Cayman is, without a doubt, one of the best places in the world to take up diving. However, one refrain that you hear very often from dive industry is how people left their original line of work to begin anew doing something they really love.
Once you have your open water certification there is a whole world of possibilities, from dive master to dive instructor, which is where Go Pro Cayman comes in. Under the guidance of Ash McKnight, the programme director, the company specialises in training dive instructors who can then go on to teach anywhere in the world.
“It really is your ticket to travel,” says David Patterson, training coordinator for Go Pro Cayman.
Ash started working with Bob Soto many years ago, and although he left the island for a while post Ivan, when he came back he decided to focus his attention on training the trainers.
Go Pro is the only company in Cayman that offers instructor training courses, and it specialises in these to such an extent that they have many divers from Canada, the USA and other parts of the world coming down to Cayman for an extended stay while they get qualified.
After all, who can blame them, as the clear, warm water is somewhere you would much rather spend your time than the cold and murky depths found in many other parts of the world.
“We do long term internships so people can come for three months at a time, some even longer, and move from advanced to instructor. We do a lot of residents as well actually, they become dive instructors or dive masters because it is a goal for them and it is a nice achievement,” says David.
Of course, residents also get a special rate for their instructor’s development course, making it well worth it to push for the next level of qualification.
For those who want to take up employment in the dive industry, Go Pro has an excellent record of placements, with Ash making use of his contacts in the dive industry to help get his graduates placed.
“Literally everyone that wanted to find employment is now working in the dive industry either here in Cayman, or Dominican Republic or elsewhere in the world,” says David.
One of the advantages of having an experienced trainer like Ash heading up the organisation is that he can teach pretty much any of the specialities “well, apart from ice diving” according to David.
“If the customer comes in and says they want to do a wreck diving specialty on the Kittiwake they can do that, Ash is qualified to teach all the specialties. You can set yourself apart; most of the instructors I know haven’t got a wreck diving speciality,” says David.
Go Pro also offers training for boat captains, with courses designed to qualify dive boat captains.
“They can do their instructor training, they can do their boating qualification, so it’s a one stop shop,” says David.
For more information, call 925-9092