THE ULTIMATE GOAL

By Simply Diving PADI Instructor Dan Nelmes

It’s happened. I finally did it. After much hard studying, intense lectures & enough cups of tea to drown an army, I made it to the end and achieved the ultimate goal that anyone who’s anyone in the diving community hopes to be: A PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor.

It wasn’t easy, but before I knew it, I’d earned my place in the Instructors’ register. Here’s how…

The two weeks of IDC lectures came courtesy of Simply Diving’s Course Director Kev Turner. And what a top bloke he is! At first it felt like I was merely acting out a role in some script as a character who knew nothing about the next step in his career as a diver. But over the following days, as I began to settle in with my new director-appointed ‘Instructor’ title, it became clear that I was in fact ‘going back to school’.

Like a ninja: Dan cracks the hover.
Like a ninja: Dan cracks the hover.

It was an interesting time for me and the other candidates as Kev taught us about course structure, lecturing and and how to apply the knowledge I had to teaching others. The days were long but worth every moment and we even managed to sneak in a dive! Purely academic of course, but it’s still nice to feel the sea between your toes when you have an addiction to your lifestyle.

Two weeks passed and the final hurdle came: the I.E. I’m a person that gets very nervous when faced with something new but puts on a face to compose myself. But it goes without saying that it was brown trousers time! Still, thanks to many months of working with Simply Diving and Kev’s IDC, I was prepared for anything. So I cracked on.

Each section of the IE Day 1 came and flew by, with me scoring pleasingly high marks! Highlights were a textbook Rescue demonstration, a bowline-tying Open Water presentation, and pass marks for the General Standards and Procedures exam. Get in!

So Day 1 ended on a fantastic high, but it was not over yet…

Day 2, and it was the last straight before the finishing line. First up was the Confined Water presentations and the demonstration of five basic skills: the simulation C.E.S.A, weightbelt removal at the surface, mask removal & replacement, alternate air source breathing, and the hover. All of these I was completely confident with, except the hover. Over the IDC I had proved my hover was sometimes like a ninja and other times completely useless.

It came to my turn and I took a moment to compose. If I messed this up, I was in for doing it again: something I was not even considering because I had came this far. I prepared and began my hover. And to my surprise and great delight I pulled it off perfectly, bobbing mid water for a full minute or so before the examiner gave me the stop sign.

Pleased as punch: Dan (right) with fellow OWSI Ally and CD Kev Turner
Pleased as punch: Dan (right) with fellow OWSI Ally and CD Kev Turner

The I.E. ended on a fantastic high and one by one we were finally called out by the PADI Examiner for Kev to award us our OWSI certificate. It was a shock that I’d achieved such an amazing thing in less than a year! Such a shock that myself and a fellow Simply Diving candidate didn’t know how to act at first when we’d passed. Celebrations came later on with many congratulations and a well-deserved beer!

So there you have it! The final stage of my metamorphosis since arriving in Malaga and joining Simply Diving as a PADI Open Water cert, going to PADI Divemaster and now a fully-qualified PADI Instructor.

Thanks to everyone that made it possible!

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