Learn to dive
Hi My name is Colin Todd Irvine I am a Dad to three grown up children and a husband to Pauline Irvine. I will tell you how and why I got into diving and why I ended up teaching Padi courses in Falkirk, Stirling, Bo'ness, Glasgow & Surrounding areas. I was on holiday with my wife Pauline in Gran Canaria and was lying on the beach soaking up the sun. Pauline and I have always had a wee hankering to stay somewhere sunny but with three kids it was put well on to the back burner. Now the kids were getting to an age that they would be leaving the nest the old idea started to get a wee flicker of hope again after a few holidays abroad.
So while on the beach I seen three people walking down the beach and into the water with Scuba gear on. I knew one of them was an instructor as I had seen him in the scuba shop. I thought what a cracking job to have teaching in beautiful sunshine every day. I never thought about it until I got home and the holiday blues set in and I was back behind a desk staring at a computer with a photo of that beach as a screen saver.
I needed a change in my life as I love being outdoors in all weathers. I got home and did some research into diving and Padi sprung up a lot and to be honest the whole lot was gobillygook to me and never made much sense as it was a minefield knowing where to start. I looked at the Padi Table of progression and seen simply how to get started. Due to my busy lifestyle working six days a week I decided I was going to start my scuba journey in Spain as I had a weeks holiday booked in January.
Padi Courses : Open Water & Advanced
When I was on the plane going to Spain it hit me, what the hell am I doing? i'm going to go into the sea and what if I am terrified! This is where a good instructor comes in and I had one in Elisha who runs Scuba Tours in Benalmadina. From my first dip in the pool for my Confined Water dives to my open water 4 in the sea she built my confidence a dive at a time. I went on to do my Advanced Open water and dived in Nerja which was beautiful and full of life.
Padi Courses : Drysuit
I came back to Scotland in January and knew that if I did not learn to dive in colder Scottish waters I would more than likely give up as I still had little confidence in the water as most are at this stage. I took my Dry suit course and continued to go on dive trips and rent kit every week, yes every week! I see a lot of people who pass the Open water and never go out diving because they have no kit expecting to wait a few months then jump in on holiday. This is a mistake as you WILL forget most of your training and you will not have mastered one of the key elements of diving "Buoyancy" the only way to get this is diving regularly at least a few times per month. I went out weekly at a cost of £60 per week to hire kit. Once I got confident I bought my own kit and met up with people to dive with and now all I pay is £6 + petrol. I kept diving and this is a must to build confidence and gain experience. I was diving any chance I got and did my Deep Specialty and then my Rescue Diver course and EFR.
Padi Courses : Divemaster
My Divemaster rating was in my sites along with my goal of teaching at Scubasur Dive Centre in Gran Canaria. What I was noticing was that I was not just aiming for a goal I was genuinely getting very addicted to being under the water and was now constantly thinking of diving. I headed to Gran Canaria a couple of times to Scubasur Dive Centre where I dived with Daniel & Nadia who were a great help to me by showing me that what I was aiming for was attainable and the reality of teaching every day. I was to return the following year to train as a Padi Divemaster under the Instruction of Daniel, Jaun, Dave & Nadia but the company was now under new ownership Joris & Anita who gave up their life in Belgium to start a new life in Gran Canaria much like I was aiming to do and we were around the same age. I worked for two months and it was at the time two of the best months of my life and can't thank them enough. I returned home and was offered the opportunity to assist the Instructors at Blue Hippo diving as a Divemaster. I gladly took them up on the offer and started to do my DM duties with them and move forward to my DSD Leader rating which would allow me to teach Discover Scuba Diving courses for beginners in the pool. I was continuing to gain valuable experience and at the time working full time and also running my Metal Detecting Events Company so really working seven days and some nights every week for a good few years but my goal of being an Instructor was still at the forefront of my mind and was getting nearer.
Padi courses : Instructor
I signed up for my IDC which is the course you need to take if you want to be an Instructor. This course is run like any other course by the dive company who along with a Padi Course Director train the candidates for the final exam which is a separate thing from the dive center. Much like learning to drive you are trained by your instructor and then tested by an examiner. Life would have probably been a lot easier if I had just went over to do my IDC & IE but not me lol I never do anything by halves. I was following my dream of staying in Gran Canaria and working as a Padi Open Water Instructor so my wife and I sold our house and set our kids up in flats and headed off to the sun which we had dreamed of like many many others have and are. It was saddened to start with as my wife Pauline's father died and she was really close to him a was I as I had known him since I was about nine years old. We headed off to Spain with our life in suitcases and a head full of dreams. I was trained for my IDC by an excellent Course Director Bart Den Ouden from Rotterdam. Bart was assisted with Dane Cooper & Phillip over the next couple of weeks preparing us for the EI. I will not lie and say it was easy it wasn't and at the time I thought i was never going to do it but I knuckled down and worked hard and passed it. To say it was the best achievement of my life was an understatement, I was over the moon and to cap it all I was offered a Job teaching at Scubasur by Joris and Anita. My dream had been realised and Pauline & myself had an apartment too to call home.
I was working and so was Pauline and life was going good until our apartment was broken into and most of Pauline's and some of my possessions where stolen on the day our youngest Daughter arrived for a holiday so that was a bit of a kick in the teeth at the time. To cut a long story short we moved apartment which meant I could walk to work with Pauline in the morning along the Beachfront. As the months passed I was enjoying working at Scubasur and the team do there utmost to deliver good quality safe diving. Pauline was feeling really homesick and to be honest I felt it a bit myself so after six months we decided to come home and maybe return at a later date when things were more settled at home in Scotland.
We returned to the Falkirk area and I continued to teach diving and run my metal detecting events company along with Scuba Ts and I could not be happier. I have a happy life and an absolute passion for teaching good quality Padi courses in Falkirk and surrounding areas.
I know in my heart that I was meant to teach diving and pass on my enthusiasm for diving to my students. I hope you find me an honest and open person and have enjoyed reading about my journey to become an Instructor. If you wish to become an Instructor then you can start off your training as an Open Water Diver and continue as I did and you too could be teaching in the future.
Follow Your Dreams!