PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with PADI CD Anna Schmitt

In celebration of PADI Women’s dive day, here is an interview with PADI Course Director Anna Schmitt.

Even though Anna hasn’t been the longest serving PADI course director, but Anna managed to establish her name very quickly as a PADI Course Director in Egypt in few years. Anna has been a PADI member for 8 years and a PADI Course Director for 3 years, which proves that working hard pays off.

 

When did you fall in love with the ocean?

 

Falling in love with the ocean is not a one off, it is forever.

I still do, every single time with the eyes of new students experiencing these moments of falling in love with the undersea world. It gives me huge satisfaction witnessing again and again the beginnings of their love stories with the ocean.

How did you start diving?

 

Life is so unpredictable: we can plan and schedule day after day, weeks, months, years, vacations, what and when we want to buy and what to achieve in life; but often it is not enough.

One small decision or event can create a big change in our life. For almost 6 years after school, I was studying in Airspace University, became an engineer and was successfully working in it for 3 years. I have to say I really loved my job.

Diving? Never even thought about it. How? My eyes were always looking in the sky, all goals and plans were there.  However, there is always a but in the story…

Vacation, Egypt, Red Sea – the best combination for a new experience, which ultimately changed my life.

From the first moment breathing under the water, I knew that this would be a life changing experience, a new me was born. I found the easiest way to experience another world without leaving our planet. While looking in the sky, I found all I was dreaming of beneath the waves.

When I started the OWD course, I knew that I would go further and 6 months later, I became a Divemaster, taking the first step in my professional career.

 

 

When did you become a PADI instructor?

After becoming a Divemaster I had one year of intense work in the diving center: guiding, assisting courses, sharing my experiences and enhancing my skills every day. The milestone of becoming a PADI Instructor was accomplished in 2011. It was a big and necessary step, which gave me many more opportunities. 3 months later, I was ready to take the next challenge.

Why did you become a PADI Course Director?

Why – that is a good question. We should always move forward and challenge ourselves to widen our horizons. First, I believe we learn the most going through them, with every lesson we take with an open mind we become a better version of ourselves. We evolve and it gives us a greater chance to make a better tomorrow.

 

Being a PADI Course Director in Egypt allows me to influence the international diving community, building up the demand for quality Instructor training, raising environmental awareness and so much more.

 

What would you tell our readers especially women who are interested in diving?

No matter when and where we start, we can always transform our dreams to goals and to achieve them once they are set. All we need is to do our best, every single day. Sometimes we feel that steps to our goals are too slow or too small, but they are always forward, that is what matters.

The first step is the hardest part. Do not be shy or afraid that you are too old, too young, can’t swim, never snorkelled – we have only one life, never give up on your dreams, it is always worth it to try. I truly believe each woman was made for diving; each woman can be an amazing diver and inspiring educator. We all have this love of nature which lives inside us, and that’s what the ocean needs… Oceans need women to take care of them.

 

Why did you chose to work in Egypt as a PADI professional?

Work, not exactly the word I would use. Diving is first my passion, my living style, my motivation, my inspiration. I was born here as a diver in the beautiful Red Sea. It is unspeakably beautiful which can teach me so much with every single dive. It is the best place to welcome new encounters in my life. Great weather conditions, warm waters and perfect geographical location – these are just additional benefits.

PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with PADI CD Nancy Abd El Wahab

In celebration of PADI Women’s dive day, here is an interview with PADI Course Director Mancy Abd El Wahab, who has been a PADI member since 1994 and a PADI Course Director since 2002.

 

When did you fall in love with the ocean?

As long as I can remember! I always loved the water and spent the summers around lakes and the North Sea coast in Germany. Of course watching documentaries about the ocean, such as ones from Hans Hass, made me curios about the ocean and everything in it. However, what made me really fall in love with the ocean was the first time I went snorkelling as a child in the Mediterranean Sea in Spain. The amazing blue colours of the ocean and being able to see what’s below – that was an unbelievable experience and also where my “love story” with the ocean began.

How did you start diving?

When I was a teenager I was a competitive swimmer and water always felt like a place I wanted to be. Due to my fascination with the underwater world my parents gave me a diving course as a Christmas present at the beginning of the 1990’s. I remember it vividly; it was January and we went to a lake in Germany, the water was 4 degrees cold, there was no visibility and I was wearing a suit that was miles too big for me. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved it and continued learning more about diving until this day.

When did you become a PADI instructor?

I was working as a PADI Divemaster in Dahab in the early 1990’s and gained some experience. After working for one year as a guide it was time to develop and I did my IDC in 1995 in Sharm El Sheikh. It was an intense course and I was very lucky that I had a wonderful and very professional PADI Course Director, who became my mentor for many years after.

Why did you become a PADI Course Director?

Personally, I always like to develop and to learn new things. Working for a long time as an Instructor and living in one of the top spots of the diving industry it was a natural process to continue my education. I was very lucky that I had the chance to work as a Staff Instructor on many IDC’s before I applied for my Course Director Training Course in 2002. Becoming a PADI Course Director was a great dream of mine. It is such a rewarding job teaching people to make a living from diving. It is a high level of training and I love to share the experience I gained over the last 24 years in the diving industry.

 

What would you tell our readers especially women who are interested in diving?

I think nowadays more women are diving and are interested in diving. However, I still see many countries where female divers are an exception because of cultures where it is not common that men and women participate in the same activities. I encourage women from these cultures to look out for professional female Divemasters and Instructors if they are interested in diving. Diving is a fantastic sport where you can meet many different people who have a love for the ocean. But its not only a sport, it’s a life style and divers are very social people. Going on a diving holiday is both seeing amazing things underwater and spending a great time with people who have the same passion. I would suggest for women to find a female mentor – like a Divemaster or Instructor. I taught many women diving and it was great to be their mentor. Many of them became PADI Divemasters or PADI Instructor by themselves and they now carry the passion we share for diving to other women who are just starting to dive.

Why did you choose to work in Egypt as a PADI professional?

The Red Sea is one of the top destinations for diving worldwide. I love the amazing underwater world of the coral reefs of Sinai and the very unique dive sites like Ras Mohamed, the Thistlegorm and the Blue Hole. The weather and water temperature make it possible to dive the whole year around and the mountain range of South Sinai is one of the most beautiful places I ever have seen in my life. I have chosen Egypt as well because of its lovely Egyptian and Bedouin people I work and live with. Especially Dahab is very unique – there is a great community of Egyptians, Bedouins and foreigners that will make you fall in love with this place.

 

PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with Chris Azab

 

As PADI Women’s Dive Day is getting ever closer, we will be interviewing some leading figures in the diving industry in Egypt.

Chris Azab is a PADI Course Director, who has been a PADI member since 2001 and a PADI Course Director since 2009.

When did you fall in love with the ocean?

When I was a child, after school time, I always went to the beach to play and swim in the sea (I was living in Holland, nearby the North Sea). In 1992 it was the first time to visit Sharm el Sheikh and the Red Sea and I felt in love with it when I was snorkelling in Naáma Bay and Sharks Bay. The beautiful colours of the Coral, the beautiful colours of the fish. Each year I went back to the Red Sea.

How did you start diving?

After snorkelling in the Red Sea I wanted to see and learn more. I had a chance to do a DSD in Holland and I continued and followed all the courses from the PADI Ladder.

When did you become a PADI instructor?

In 2001 I became a PADI Instructor and was teaching for hobby. I started a Dive Club in Holland and in one year I had 75 members and all the time happy faces. We did dives in the cold waters of the Grevelingen and the Oosterschelde. You can see all different kind of fish and a lot of crabs and lobsters. I wanted to be underwater all the weekends. In 2004 I had the change to change my life and start living, diving and teaching in Sharm el Sheikh – Egypt. I followed my dream and my passion about diving and made from my hobby my fulltime job and I’m still loving it.

Why did you become a PADI Course Director?

Even when I was fulltime working in the Diving Industry in Egypt, I loved to do each year some courses myself and in 2009 I had the chance to do the Course Director Training Course as the next step in my carrier. I love to teach different courses and like to bring divers to a higher level. Now I’m teaching IDC’s and all different Instructor Specialties in different countries, in Sharm el Sheikh by 5* IDC Center Sinai Dive Club, in Holland by 5* IDC Center Divepost and 5* IDC Center Souldivers and in Cyprus by 5* IDC Center Cydive. It’s not the only thing I do. I teach all TEC Courses which I prefer to do in Sharm. From the shore you can easily dive to 65 meter. Sidemount diving is one of my favourites. It’s also amazing to teach the new Adaptive Support and Adaptive Techniques Diver Specialty, which I have planned again in September in Sharm el Sheikh.

 

What would you tell our readers especially women who are interested in diving?

Ladies, I still dive for fun. Last week I was on a diving Holliday in Tenerife by PADI Dive Center Ola Diving. The Atlantic Ocean surprised me as well. We saw Dolphins, Turtles, schools of Barracuda’s and Triggerfish, Morays, Bullrays etc. etc. So ladies, go diving and start today!!! It will change your life. You will become part of a different world, will see beautiful creations. Diving transforms you to another human, it’s a challenge, it’s relaxation and it’s amazing to be underwater. It doesn’t matter if you dive in cold water or warm water, it’s the feeling of freedom. Come and visit the Red Sea, it’s a great and safe place to be. Just be careful, you can become addicted to diving and the Red Sea like I did.

Why did you chose to work in Egypt as a PADI professional?

Since I started diving I went to different diving destinations, not only to the Red Sea. As you can read above, I felt in love with the Red Sea, the National Park of Ras Mohammed, the Reefs by Tiran Island, it’s amazing because every day, every dive it’s different. There are also lots of beautiful local Dive sites. That’s why I wanted to work in Sharm el Sheikh, I did and it became my home. Nowadays I’m not only working in Egypt, anyway I can tell you, once a Sharmer, always a Sharmer.

A New PADI Course Director In Saudi Arabia – Waleed Abdel Moubdy

Waleed

Congratulations to Waleed A. Moubdy becoming the latest PADI Course Director in Saudi Arabia, Waleed has been a loyal PADI Member for 20 years. Waleed has made his way through the ranks by working and managing few dive centres in Hurghada, in Egypt and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

We would like to  congratulate you for completing the CDTC recently in the Kota Kinabalu, and officially welcome you as a PADI Course Director!

This is an accomplishment to be very proud of. Well Done Waleed and keep up the good work