It's always great and fulfilling to introduce people to the underwater world, and it's even more fulfilling when guests come back to us for more training and diving.
Paul Spence first came to Matamanoa Island Resort in July 2016 with wife Kim. Having done a couple of introductory dives previously in Cairns and Hamilton Island, Paul decided to take the plunge and complete his PADI Open Water Diver course with Em. Paul's natural ability to master the skills meant he was able to complete his training in a few days and on 28th July 2016 he became a certified diver.
Paul fell in love with the underwater world and returned home to Melbourne to complete more training. He completed his PADI Advanced Open Water course in September 2016 along with his PADI Boat Specialty.
In February 2017 he went on to complete his PADI Rescue Diver course and by then his addiction with diving had well and truly kicked in and he completed his PADI Emergency Oxygen Provider, PADI Underwater Navigation Diver and PADI Enriched Air Diver specialties in March 2017. As well as training, Paul was able to participate in some non-training dives just for fun.
Paul and Kim returned to us at Deep Blue in August 2017 with their youngest daughter Nicole. Paul's intentions were to complete more diver training and to continue to expand his knowledge about the different aspects of diving. He was also hoping that Nicole would fall in love with the underwater world during their holiday and complete her PADI training with us. Both were a success!!
Paul needed one more specialty course and only a few more dives to complete, to achieve the Master Scuba Diver rating (PADI's highest non-professional rating), and on 3rd August 2017 he completed his PADI Deep Diver Specialty. On 9th August 2017 (a little over a year after completing his first certification) we sent off Paul's Master Scuba Diver application to PADI.
Not happy at stopping there, Paul went on to also complete his PADI Wreck Diver Speciality.
In the diving industry we hear stories of divers entering wrecks and caves without any training or the correct equipment, or divers who have been down to 40m without ever hearing or understanding about gas narcosis. So it's always refreshing to meet a diver who is interested in all aspects of diving, and is happy to do the required training to learn how to execute different areas of diving correctly under the supervision of an experienced instructor. Its great that Paul now has an acknowledgment from PADI by way of his Master Scuba Diver rating to acknowledge his achievements.
Meanwhile, Nicole was doing great with her PADI Open Water training. Nicole managed to overcome all of her nerves and fears and like Dad, mastered the skills required to complete her certification.
Naturally, we were excited when Paul contacted us to inform us that he and Kim would be coming back to Matamanoa Island this year for their 3rd time. Paul literally "jumped straight in" and did his first dive with us on the afternoon of his arrival by beginning his PADI Search & Recovery Specialty with Trev.
Once the S&R course was completed Paul began his Tec 40 course.
Tec diving can be like learning to dive all over again. There is much more theory and planning involved as well as becoming familiar with the different kit configurations. Paul's Tec 40 course began with theory sessions in the classroom.
Paul adapted to the different kit configuration extremely well. He flew through the drills and picked up on the theory quickly and on 8th August 2018 he qualified as a PADI Tec 40 diver.
Sadly, Paul and Kim's time with us was coming to an end. We managed to get out with Paul for a few non-training dives before his departure.
Well done to Paul on all you have achieved and thank you to Kim for supporting Paul on his adventures. We look forward to seeing you both again next year. Vinaka!