November 18th, 2005 – by: canuck_downunder05
To a great trip with a great crew!
After 5 months of exploring parts of Western Australia, Northern Terriorty and outback Queensland, I made it to the east coast city of Cairns. Along my journey from Alice Springs to Cairns, I met another backpacker who had spent some time in Cairns working on a Liveaboard Dive boat working as a cook. She told me several stories about her experiences, the friends she made and the real highlight that caught my attention, the opportunity to become a Scuba Diver!!! It didn't take me long to find the dive center she had told me about, and with a resume in hand I walked in and requested to speak with the manager.
Unfortunatly he was not available at the time, but it only took a day before I got my call for an interview. I was honest. At the time I didn't know how to cook all that much. Probably the best meal I could prepare was Kraft Dinner (mac and chees), add some hot dogs for special occasions. The lil brother taught me how to make nachos and well I could make soup. Regardless of the lack of my cooking experience, I was invited to do a trial trip with another cook. Long story short. I completed the trial trip which was quite the eye opener. One cook on board was responsible to feed up to 30 guests and 6 crew for a 3day/2night trip on the Great Barrier Reef! AWESOME! It didn't take me long to get routines down which would allow me some time to jump in for an afternoon snorkel here and there. When I got really good at my job, my employer told me that as long as I could hold down the galley and not burn anything, I was also welcome to sit in on dive classes and get my certifications at the cost for books and materials.
Frenchy and I after a dive
.. Not bad at all. My Open water was interesting. First time underwater, breathing through a regulator, learning the concepts of buoyancy. It was AWESOME! And then I continued on and completed my advanced open water. Deep dives to 30m, experiencing Narcosis, and doing other adventure dives like underwater photography! My favourite course by far was my rescue class. I've always been driven my emergencies, taking charge in situations and helping others. My instructor "frenchy" was great, hard on us and challenged us. It was a course you walked away confident that in a dive emergency, using basic knowlege and confidence, you can work through tough situations. She's now also one of my best friends and one of the reasons....well I will get to that later. Given the opportunity to take all these courses, I still had a few months left with this company.
I had the opportunity to take my Divemasters... and well I would be rather stupid if I didn't complete the course knowing well the costs of it should I take it somewhere else. I wasn't sure I wanted to ever become a dive professional...but when I completed that course, I knew that that is what I wanted to do! So at the end of my 3 1/2month stay in Cairns, not only did I learn how to make a killer Thai Green Chicken Curry, Potato bake, Spaghetti Bolgneas, but I successfully became a DIVEMASTER! And there, the window of opportunities opened up for me with future travels and a great job to travel the rest of the world with!