Stef’s Story

Stef’s Story

Created: 2016-07-28

After completing a few try dives on holidays throughout the years I decided to take the plunge and complete my open water but I decided to do it in the UK rather than doing it on holiday. I thought then I can go diving when I was on holiday once a year. So in August I 2014 completed my Open Water Diver course.

After completing my course, I went on holiday to Lanzarote and did my first sea dives and after that I realised that diving once a year on holiday would not be enough, so when I came back I started looking into UK diving ie Drysuit and trips in the UK. So I went into my local dive centre (Ocean Turtle Diving) and met the guys there and then things moved quite fast (but more about that later).

I completed my Advanced Open Water in April 2015 with Ocean Turtle Diving in the U.K after finishing my AOW I started to help out at the dive centre or as surface support on Open water days and pool nights just to get more experience within the dive industry because very quickly I found that I was very much in love with all aspects of diving.

Also whilst all this was happening I started volunteering for a charity called Dive Ability which helps disabled children and adults to go diving, which I found very rewarding.

So after completing my AOW and starting helping Ocean Turtle Diving, Kerrie the owner and instructor took me to one side and said she thought that had the right temperament and attitude to become a Divemaster.

A bit of tangent here soon after completing my AOW it became apparent that my weight (22 ½ stone) was not ideal for diving and not good for becoming a Divemaster. So in July 2015 I decide to dramatically change my lifestyle and went on a diet and started going to the gym to bring my weight down and bring my fitness level up to do my rescue course and then start my Divemaster course.

I got my rescue course under my belt in august 2015 with Ocean Turtle Diving and then started my Divemaster course straight away no time like the present and by investing a lot of time I was certified as a Divemaster in January 2016 and then as a discover scuba diving leader in march 2016.

So back to my weight loss for a bit as I mentioned before I started my diving weighing 22 ½ stone and my weight now is a steady 13 stone 10lbs which I think is a great achievement and goes to prove that if you really put you mind to it and have a goal to aim for anyone can do it. So that it is a just over a 8 ½ stone weight loss in 11 months and believe me I thought that I might not be able to do it, but help with my diving friends and family I did it.

The icing on the cake for me was to be offered a job in the diving industry, so as I write this I am the Dive Centre manager for Ocean Turtle Diving and I am the happiest that I have been for a long time and really enjoy coming to work in the mornings. It is a very tough industry to be in but very rewarding and I love seeing people getting introduced to the underwater world and the looks on their faces.

What is next for me you may ask in August this year I will be completing my Tec40 and then in September this year I will be doing my IDC so I am not letting the grass grow under my feet.

In conclusion what has PADI and diving done for me, finding a hobby that I love which I have managed to turn into career, with PADI and Ocean turtle Diving training I am much happier and fitter than I have been for a very long time. There are many people I have met along the way that have been great mentors, teachers and friends that I will be eternally grateful for, more than I can express.

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