Check out this article that our own Mark McGowan wrote following Ian and Don Burrage’s completion of their advanced open water course.

So few divers have the privilege of a close relationship with a scuba dai-sensei. Not the case for Diver Don and Diver Ian. Under the mentorship of dai-sensei Paul, these two divers have blossomed like the spring lotus. In this very life they have achieved the rating of Advanced Open Water Divers. Their achievements can be attributed to the influence sensei Paul, a selfless master of the devotion of diving.

The lotus analogy is appropriate, especially for Diver Don, who the dai-sensei Paul adoringly refers to as “the plow.” His mentor has been heard to say Diver Don “looks like he is working the earth on every dive.” Diver Don aspires to become a senpai by practicing the total dive philosophy promoted by sensei Paul. The scuba mat is the most obvious example. More recently Diver Don has used a kit configuration that mirrors that of the dai-sensei, including the pure white cylinders of air the dai-sensei uses to rejoice beneath the waves.

As a side bar, it seems Diver Don and Diver Ian do not rejoice to the same degree as dai-sensei Paul as they often fail to consume the optimum amount of air necessary to give the fullest praise to Neptune.

Diver Ian is a favourite pupil of the dai-sensei for Diver Ian is able to incorporate multiple philosophies embraced by sensei Paul. Diver Ian has demonstrated his devotion to the Shaolin  way. “Quickly as you can, snatch the Atomic mask from Diver Don’s kit bag . . . when you can take the Atomic mask from the kit bag, it will be time for Diver Don to use your Rona mask.” Diver Ian is some quick!

Sensei Paul has encouraged Diver Ian’s skills to a point were Diver Ian is able to practice scuba meditation while absolutely still and perfectly neutral in the water column. Diver Don has taken to attempting to mimic Diver Ian. He has gone as far purchasing a mask identical to Diver Ian’s new Atomic upgrade. Apparently Diver Don is of the opinion that the favourite protege, Diver Ian’s, superior hovers are relative exclusively to his mask.

Mask on . . . mask off! Diver Don is an ardent believer off mask off. So comfortable has dai-sensei Paul made him, Diver Don is willing to explore the seas in the ways of old. The ways long before the scuba mask was invented. His technique is brilliant. Diver Don does not forget there may be more timid divers near by. When they might be intimidated by mask off he practices an accent technique of mask on. The technique was founded well before “Sea Drops,” today it is referred to as a totally fogged mask.

Together dai-sensei Paul, Diver Don and Diver Ian have explored the deep. They have become good buddies and have dived throughout the year since they were certified. They epitomise what diving is about, hitting the water with buddies and having some laughs. How many caring diver buddies would ensure that the inside of your drysuit is properly rinsed. This is their relationship.

Congrats Diver Don and Diver Ian on earning your AOW certifications. Oh crap! Too bad for you dai-sensei Paul. You cannot hold your AOW cert over their heads anymore. I guess you are back to plain old caring Diver Paul.

Thanks all for letting me help you to achieve your goals.

Mark McGowan