I am currently at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, waiting for a plane to take off that will eventually take me to the beautiful Perhentian Islands, where I will be working as a PADI Dive Instructor. Just six months ago, I was working as a bartender in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and had no idea at the time that signing up for a Dive Instructor course and Internship with Abyss Scuba Diving in Sydney, Australia would end up being one of my greatest accomplishments and the best times of my life.
I lived in the accommodations provided by Abyss, where I was greeted readily by other interns my age and immediately felt right at home. Breakfast was provided, a pool in the backyard, and the dive shop was right around the corner.
The diving was beautiful. We dove with friendly blue grouper; I saw weedy sea dragons for the first time, plenty of cuttlefish, nudibranchs, port jackson sharks, wobbegong sharks, and grey nurse/sand tiger sharks. Every weekend Abyss offered free shore dives to local divers and night dives every few weeks. These were really great because it brought together a group of divers that all became very close; we all hung out outside of diving and really became just like a family.
The training itself was top-notch- constant hands-on experience leading actual dives, assisting with actual courses, and mapping popular dive sites. One really nice attribute was getting to work with several different instructors and dive masters to see different ways of doing things. Carl Fallon, the course director at Abyss, did the majority of my instructor training and put in so much time to ensure that all of the interns were 100% comfortable with all the materials and tests that by the time the actual exam came around, everyone passed with flying colours.
The best part was ending every day hanging out with other interns and Abyss employees over dinner, drinks, night dives, chocolate bar trips, guitar hero competitions, and the list goes on.
It was heartbreaking to leave Abyss. I made a new best friend who is currently extending her training to become a tech diver instructor and doing her Staff Instructor certification. She and I shared a room together and became just like sisters. I’m now on my way to do some more amazing travelling as an instructor, but my time in Sydney was such a blast and never to be forgotten!”
Amy Detorres. PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer.