Regular updates from Stoli (the world's only "Scubadog").

Stoli’s Koh Samui Diving Blog

Hey Everyone, Stoli here.  Now that the curfew has been lifted, the Boneyard is back open for business, so since I will be out at my favorite bar again I am going to let some of our instructors fill in for me and we are going to start our weekly guest blog writers who will be giving tips on different diving skills and programs.

Our first guest writer is Nicola.  Nicola has been with us for about 2 years now and is our lead instructor.  She is originally from Germany and speaks fluent English and German.  She will be talking today about 1st time divers.

“Wow! That was the best experience of my Life!” – believe it or not, “we” (dive instructors) hear this often from our first time divers and I love it! I mean, how can you not love your job when other people keep telling you this was better than anything they ever did before?!

If you are a diver already you probably still know how it felt for you. Taking your first breaths underwater, feeling absolutely weightless for the very first time, being inside the big fish tank except of just floating on top … seeing and exploring all those new things that were hidden below the surface before. Remember? Were you excited? Or maybe even a little scared? Or were you one of those that just did all this as if it was the most natural thing in the world?

Well, I personally was quite nervous before my first diving experience. I wasn’t scared, but I did have a good amount of respect for that whole thing called “Scuba”. I can’t remember too many details anymore, but I do know that I was absolutely amazed when I finally blew my first bubbles! I remember I couldn’t really believe this, but yes – it was working, I was able to breathe! And I had so much fun!

And this fascinating, beautiful and peaceful world down there didn’t let go of me anymore, so I decided to become a dive professional myself. That was about 7 years ago.

Now, one of my favorite courses to teach is the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD). It’s an introduction course for first time divers to see what the fuss is all about. It’s a one day experience, also for people that simply don’t have enough time to do the full Open Water Course. DSD means you will get a detailed briefing from your instructor about important facts like pressure changes, equalization techniques, underwater communication signals, a few important rules. Of course we also explain the dive equipment so that you understand what the heck you’re wearing there and how this all works. Then we take you into shallow water and after taking your very first breaths below, you practice a few skills and then the dive can begin, all the way down to a maximum depth of 12m! And all this of course under the direct supervision of your instructor. The DSD is a great way to find out if you get hooked too! Most of the people a taught so far (and that’s hundreds by now) simply LOVED it. And some of them even looked like they’ve never done anything else before in their lifes.

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Well, some of them, not all of them! 😉 Of course, not everybody is a “natural” in scuba diving from the first moment on. And thank god for that, because we would miss out on all the funny stuff our job has to offer too, like watching “newbies” rolling around, figuring out that whole buoyancy thing, getting hand signals that simply don’t make any sense, students that start imitating everything you do, even if it’s just a sneeze… I once had a bold student imitating me tying my hair back. Funny stuff, indeed.

And – of course we’re also dealing with some hesitation, anxiety, fears. Very normal and very understandable! And honestly, working on overcoming those fears, being creative and flexible in my teaching methods to accommodate learning difficulties or hesitation, that is what gives me the “kick” in this job! Nothing is better than seeing those huge smiles, the big reliefs and the absolute happiness and excitement in people’s eyes after solving their issues together. Being involved in such a great first time experience truly is a gift and it does make me proud of being a Dive Instructor. Of course I also enjoy all the other parts of my job – teaching full beginners courses, advanced courses, diving with certified divers …. It’s a great variety in our job, especially here at Discovery Divers! But if you ask me what I enjoy the most, I would tell you this: Being the one that introduces you into this entirely new world with entirely new rules and entirely new sensations. Being the one that gets to see your first big smiles about all this, the shine of happiness in your eyes, the pure excitement and of course the big hugs after your first diving day out 😉 … priceless, really!

If you would like some more information about doing a Discover Scuba dive or PADI open water course with Discovery Divers, please visit our website at http://www.discoverydivers.com.  Also, you can check out this PADI video which is pretty cool.

Bark at ya later,

Stoli

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