Do you have a scuba mentor

go proAs a new PADI OWSI or dive master are you continuing your relationship with your scuba mentor or shop? Or are you going out solo?  That is always the question that a new PADI OWSI will struggle with as they await the paper work to be completed and arrive with their brand new shinny black card.

It has been an interesting month for me, watching a new PADI OWSI working with their first class solo, that is without me leading them in conducting the class as well as working with some students that were given a referral from an independent OWSI to go do their open water check out dives that didn’t feel ready to go to open water and wanted a little more practice. Yes, you can say it has definitely been more than interesting.

Altitude divingThe other night as I was with our 3 new dive master candidates we were discussing the role of the dive master and the role of the shop/instructor.  We talked about how our roles have grown from that of student and teacher to that of a new professional and their scuba mentor.  The new dive master and even the new OWSI are qualified to lead and teach from the moment they graduate; much like a newly minted MBA is ready to take on the business world. And they will probably do very well and be successful.

But, there is so much more to teaching any scuba class and while true that experience is the best way to gain the experience and confidence in any profession having a scuba mentor or 2 can help the new OWSI and dive master grow.  Having a scuba mentor to talk over things that happen in a class can be instrumental in your growth as an OWSI or dive master. In our programs we try and have you work with as many real students as we can, because while role playing scenarios with other candidates is fun and a learn tool, working with real students and real problems and yes real fears will ramp up the learning curve as you progress and learn and grow.

Talk with your instructor/ scuba mentor about the opportunities for you to co-teach or the possibility of you going the staff at the dive shop. Check out the PADI pro site for teaching opportunities in the island where you can gain experience and work closely with experienced instructors. The world awaits you as does your mentor.

scuba mentorIf you are ready to join the scuba professionals join us for our next PADI social night on April 30.  The theme of the night is “Living the Scuba Dream”.  See you there

PADI “Go Pro” Night is October 8th

instructor's creedAs I was looking for a fresh take on our upcoming PADI  “Go Pro” night, I came across the PADI blueprint in the 3rd quarter issue of The Undersea Journal, which in turn led me to these post about other scuba careers  and that reminded me of the July issue of Dive Training Magazine. I have shared a few of these on our facebook page and they all have one thing in common and that is the need for more training. The minimum most of these lucky divers suggested was PADI Rescue Diver and Divemaster.

But do you need to “Go Pro” to land one of these fun jobs as a movie stunt diver or working say in Vegas or even with Astronauts? No, but as you read through all the stories from these people, attending a PADI “Go Pro” night and becoming a PADI professional diver sure didn’t hurt them in their new careers. Are there fun jobs where you can dive without being a PADI professional? Sure, I remember helping one of our new divers a few years ago land a job traveling and cleaning and installing glass in aquariums.

Attending a  PADI “Go Pro” night and becoming a PADI professional diver opens up many more windows of opportunity for you to find a job in the islands and ditch the grind of the cube farm called your office. At this moment there are over 450 jobs posted on


the PADI pro site from sales associates to help run a retail dive center to dive masters with mechanic skills to Instructor couples to run a small resort. As many of you know Instructor Jeff is in Vietnam right now living his diver dream. His started out at a “Go Pro” night as a way to just be a better diver. I am sure many of you have seen Jessica’s article about her scuba adventure or my post about living the living the instructor’s creed . The are many reasons to attend a PADI “Go Pro” night and each one is as individual as you and I.

By combining your passion and love for diving with the knowledge and skills of becoming a PADI professional and add in your other skills in retail or mechanics or the culinary arts, by taking the first step in attending our PADI “Go Pro” night on Oct 8 you can take the first step in ditching your grind and living your dream.scuba joe

My journey to PADI OWSI by Jeff Morehouse

jeff PADI OWSI30 days in Vietnam? How in my scuba journey did that happen? As with most that become PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors (PADI OWSI) it began innocently enough with a Discover Scuba Diving while on a vacation in the British Virgin Islands.  That was just so much fun that I got certified to dive. From there diving started creeping into everything I wanted to do and after a few trips to Mexico, I was an Advanced Open Water Diver. But diving only 6 to 12 times a year just wasn’t enough for me, so I started adding specialty classes as a way to improve my skills, but they also got me diving more and watching others teaching scuba interested me.  So, I decided to volunteer to do things at Scuba Joe’s just so I could hang out at the dive shop.

Becoming a PADI OWSI was sort of on my radar to do, when the time was right, but then something happened that changed my life and waiting for “the right time” was over.  Do what you dream of before it is too late to do it! So, I began my Dive Master training with the goal of seeing the world and leading dives. After completing Dive Master, I soon realized that what I really wanted was to be a PADI OWSI.  After some soul searching and talking to friends I decided to go for it and started my path to PADI  OWSI. First becoming an assistant instructor and then the IDC, the most interesting and challenging week or 2 weeks that you will ever spend with some new friends.

Do you remember in the PADI Open Water diver video, the saying “meet people, go places and do things”? Well, I took that to heart and made it one of my little goals. So, after getting my PADI OWSI I started looking for opportunities in places I had never been nor even thought I would go, sending out emails from the listings on the PADI Pro site and then it happened, a response from Rainbow Divers in Vietnam. The next day everything went into storage and off I set.

Since that day, I have meet and made some new and amazing friends. Even the toughest day is still incredible. A few weeks ago I went to lunch and got lost on my way back and wound up in a residential area. You know what they do on their day off? The same thing everyone does, I could have been in Glenwood Springs that Sunday afternoon.  Kids in the street, people washing their scooters.  Similarities bring a common bond and we can all share in the fun.

jm padi owsiI have been lucky enough to go diving 12 days in a row, teaching diving as a PADI OWSI.  Turning fear into courage, opening hearts and minds to the wonders of the world and helping to change a life for the better.

I will leave you with this and as a newer PADI OWSI, I hope I never forget this dive as I recall my first dive. As we come to the surface after our first dive my student yells out “THAT WAS $%#^%$ AWESOME!” how long before we can go again? I smiled and laughed and told him it would be 45 minutes before we could as I like to think “go home again”.  Do you remember your first dive?  As a PADI OWSI you will help people make those memories special.  In the PADI Instructor manual there is a saying, “from what we get we make a living, from what we give we make a life” and as a PADI OWSI I get to see it every day.


My Scuba Adventure by Jessica Martinez-Burkey

TurtleWhat got me interested in Scuba? I really don’t like to answer that question. I am a Colorado girl born and raised. I ski and snowboard and we live nowhere near an Ocean. I am a mountain girl. The truth is – it was my husband John’s idea to get scuba certified and I really did not have much interest in it at all. I began my scuba adventure trying to do something that I knew my husband loved and I, frankly, could not have cared less about. My confession: I really only got certified to spend more time with him doing something that I knew he enjoyed.

After I got certified I spent the first several dives afraid to take my eyes off of the Divemaster who was leading our dive. My eyes were glued to the Divemaster’s fins. Imagine my surprise when I finally relaxed and looked around – what I found was a whole other world! I was still on this planet, but I felt like I had been entirely transported. When I looked around I saw the most amazing and beautiful DonnaWalllandscapes with hills and caves and swaying plant life; so many vibrant colors and entire ecosystems of fish and marine life. This, I realized, is a part of the same planet, but it is a separate world and I am a mere visitor. I felt awe and wonder at this strange and beautiful underwater environment and I could not wait to explore, but I was also a little fearful and tentative.

Once I relaxed I began to enjoy scuba so much that I always wanted to be in the water exploring. I wanted to see everything! It did not take long for me to realize I needed to work on my skills. I was a guest in this beautiful underwater world and I needed to stop being so clumsy with my fins. I also needed to improve my buoyancy so that I could more easily explore without disturbing or damaging their beautiful home. Learning more about the basics like how to conserve air so that I could have more bottom time, (relax) and ways I could continue diving if my dive computer stopped working, (dive tables) was imperative. John and I decided to start furthering our education and working on our skills so we took classes with the goal of becoming Master Scuba Divers. It was a lot of work, but well worth it when we finally reached our goal and became Master Scuba Divers! My newfound knowledge and skills completely enhanced my dive experience. Diving became so enjoyable to me that I wanted to share it with others. I did not realize how much I wanted to be a part of the journey of others until my husband and I went to a PADI Pro Night at Joe’s Scuba Shack.

We initially went to the PADI “Go Pro” Night because it was a Scuba Party where we could talk about diving with our Scuba friends. Little did we realize a light would turn on in our heads that night and we would connect the dots – John and I could do what we love and help introduce others to have this same amazing and life changing experience through Scuba! That very night we had a plan. We would immediately get to work on our Divemaster certifications. John knew that night he wanted to continue on and become an Open Water Scuba Instructor. I, however, was not sure if I wanted to move past Divemaster. I knew a Divemaster certification would enable me to lead dives with certified divers and also assist a Scuba Instructor with students. My main goal at that time was to get the additional Divemaster certification so that I could introduce people to scuba by conducting Discover Scuba sessions. I began to really enjoy helping the instructors with their students. I became an important part of something new and exciting for the students. It was a surprisingly fulfilling experience for me when I saw fear become accomplishment as students gained confidence.Crab

We had so much fun completing our Divemaster certification with Donna and Joe and working with the Assistant Instructor candidates as well as helping students to have fun and learn new skills that I decided I wanted to move on to the next stage – Assistant Instructor. It was a challenge completing our Assistant Instructor certification and I gained a whole new level of respect for PADI and their complete emphasis on safety through exemplary student training – lead by example and by not deviating from the well-designed PADI system of learning. I thought Assistant Instructor would be my final certification. Who was I kidding? Well, apparently I was only kidding myself because I am very proud to say that I am now an Assistant Instructor. It did not take me long to realize there is no way I am stopping before I become an Open Water Scuba Instructor!

My scuba journey is only just beginning and there is nothing I find more exciting and fulfilling than helping others discover their own scuba adventures.


Why become an Open Water Scuba Instructor

CNCC scubaYesterday, I posted to our facebook page the opening lines of the Open Water Scuba Instructors creed. I want to post it here today as a reminder to all of our instructors and to those that are thinking about becoming an open water scuba instructor



As a scuba instructor, I have the opportunity to see:

  • Fear change to courage
  • Faint-heartedness converted into accomplishment
  • Timidity transformed into confidence

As a scuba instructor, I can:

  • Open hearts and minds to the hidden beauty of nature’s creation and our obligation to protect it
  • Foster self-esteem in another person
  • Teach the value of character and integrity
  • Transform another human being and change a life for the better and forever

I have seen this many times and again I saw it this weekend with 2 of my students.  I am like a proud parent in how far they have come. Sometimes we as instructors know what fear our student has.  Sometimes, as in the case of one of our students we have no clue as to their fears since they don’t or are not comfortable sharing until that card comes in and they have it in their hand.

I recall one time when I handed a student his open water card and he had tears in his eyes.  I didn’t think much about it until we got an email, thanking us for working with him and explaining that this macho man had lost someone close to him in a recent lake drowning.

Or the group of 4 men as they watched me so intently as I worked with a Discover Scuba Diving class one evening at the local pool. This group of guys had lost 2 family members to drowning and they consider themselves to be non-swimmers.

Yes, as an Open Water Scuba Instructor I have seen fear become courage. I have seen the pride that students have when they receive that card.  I have seen parents respond to their child becoming open water divers with pride and joy and overcome their own fears and timidness.

I have seen the amazement on the faces of people when they return from their first ocean dives.

And yes, I have seen and lived the transformation as I myself have been transformed by the sport and life of scuba. You see my friends, I was once that timid and scared person and now I am an open water scuba instructor.