I first came to Coral View to drop my cousin off for her Open Water course. We were on a family vacation in Utila for the week. I was excited to spend as much time underwater as was possible. Utila did not disappoint. We saw seahorses, turtles and countless eagle rays none of which are common sights back home in Puerto Rico. All the diving that week was amazing.
I was sad to leave Utila, thinking that that was the only chance I would get to dive that summer. Thankfully, that was not the case. Before our last boat dive, I casually asked about Coral View’s Divemaster program, thinking that maybe I could plan to do that the following summer. Sarah told me that the best program they offered was during the summer when they hosted a research program from the UK. That last part really caught my attention. I had spent the last few years with similar programs in both Malaysia and in Madagascar.
When I got home, I quickly switched up my summer plans and booked a flight back to Utila for the summer. I’m so happy I did. Gordo has to be one of the best instructors and mentors out there. Whenever I didn’t understand something or made a mistake, he would explain it differently and in a way that made complete logical sense. Assisting the rescue course taught by Wendy was tons of fun (even though I was mostly dragged around by Chris and Jeff).
My first lead started off rocky (it was a bit choppy and I had to take someone back to the boat for ear issues) and I was convinced I would get lost or mess up, but it all ended well. Assisting on an Open Water course let me see the difficulties some people had with diving. It was amazing to watch the excitement on people’s faces as they took their first breaths underwater. I was also given the opportunity to assist on many research projects, from chasing parrotfish to measuring and dissecting diademas.
My summer with Coral View was amazing. I swam with whale sharks and dolphins, spotted a few sea horses and met so many amazing people. The Divemaster course really helped me become a better diver. I’m way more confident in my abilities, improved my buoyancy control and had an amazing summer diving with amazing people.