During your Instructor course, you’re taught to teach a certain way that’s good for both you and your student, but the more time you spend as an Instructor in and around dive sites you become a character that's different to the real you and you have some secrets that you keep bottled inside because the training has taught you how you should act for the industry.
I have seen far too many people bump and break coral because of poor buoyancy or they just don’t know where their limbs are going. Some people are naturals and are just aware of their surroundings but others just don’t get it. Any diver above Rescue diver should really start noticing this too as your bubble of awareness should include other divers and future problems at that level. This unfortunate foresight means you can see things about to happen even though you can’t prevent it, it’s a heavy cross to bear.
Ok, when I was teaching my best selling mask was the mask that I wore because as a student you’ll look at the kit that your Instructor is wearing and figure that 'hey, that’s probably a good if not the best mask out there' so I should probably buy one. Similar for other kit, have I dived with this BCD or regulator, sure but not actually in the water… We can infer from experience what a BCD or regulator will be like in the water but sorry, we haven’t actually used one during a dive. Equipment manufacturers aren’t too hot on giving out free kit just to test it out and you wouldn’t be too happy buying a piece of kit that’s been used a bunch of times for staff to give it a try. So when we say that a piece of kit is good or not, we know what we're talking about but we've probably never used it before.
There is a reason why some Instructors come across as a bit mean or strict and that’s because they’re a good Instructor. You need to be tested and put through your paces to emerge as a good diver. By just scraping through and doing the bare minimum, sure we can qualify you as a diver but you won’t be real diver. If you feel like your scuba course is going really easily and smoothly you’re either a natural and were born to do this or your Instructor doesn’t really care that much and just wants to sign you off to add to their tally. My Aunt is a prime example of this, when she came in for a scuba review she never knew what a Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent was, she had never been taught it during her course.
The best post that made me laugh was a dive computer comparison chart that gave two different computers vastly different ratings even though on the inside they are the same computer, one brand had just bought the other brand and rebadged the computer. I doesn’t matter how many followers or likes you have on your Insta page, if you don’t know what you’re doing then you can be promoting poor behaviour in the water. Touching stuff and posing in the water will encourage others to do so that can lead to them damaging themselves and others, just look at the number of people taking selfies hanging off a whale shark because they think it's acceptable.
So, when you’re on a liveaboard, especially on your first trip you’re excited and enthusiastic about everything. So, towards the end of the trip, the smartphones come out and the facebook app gets dusted off, remember when Facebook was a thing? That’s showing my age… So, you look up everybody on the trip with you and send them all friend requests. Well, when you search for your Instructors name it will probably come up but it won’t actually be their main account. It may be for some Instructors, but they’re probably the boring ones that need the high friend counts or don’t mind mixing your real friends with people you met once on a liveaboard, for a week, two years ago.