Location: Sommer's Beach, Tortola
Just as we sat down for breakfast in Muskmelon Bay Simon began telling us that divers were on their way and it was time to get our gear ready. By this time, we have become well acquainted with this morning routine. We finished breakfast, donned cylinders, and within minutes, the first group was in the water. It was a classic day in the life of an AQ divemaster in training. As the second group was coming out of the water, chefs set out lunch, a tank run was almost ready and a few DMTs finished their maps. We all took a well-deserved break for lunch and then prepped for the afternoon dives. But these next breaths underwater were different. Not so much so for us, but rather for the open water students we were with. These were their last dives as non-certified divers. Only two tanks of air stood between them and the open ocean. They descended on the first tank, completed their skills and resurfaced. After a tank swap that would have made a NASCAR pit crew proud, they were back in the water for a quick fun dive. They surfaced smiling from ear to ear, with proud DMTs in tow. After spending many hours underwater watching these shipmates grow from taking their first breaths underwater, to freshly minted open water divers, it was almost as exciting for us as it was for them. We all were in their position not too long ago, and coming full circle from student to near- PADI professional filled us all with even more joy.