How to Work as a Dive Guide and Travel the World:
An Interview with Prue and Becks from Straight On DetourPrue and Becks, a couple from Australia and England have been on the road, making ends meet for over a decade. Working as dive professionals in Tanzania, Indonesia, Thailand and Australia they’ve managed to stay afloat (just!) whilst remaining physically submerged, a dream of theirs since their teens. The girls passions (besides trying to name every fish underwater) are reaching remote tribes, climbing volcanoes and reaching far-flung destinations by themselves. On their diving wage alone, they’ve hitch-hiked through Tibet’s backdoor, camped beside an angry, gurgling volcano and swam with killer whales in the Banda sea. As you can tell the underwater world quickly enveloped these two and gave them a lifestyle that would keep them exploring. They’re honest, practical and adventurous, you can follow their lifestyle on their website Straight On Detour or on Facebook. Sounds incredible! So tell me a bit more what it's like to be a dive guide and how you made it happen? We’re dive guides, we attach ourselves to a dive centre and get paid a daily wage. Put simply the job of a dive guide is to take a group of people underwater, show them all that we can, keep them safe and keep a smile on their face throughout the day. Depending on the company we could be taking day trips out to the reef from the mainland, taking a boat (live-aboard) out for 4 days or crossing an entire ocean on a three-week diving expedition, either way we’re spending our days around the ocean, a place Becks and I are both drawn to. We both got into diving in different parts of the world but both for the same reason, we loved the ocean. From our first dives it was easy to imagine a life showing people a new world and living in an endless summer so it didn’t take us long to start the progression upwards though the dive course programs. Using internships helped keep the course costs low and insured maximum hands on experience both which proved critical elements in the beginning.
Pin Me! 🙂What do you like the best about your work as a dive guide? As cliché as it may sound, it’s true. Every time you dip below the surface, you never know what you are going to find. Diving is spontaneous, ever-changing and constantly keeps you on your toes. I could take a group of divers to a dive site in the morning and have 40m+ gorgeous visibility, a school of snapper and a turtle and return in the afternoon to have strong currents, 15m visibility and 4 manta rays gliding above you the entire dive. Whether it’s the currents, the marine life, the visibility or the personalities of your guests, their is always something changing and something to learn about. But nothings perfect right? Are there any downsides to working as a dive guide? Of course there is. Working in the dive industry is certainly not all cocktails and sunsets.
- Spending up to 5 hours under water every day means getting cold. A tropical 29 degree Celsius doesn’t feel that warm for very long.
- Grumpy guests is something you cannot avoid in any job, but as a dive guide you might be spending the next three weeks with them sharing a 30m long boat.
- Divers often come with high expectations… and sometimes no matter what the conditions are or which animals came to play that day, it doesn’t live up to them. It’s hard not to take it personally especially when you feel such a strong attachment to the area.
- Saving money is a tough gig when you get paid $30 a day… even for a 12 hour+ day