Scuba Diving is one of those sports that you must experience to understand and appreciate. Trying to fully explain to a non-diver the sights, sounds and feelings you get from diving is close to impossible. Rushing over sand flats or along a rock wall of a channel during the incoming tide is the closest you will get to flying while staying below sea level.
I decided from the start to do my own instructing instead of working through a shop, not because I don't like the shops (in fact most in the Hunter are very good), but because the main reason I didn't start diving until my early twenties was because of two things:
1. The price of the courses on offer.
2. The regimental course structure.
Understandibly, shops need to cover their overhead costs and also need to structure their courses around the availability of instructors. I run my PADI courses around the availability of the students. I understand that some people cannot dedicate 4 days or two weekends in a row to complete their course, so as long as their timetable doesn't clash with another course, I'll run a course according to the student's wishes. My customer base consists almost entirely of returning students doing further education courses or people that have been referred to me by other previous students. I don't advertise anywhere (except for here on the site!) so I figure I must be doing something right to keep getting new faces coming through.
The thing some instructors forget is that diving is meant to be fun! I try to keep my courses as casual as possible, without skimping on information or safety. The Open Water course should never feel like a chore, but should be the introduction to an exciting new world only a fairly small percentage of people ever get to experience.
So have a browse around the site and if there is something you think I should include here for the information of future students, please feel free to email me on email@example.com