"A mind that has been stretched will never return to it's original dimension." (Albert Einstein)
I've had the pleasure of being introduced to a brand new batch of school teachers here in Subic, who've all told me how keen they are to start their Open Water while they're here. Woohoo! More friends for me It makes my job a whole lot easier since it's not hard to convince someone to come on in when they're already dead set on getting certified. The problem lies with that small minority of what I like to call 'dive snobs.' The type that thinks snorkelers are a waste of boat space, or that tec divers are nothing but waterproof nerds.
It's a strange, passive-aggressive attitude, which begs to question their insecurity but after chatting to a guy not long back, I found out the cause:
He wasn't certified.
I know, that's heresy to some and applauded by others, but to me, that's like driving without a license for 25 years. He was certainly a 'diver,' but the bluff and bravado that came with that was simple overcompensation. And it certainly didn't change the fact that he wasn't certified.
So, with that said, here's the lowdown on tips you can use to convert the odd dive snob you may encounter, to the ranks of officially certified divers:
- You won't have to justify why you should be treated any different than all the other newbie Discover Scuba Divers.
- Divemasters no longer try to hold your hand (literally) underwater.
- You can explore the underwater world with your dive buddy at your convenience; all responsible, like a big kid!
- Achieving an open water diver certification is something you can be proud of and a priceless holiday memory.
- You'll meet other divers and find out about dive destinations - where only certified divers can go.
- It's great conversation starter.
- You become part of an international adventure club.
- My personal favourite; divers go down longer and come up wetter!
I am unsure whether my particular dive snob ever continued on the do his dive certification. If not, I just can't help but think that he's limiting himself and what he can do. Anyone who dives will say you never look at the world the same way after your first breath underwater. But, imagine how different you look at the world when you take your first breath underwater as a certified diver. It's like taking the training wheels off and an accomplishment you can never forget.
Contacting a Scuba Diving International affiliated dive centre... like Vascos ;-) could be the first step in a lifelong journey, as it has been for me. Even if you are only interested in the occasional dive, or have a gap of years between dives, most centres, regardless of institution will offer a form of diving refresher course to get you back in the game.
Above is our example of the Vascos Refresher Course...