In September last year I was informed that due to the covid virus I was to be made redundant from my job of nearly 6 years. Well I decided to turn a negative into a positive and grab the opportunity to do something I really wanted to pursue…..my diving career! I had got hooked on the sport 2 years ago and had taken every chance I could to get under the water. With no work to get in the way I knew just the place to go and just the man for the job………..Coral Bay Divers run by Jurg Dahler. You won’t find many (if any) who have more knowledge and experience than he does and having holidayed there before I knew I’d enjoy spending some more time there.
So I packed my bags and took to the skies…..Coral Bay here I come.
The first week was spent settling in and dusting off my fins for some lovely local dives at Amphitheatre and Pistol Bay. Those first few breaths underwater after a dry spell always feel as magical as the first time to you did it at the start of your open water course.
Then it was time to start the Divemaster course, along with fellow trainee Jamie. The course involves both water-based training and classroom work and we completed it in around 7 weeks. If you’re looking for an easy ride and to tick a box then Coral Bay Divers isn’t for you. But if you want to absorb all the knowledge you can, work hard and earn your qualification then it’s CBD all the way!
There were a few trying times……physics lessons in 35 degree heat on repeat. (Jamie I mainly blame you for this lol) But hey, some people just need things explained more than once…twice…three times….. But in fairness it was a fairly lengthy lesson trying to make me understand cylinder pressure. (It’s just like squashing several sandwiches in a small Tupperware tub. In my head anyway!) Mental block! We got there in the end.
The diving was great, plenty of learning whilst diving as Jurg took customers out with us shadowing/assisting. Zenobia, Edro III, Ampi, Pistol, etc and of course Corallia for the confined water parts of courses/Discover Scuba Diving.
My boyfriend Smiler came out to visit me and he got his first taste of scuba diving. Next step….get him hooked as well! I also got to spend some quality time with my Dad and his partner Kat when they came out to visit me. And by quality time I mean assist as they both completed their open water courses. Awesome having them all here with me and under the water!
By the time I was finishing my Divemaster course it seemed only natural to progress into the IDC (Instructor Development Course) which was starting soon after. Why stop at just Divemaster eh? The DM course ended on a high with a fantastic night dive; several octopus, sea cucumbers, starfish wandering around the sea bed, lots of different fish; all with a backdrop of the lightning in the sky out to sea when you looked up. Amazing!!
The IDC started later in November joined by Dave, Jonathan and Pavlos. Jurg was joined by his trusty staff instructors: Sophie and Pascal. There is a real switch from being a diver and learning to mainly assist as a DM to then suddenly learning to teach. As with any learning experience you have successes and failures as you progress but by the time it comes to the 2 days instructor exam Jurg has made sure you are absolutely ready for it. (Although I’m afraid the pre exam nerves are still very much present!)
December 3rd and there were 4 more Instructors joining the PADI ranks! Hooray!!!! When you have all worked together on it I can honestly say that the joy of succeeding yourself is equally matched with the joy of seeing your companions also succeed. Happy days!! Time for a few drinks methinks 🙂
Another two weeks and my time in Coral Bay had come to an end. Had such an amazing time there and can’t wait to return once this pesky virus has been shown the back door. Yes it was hard work, yes it was challenging but we had so much fun as well. Diving with groupers, turtles, cuttlefish, squid and rays to name a few, underwater air guitar, trying to teach Jurg to floss (the dance not the teeth), and many other stupid things that will make no sense to anyone who wasn’t there! Thanks a million for everything and hopefully I will return soon!!
PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor