A couple of years ago I was at a crossroads in my life, we had just gone into our first of many Covid lockdowns in 2020 when I asked myself; What are you doing with your life?
When covid hit I got in touch with DiveHQ to do my Diploma course in professional scuba instructing and have never looked back! Having worked on boats and ferries over the past few years, I thought the obvious next step would be to explore underwater and see what lay below the surface.
The course I was on ran for 1 year and by the end of it I was a certified PADI specialty instructor ready to dive into the industry. At the beginning of my course, I was quite nervous having never tried scuba diving before, but my instructors made me feel so safe and comfortable which allowed me to become more confident in my diving skills but also in being a dive leader and dive professional.
The diploma course I was on started in August, some of us had a little bit of diving experience but most of us (including me) had never tried scuba before. We started with Open Water, where we learned all the basic diving theory and skills you need to know to go diving with a buddy recreationally. Then we moved to Advanced Open Water where we focused on specific specialty diving, e.g. learning and fine-tuning navigation skills, search and recovery underwater, night diving, fish identification, deep diving, buoyancy skills and more! After advanced we completed a rescue diver course, which was probably the most enjoyable part of the year for me. As we got to simulate rescue situations and that was when my class really got comfortable with each other. Then we moved onto the professional side of diving, with our Divemaster course. I really enjoyed the divemaster portion of my course as I feel like it was a time I really stepped into my own with diving and being a role model and began to feel pride with my diving responsibilities and trust myself more. After divemaster came the hard yards of the Instructor Development course- at first all the presentations and theory seemed daunting but as I progressed with my theory knowledge and became more confident, it got easier and easier.
The course was fun, fulfilling and rewarding but also changed me as a person- I started at DiveHQ as a very anxious new diver and now I am a confident and knowledgeable instructor. I can honestly say that becoming a scuba instructor was one of the best decisions of my life.
Throughout my course I got to learn the ropes of Dive HQ and shortly after I graduated, I was offered a fulltime position teaching the next tertiary summer school foundation program. I was extremely excited and grateful that Chris and Mike wanted me to join the team and couldn’t wait to get started.
As the first day for summer school drew nearer and nearer, the excitement quickly turned to a whole lot of anxiety, but of course I was still super excited. I wasn’t nervous about whether I could do the job, I knew that I had plenty enough knowledge of diving and wouldn’t struggle with my diving. I was just nervous to meet my students and hoped that they would all like me.
If you could have been a fly on the wall in the classroom on day 1, you probably would’ve seen the nerves pulsing through me as my new students started to arrive. We were all a bit quiet, shy, nervous, excited but as the day went on it was just like hanging out with a group of friends. They had a rocky start to their course with covid lockdowns and levels preventing us from getting in the pools, but everyone persevered and we got to have a few fun snorkel days at Goat Island in the meantime.
The foundation course that I taught for the summer school group started with Open water, next they went through advanced open water, emergency first response and oxygen administration, finishing off with rescue.
I really think I got lucky with this group, they were all super passionate about the ocean and diving, had great attitudes every day and were super capable with their diving skills. We had a couple of marine biology students in the group, so every day I think we ALL learned something new about the beautiful Moana we got to dive in everyday.
While at Dive HQ I’ve also had the opportunity to teach the recreational weekend courses, the students do all their theory online and just come in for a couple of weekends to smash out the practical part of their open water course. While a lot more fast paced, I can say I have equally enjoyed the recreational courses as I really enjoy meeting different people and it is super fulfilling for me to see how far they come in such a short amount of time. It’s like a mother bird when her babies finally fly out of the nest.
I thoroughly enjoyed every day being a student on the diploma course and instructing the courses I have done so far and if I could do it all over again I would in a heartbeat!
So what are you waiting for? Get in touch and book on a course today!!