Gear on, air on, buddy check, fins, mask, regulator, giant stride, splash into the water… The checklist when you start your dive and your next adventure. The underwater world is so magical and it is one of my biggest passions. It is my calm space and my happy place, floating along with the currents, watching the life on the reef, and swimming with some amazing creatures you would never see on land. Everyone has a different reason for learning to dive: to overcome a fear, to explore a new world, to travel and make friends. Mine is a combination of my love for the water, wanting to challenge myself, and wanting to experience as much of the underwater world as possible.
It all started in middle school when I went to a marine science camp out in California. I fell in love with the ocean and the creatures within it. I had always been a water baby, always swimming in the pool and the lake, but the ocean was so much more. I decided I wanted to learn everything I could about it, so when it came time for college that’s what I wanted to study. I ended up graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science with a minor in Biology from Coastal Carolina University. And ultimately, that is what got me started with diving.
I was first certified in the summer of 2007 in a quarry. I had told myself that if I wanted to study marine life, I should learn how to be in their environment. Learning to dive was a challenge, but so much fun. After I had graduated, I became a show diver at the local aquarium where we did 3-5 dives a day. It quickly became a passion for me. Being under the water and interacting with the animals and the guests was my favorite thing. I decided a few years later to continue my dive education and went through my advanced and rescue training. Shortly after that, I relocated back to Las Vegas (my original home) and became a biologist at an aquarium there. I started looking up requirements for running dive operations in aquariums, and decided it was best for me to start my professional dive training. I went on to do my Dive Master and shortly after received my Instructor certification. That has opened so many opportunities for me and I currently hold 3 different occupations that all involve diving.
The first occupation is still at the aquarium. I am currently the Dive Safety Officer at the Silverton Aquarium in Las Vegas. I am in charge of the dive operations, our mermaid performers, and our safety divers, as well as gear maintenance. The second is my own business, LV Dive Adventures, in which I teach scuba and run dive trips all around the world. Teaching is so rewarding, when you see someone’s face light up the first time they breathe underwater, there is nothing quite like that. And the third is working with our local police department as a member of their Search and Rescue dive team. I am able to help the community, challenge myself, and teach the newer officers not only how to dive recreationally, but also in some pretty tough conditions.
Diving can open so many doors and opportunities. You will travel to exotic places, meet new friends that quickly become like family, or challenge yourself and overcome a fear. It might not always be easy, there might be a skill you can’t quite master, but the dive community is very friendly and there will always be someone to help you through. When I began diving I thought a basic certification would be enough for me, but as my love for it grew so did I. I now teach in some pretty rough conditions (Search and Rescue/PSD diving), but also travel to so many beautiful places. And the best part is I get to do it with some pretty amazing people…divers.
Dive UK Hurghada: A truly inspirational story from Kristin in the US. We have not had the pleasure in diving together yet but I’m sure we will soon. Remember if you want to be a diver, its more than possible and to explore our amazing Oceans will be something you won’t forget nor stop doing. For any details on PADI Courses, the PADI Open Water Course or just a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dive UK Hurghada.