As a scuba instructor since 2001, I have had the opportunity to have a lot of fun. After finishing college, I started out trying to live in everyone else’s world, teaching school, doing construction, customizing cars etc… It just was not for me.
In 2004, I started teaching scuba, not just as a pastime, but as a career.
In the years following that move, I have done thousands of dives, worked all over Florida, in Hawaii and Tennessee, met hundreds of dive professionals who inspired me, met thousands of divers I hope I have inspired, and found a career that I love every aspect of.
Some of the reasons that Diving was the best career move I ever made are:
Getting paid to do what other people pay (a lot of money) to do
Every day that I had to get up to go get the boat ready for a day of diving on shipwrecks with customers, I had the hardest time sleeping the night before because I was always so excited. I knew that I was going to see something amazing, even on the worst days, when the visibility was bad and the waves were up, I would put on my board shorts and be thrilled to get to go jump in the water, guide divers, watch them experience something that brought so much joy to my life, something I started out doing with my dad in a pool in east Texas.
Every day is an adventure
The most memorable days were the ones where nothing went as planned. I remember being on a boat with a class of advanced divers, thirteen miles from shore, just finishing our first dive and the boat would not crank. No one’s fault, that’s just boats. We needed a second dive, so sitting in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, we decided to wait until after the second dive to call sea tow and get a ride back in. Sure it meant being broken down at sea for a while longer, but the second dive was great, the water was warm and there was life everywhere, so we stuck it out, finished our course and then got a ride home.
Great office views
My mask or sunglasses lenses were my office windows, and the boat deck gave me the best views ever. I was always on oceanfront property, and the scenery was never the same. I can remember rides back in with the sun setting behind the boat, thick fog as the sun was coming up on the way to the dive sites, dolphin jumping in the wake of the boat, seagulls following along on the way out, turtles surfacing, and countless sun rises and sets that always amazed.
One of the most impressive parts of working as a scuba instructor were the people that I got to deal with. For the most part, the people who were learning to dive were enthusiastic and happy, and I loved getting to see their faces light up as they realized life-long goals. My favorite statement by new divers was always something along the lines of “why did I wait so long to do this?” and it seemed like they asked that no matter how old or young they were. I met DJ’s, Google Employees, Police Officers, Pilots, Military Personnel, Engineers, Designers, Media Specialists, people from all walks of life
It led to where I am today
So many people out there are unhappy with their careers, choices… their lives, but I got lucky, so many times.
I started my family while diving for a living, met a great woman and had the best son in the world (my opinion, I’m entitled to it). I got to live on the beach in Florida for over a decade while I was teaching diving every day. I got to help others change their lives for the better by introducing them to a sport that gave me so much, and later by helping many of them become scuba instructors. Now, I get to give advice and talk to people about teaching diving, work with new instructors and dive businesses all across the country, and I have a career that keeps me tied to the culture and industry that I hold so dear. I get to help people in an industry that helped me become the person that I am today.