Looking Back…

A little over three years ago I moved to Maui from Atlanta, not really sure what path I might take. One thing lead to another and before I knew it I was on my way to being a dive instructor. I remember watching other instructors working during my Divemaster internship wondering if I could ever do it.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was being trained by one of the best. Any of you that have taken a class with Paul know what I am talking about. Sometimes I would say to myself “I really can’t believe he is making me do this…it’s so trivial.” No, it wasn’t trivial, it was a necessary building block to learning skills correctly so that when my turn came to teach I would do things correctly. Then there have been times when I was teaching that I would want to skip a skill to save time thinking who is really going to know. I would say to myself “would Paul skip it?” and the answer was always no. So the skill was done.

During my Divemaster training, I decided it would be a good idea to get my captains license. So five nights a week for four weeks Paul and I would drive to Kahalui to go to class. It was then over to Honolulu to complete the process. Next came the IDC (Instructor Development Course). As Paul was working for Maui Dreams at the time I of course went there for my training.

Once again I was fortunate to be trained by one of the best. Teri’s knowledge of diving is second only to the genuine care she has for her students. It was an amazing 10 days of learning and laughing. After passing the IE (the 2 day Instructor Exam) it was time to find a job. Word had it that if you hang out at Maui Dreams long enough they might just offer you a job and it worked !

That was the beginning of an amazing two years. Don and Rachel have done an incredible job cultivating an atmosphere at the store which is fun and inviting. I never really considered myself an “employee” but more like a friend helping out. It would take too long to go through all of the awesome experiences, but let’s just say, well, it’s been awesome ! I would personally like to thank Don and Rachel, all of the other “friends” that work at the store and our customers (a lot of whom have become friends) for giving me memories that will last a lifetime.

My time here on Maui is ending but new adventures await. This summer I’ll be lifeguarding in Ocean City, NJ and then be heading off to Croatia. Hopefully our paths with cross at some point. Until then I hope that I have been able to touch your life the way so many have touched mine.

Aloha and Mahalo,
Jay (Jay-Lo, Scheesh, Manta Ray Jay, Wrong Way Jay, etc.)

Note from MDDC: Jay will be leaving Maui at the end of this month, so don’t miss an opportunity to catch up with him before then!