Going Pro - Part 1 - "The Beginnings and the Search"
In this Blog I’m gonna talk about my experience from when and how I started scuba diving to when and how I went pro.
So let's start from the beginning. I’m from the extent coastline country of Chile (only 6.435 [km] of coast). Born in one of the driest deserts of the world in a coastal city called Iquique (very tricky to pronounce in english). There, and almost all around the coast of Chile, the water is about 14 [°C] at there surface in summer and it can drop to 8 [°C] in winter.
Spent most of my childhood in the sea, either swimming, surfing or spearfishing. At that time scuba diving was not on the horizon, either because it was too pricey, maybe I didn’t have enough information about it or no one in my close circle would do it.
One day, in my 19s, I was invited by my dad for an unprecedented vacations to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Once we got there I was told that he booked this thing called PADI Open Water Diver which would allow us to scuba dive to 18 [m]! A week later we were dive buddies (situation that changed forever the way that we would relate). From that moment on, every vacation, long weekend or time together would have the subtitle of “Going Diving!”.
We went to many places like, Cozumel, Costa Rica and Republica Dominicana (to mention a few) but we were also attracted to dive in Chile, we went to a few dive shops in different locations and we also conducted our own dives trying to find things that other people might not have found yet (remember Chile has a massive coastline ready to be discovered and experienced).
Knowing what the underwater world has to offer made me change my perspective about marine conservation and the way that we interact with what we can find under there. From that moment on, an idea started forming in the back of my head. I wanted to do this for a living! Showing to people what's down there and teaching people how to get there and doing it in a safe and entertaining way.
I knew it was gonna be a long way if I wanted to do it properly and because of my formation as an engineer, I wanted to take it step by step building solid blocks in order to have a great foundation to build on.
I started by becoming a PADI Rescue Diver in Exmouth, Australia when I had roughly 110 dives in my belt. After that I really wanted to do my PADI Divemaster training somewhere in Southeast Asia, a place where it would be challenging and entertaining at the same time. So I spend some time going from place to place traveling and diving until I had a rough idea on where to do it. I chose Gili Trawangan, Indonesia.
Warm waters, great visibility and an unprecedented variety of marine life with the tricky spice of either no water movement to absolutely ripping currents, which would satisfy my hunger for a challenge.
Among the many dive shops that are in the island I chose Dive Central Gili to do my divemaster training for several reasons. The team was (is) absolutely professional, the facilities where 5 star, since it’s a medium sized dive shop the approach was more personal with many languages, genders, personalities and nationalities to offer. It was (is) inclusive (fit for everyone) with great gear that fits different requirements, for example prescription masks and grate range of BCDs. Finally, it poses an on site service centre for scuba equipment, which would give more options to learn other aspects of the diving industry.