PADI Open Water Certification

Long, long ago, I do believe it was while I was in South Africa after I returned from Sabah following the Xyf saga, I had thought about getting my diving certification.

I was working for Flight Centre SA at the time and one of my clients was a young lad buying a ticket to Australia and onwards to America. He had gained a job in Disney World as a diving instructor on one of their cruises. It paid damn good money. He was in South Africa at that time to do his Dive Master Certification in the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town, in the shark tank of all places.

I was then tickled by the prospect and approached a few opertors. It was however a tad beyond my budget at the time and the interest waned a bit.

Coming back here to Sabah rekindled the interest for a few reasons. First, I met up with some guests with whom I got chatting and they asked whether I was a diver. When they heard I wasn’t, they lamented me for being in one of the top diving destinations in the world and not taking advantage of the opportunity. I saw their point, but was wrapped up in work and didn’t really persue the idea then either.

It was only when I was absorbed into the circle of friends by a journalist I know through work that I finally got inspired. She always gets really excited when she talks about the underwater world and all the experiences she’s had diving in the Phillipines, Thailand and, not sure she actually dove there, Vietnam. She’s also been around Sabah multiple times and is, in fact, today returning from a 4 day trip to Mabul and Sipidan, one of the top dive sites in the world.

It also so happened that we are starting to look for content for the next issue of the Harbour Herald, and as I contribute to it in variang degrees, I pondered what to write about. I then had the brilliant idea to write a story based on my experience and after the Boss agreed, I contact the two dive operators stationed here at our Resort.

After some chats and assessments, tomorrow I will attend day 1 of the 4 day Open Water Diver Certification with Borneo Divers, and will write a few articles, and I mean several articles, related to my experience. I will be joining the group from Raleigh International who is doing the same course in their bid to later on use their new skills to plant corals in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park which is located just off shore from the Resort here.

So, it’s going to be quite an experience. In addition to the articles that I will be writing, there will be a press release as well as the updates in this Blog, so this experience will sure generate a lot words. At the same time, our Resort is also hosting the PADI Course Director’s Course, the highest level you can attain in the PADI certification tract and the entire Harbour Herald might just be consumed by diving related stories. Suits me like a dive mask.

So, tomorrow at 8.45 I’ll be reporting for duty. Can’t wait.

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