Jenny, Philippa, Sarah, Megan, Leiann
As a dive instructor, there is one thing that will never get old. Coming up with a group of students after open water dive 1 and hearing them all, in union, state how unbelievable it was. Ohh’s and ahh’s and every once in awhile someone going (my favorite) ‘why couldn’t we stay down longer?’ (Mmmm, I wonder why?) It’s even better when it’s a group of classy English ladies, who spent days prior to the course (between their hours of scheduled sunbathing rituals) asking you every question imaginable and who were terrified that something might go wrong. They almost had me stressed out more than them about the course, and it hadn’t even started yet. Who would have guessed, that group of girls would have ended up becoming one of my favorite groups of Open Water students to date and also some great friends that I hope I can meet up with later in life. Well start with the introductions. First off we had Jenny, the fun loving (but sometimes forgetful) student who liked to share stories about her travels, especially when she had a near death experience with a coconut. Then there was her side kick and best mate Philippa, also known as Flip, eager to dive with a love for The Foo Fighters. Leiann, who was traveling with her father (also a fellow PADI diver) and wanted to see what all the fuss was about, then Megan, who had tried diving once before (well just say it wasn’t the best experience) and was very nervous about giving it a second go. The first day started out with a pool session, which ended up not only being one of the longest one’s I have ever done, but also the funniest. It began with 4 very nervous but excited girls all asking multiple questions at once (sorry girls if I got a little snappy with you, it was out of love I swear), continued with many skills, some easy, some difficult, and some (to their surprise) a piece of cake. No tears were shed during the almost 4 hours spent in that pool, but there were a few times when we all had to come up to the surface for air, not because they were having a hard time breathing from their regulators, but because we were all laughing so hard underwater our ribs were starting to ache and we needed a breather. I felt like a mother hawk watching her chicks take that big leap into the air the next day, as all 4 girls plunged into the open sea and I watched them descend into a world that they would never forget. The fear of the unknown ocean was turned into a love for it, right before my eyes, and it made me remember why I loved my job so much. After surfacing and hearing what use to be uncertain questions turned into ‘OHMYGAWDDD (that was brilliant, that was amazing, that was unreal, ect, ect.) I knew they were hooked. I couldn’t help but laugh, while briefing about the second dive, I explained about the family of clown fish we would go visit (ok girls, all together now, ‘OHHHH NEMOOO!’) and my smile only got bigger when at the end of the day, their complaints about getting up early the next day to have to finish the course became complaints of how they wouldn’t be able to sleep, since they were that excited to go diving again. The last day of the course went as planned, lots of excitement with some more ohh’s and ahh’s, but ended with the satisfaction of taking what started as 4 terrified and nervous girls and certifying them into PADI open water divers. Its times like these that make me love what I do, to be able to watch people grow within themselves as they conquer a new task that is in front of them, sometimes scary at first but in the end very rewarding. And to be honest, if these girls can do it, anyone can (again, I say that out of love).