Bahamian AdventurePosted: April 6, 2011
I am back in the US after being in the Bahamas at Stuart Cove’s working with Joi Ito on his PADI Instructor course. See his post. Instructor training is not so much about teaching skills or knowledge, but more about helping the candidate become comfortable with presenting what they already know in an engaging and educationally valid fashion. Joi is already a seasoned public speaker, it was more formatting than great effort. But, it is fun to see even very experienced people create new connections and evolve into new roles. He did very well, by the way.
While we were there, Joi had the opportunity to also work on Instructor level specialties. One of these specialty areas was shark awareness. I will let his post speak for the experience. It is something that needs to be experienced to fully understand. I have been working with sharks for over 25 years and it is always amazing to be honored with their company.
Sharks have had the same appearance of today for over 100 million years. Generally, this means their body shape and function is pretty good for what they do. It is one of the coolest things about watching them, they are almost perfect at what they do. It was fun to get to share this with Joi.
Diving at the resort is quite good, especially off the beaten path. It has some of the most pristine wall diving I have found in the Caribbean. They also have tons of wrecks and many of which are very shallow, which allows for longer dive times and better conditions to practice penetration technics. Plus, everything is a quick boat ride. It makes for a very easy field to play in.
We also took a trip further afield to visit with Silky Sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis). They reside out in the blue and one of the best areas to find them is around the sounding buoy off of the island. The buoy is moored in 6000 feet / 1829 meters of water. When we pulled up and tied off there were two Silkies already there to greet us. I love being out in the blue with bottomless water and incredible visibility. Then, to get to enjoy pelagic sharks is even better.
The resort has a robust photo and video department where all of the shooters were quite skilled. It was very helpful to have their assistance from time to time to help document the trip and allow me to focus on teaching and grab some GoPro footage now and again.
I would have to say I was pleasantly surprised by my visit and would go back any time. It is worth the short flight from Miami to check it out. For teaching, you cannot ask for more choices in dive sites and almost any specialty area can be conducted there. Plus, the staff were very helpful and understanding of the needs for teaching.