Chris’ take on first time dives!

07 Aug

Why I love teaching Discover Scuba Divers.

Before I became an Instructor I was working as a Divemaster in the UK for Deep Blue Diving in Plymouth. As a Divemaster you can teach Discover Scuba divers when properly trained.

I love Discover Scuba Divers because they have no expectations, they have never breathed underwater before and most of them have never dreamed of being face to face with Eagle Rays, Sting Rays, Turtles feeding in the Sea grass and in Season we have had Dolphins swimming around people that have never snorkeled before!

Deep Blue would regularly teach Discover Scuba on a Thursday night in the local pool, where we would take groups of 4 into the water at a time to watch Bandaids and clumps of hair floating around the bottom (beautiful!!) and also to allow them to experience diving in the UK without the fear of frostbite, scaring themselves stupid in zero vis and 30 foot seas….
There was one Thursday evening where 2 young guys around 12 years old came to the pool with what I thought was there Dad. I was pulled to one side by my Instructor Sean and told that the 2 young guys were from a foster home, the guy with them was the Manager of the Foster home, both their parents had abused them from birth and they had severe ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), they have been in and out of several Foster homes and their Foster parents had even abused them. It was a seriously sad story and I will never forget it.

I was then told by Sean that their attention span was about 5 minutes so my briefing had to be super interesting……!

You see, this is what happens with Instructors… they can pick and chose what they want to do and give the difficult jobs they don’t want to do to the DM’s (I know because we do the same!) That particular night Sean got the two hot, fit chicks in Bikini’s and I got the two young boys with 5 minute attention spans.

As it turned out this was going to be the best experience ever!

So we got started and these two guys were pumped, they were extremely interested in what I was saying and were super excited to dive. They listened intently for about 45 minutes and then we got ready to jump in the pool.

They were like fish…. swimming around, perfect buoyancy and we had loads of fun.

When they went off to get changed, the Foster home Manager talked to me and made it clear what an impression I had on these two guys. Before we started the course the Manager was concerned that after 10 minutes the kids would have been carving their initials in the leg of the table, or trying to burn the fake palm trees, but instead they had an awesome time. Both of them hugged me before they left and just couldn’t stop talking about the experience.

For me this was a very emotional experience and one that was to change my life forever…… Because it was then I decided to become a Scuba Instructor.

In St. Martin we get hundreds, if not thousands of Discover Scuba Divers. (We are currently trying to think of different names for the Discover Scuba Dive because it really doesn’t do it justice. If you have any ideas we would be pleased to hear them!)

Basically a Discover Scuba Dive is a shallow dive and the participant needs no previous experience, they just need sign a Medical Certificate preferably before they get to St. Maarten so they can get Medical clearance if needs be.

We kit you up at the dive shop, check medicals and jump on the boat for a fast comfortable ride to a sheltered bay called Creole Rock, the diving here is awesome!

The briefing is given on the boat and everything is explained to you in detail before we start getting kitted up.
What we do differently at Octopus Diving that NO other dive shop does, Is we guarantee TWO students per Instructor.
Why does this make a difference?

When I teach a Scuba course at any level I always like to give real life examples of what can happen while Scuba Diving, most of the time it is serious but sometimes funny too.
Sally and I have worked all over the world as Instructor.
In one place (the name or location I shall not mention) Discover Scuba Divers (or DSD’s for short) were taken to a shallow dive site on what I can only describe as a floating platform with two old smokey engines rattling away on the back of it. I will never forget my first day on the boat with a Danish Instructor called Tom. We had 30 DSD’s on the boat and 5 Instructor’s so that’s 6 DSD’s per Instructor…..
I asked Tom exactly how we were going to get 30 people who have never Scuba dived into the water, then take them to 30 feet, do a 35 minute dive and hopefully get them all back on the boat?
The answer still worries me now “Well Chris, forget everything you know about Scuba Diving, this is a machine, as long as you do what we tell you, everything will be fine”.

Worried was an understatement. In the end most of the DSD’s saw some sand, a few others saw some fish and a couple people saw the beach because the experience was so rushed they couldn’t equalize and had to forfeit the dive. It was seriously like a machine and the other Instructor’s knew exactly how it worked… I had a rather steep learning curve.

So when we take Discover Scuba Divers at Octopus Diving we guarantee 2 Students per Instructor and with a Maximum 6 divers per boat we offer a completely different experience.
Your first experience breathing underwater is critical not just to Octopus Diving but the diving Industry as a whole.
If you have an awesome experience, you are more than likely going to take your Open Water course which hopefully you will take with Octopus Diving as again we only take 2 students per Instructor and you will probably buy a mask, snorkel, fins, Dive computer and then take dive trips all over the world.

So if you are interested in Scuba diving for the first time and are maybe a little anxious then let us know and we will take great care of you. Check out our awesome reviews that we are extremely proud of as it’s taken a huge amount of dedication and hard work to maintain our extremely high standards:

If you would like more information about a DSD or would like me (Chris as your private DSD Instructor!) just shoot us an email and we would be more than happy to help you.

Chris wrote this blog 🙂

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