How I Started Scuba Diving
After discussing this in the office at some length I (Gerrard Dennis - CEO of Simply Scuba) discovered I am the only person who did not intend to be a scuba diver. All my other colleagues, some like me now instructors, planned their hobby to become their job. I neither planned for it to become my job (and eventually business), I didn’t even want to become a scuba diver. At the tender age of 19 I decided to visit some school friends whose family lived in the Cayman Islands. I had no idea where the Cayman Islands where, I just knew it was hot. I flew to Florida, had an 8 hour stop over then flew to Grand Cayman. I flew via Cayman Airways who a few years previously overshot the runway and ditched in the sea (everyone escaped) earning them the strapline “Those who fly with us dive with us.” I think that was my first recollection of thinking about scuba diving. I had taught myself to swim and would not have considered myself a strong swimmer so had never really considered it. Besides, I had seen “Jaws” so why get in the sea? Being 19 years old, on a tropical island, the bars were a nightly distraction. Because my friends were locals, we went from one party to the next. However one morning I woke up with a credit card receipt made out to the local dive school (there are lots on Cayman) for $400… With no recollection of this I walked up Seven Mile beach until I found the one (it won’t surprise anyone to learn it was at the other end to that I started...) So I walked in to explain the situation and asked for a refund. The instructor that day said it was no problem to refund me but if he did he had no work for the week as I was the only student booked on, and this was a great opportunity to get one on one tuition for the week…. I was in the second week of a three week trip; my friends were working by day so I thought why not? Admittedly I raised the “Jaws” concerns several times before finally agreeing. I did my PADI Open Water in 5 days; I loved it although I hated mask clearing. I did several other dives and completed my Advanced Open Water too – although the night dive terrified me. I always remember that feeling now when taking people night diving for the first time, I hope it makes me a better instructor for it. When I returned home my parents and friends were amazed when I announced I was planning to leaving my job in the city to become a diving instructor.. So, am I the only person to start scuba diving unintentionally?