6 months ago I walked into The Diving Locker with my resume in hand, and no idea what the diving community in Vancouver was like. I was a newish Divemaster, with no professional experience, very few cold water dives and no knowledge on how a dive shop runs. I started working at the shop a week later and was instantly welcomed, not only by the staff but by the regulars who were constantly in and out of the shop. I was blown away by everything. I had no idea how many people learnt to dive in Vancouver on a monthly basis, no idea how many people dove on a weekly basis, and no idea how big the dive community here actually was. Sure, Vancouver is surrounded by water. Sure, you hear stories about how British Columbia has some of the best diving in the world, but who would have thought so many people braved the cold water!
The learning curve was large. Not only was I adjusting from diving in a bikini to a Drysuit, but I was also in the shop learning everything from equipment, to servicing, to course schedules. It’s been a bit overwhelming at times and 6 months later I still have trouble remembering what the difference between a diaphragm and a piston is. This little dive shop I applied to on west 4th offered so much more then I had expected. I can now put together regulators, leak test dry suits, visual inspect tanks, fill nitrox tanks, fit and sell you a mask/snorkel/fin set confidently and tell you everything you want to know about Light & Motion GoBe lights!
But of course, like any other diver my favorite part is the diving. Though, at The Diving Locker a close second is the people that are diving. I took my first trip to the Sunshine Coast within my first few weeks at work and even if the diving had sucked (which it didn’t!) I had such an amazing time. I laughed and laughed and laughed. An entire day with a -group of other divers sharing stories helped us all develop some fast friendships! I’ve gotten to know some pretty awesome people in my time here and each cycle of students brings new regulars into our diving community. What I love the most is that regardless of diving level everyone has an interesting story, the more experienced divers remember what it was like to be brand new, everyone started and experienced it in a different way. Some people are fish from the moment they start diving, some take days to finally be comfortable with clearing a mask flood. Regardless, if you love the ocean you keep diving, you keep experiencing, you keep learning, and there are so many amazing people here to learn from and teach.
The saying around the shop is ‘scuba diving is life, everything else is a surface interval.’ I agree, diving is life, it’s my passion, but with the community that surrounds me at The Diving Locker, those surface intervals are pretty darn awesome!