I first went diving in 2001 in Dubai and, as you do , became an OWSI that November. Teaching in Dubai was vastly different from lovely lush Thailand. On the Dubai side, there was very little actual life, wrecks were being pulled up to make way for the contruction , and a very silty bottom made visibilty virtually zero when there was the slightest surface swell. I was teaching for a 5 star hotel, so the clientele had the tendency to be a bit on the demanding side. I had to stop diving completely after a knee injury, and just never really went back to it… until I came here. You would normally find me behind the counter selling dive courses, or teaching EFR, but it wasn’t long before I felt the need to get back in the water. After some encouragement from both Tim Hunt ( Padi Regional Manager) and the boss, Tim, I decided to get back into teaching status, which involved resitting the Instructor Exam. To do the exam , I needed to sit the Instructor Development course all over again! Fortunately our course director was very supportive and helped me get my sealegs again, coaching me through bouyancy problems associated with new gear. A lot had changed in the 11 years , the materials were very different, but it wasn’t long before I was back in the swing of things.
The last hurdle was the exam. We had been taught so well that we all sailed through comfortably ( although jumping off the enormous boat for the openwater stuff was a bit of a challenge!!). It was very satisfying recieving the certificate of completion !! I did laugh , however, when I found my first certifcate of completion from all those years ago and discovered that it was almost exactly 11years ago to the day!!