I have just taken off my triathlon suite after a 1hr 20min swimming session in the crystal clear waters of Kampor Bay on the Island of Rab, Croatia.
After a quick shower I sit in the little bar in front of the bay, drinking an iced tea and enjoying the beautiful sunset. My mind is flying over the last 20 years of life in the diving business which has brought me around the world in the nicest seas. I would not change anything about my decision to become a dive instructor and travel the world meeting amazing people, making unforgettable dives, learning about new cultures and feeling free. I started as an Instructor working in the Caribbean, then Mexico, Honduras and Panama.. I lived for 1 year in Kenya as manager of two diving centers and 7 years in Egypt managing 4, with a staff of 37 Instructors 4 Managers and 100 Egyptians. It was great to have such a big family there, and through mutual respect between our different cultures and hard work we built an incredibly successful business that became a model for the new dive centers that where starting their activities in Sharm El Sheikh.
From 2000 till 2014 I worked with PADI as an Instructor Examiner for Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium and I certified approximately 3500 Scuba Instructors. I was fortunate enough to look into their eyes when they received their certification knowing that it was the start of an unforgettable experience around the world.
In 2014 I had the opportunity of changing my life again and I joined a new family: Mares/SSI. It meant restarting in a new position, a new system and a new team. I worked hard to manage the Italian territory as Sales and Marketing Manager, I introduced myself and my new colleagues to more than 130 SSI diving centers and through hard work, a lot of km and a sincere will to solve their problems and fears I gained their trust. With the help of my team I introduced a complete new concept of training in Italy based on an advanced digital platform which is now, definitely, the best one available on the dive training market. We won over the initial skeptics and we started to see diving centers from other training agencies becoming interested in SSI and asking to cross over.
After two years in the office I decided that it was time to change again. I love changes, they always give me the possibility to learn more things and I’m a super-courious kind of guy...
Now, looking at the beautiful sunset, I’m thinking about which gases I should prepare for tomorrow's tech dive on the Albanian shipwreck that lies at 70m, 20 miles away from Rab. I have decided to learn how to dive deep and teach SSI XR-Tech courses and I’m exited to try some different decompression strategies using normoxic Trimix to start gas off from 66 mt. I also have a new Trimix dive computer and I love my new toy which will increase my safety once down on the silent ship.
I slowly finish my iced tea and I feel my tired muscles injecting me with endorphins and letting me experience a sense of incredible peace and happiness. Being a professional diver, trying to improve myself, to learn from others, to meet new cultures, to get in the water, to visit the amazing underwater environment, explore new dive sites, build friendships, transform people in to divers, see happy faces - that's what being a Dive Instructor is all about. This was the best decision I ever made in my entire life!
If you want to learn more then stay with me and my blog...
10th July 2016
Kampor 411, 51280, Kampor, Croazia