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reasons for being an instructor...

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Erection Supervisor ;)
Jan 19, 2001
a couple of cents worth of thought....

I have been working as a diving instructor since July this year. Since I have been diving, and during the last four months particularly, the same question keeps popping to mind.

Why are scuba instructor doing what they are doing?

Various answers come to mind, some of them are pretty obvious ones for some instructors that I have met! A change of career, and escape from “normal” city life, or because they love teaching and working in a varied environment. Also they may have an avid love of marine life and this job brings them as close as you can get.

Whatever the reason is, I have seen a interesting variety of dive professionals. There is the “put-the-scuba-unit-on-over-your-head” kind of macho instructor, who also will naturally stand on the boat railing and do a head first water entry. How impressive. (not).

There is also the “posey-sunglasses-look-at-me-I’m-blonde-and-skinny” type instructor, with the “if I can do it, they can do it” attitude.

There are also your role models, although i must admit that I have met just few, i could count them on one hand, in fact.

So what’s my point? Part of this article is dedicated to my previous questioning – why are you doing this?

Are you in it for the possible “easy shag and have a load of female/male divers looking at you in complete adoration when you ‘brave the water and jump in with just a snorkel to check the current?’” (snore). Or is it because you really want to teach scuba, for your love of diving?

Or.... (and here comes more questions) – are you in it for yourself, your own diving pleasure and your own precious logbook or dive count? (I find that scuba instructors are just DYING to tell you how many certifications they have and especially how many dives.....)

This brings me to the next part of this article... perhaps we should take a look at ourselves and ask if we are really taking care of divers closely while teaching or guiding a dive.

How many of us have left a diver with 50 bar on the surface (or safety stop) and gone down again with his/her (ex)buddy, who wants an extra 10 or 15 minutes dive time to finish his tank? And is that extra 15 minutes going to be partly responsible for anything that happens to the diver at the surface?

Yes, this article is full of questions... but in view of recent diving accidents in the last couple of months here in the Maldives perhaps we have to ask ourselves if we are becoming to blasé... a diver with a headache, tingling etc may not always be diagnosed as dehydrated (I have heard this comment so many times from instructors). Unless an instructor has a formal medical training (and I don’t mean “first aid”), how can he possibly make a firm diagnosis?? I often have heard from experienced instructor “aah... it’s just psychological”... “aah.. she is just dehydrated”...., or “aah... he is just a sh**y diver so panics for nothing”. Blasé again? Or is this the “real divers don’t panic and will dive rain or shine” attitude?

My question to instructors is “were you born diving”? Did you have a reg in your mouth upon delivery? No. When you started diving, were you a natural? Did you ever panic or get scared? Did you ever feel uneasy about a dive? What was the divemaster’s reaction? Did he/she bump you off with a sarcastic comment? Did he/she pay attention to your fears? Or were you told “if I can do it you can do it”? How did you feel?

“Experienced divers” are two words i hear a lot around here... but those levels of experience may vary extremely. A diver with 60 dives may not have the experience of a diver with 40 dives.. all depending on where and in what conditions he has been diving before. We cannot just assume that a diver with plenty of dives has a good capacity.

Recently there was a serious accident in Male Atoll. I prefer not to mention island names. I heard a couple of accounts of the accident. Obviously the true version will only be ever known by the instructor involved and the poor ill-fated soul who passed away.

Certain words come to my mind though, when I think of that god-forsaken day. Selfishness, irresponsibility, customer service, safety, and the REASON why there is an instructor on board, on every dive.

Why is the instructor there... for his pleasure, or for the well-being of the guests? Why is the instructor an instructor at all?

What is your reason?


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Thanks for the article and words - as an Instructor I can understand some of the points you bring up - but at the same time not all Instructors work in the paradise of a resort location, but like me graft away in the real world. Liked the questions you raised but how do you answer your own thoughts
Dive Safe
the real world... et al.

HI Dr. Scuba...

the experiences i had of instructors was mainly when i was learning to dive, in local clubs near my permanent place of residence, in Spain. (when i was still grafting in the real world).

I left for a paradise location to enjoy the outdoor world and be closer to nature... and also work as an instructor where I could be waking up and going to bed thinking only about diving, the next dive site, and the next student.

I found that working in the city and instructing part time only increased my yearning to get closer to the ocean and actually it began to affect my work. Travelling through the smog of the city and flicking specks of dust from my clothes, trying not to scuff the high heels... it all was thrown away to live in pair of shorts and a staff t-shirt.. and the only image i had to worry about was the image of a decent instructor trying to make a diving course enjoyable.

my reasons were change of atmosphere, change of routine... getting closer to nature and smelling the scent of salt and the balmy island winds while travelling (on foot) to work.. abandoning the shoes for bare feet and spending more time learning about marine life, and myself.

I always dive safely.... :)

thanks for a great forum. Although i don't get the chance to participate much (it's 20c a minute from the Maldives...)

go well.
Many Thanks Sara-Lise
Enjoyed your posts, sorry I cannot do much about cost per Minute from the Maldives for net access. But think of it as dive research.
Would you be interested in doing a background travel piece for our readers about diving in the Maldives.
Malcolm James
Managing Editor
Deeper Blue

would love to write.. please email me the details of what kind of article is required....could i email it you and you post it on the forum?

kind regards
(saw loads of grey reefs this morning and dogtooth tunas.. so feeling on top of the world.)

Maldives impressions!

Hi Sara-Lise,

Thank you for your piece on resort diving and lifestyle. It is close to my heart and I relate to it well. I spent 10 yrs in the Caribbean and Mexico teaching and managing diving programs for Club Med. Exotic destinations, great diving, bare-foot commute, and a new location every 6 months. Its true there are many different types of diving personalities.

It would be great to read about your impressions on Maldives diving.. We are always looking for contributions, perhaps you would like to become a regular Staff Writer. If your interested I'll e-mail you some specific guidelines and info., there are numerous options and possibilities.

I'm curious, where in the Maldives are you located and which resort do you work with. I have a very good collegue also from Spain who runs a new dive program there. Perhaps you work together. if not, maybe I can put you in touch if yuor close enough!

Enjoy every day of the beautiful life you live, you are blessed.

Big bubbles, No troubles!

hi Nico

and also hi Dr Scuba...

i am based on Reethi Rah (Euro Divers), and tomorrow I am going to Club Med (Faru) for 10 days to fill in! coincidence!

should be exciting... (free beers and wine with meals.... hmmm)
one of the directors here is Spanish... is initials are J.M...
he is based in Spain normally but has just been here for a visit. is it the same guy?

i would love to write an article... just tell me what is required and i could send in some stuff, maybe will be of interest.

i attach a photo of my last skindiving escapade.....

kind regards,

Sara-Lise Haith


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