PADI AmbassaDiver, Manu Bustelo, spoke to us about his travels, his steps to becoming a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and how he is inspiring others to become ocean stewards.
- You had quite a busy summer Manu! Could you tell us a little bit about what you did?
I spent over 40 days travelling with four electric vehicles from London to Nordkapp. We covered a distance of 9000km showing that electric vehicles can travel to remote places in Europe with zero tailpipe emissions. We named the project ‘Charge to the circle’. Before our departure, we also had the opportunity to take part in the Bristol Harbour, UK clean up organized by Project Aware and PADI.
- That sounds like a great challenge! Straight after you went on to do your IDC, Could you tell us more about your journey to becoming a PADI Instructor?
I’ve been pretty busy but nothing took out of my mind this year’s highlight – to become a PADI Instructor. For over 10 years, I have travelled as a PADI Divemaster around the world scuba diving in as many destinations as possible. My passion for diving grew through the years. I began to feel the itch to share my passion with others, therefore I enrolled in the PADI Instructor Development Program and it seemed the right step to take.
I only had a few days between my return from Norway to the due date I was supposed to be in Murcia to begin my IDC training with BALKYSUB. Before Charge to the Circle I spent an entire month scuba diving in Ibiza, therefore during the last four months I’ve been at home, Andorra, for just a couple of days.
- What is your advice to those who want to become a PADI Pro?
Becoming an instructor is something I recommend to all divers who love the underwater world. Whether you want to make a life out of teaching how to dive, own your scuba dive center or simply encourage more people into diving, you are going to need to be an instructor. I feel a tremendous benefit is already providing me to deeply understand how to teach people how to dive. Educational frameworks are always great to enhance the way you can share your passion with other individuals.
- How did you become interested in ocean conservation?
I have been fortunate enough to do a lot of high altitude mountaineering and mountain biking in The Andes, Alps and Pyrenes during my high school and University Career. At the time, it felt I’ve seen quite a lot in my mid-twenties. It was only when I discovered scuba diving that I reset my ‘adventure’ button. If our planet is 70% water, then there was much more to see underwater than everything I’ve seen till then. Here’s the crucial point though, without water life in our planet wouldn’t exist as we know it. The oldest and more complex ecosystems are underwater.
- Why do you believe it is important to raise ocean conservation awareness?
I believe that an essential part of being human is being curious. Curiosity leads us to explore unchartered territories. Loving what we see is crucial, since our oceans are vast yet fragile at the same time. Current rates of plastic pollution, ocean acidification due to CO2 emissions and overfishing are damaging our oceans more than we could have ever imagined. Scuba divers are ocean stewardship because we learn to love what we see.
Nature hasn’t given us gills. Give yourself some love and learn to scuba dive. If you need a scuba instructor, now you can count on me.