The early part of next month will mark my 18th year of teaching diving. I got started late and didn’t become an instructor until I was 39 years old. Like most people who love being in or around the water, I had always wanted to get certified but never got around to it.There was my job, my wife, my kids and a plethora of other things that occupied my time. My wife was never very enthusiastic about water sports and learning to dive was on the back burner. Then one year we decided to vacation on the island of Bonaire. For those of you who have never heard of this tiny island off the coast of Venezuela, it is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and shore diving. After seeing the beautiful fish and the other worldly creatures that inhabited the shallow reefs we both decided to get certified. As soon as I took my first breath of air underwater in the pool I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Once I was certified if I wasn’t diving I was reading about diving. I became a dive instructor two years after I was certified. A year after that two friends and I opened Coral Reef Dive Shop. At first I continued with my regular job and taught and dove nights and weekends. Eventually I quit my job and began working in the shop full time. It’s a lot of work and takes up all my time particularly in the summer months but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love what I do and I never feel like I’m going to a job. After numerous trips diving in some of the most beautiful spots in the world and well over 2500 dives under my belt I still feel like a kid in the candy store on every dive. I still love to talk about diving, read about diving and teach diving. Learning to dive changed my life and has rewarded me in too many to mention here.