PADI DIVING SOCIETY NEWS
Simon Chance talks about a diver who faced her fears to become a PADI Professional and reveals the latest readers to achieve MSD status.
Johanna Mcmanus was previously terrified of deep water, the result of a poorly conducted snorkelling trip over the Blue Hole, in Dahab.
Despite this, the allure of aquatic interactions was sufficiently strong that Johanna decided to challenge her fears in 2012, while on holiday in Turkey, setting, as her goal, the sight of turtles swimming freely. While there, her Instructor helped Johanna take things a step further, trying a full Discover Scuba programme; so successful was this experience that Johanna went on to complete further Discover programmes there, purging the legacy of her previous bad experience and setting a new course in her life.
Completing her PADI Open Water Diver certi- fication later the same year, Johanna then faced any remaining demons head-on, returning to Dahab for her Advanced Open Water Diver programme as something of a Christmas present to herself, and surrounding it with numerous - though still somewhat nervous - pleasure dives, rediscovering the abundant charm offered to divers at this famed Bedouin village.
From there, Johanna’s love for diving just grew and grew. A peek into padi.com revealed Bolton Area Divers just a few miles along the A58 from her UK home, so on her return to England it was back into the water for her Drysuit certification, which then opened further opportunities to dive year-round - and is described by Johanna herself as the day that changed her life. Spending every weekend in the water with PADI Instructors fostered an interest in helping others discover their own new experiences and, from joining the ranks of PADI Professionals as a Divemaster in September 2013, Johanna achieved full PADI Instructor certification in the Summer of 2014.
And Johanna has been using that certification to great effect; already a PADI “Elite 50” Instructor before 2015 began, she spent the early months working to achieve her IDC Staff Instructor credential, helping to support and encourage new PADI Instructor candidates in preparation for their Instructor Exams. Back in Egypt for the summer - “what other job”, asks Johanna, “can you do in your swimwear, in a natural aquarium, with new things to see all the time?” - Johanna is now working toward Master Instructor certification, with a Sidemount Instructor credential on the, er, side.
The story doesn’t stop there, though; although a long-term sufferer of Crohn’s disease, Johanna’s condition is now in remission, off medication without relapse, which she firmly believes is due to diving. Just how cool is that?
Simon R Chance,
manager, PADI Diving Society and PADI Retailer & Resort Associations