People often ask if we teach SCUBA and when we say we don't, the next question is always, “Why not get a job on a dive boat?” That’s a fair question since we obviously love diving, so we wanted to talk about it.
Diving is wonderful in every way. It REALLY is. If you’ve never tried, stop reading now, and find a place to try it! Seriously though, we knew right away we wanted to be divers for life. When we started telling dive stories here on UW, we discussed at length whether or not we should pursue the professional route and get our divemaster certifications.
We just kept coming back to this simple point: to rely on dive lessons for income, makes it a job. Ferrying divers to and from reefs on the water is a job. There is nothing wrong with either of these professions and they are needed! We have the privilege of knowing and learning from some wonderful instructors who love what they do and are very passionate about it. It's just that when we are in the water, we want to enjoy it to the max.
There are just so few things in life that I can do day in and day out, over and over, that I won't eventually get burnt out on. Well, I can think of a couple… Ben feels the same way. So, burnout is a concern.
We are storytellers who want to show the world what it’s like below the surface. Salt, fresh, ocean, quarry, river, lake… all of the above and more! So we want to avoid being tied to a single dive operation or limited geography as well. This is what we are passionate about.
What about retail? We could sell gear in a dive shop. Again, nothing wrong with that. I just think about my friend who's a car mechanic. He drives a junker because at the end of the day, he's tired of working on cars!
Would I get tired of talking about the latest Doo Dad? Yeah. Because no one remembers the gear as long as it worked as it should. Nobody comes back from a dive saying, “That whaleshark was alright but my face mask was the real clincher. It fit just right, the strap stayed in place, I didn't have to clear it, it never fogged….. you get the point. It’s the experience!!!!
So that's what we focus on because that's what we want. Awesome experiences! Spending the cash on certifications we don't intend to use is money taken away from a sweet trip.
Just because we aren't paying for C Cards doesn't mean we stopped learning. We are always learning and improving. You don't need to look far in the diving world to find examples of people with all the creds who are short on experience.
Which brings me to my last point. Be excellent to each other, divers! It's not cool to make fun of divers on the internet by posting pics and video of them kicking up the bottom, doing unsafe things, or making poor decisions. We should be encouraging them to become better, through personal example and soft words. People new to diving are intimidated enough. If your issue is with training, take it up with the organizations. Especially if you're a dive professional. Divers help other divers. It's what we do. So please, be excellent to each other! That's what it's all about.