Every journey starts with a step. As I sit here in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia completing my PADI Course Director training I try to remember my own first step and the subsequent journey.
Looking at my old certification cards (now all electronic) I was certified as an International Open Water Diver in July of 1987. I did things slowly, moving up the the chart and eventually becoming a Divemaster in October of 1988. I dove in quarries, the Atlantic Ocean and in the brackish rivers near Beaufort South Carolina while moving up. Gaining experince, hunting fossils and helping my instructor.
As my life and military service took me different places, diving was a loved hobby but it was difficult to pursue the higher professional ratings until about 4 years later when I finally became an Open Water SCUBA Instructor. I had left the military and was working as a commercial diver but still wanted to teach. I did. Working in stores in Florida, South Carolina, California and Greece. Aviation has always been my primary occupation but the field allowed me to travel and dive as well as establish my own dive shop.
Now two days remain to complete the Course Director course and I think back to my beginning and the long journey to this point. I have trained many people in my career and now will train new instructors to carry on the craft.
32 years in the professional grades of PADI. It has been a trek. but one rich in experiences that I endeavour to pass on to my students and candidates.
Grab your gear, join me. The journey has not ended yet.