First we signal. Signal to our buddies that we are okay and that it is time to descend. Next we orient ourselves. We find the shore, the boat, the mooring, our compass heading. Then we switch from our snorkel to our regulator, taking that beautiful first breath of compressed air. We note the time, note how long we planned our dive to be. Finally we elevate our deflator and descend into the underwater world. This process is the process all my divers go through before we plunge into the alien-like world in the backyard of the SFS Center for Marine Resource Studies (CMRS) on South Caicos. My name is Nick, and I am the Dive Safety Officer here at CMRS.
One of the facets of my job is to teach students the ways of scuba diving. Teaching Open Water Scuba Diving is my favorite part of the job. The cheers and faces of students after their first dive is such a joy. The students that come to SFS are actively interested in marine life and when they can scuba dive it enhances that. Once scuba certified, students can participate in Directed Research (DR) projects involving reef health at depths from 10-30 meters! We are just wrapping up the Open Water class and will be starting in on Advanced Open Water soon. This class has been my largest during my time at SFS, with 15 students and 1 faculty member getting their certification. It has been a remarkable group of people who absorb every bit of knowledge I throw at them. I am happy to have been able to give them the keys to the underwater world and something that they can take with them for the rest of their life and career as a marine scientist. I look forward to seeing these current students progress as divers and scientists!