 251-861-2882). Both of these offices have individuals trained in artificial reef permitting and can schedule an inspection of reef material in a timely manner. In order for individuals to construct artificial reefs outside of the general permit areas previously mentioned, a permit must be obtained from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers pursuant to Section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of 1899, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972, as amended. The advantages to utilizing the General Permit Areas for artificial reef construction are numerous, however, the three main advantages are: (A) a permit can be acquired in most instances within one (1) working day after the request is made. (B) While the specific area on which an individuals' artificial reef is not classified, the location is not publicized, and (C) the chances of artificial reefs within the general permit area coming in conflict with other users are reduced. (Artificial Reef Construction Protocol)


BONAIRE March 9th-16th

Dive Bonaire!!!

Bonaire Dive Resort
On average, Bonaire's visibility exceeds 100 feet (30 meters) and our average water temperature is 80 degrees Fahrenheit (29c). The fringing reef begins close to the shore, usually a short 30 foot (10 meter) swim or less, making Bonaire world renowned for its ease of shore diving. 

Bonaire's waters offer something special for every diver. Novice divers will appreciate the calm waters, reefs that run parallel to shore, and minimal currents. These conditions make it an ideal location to really work on improving those buoyancy skills! And the abundance of marine life living along the shallow drop-off area of the reef slope allows for maximum bottom time, while giving new divers an opportunity to develop a level of comfort and confidence in their newly learned skills.

All levels of divers can enjoy the freedom of our unlimited shore diving package, making as many dives as they want each day, according to their own safe profiles. There are plenty of 80 and 63 cubic foot air and Nitrox tanks available at either the Drive Thru or on the dock where there are convenient benches for gear set-up and two sturdy ladders that provide easy access to the water. Rinse tanks are located at the Drive Thru as well as on the docks where there is an extensive gear storage room. This simply makes diving at Buddy's easy and enjoyable.

One can join our experienced, friendly dive staff on our morning and afternoon boat dives. Every day of the year our custom dive boats go out to explore the many dive sites on the nearby island of Klein Bonaire, a short 10 minute boat ride away, or to other spectacular dive sites not accessible from shore. Guided day and night dives are also arranged to great sites such as the Salt Pier or Town Pier, which have become a Mecca for photographers. Even Klein Bonaire is visited at night on a regular boat night dive.

Relax by the pool.

As a full service dive center, we also have a complete inventory of rental gear available. Buddy Dive guests who prefer to purchase instead of rent will enjoy shopping at our well stocked retail shop. The on-property shop carries a wide range of dive and snorkel gear and accessories, as well as t-shirts, sandals, caps, dive lights, film and souvenirs galore!
100' viz average
$1,300 per diver/double occupancy
$990 per non diver/double occupancy
$2099 single occupancy/diver

$500 Deposit required upon booking

Includes:  Airport transfers, 7 nights accommodations, daily buffet breakfast, 6 days of unlimited shore diving + 6 boat dives, use of tanks, weights and belt, free Nitrox, double cabin pickup truck per week (one per apartment....3 bedroom gets 2 trucks), hotel taxes and service charges.  $25 pp marine park fee not included, paid locally.
Also included Digital Underwater Photography Training at no additional cost.

Ask about the 5 for 5 special  (5 PADI specialties for $500 available only on travel)

Photo pro Lila Harris will also be on hand to offer a Photo Album at the end of the trip for those interested.

***Flights not included***
Sample Flights:
From: Miami

Insel Air 908 9 March Miami to Bonaire 3:00pm 7:00pm            

Insel Air 907 16 March Bonaire to Miami 11:25am 2:40pm
$486.90 per person/round trip

From: Atlanta
Delta 663 9 March Atlanta to Bonaire 9:45am 3:04pm
Delta 662 16 March Bonaire to Atlanta 2:59pm 7:24pm
$960.90 per person/round trip 

Call or Email Bryan today to join the fun.
251-979-8459 or