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Congratulations to North Liberty, Iowa Instructor Trainer and Trip Leader Joe Fuller, on completing his 1,000 dive today in Curacao!
Joe started diving in 2008 with his wife (and fellow instructor) Angie and their friends Scott and Sue in Aruba. The four of them have since traveled to Bonaire and were together this week on the Diventures trip to Curacao, marking all of the ABC islands together!
Check out this interview with Joe as he reflects on his 15 years of diving.
What got you interested in diving?
I would say two moments. We did a cruise for our honeymoon and ended up spending most of our time snorkeling on our shore excursions. At the time I was not a great snorkeler. I became a better snorkeler several years later after taking my Open Water Diver class. The second moment was our first trip to Aruba with our friends. Our good friends Scott and Sue are certified but had not been diving in a while. When we talked to the dive shop, they mentioned we could do a try scuba experience alongside our friends doing a refresher. So we signed up, did some skills in the pool and then dived in the open water with a dive pro. It was not the best experience but now it makes for a great story when we are teaching.
What year were you certified?
My wife and I were certified in the fall of 2008, took our first trip to Cozumel in November 2008, came back and bought our first total dive system (TDS).
When did you set your eyes on becoming an instructor?
Probably shortly after becoming a divemaster, there was a need to have more instructors at the local dive shop so we stepped up. Pretty much every year since I started diving I have worked on that next certification.
What are some of your favorite highlights from your 1,000 dives?
The biggest highlight of my 1000 dive was the group that I was with! My dive buddy and wife, Angie, was on that dive, several of our good friends and the couple that got us into diving.
What’s your go-to gear for a diving TDS?
Right now I have a Scuba Pro Hydros Pro, Scuba Pro MK17 1st stage, G260 second stage, G2 console computer and the Garmin Descent wrist computer. However, we just bought the new Diventures travel BC and will probably buy an Atomic T3 titanium regulator to help reduce the weight of our TDS for travel.
What’s still on your bucket list?
There are interesting things to see just about anywhere…Maldives are still on my bucket list!
You are a Diventures Trip Leader. What upcoming trips do you have room for, and who is the co-leader?
I am co-leading a trip to Cozumel June 10-17 with Curt Mattson from Springfield, MO. This is going to be an awesome trip to kick off summer vacation. The resort is on the far south end of the island which means we will have short boat rides to some of the best dive sites in the world. The resort also has several restaurants and plenty of other activities for divers and non-divers, like sea kayaks and hobie cats.
How can people get more information about those trips?
The best place to find information about upcoming trips is on the travel page on our website. However, if you don’t see something that fits your schedule or want a different location, we do a lot of private trips, just reach out to me.
You are also an Instructor Trainer. Can you tell me about the path someone can take to become an instructor someday?
The best path to becoming an instructor is to get out there and dive! Also, sign up for specialties that interest you. The SSI Diver Diamond works for all levels of diving. SSI Diver Diamond: Knowledge, Skills, Equipment and Experience; a good DivePro or an aspiring DivePro is always working on these four elements of the SSI Diver Diamond.
Reach out to [email protected] to find your custom path forward!