Hi, my name is Robbie Wyckoff and I am a full time PADI Open Water Scuba Diving Instructor who now works all over the world teaching people how to scuba dive and discover the amazing underwater world on our planet and this is my first blog for www.barrierreefaustralia.com
Here is my own story as to how I became a PADI Open Water Scuba Dive Instructor. I’ll start with my first dive.
It wasn’t in an ocean, a river, a lake, or even a pool. No, my first dive was in an aquarium.
I was living and working in South Korea and friend of mine had this crazy idea to dive in the local Busan Aquarium with sharks.
Like most males, I agreed to do this just to impress a female. I remember sitting through the briefing and asking our dive instructor about urine and how I had read sharks are attracted to it.
His name was Mike and he was from Canada. He confirmed my question and informed us about the sharks feeding schedule.
Once the basics of the introductory scuba dive class was over, we geared up and entered the water for a few exercises before descending downward by rope, much like repelling down a climbing wall.
Now it wasn’t the sharks that were the most dangerous marine life in the aquarium, but rather the turtles.
It was explained to us that the turtles in the tank bite the divers, the groupers sometimes eat the sharks, and the sharks wait until feeding time.
Hence why the turtles were moved into a separate tank and it was safe to dive with the sharks. I found that to be quite strange based on my limited knowledge of sharks and turtles.
As we began our descent, the water temperature, being as cold as it was, triggered my body’s natural response to pee. The wetsuit became very warm and I suddenly remembered the briefing about urine.
Fear came over me but to impress the lady, I kept my cool and descended further. Seeing’s how we were diving in an aquarium filled with pebbles and sand, fins were not permitted as to avoid kicking up the sediment.
After roughly five or ten minutes, and noticing that the sharks had no real interest in me, my fear turned in to joy as the feeling of weightlessness, like I was walking on the moon, brought sheer excitement.
I would look out at the people looking in and jump around as to show off my new found passion.
Little did I know that it would be the beginning of a career to which would lead me to true happiness in what one does for a living. But of course, I wouldn’t become a scuba dive instructor right away.
No, I had to enjoy this new passion a bit more before becoming a professional and throughout hundreds of dives, all over the world, I perfected my skills and increased my knowledge of the aquatic world to which gave me a new love, respect for life and love of sharks ...