From DiveMaster to Open Water Scuba Instructor in a little island of paradise!

Catalina Island Travel Blog

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Me and the French Fry

So as I mentioned I began my professional diving career in Cairns, Australia. Although I had not yet worked as a divemaster. I did know that once I had that certification, it was going to open a window of opportunity  to a whole new world; and that it did!

After leaving Cairns, I remained in contact with several of the great instructors and wonderful friends I made while working on the GBR. Little did I know when I left, that not only keeping in contact with them would be great, but also that I might get a chance to visit or work with them again! Only after month from my departure of Cairns, Frenchy (the instructor I did my Rescue Diver course with) got in touch with me with an incredible offer. For 7 years Frenchy had been working with a childrens camp on Catalina Island, just southwest of Los Angeles California.

Frenchy, ready to get in and do some training dives
She has been an instructor there for several years and worked her way up to become a NAUI Dive Director and ran the dive program at the camp. She invited me to the island to not only work, but do a crossover and become a NAUI Instructor! WOW! So I was at home for less than 4 weeks before taking a 30hour bus ride from Vancouver to Long Beach California, and a hour and half ferry ride to this incredible island.

*Just a little side note - When I was in grade 9, my mom took me out of school for one week and we flew down to LA. Our plan was to drive a car from LA to San Diego and see everything in between. A special Mom/Daughter trip. During our week, we visited Catalina Island. Avalon was the main town on the island. There were no vehicals aloud on the road with exceptions to residents who had been there for years and we spent a wonderful day there.

Finally a night off of studying
I still have the touristy Catalina Island cup to this day! But the amazing thing for me was that I visited this island so many years ago with my mom when she first introduced me to "traveling" and here I was 6 years later going there for a job op!

So I arrived in Catalina Island and was quickly introduced to Paradise. The camp was situated in a small bay just outside of Avalon called Toyon Bay. After a days rest and introductions, we began the Instructor Course! I knew I was ready to become an instructor and was so stoked to do this... but dam was the water cold! Previously I done all my diving in warm waters and here I was in California, in MAY in a 7mm wetsuit and hood, freezing my ass off doing mask clears. It was definitily a challenge, an experience of overcoming fears and moments of building confidence! Unlike the PADI Instructor Course, this NAUI IDC was very physcial and involved quite a bit of practical water training.

Kim and I heading out for a morning dive
We experienced very stressful underwater situations, challenging ourselves and our dive buddies and it was extremely rewarding at the end of the 2 weeks to be successful and overcome the obstacles along the way! We worked on public speaking, methods to teach the theory portion of the class, teaching aids and sharing ideas how to be the best. And this is where I became an instructor!!!

canuck_downunder05 says:
Pictures to come... and how the 3 summers went!
Posted on: Nov 27, 2009
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Me and the French Fry
Me and the French Fry
Frenchy, ready to get in and do so…
Frenchy, ready to get in and do s…
Finally a night off of studying
Finally a night off of studying
Kim and I heading out for a mornin…
Kim and I heading out for a morni…
Liz doing some hardwork
Liz doing some hardwork
Group Study Sesh
Group Study Sesh
Toyan from the Float
Toyan from the Float
The Tole More
The Tole More
Beautiful Sunset after a long day …
Beautiful Sunset after a long day…
Liz ready for DM training
Liz ready for DM training
Hanging out over a bowl of icecream
Hanging out over a bowl of icecream
Back to cramming
Back to cramming
Catalina Island
photo by: cimtech