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Guest Post: Amy Walczak

A guest post from Amy Walczak: Amy participated on the trip to Cozumel in January 2011. She completed her Open Water Diver training while she was with us, and went on to do her Advanced Open Water course as well. Here is what Amy had to say about her experience…

Amy

When I signed up for the Ocean Sports trip to Cozumel in January 2011 it was with reservation. I wasn’t even an open water diver yet and had never travelled alone before. I worried about getting there safely, not knowing anybody else, whether I’d remember the skills I’d practiced in the pool… you name it and I worried about it. Turns out all that worrying was a waste of my time! Most of the divers were repeaters and have known each other for years, but they couldn’t have been more welcoming to those of us new to the trip and to diving. I’ve never felt quite as included as I did at the Blue Angel with Kari & Matthew and the rest of the group. And not only did I get to hang out with a bunch of awesome people for a week, I also got to bring those new friendships back to Edmonton with me!
Kari & Matthew took excellent care of me, a newly certified and wide-eyed diver. Their professionalism and knowledge impressed me while their obvious love of teaching and diving inspired me. I did most of my training with Kari and dive master candidate Debbie and those girls really had my back – I always felt safe. And, just as importantly, they were great role models. Even when they weren’t actively teaching me skills just watching them dive – how they moved, how they interacted with each other and the environment – was a lesson in itself. Learning to dive has enriched my life in ways I was totally unprepared for. It’s given me an entirely new and fresh outlook on life and created so many exciting opportunities for travel, adventure, and personal growth. It didn’t hurt that in addition to fantastic diving and new friends, the food at Blue Angel was incredible. And the drinks… and the staff… and the view… you see a theme here right?? I can’t imagine a better place to have gone than Cozumel, or a better group of people to have gone with. There’s good reason they all keep going back and I can’t wait to be among the ‘repeaters’ next year!

Amy at the beginning of the week...

Amy at the end of the week!

Thank you to Amy for recounting her experience, and Congratulations on completing Open Water and Advanced Open Water training! We were so happy to be involved in supporting her first efforts as a diver, and look forward to a continuing relationship!

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Congratulations to the Alexanders!

We recently heard from two of our former students that they had gone on to become fully-fledged PADI Open Water Divers! Congratulations to Scott and Karla Alexander; and welcome to the underwater world!

The message from Karla: “Our instructor ‘G’ said that our very first open water dive was the best first open water dive she has ever had… we saw a turtle eating a jelly fish, angel fish, blue ringed sting ray, pink clown fish and so much more!! It was absolutely amazing!! It was one of the best things we have ever done, and we had an awesome time!! :-)”

Again, congratulations, and we look forward to seeing these two underwater sometime soon.

Instructor "G," Scott and Karla

Congratulations to two new OWSIs!

Matthew, Warren and Bernie during Assistant Instructor course, May 2010

Teaching scuba is an awesome way to spend your time. You get to participate in “a-ha” moments, watch people do things that make them nervous and help them grow as people. We take pride in the fact that many of our students are “repeaters” who have worked with us at various points in their progression as divers. Warren McKay and Bernie Cyr are two such students. Warren started with us early in 2009 when he joined us on a trip to Cozumel and completed his Advanced Open Water and several specialty courses. He then went on a trip to Utila with Matthew and completed his Rescue Diver course. Bernie had been on several trips with us to Cozumel starting with our first trip in 2007, and in summer of 2008 he and his wife Debbie completed their Rescue Diver training with Matthew. Warren and Bernie went on to complete their Divemaster training with Matthew, and then in May of 2010, their Assistant Instructor course.

All of this culminated in a trip back to Utila Dive Centre in December 2010/January 2011, where Warren and Bernie successfully completed their Instructor Development Course and the PADI Instructor Examination, becoming full-fledged Open Water Scuba Instructors. They also completed the preparation work to become Master Scuba Diver Trainers.

Congratulations to you both, and welcome to the club!

Bernie Cyr and Warren McKay

We’re in Cozumel!

Congratulations to Cheri and Curtis on their Open Water Scuba Diver certification! November 2010

The migration south is complete for this year, and we’re now up and running in Cozumel, Mexico. Matthew is busy working at Blue Angel Resort as an Instructor and Divemaster, so if you’re in the area stop by to visit!

We recently had two of our students from Edmonton arrive to complete their Open Water Scuba Diver course. Here they are with some friends (who did a Discover Scuba Diving experience with Matthew) wet and happy!

We also visited the east side of the island last week to help with the turtle release. You can read about that adventure in Kari’s blog.

We hope to see you this winter in sunny Mexico!