by Vikki Batten
I can’t believe it’s almost April already and I’ve already been on a whirlwind tour of the PADI world with more to come.
Unusually, January saw me spending a few weeks in the Bristol Office! Yes, that is where I’m based but recently I have been away so often that last week Mark Caney asked who I was! I think he was joking…
After a fairly mild winter thus far, February brought the threat of some rather chilly weather here in the UK. Fortunately for me I flew to the Phillipines just in the nick of time. 26 hours, 4 airports, 3 planes, 2 hours in a taxi and a midnight boat ride and I arrived – 1am local time!
Unfortunately my rebreather didn’t and the course started at 0800 the following day! Not one to let these things bother me we did a quick re-shuffle of the schedule and my optimism was rewarded when my CCR showed up the following day.
Over the following 10 days we conducted a PADI Rebreather Instructor and Instructor Trainer Course followed by the very first Tec 40 CCR Instructor and Instructor Trainer Course. Puerto Galera is absolutely beautiful and La Laguna Beach Club was a great location. There is a dedicated rebreather and tec area including specialized staff and the pool, classroom, guest rooms, restaurant and bar are all within 30 seconds of each other and the turquoise blue bay.
The candidates came from China, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, USA, Germany, Switzerland and Australia and brought with them a wealth of experience and enthusiasm.
There was also a PADI instructor Examination being conducted in the next bay so myself and PADI Asia Pacific Tec Consultants, Thomas Knedlik and Dan Macherel also got to meet many of the local Course Directors, Staff instructors and brand new Instructors as well as their Examiner George Wegmann.
Finally, it was time for me to move on. This was made even more painful by the fact that my colleagues were staying behind to conduct a Member Forum – well that’s what they said, but when I last saw them they were heading out diving….
Vikki will be at the London International Dive Show on March 30th and April 1st in the PADI Village so please pop by if you have any questions or fancy a chat!