Teaching family and close friends how to dive always starts out with an incredible excitement about being able to introduce the wonders below you know so well to someone you love. We’re always eager to share something we love with someone we love. However, despite your own excitement about teaching someone close to you it’s usually looked at with a bit of sceptisism involved. Will they be able to put aside the usual laid-back relationship with you and treat the experience and you with the professionalism and seriousness diving requires?
Of course, diving is all about fun and here at DJL we never take ourselves too seriously. But that being said we all know that you have to treat it with respect and possess a fair amount of knowledge before just jumping in. It’s not just about breathing underwater and swimming around with the fishes. Diving is serious, yes – but it’s serious fun.
During my time working as an instructor i’ve had the, let’s call it pleasure to begin with, of teaching one of my best girlfriends, my dad and most recently, my sister. All three, experiences I absolutely loved. There is an amazingly bright side to it but in all honesty, there is a tiny, definitely not so dominant, dark side to it as well.
With my dad the previous mentioned sense of authority disappeared a bit. He brought me up, always being the one in charge when I was younger. He taught me so many things and now, all of a sudden, I was the one teaching my 45-year-old dad how to scuba dive. Swapping roles can be a bit difficult to deal with in the beginning, in this case, resulting in a complete loss of formation underwater. I always tell my students to stay slightly behind me and follow me in the right direction. Within 5 minutes of diving with my dad I was the one chasing after him! Still keeping everything safe and staying close to him but sucking my air as never before just to keep up when he decided to go explore something in the opposite direction we were going, we acented after about 40 minutes of dive time. His excuse; he just wanted to see everything! He was so eager to take in all the sights that he just couldn’t resist swimming in more of a self-created route. And he ended the day with saying that diving and being on Koh Tao had been one of the top 5 experiences of his life. Bless him!
Diving with the sister was another story. You all know how siblings are. We fight and make up like an old married couple. Her day of diving with me was no exception. After a short surface swim towards the beach we began to argue. She was complaining about all the little, unimportant things she definitely would have kept quiet with an instructor she didn’t know. After asking several times if she just wanted to go back to the boat and call it a day, she refused and said “Let’s do it!” and despite her fear of fish and the sea in general, she ended up swimming through the massive school of fusileirs that’s always swimming around in Mango Bay, and acutally being one of the easiest Discover Scuba Diving students i’ve had. As soon as we popped our heads up after the dive, there was nothing but smiles. The argument was all forgotten.
Even after having these experiences I would never ever turn down an opportunity of diving with another family member or close friend. Because, after all, diving is supposed to be shared. And who better to share it with than the people you love?