My wife and I got our SCUBA certifications about 15 years ago, before kids, and haven't been diving much at all since then. I had more experience than my wife, but it had been a long time for both of us. We really wanted to be able to take advantage of the great diving that St. Thomas has to offer on our 15th anniversary trip there, so we set about taking a refresher course near home before we left. That made us feel better, but my wife still had some concerns. She tends to have a bit of an involuntary anxiety when water touches her nose, and she struggled with it some during the refresher course and was a little anxious about becoming panicky while diving. Also, I injured my back just a couple of weeks before our trip, so I knew getting into (and out of) my gear was going to be an issue for me.
Don't we sound like great customers for a SCUBA diving operation? Wouldn't you be thrilled to have to deal with us?
We made reservations well in advance of our trip, but happened to stop by the shop the day before we were supposed to dive. We explained my wife's concerns to the wonderfully helpful woman in the shop and she was extremely patient and understanding and helped us to modify our reservations in order to allow my wife to start off with some easier dives and work her way up to build confidence. We ended up doing 8 dives with STDC during the week we were there and had the time of our lives! In fact, we ended up adding more dives to our reservation because we were having such a great time. The divemasters and boat captains were so patient and understanding with my wife, and went out of their way to make sure I could don and doff my gear comfortable in the water. After finishing all of our dives for the week my wife and I were talking about how much fun we had and how great STDC was to work with. She actually started crying because she was so appreciative of them and their professionalism and hospitality.
So, Jimi, Jashae, Dave, Lauren, and all the rest - thank you so much for caring for us, seeing beyond our anxieties and temporary physical limitations, and giving us such a wonderful experience. We'll be back - with our kids next time! :)
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