Ask 10 scuba professionals why they do what they do and you’ll get a range of answers usually along the same lines: I enjoy diving and I want to share it with others. ‘Guess what I saw last time I dived in…’, ‘Have a look at these pictures of…’ – these phrases have been said some way in probably every dive centre in the world. The experiences that divers have, the aquatic life that is seen, photographed and remembered is sometimes beyond the realms of imagination to a non-diver.
I recently had my neighbours visit and, while talking, they were looking at some of the pictures I have on my lounge wall of things I’ve seen in Egypt. A moray eel, blue-spotted ray and a parrot fish – not particularly rare sightings or even creatures that I end a dive and immediately shout and cheer about that they’ve been spotted. However, it dawned on me that for somebody who has never been underwater, perhaps never even thought about exploring underwater, the only opportunity to see something like this is on television! Needless to say, the next part of the conversation revolved around them completing a Discover Scuba Diving experience.
In 2012 I became a PADI Divemaster, I had quite a few reasons as to why I enrolled on the course but thinking about all of them now, essentially, they all come back to the first point I made – I wanted to share my experience with others. The Divemaster course is the first rung on the PADI Pro ladder; it’s when you consolidate all the dive experience you’ve built up, learn supervision techniques, refine rescue skills and become a leader and role-model. As a Divemaster, you get to enjoy watching other people achieve something; knowing that you had a part to play in that process, for me, is really rewarding.
As an Instructor, I get to watch not only the student develop, but the Divemasters as well. At the start of every course we have an orientation session. This begins with introductions from everyone to include why they have signed up for the course - in this session, attitude is absolutely key and even though candidates are just starting their professional journey, this is the point when we hear responses like I mentioned above – ‘I want to share my experience…’.