Earlier this year, I had the amazing opportunity to work at Dive Grenada, a 5 star PADI certified dive shop located at Flamboyant Hotel, at the end of Grand Anse beach. For the 4+ months that I was there, I made lots of amazing connections and friendships as well as added to my list of amazing life experiences.
What made it so amazing to me? Lots of things. Whilst the folks around me were busy becoming doctors and lawyers, even though I'm teetering well into my late 20s, there were a few things I've always wanted to do. Many years ago, when I was younger, I had come to that very same dive shop and asked about learning to dive and the cost. Of course then I was too young... probably about 10 or 12 years old. However, after I finally finished up university last year and wanted to get a job that allowed me some extra time to play with, I couldn't pass up this opportunity when I heard they were looking for a dive shop attendant. A few years ago, I had dedicated my summer to conquering my fear of the sea. I had developed a good relationship with the lifeguards and was able to persuade them to help me on my quest. As fate would have it, Andre, the lifeguard and dear friend that went out with me the most, helped me score my first(and only) job on a sailboat where I got to practice my free diving skills that he taught me on professional snorkel tours. Then, it so happens that he had worked at Dive Grenada coincidentally prior to my arrival there.
I had the delightful experience of being in the sea almost every day, carrying out tours guided by yours truly, learn about marine life live and direct and be in the position to find out as much as I wanted. Phil and Helen, the owners, were awesome. Phil was in the British Navy and Helen was a medical doctor in the UK. They were incredibly patient with my millions of questions regarding health and safety with scuba diving as well as identifying marine life. I was blessed to be around such highly skilled and highly patient people with so many amazing life stories they were willing to share with ease. I particularly looked forward to Phil's random life stories like when he told us, the staff, the proper and real way to walk with a staff as a shepherd if ever we ventured to become one in Scotland. It was so random, yet so precious and endearing.
Also, as with everyone, nothing is ever perfect. However, they were among my best professional experiences to date. I don't remember if I had told Phil, but it was truly refreshing to have a boss that addressed personal and individual issues personally. I wasn't made aware of other staff transgressions, nor were they made aware of mine. He was incredibly patient and understanding and should something pop up that he doesn't like... he'd simply pull you aside and address it privately. My collective recent work experiences to date locally seem to trend with your boss either shouting at you in front of everyone or in other cases, shouting at the customer. I don't recall ever witnessing that there. The staff, including the two dogs Jack & Jerry, were just as friendly and welcoming as well. I made some amazing bonds there. I still meet up with my old coworkers from time to time to catch up. My most amazing underwater shots, that you're going to see (not in this post), were taken by Ricardo, who was also one of my dive instructors.
Ultimately, I was faced with the current job opportunity I'm at now which I felt was a good career move and we parted on good terms. I still drop by every time I'm in the area. I won't lie, I miss the place and the people. My current office is located in Black Bay, St. John. Every day as I venture to the office, I traverse the same route on land along the coast as I did when I worked there. It pulls my heart strings sometimes to be high up on land and not dashing to the Marine Protected Area by boat, prepping to gear up and enter the water. The good news is a few of my projects are going to be sea based and I was given the privilege and trust of the assignment from my experiences from Dive Grenada.
Working there is definitely not a decision I regret and one I would encourage any 20 something year old, even those falling into 30 to try at least once. The sea has a way of calming the spirit and reminding oneself that you're a part of the huge ecosystem and world, and not the one that controls it. Who doesn't need such a reminder from time to time?
Half way through working there, my Ricoh underwater camera finally arrived and I was able to get some beautiful shots from some of my snorkel trips and scuba diving experiences. Even though work has doubled up on me since I started the new job and projects are finally about to roll out, I'm finally dedicating time to edit and post about my experiences there in pictures.
Hope you enjoy! These were taken in Flamingo Bay.
What did you think? Post a comment. (Click on the post title to open up the post and you'd be able to comment at the bottom.)
Oh... and I have more pics where these came from... expect some more underwater posts!