I don’t use stock photos. I don’t use stock smiles. Every photo and every smile week after week is the real deal. The most unexpected job perk has been the amazing people I am lucky enough to meet and become a part of their vacation memories.
From getting to be a newly certified diver’s buddy and holding their hand until they’re comfortable enough to let go, to doing an awe inspiring wreck dive on Spiegel Grove, to free diving to retrieve mooring lines for Juliet to tie up, every day brings so many unique rewards no matter how seemingly insignificant to the passengers and crew. I never pretended to know anything about sailing, and up until just recently was still nervous and unsure of my own diving abilities. But now, “You want to jump in with your dive gear to a site you’ve never been to and try to find a mooring line that may or may not be there?” “Yes Please! But which way is North?!”. I’m not even officially an “Advanced” diver yet, but attitude and confidence can take you for (nautical) miles. “You have such a calming presence underwater, it’s so helpful.”- one newly certified diver told me. I have been mistaken for a dive instructor more than once and while I may have seemed to brush it off and even be a little embarrassed about the misunderstanding, it meant more to me than I could explain. A few years ago I found myself more than frustrated and lost when after countless visits to various ENTs resulted in me begrudgingly giving up on ever diving again. Now I can dive comfortably in an ill-fitting bcd with broken inflator hose and still help another diver with their buoyancy control and not think anything of it. Free diving down to 20 feet to retrieve lines is about as exciting and technical as cleaning the heads to the other crew members. To someone who had once accepted as fact that I would never dive again its a personal “Take that!” to the universe and my physical limitations.