I recently took a business trip to Perth Australia. I was only going to be in Perth for 12 days but I really wanted to get my scuba dive certification while there. I thought it would be a great memory to have, getting certified in Australia! I knew I’d have to book my course before leaving Toronto. I started doing research on the best dive school and looking at google every course seemed the same. The websites were basically the same, the course offerings were very similar, it was hard to decide which company to go with. So I decided to turn to Twitter. I tweeted out ‘can someone recommend a great dive centre in Perth Australia’ I had PADI retweet that tweet and IndiDive respond. Pete, the owner of IndiDive, started answering my questions on twitter and our conversation moved into email. His company immediately stood out to me because he became a real person and not just a webpage with information.
Pete was always quick to respond to my emails and made sure that I was able to do the course in the time frame I had available. He worked around my schedule, which as an insanely busy businesswoman, I appreciated!
On the day I arrived in Australia Pete picked me up from my hotel and had lunch packed and ready for me. We delayed the start of the course to later in the day so I could recover slightly from my 24-hour flight. It was 1pm on the Friday and off we went to the pool to being my lessons. Pete could not have been nicer! Conversation was easy and he made me completely comfortable in the water.
The hardest thing for me was clearing the water from my mask. I had difficulty wrapping my brain around the concept that I could clear a mask filled with water underwater by simply blowing air out my nose. It took me several attempts and all the while Pete laughed at me in a friendly way, making me calm down and less stressed about getting it. He had never ending patience with me. Like riding a bike, once I finally got the concept down I was able to do it with ease and we could move on to finishing our lesson in the pool.
The next day was Saturday and we should have done the second day of the course but I really wanted to run a 5k charity race so Pete postponed the lesson for me so I could run the race. Nothing was every a problem for him, he just made it work for me. The River day of the course was a bit overwhelming. I had to do all my skills that I learned in the pool but now in the ocean. We began with the dive and swam around the river until I was comfortable. Then Pete brought me in a little shallower so I could do the dreaded clearing of the mask. I wouldn’t get my certification if I couldn’t do that. I filled my mask with water and started to panic. You see, I decided to do my certification in the Fall and the water was freezing! The flood of arctic water filled my mask and I started going for the surface. Then all of a sudden I felt a gentle hand on me encouraging me to calm down and clear my mask. I am so grateful that Pete didn’t let me dart up to the surface because I would have to go back down and do it again if I didn’t clear it the first time. The reassuring connection from Pete made me calm down and allowed me to successfully clear my mask.