My first Open Water student

All instructors remember their very first student. I for sure will never forget mine, partly because it was my first time teaching as a scuba instructor but also because that student was my dad! I was a brand new instructor working for DJL Koh Lipe at the time and my parents had left the cold winter of Sweden to come and visit me for a couple of weeks. My dad had done a try dive the year before in Malaysia and now he wanted to try it again with me. Not only did my dad sign himself up for a DSD but my parents also managed to convince two people at their hotel to join in (we should have given my mum and dad commission really, that’s how much advertising they did for DJL around the island!). So now I had three people doing the DSD and my mum curiously watching from the side. Because of back problems she could not take part however keen she was to join in. My dad was the star of the group and my main concern was keeping him from swimming too far off in his eager to get closer to the fish. It was a great experience for all of us and after the dive my dad decided that he wanted to do the open water course with me! What a strange and yet wonderful sensation: to be teaching the man who used to always be teaching me. Suddenly the tables had turned and my dad was the one asking me questions! I was a tough teacher, no skipping of steps just because he was my dad, and because I was newly certified as an instructor I believe I was even more adamant about doing everything by the book. But he bore with me even when I put him through long days of swim tests and theory lessons and exams. And in the end we had a great time together and did some very nice dives. The diving around Koh Lipe is excellent and offers a great variety of life. We saw yellow boxfish, giant moray, clouded moray, bearded scorpionfish, lionfish and much more. My dad and I now share this passion diving and I can’t wait for the next time we can go diving together. It just goes to show that it’s never too late to try new things in life. My dad never thought he would take up scuba diving at the age of 62 but now here he is, counting the days until his next underwater experience. Hopefully it won’t be long until he is back out here diving with me again! 🙂

Stina Brännström

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