This weekend I wrapped up my first open water diver course. The classroom and pool sessions took place the last week in April but due to conditions we put off the open water portion to this weekend.
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel nervous with the group. I had another instructor working with me and it was a good experience. It helped that we had a great group and they all seemed to rock through the skills. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I had to give the “do over” sign.
The other instructor that I worked with deserves a pat on the back for answering my questions and showing me some really good tips. I look forward to working with him again soon.
Open water dives 1, 2, and 3 were all conducted on Saturday at Shark’s Cove. Open water dive 1 is basically a discover scuba diving experience. There is very little in the way of skills. So we enjoyed a little tour of shark’s cove led my yours truly. After surfacing from this we conducted all the surface skills and then moved to open water dive 2. On open water dive 2 there a bunch of skills that we knocked out pretty quickly. On open water dive 3 we started off with the CESA. We set that up so that all the students were in a line and one of us would make and ascent with a student. Then on our way back down we would signal “ok” for the other to start his CESA with his student. It worked out very well and we used the same technique in dive 4 with the compass swim. After the CESA we moved through the skills pretty quickly. Our class was crashed by a green sea turtle which was a treat for the students. They were all very fascinated by the under water world and it was really cool to watch them enjoy themselves.
My fellow instructor offered Enriched Air in conjunction with the class at a special price and we had 3 students take advantage of that offer. So, on Sunday we conducted Open Water Dive 4 and an optional fun dive where the 3 students got to dive nitrox. We chose Electric Beach as our site for Sunday because it was the best conditions. Even though it was best it wasn’t wonderful conditions. But all of our students did a great job moving through the surf zone and the visibility was decent once we got out a little beyond the break. I think the students especially enjoyed going to the end of the pipe and seeing the show of reef fish everywhere. We also saw a sea turtle, some nudibranchs and a frog fish. It was an added bonus for the students to get an additional dive because they worked hard on Saturday.
After our dives we came back to the shop, filled out log books and paperwork and took pictures. I missed out on getting a group pic though and that bummed me out a little. I’m proud of myself and I feel like I did a good job. It’s exciting to be teaching and it reaffirms my reasons for taking the instructor course. You don’t do it for the money, you do it for love of diving. Sharing that with people is a true honor. After all that’s what it’s all about, “go places, do things, meet people”
At the end I came away with 13 certifications toward my 25 needed for Master Scuba Diver Trainer. Only 12 more to go! I start a new class of 16 tonight in the classroom. This will be my first time flying solo in the classroom but I’m not that concerned about it. In fact, I’m pretty excited. I got this!