This may sound familiar to some of you out there and you may be doing just the same thing I was doing until I made the decision to break the circle.
The holiday season comes around, you fly off to the sunny destination of your choice for some well deserved rest and time away from work with your loved ones. While you are relaxing around the resort you see the blue PADI flags & banners so you decide to sign up to do a discover scuba diving session. You spend a short time in the pool, in a confined water site or maybe both. You experience the wonders of breathing underwater, the sense of weightlessness, maybe you get a glimpse of some of the stunning, diverse and colourful life that inhabits this underwater world. But then all too soon, as they say “all good things come to an end”, the discover scuba diving session is over and you are back on dry land telling your family or friends about the experience you have just had.
The holiday comes to an end and all of this is a distant memory until the next holiday comes around. When you get to the resort you again see those PADI banners, remembering how good it was the last time you sign up for another Discover Scuba Diving Session, the next year you do the same and the year after the same again.
That was me, the first Discover Scuba Diving I completed was in the Dominican Republic in the early 2000’s, a gap of a few years then a further 4 or 5 DSD’s in Malta were carried out over the next decade before I eventually decided that enough was enough, I wanted to see more of this underwater world, see more of the diverse life that lived on the reef and to explore deeper taking in and exploring wrecks.
When I arrived home from our holiday in Malta a quick search in Google showed the dive centres local to me, a quick phone call followed by a trip to the Dive Rutland dive centre for an informal chat over a coffee and I signed up for my Open Water Scuba Diver Course. Half a dozen pool sessions, some theory sessions in the classroom and two Sundays at Stoney Cove and I was qualified as a PADI Open Water Diver with a bonus of the dry suit speciality as well. My instructor? Well she was a lady called Tracey Roberts, a newly qualified PADI Instructor.
Over the following years I increased my dive count, dive skills, certifications and confidence. Dive Rutland Club trips to dive sites around the UK as well as foreign destinations in addition to the regular family trips to Malta clocked up the dive count in my logbook. Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver and a plethora of specialities from equipment specialist to Deep and Wreck specialities meant I achieved the highest recreational PADI qualification of Master Scuba Diver, but that same instructors name kept appearing on my certification cards! You may ask why is that so relevant? Well it is all about trust and the relationship you build up with not only the instructor but the whole team at the dive centre. If you are confident and feel safe with the team then you are more relaxed, diving shouldn’t be stressful.
So, what do you do next? that was the question I asked myself and where to go to for the advice. Well the second part of that question was easy to answer, go to where you trust. A quick chat with Tracey at Dive Rutland and the decision was made to start on the professional ladder by starting the Divemaster course. This is undertaken as an internship with one of the instructors mentoring you, everything you need for this is learnt from theory and practical sessions. Mastery of the skills circuit involves a lot of polishing up of your own dive skills to presentation standard on all 24 skills. Learning what is required of you on dives with students means shadowing a qualified divemaster to learn the ropes and then taking the feedback from them and your instructor to learn and grow into the role. A host of other things, far too many to list here are required to complete your Divemaster course but if you want to know more, just ask one of the team.
You may be wondering Where am I now?
Well having completed my Divemaster course I have stuck with the team I trust, I am now a member of the Dive Rutland Team and currently taking the next step up the PADI Professional ladder to qualify as an assistant instructor.
So now my question to you is “what are you going to do? “
Discover Scuba Diving anyone or are you taking the next step?????
Written by Rick Smith
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Dive Rutland is the trading name for Dive Rutland Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 9433835.
Registered address: 8 Horn Close, Oakham, Rutland LE15 6FE