Sally normally blogs and we had that “You haven’t blogged for a while conversation” so thought I would put two fingers to the computer (I am not a fast typer!) and write a blog, so here it is.
Usually when I have blogged in the past Sally complains that it’s too formal, she says I need to relax a little! So, here it goes.
Recently we started a new activity for Octopus Diving, Octopus Diving TEC.
Sally get’s really annoyed with me because I am always 2 years ahead of her and planning our future business, for example I have already found our next boat, a new Rebreather and have some really awesome ideas about some deep exploration expeditions in the Caribbean….all exciting stuff but it all costs money!!
The reason I wanted to start Octopus Diving TEC goes back to my roots of Scuba diving at Deep Blue Diving in Plymouth. You blog readers should already know Rich Stevenson from Plymouth as he taught my Instructor course for Advanced Nitrox and Rebreather here in St. Martin. Rich and Sean Mctierney (one of my very early instructors) used to work at Deep Blue Diving and in my eyes (in the early days of my diving career) were like gods.
Rich would be out teaching 90meter wreck courses in extremely rough conditions while I would be taking students to 15 meters in a quarry. I was extremely envious and jealous of what he was doing, however not just anybody can work in the conditions that he was and experience is essential to stay alive; one mistake and you could be in a lot of trouble. After seeing Rich teaching TEC diving it has always been something that I wanted to do, but I never really had the chance before.
Now we own a dive shop, what better opportunity.
When Rich certified me as a TEC Instructor I have to be honest and say that it was an emotional moment (TEC Instructors don’t cry, we just get emotional!), Rich doesn’t just go around handing out certifications as many Instructors do and I worked my butt off to pass the course so I knew I had made the grade.
Since getting certified as an Intructor I have taught two Poseidon MK6 Rebreather courses and 3 Advanced Nitrox courses with a steady flow of bookings in the future. Having Rich as my Instructor Trainer (IT) also helps clients understand what kind of training they can expect which is realistic, thorough and safe training.
It also helps to be in nice warm clear water and not swimming in pea soup like Rich back in England.
I did my first rebreather course in the UK with Rich in a quarry, it was 4 degrees Celsius and I was frozen. Rich thought it was extremely funny and I still have the video that he took of it. He was shouting through his mouthpiece at me “Are you alright mate? Not too cold? Just another 60 minutes and we will be nice and warm”…… I gave him some hand signals that weren’t from the PADI manual! Our first dive was 90 minutes, I managed 87 and got out as it was just too painful.
Sally and I did a Shark dive with a very good friend of ours yesterday from his 50foot Motor Yacht. I was on a Rebreather and Sally was taking awesome photos as usual. We had 6 sharks swimming around us and it was a really cool experience, reminded us of our Stuart Cove days. I am not really a fan of shark feeds but due to the Shark population declining world wide, I think it’s important that we all see them before it’s too late, which won’t be long (sadly). They are amazing, beautiful, intelligent creatures and are not at all aggressive – a great way to spend Valentines day, most girls get flowers Sally got Sharks.
Soon we will be advertising a shark dive with Octopus Diving and hope to get our customers to understand the need to protect these awesome predators.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog, hopefully you are all still awake at this point, Sally will catch up with you all soon.
We have a crazy weekend with NINE Open Water Students and 2 tank divers so it will be a mad house at Octopus Diving on Saturday and Sunday, but we aren’t complaining!!
Check out Sally’s photos of the shark dive below.
(Chris wrote this blog 🙂 )[Gallery not found]