“My name is ___________, and I’m a Resort Course addict." And there is probably a very limited amount of people who qualify in this category to the level I do.
I went to Jamaica a in the late 1980s and snorkeled a bit. Was not a huge fan of doing so, butsince I had a Nikonos IV, I decided to snorkel. Got some shots, and still have the slides around here somewhere, but was limited by not being able to stay down and look at things, which really bummed me out. Sure it was only ten feet or so next to pilings on a wooden dock, but I immediately fell in love with it. Of course I had been fascinated with the underwater world since I was a kid and the Jacques Cousteau specials (yeah, I know, cliche) were something I recall looking forward to when I was young
I then went to Mexico a year or so later, Nikonos in hand, ready to jump in and snorkel for those photos. Was staying in a quiet area that had a dive shop on the beach. And I would just sit there, fascinated, watching divers go in and out of the water. A couple of them also were in the pool doing some things. After two days of being stared at, the dive master came up to me and started speaking. "Do you want to go scuba diving?," he asked. I was hesitant. Diving? Me? Nah. Then I remembered I had my Nikonos with me. Hmm.
Shortly thereafter I was in the pool for the next couple of days. The dive master knew I would be around for awhile, and thankfully he was a good instructor (the stories I can tell from some other resort courses I took, well that will be another thing to write about).
Finally I got into the ocean, Nikonos in hand and I was hooked. From that moment on pretty much if I was going to go somewhere for vacation, diving was high on the list in the decision making process of whether to go. (Once certified, it became the only thing on the list as to whether I would go someplace for vacation.)
So I went to that spot in Mexico a couple of more times during the next decade, each time getting the refresher/resort treatment and going into the water. During the time also went to the Bahamas a couple of times, other parts of Mexico and a couple of other places. Then I went to Australia. Of course that was a long trip, and I was willing to see other parts of Australia other than dive sites, but the Great Barrier Reef/Cairns and Port Douglas were on the must-do list.
I eagerly anticipated diving the Great Barrier Reef as much as possible during the week we were up there. But Mother Nature had different plans for me. They had, as the Australian's put it, some slight showers during the first 5 days we were there. Back in the States we call these slight showers massive thunderstorms, so we could not get out - no boat was running.
By the 6th day, I found out that the local aquarium had shark tank dives, so I signed up and did that.
But then the last day before we left, the weather broke. During the 1-1/2 hour ride out to the site the "real" divers went off somewhere on the boat and the resort divers went to a corner to do the drill I was pretty familiar with by that point. The instructor gave out the paper work, and people started filling it out. During this time she asked who had ever been scuba diving before, and out of the almost 2 dozen people there, about a 1/2 dozen of us raised our hands. She went around asking the people with their hands up "Where" and "How many times?". Once or twice was the usual answer. I was the last person she got to. When she asked me, I turned away a bit sheepishly hoping she really did not need an answer. Man this was going to be embarrassing. But she asked again. I thought about saying once or twice, but I am a bad liar. So I mumbled "over 50 dives, and I think closer to 70, if remember correctly." A log book was not something I had thought about at that time.
Still remember her comment "You should be teaching the resort course not me" Everyone laughed, but then she pointed out the obvious. I needed to get certified. I had meant to do just that, but after the Austrlia tripI decided it was indeed time to get a C-Card. I actually had tried to get my C-Card a couple of years prior to the trip to Australia but I had a freak accident in the pool, someone grabbed me and yanked during training, and somehow screwed up my ear. But finally my C-Card became a reality. I went home, and immediately signed up for the course. And scuba diving became a more important part of my life and took me into other avenues I never considered. But again that is another story.