A Day in the Dive Life of Jay

A day in the life of a Scuba Instructor at Maui Dreams typically starts the previous afternoon with a check of the schedule! This can be done via phone or with a stop at the store. Will I be doing an Open Water, Advanced or Rescue class? Maybe a guided dive with certified divers, or an Introductory Dive? There could always be a Scooter Dive, or maybe an EFR (Emergency First Response) class. For classes, I could be taking out anywhere from one to four people; for guided dives, it could be as many as six. Based on that, I formulate an idea of which beach to go to. What could conditions be like? Should I pick up my tanks tonight (we cannot begin loading tanks until 7am, so sometimes if it’s going to be a busy morning in the store we can load them the night before) or wait until the morning? All of this happens before our customers walk in the door.

To give you an actual idea of what our day is like, on Jan. 24th I had been booked with three customers for a two tank scooter dive in the morning and one customer who needed his EFR certification so he could complete his Rescue Diver course in the afternoon.

I arrived at the store at 6:35am. I needed to prep the scooters, which involves putting the batteries in, checking to make sure there are no problems with their operation and attaching the scooter BC. Once that was complete I needed to gauge 8 tanks, get my gear ready and prepare the paper work to be filled out.

The customers arrived and after the introductions, they began to fill out the paperwork. As they were doing that I began to assemble any gear that they needed. Once everyone was sized up and the paperwork was complete, I loaded my Jeep with the eight tanks, four scooters, gear and it was off to Keawakapu Beach for the dives.

Upon arriving at the beach, I unloaded the gear and scooters, set everything up and gave the briefing. Obviously, with the scooters, the briefing is a little more involved than just doing a guided dive. Once they felt comfortable with the operation of the scooters it was time to hit the water! After a few minutes to make sure everyone was familiar with the scooters we began to head out to wreck of the St. Anthony, which is a little over a half-mile offshore.

At that point, a million things are going through my mind. First and foremost I want to make sure we don’t lose anyone, so constant looks back are the norm. I can relax a little as I realize everyone seemed to remember my briefing and the divers are off to my sides and not directly behind or above me (easier to see everyone that way)!

Other concerns are the following: even though I’ve been to the wreck 100 times will I make it 101? Will we see anything cool ? Will they like the dive and the experience? Did I miss anything in the briefing? Are they still following me? Am I on course…OK, I recognize that part of the reef. Shouldn’t I be to the tires by now? Relief…I see the tires, and there’s the wreck.

After a quick check on air, we leave the scooters and begin to explore the wreck and tires. Schools of fish, turtles and a white tip were the main attractions. We made it back, switched tanks and headed back out to the Z-blocks. Once again, it was an awesome dive and the customers had a great time. (If you haven’t done a scooter dive yet, you might want to check it out!!)

Notice anything especially silly here? If so, comment below!

After loading the Jeep back up it was time to head back to the shop to unload, service the scooters and wash gear. I just had time to run home, grab a quick shower and lunch and head back to the store to get ready for the EFR class. Prep the “dummy” and make sure I had the paperwork needed. Then a quick check of the first aid supplies, AED and O2 kit to make sure everything I needed was there. My student arrived and 4 hours later he completed his certification. It was just past 5pm, enough time for me to check the schedule and start preparing for tomorrow’s activities!

Wanna go diving??!