I have had the good fortune to dive all my adult life. From Catalina Island in Southern California, to the cold waters of Maine, and cold Finnish ice dives to El Cabron in Gran Canaria, places as diverse and fascinating as water can possibly be were always my preferred playground. A bit more than a decade ago, I decided that I must share what I've experienced and learned. Best way? Certification as an Open Water Scuba Instructor. No sooner said than done: Pack up, hop a plane and off to the Canaries for a new adventure.
Amazingly enough, there are a bunch of dive shops in the Canaries. Who would take this intrepid adventurer set on a new career? Lasse and Johann at Nordic Divers in Gran Canaria were kind enough to allow an enthusiastic and hard-working mortal enemy (them being Swedish and me a Finn) to work off some refresher courses and punch my ticket as a Dive Master. I really can't thank the two of them enough for their help and their willingness to share their experience. Diving six days a week and hitting the books for a few hours every night was... gosh, it was really swell... And, brushing up on Swedish? Not so much.
Confident in my decision and rearing to go, I was off to get my OWSI card. An interesting, if rigorous IDC with J.P. Vuorio as Course Director, and a nerve racking Instructor Examination by Jordi Atienza, and voila: A brandy spanking new Scuba Instructor, PADI # 962460. Off to work, right? Right. Plan: Back to Nordic Divers. Work for a season or two, return to the States, and five or more specialties for the MSDT followed by certification as a Staff Instructor. A while more and I could start looking at the Master Instructor and dive industry management route. Some more, and Course DIrector would not be out of the question. Maybe even... Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
Enter Robert Burns... As in: "The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry." Life happens. I needed to come back to the US much earlier than planned... to take custody of my two-year-old son. As unqualified as I felt at the time to care for a small child, he developed into a well adjusted, articulate, intelligent young fellow curious about dad's previous wandering ways. Now,a decade later, I find myself in a position to resume those earlier plans....
Looks like time for a new adventure!