In the 3 years that passed the underwater realm has delivered me (in no particular order of awe-inspiring beauty); schools of giant barracuda hunting prey through my safety stop, hammerhead sharks cruising against strong currents like Olympic swimmers in a baby pool, bump head parrot fish grazing the reef like a herd of buffalo, an unexpected whale shark visiting me and only 2 other divers in aquarium conditions, finding a cargo boat wreck with a friend during a fun dive, being circled and fighting off a shark while tying a new mooring (yes, scary) and I’ve had more turtle encounters than I’ve had DSD mask flood freak outs. And that’s a lot of freaking out let me tell you.
After a ‘spot’ of globe-trotting for 2 and a half years it was time to do something a little bit more ambitious, mature and focused with my life – even in the erratic unpredictable world of the diving instructor: I decided I wanted to become a PADI Staff Instructor. Asia had given me some great times; I lived in Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines and after a short break for Christmas back in the UK some emails with Brenda at Rich Coast lead to a manager’s job offer and Staff Instructor placement. Nice!
As an IDCS at Rich Coast Diving I would assist Martin in training new instructors while also being able to certify assistant instructors. I really enjoyed the course. I got to stand up in class and offer my tips and advice for teaching based on what I’d been doing for the last 2 years. The candidates seemed to enjoy my stories and it really reinforced how I’d been spending my life since leaving London. Which is nice because every 3 days I would seriously ask myself whether I was a little bit crazy shunning good job prospects in exchange for tank tops and flip-flops. I guess I just need to refer to the first paragraph and remind myself that the answer is of course a BIG FAT NO. During the IDC I was excited for the candidates: they were about to go through all of the above for the first time.
Once again working in my red t-shirt at Rich Coast, but this time with the skills and experience they were preparing me for, is as enjoyable as it was the first time: all my friends are different but the fun is still the same, the diving is as unpredictably exciting and my Spanish is mas mejor. Well, almost.