At the age of 13 my father who was a semi-pro golfer tried to introduce me and my twin brother to the game of golf. Being a beach bum from Sydney and really not interested in walking around a golf course in the blazing sun hitting a ball that seemed to have a mind of its own I became a little disillusioned. I moaned for the first 9 holes and for the last nine I decided to cause havoc and steal other golfer’s balls. By the time we had reached the club house other golfers had kindly asked my dad if it was possible to leave “that delinquent at home”. I was stoked and used this as an advantage to justify my pubescent traumas “I needed an outlet”.
JAWS was out at the movies and my mum and dad thought it would be a good idea to let me swim with sharks, they thought if I wasn’t eaten then at least there would be silence whilst I was underwater.
So off to the local dive school I went and enrolled in the PADI Open Water course. I was the youngest in the class and the instructor took me under his wing and taught me the basics of diving. It was awesome and I knew that I had found my vocation in life from the moment I put my head underwater.
The weekends became a thing I looked forward to again; as golf was no longer an option and the waters of Sydney were heaving with sea life.
School holidays were the best fun and with the dive club we went on holidays around the coast of New South Wales and I slowly became the mascot of the dive club. I didn’t have to carry bottles, just go and get coffees and bacon sandwiches for the other divers once the dives were done. The guys didn’t mind that I never gave them their change back because they new I was putting it towards buying some dive kit and before too long I had all that I needed.
My brother got a golf set so I thought it was only fair that when I was short a few quid to get the best equipment available that mum and dad would pay the difference.
In Sydney like Ibiza nearly every house has a swimming pool so when I wasn’t diving I was practicing in the pool trying to perfect my trade. Dad took advantage of this and before I new it I was cleaning the bottom of my pool as well as the neighbours pools. Money for old rope I thought, diving and making money was it possible!
Winter arrived and the rugby boots came out but diving was never to far away from my mind and with the first signs of warmth I was straight into my kit. To my surprise though the kit didn’t fit as my growing spurts where erratic and the whole cycle of dodging giving change back started again.
As I was getting bigger and stronger I was carrying tanks and by the time I was 18 I was ready for my Dive Master course.
At 18 other things started to take precedent over diving like the 3 W´s…Work, Women and Worry, but diving was one of those things that I couldn’t shake, it was in my blood and I needed a fix every now and again.
By the time I was 19 I was plucked from the comfort zone of Sydney and was sent to England for work. In search of a social network I went diving to see what it was like, but coming from the warm waters and never having dived in a dry suit before I didn’t enjoy it, I didn’t see the point, cold, dark and the bacon sandwiches just didn’t do it for me.
Holidays became the only outlet I had for diving and Ibiza was one of those holidays. A week of raving and maybe I would get some dives in along the way. Well I got that wrong, it became a week of diving and I didn’t even see a club the whole time I was out here. Ibiza became my dream home and after 10 years I can honestly say that I am not going anywhere, why would I, great dives, great food and no sharks.
At 13 I had no idea of the places I would see in the world. I have worked in Diving in many places including Fiji, Thailand, Hawaii, Red Sea, Malaysia, Turkey and Greece
and I used my dive ticket as the portal to my travels. This was all due the fact that I was a restless kid who hated the idea of golf.
It is for these reasons that Punta Dive is offering a family package of diving for all residents and Sun readers who have a teenage child who is struggling to find things to do over the summer break. In diving there are huge possibilities and it is a trade you can take anywhere in the world. The PADI Dive master certification will open doors for you and the community of diving is a friendly and professional.
Come and see us at our Cala Martina centre and see what it is like to be part of a team and enjoy everything that Ibiza offers underwater.
Who knows where this could take you as diving doesn’t just stop with teaching diving it could lead you onto a commercial course, technical course, diving on the oil rigs or building ports the possibilities are endless.