Aquatic adventures abound for dive instructor
TWEED Heads dive instructor Tegan Crandall has always been a water person and for the past few years it has taken her on all sorts of adventures across the globe.
Having done stints at locations like Great Keppel Island, Papua New Guinea and Hamilton Island she is loving life back in Australia teaching the skill she loves.
Watching her clients' progress gives her great joy, as she educates them about the ocean environment.
"I am very environmentally conscious, so to educate people is a great thing for me to be able to do," she said.
Ms Crandall has instructed hundreds of people during her career and says all ages enjoyed the pastime.
"I get a lot of girls in their sixties and seventies who want to learn to dive and have left it a bit later but that is awesome," she said.
'It is really cool watching people slowly relax and progress along the way."
She says learning to dive has changed the lives and lifestyles of so many of her clients.
"I always tell them it is the best thing they will ever do but they don't fully grasp how good it is until they have done it," she said.
Snorkelling and surfing from an early age, the 28-year-old often watched friends teaching people how to dive and decided she needed to give it a go.
"Yeah a few friends of mine were instructors so I did a few trial dives and went from there," she explained.
"About three years ago I googled instructor training and Kirra Dive down here at the Tweed came up."
Cook Island just off Fingal on the Tweed Coast is a regular haunt for Ms Crandall and the rest of the team at Kirra Dive.
They are not the only ones who call the island home though, according to Ms Crandall there is a huge range of species to be seen.
"We regularly see grey nurse sharks, stingrays and reef sharks along with dozens of other fish species and turtles," she said.
When some people first come to begin lessons they often exhibit different levels of anxiety about their first dive, something Ms Crandall says is almost always overcome after a couple of outings.
"I tell them if they drive up the M1 regularly it is more dangerous than diving," she admitted.
She recalls one incident while diving overseas.
"We went to this island specifically to feed sharks and Rudy had a tiger shark come up behind him and bite his air tank," she said.
"He didn't realise until someone told him after the dive."
When asked how hard it was to become an accredited instructor, Ms Crandall said it was enjoyable.
"The training and study was not easy but when you love something it's not hard to get through it," she said.
Kirra Dive runs regular classes at 1/133 Wharf St, Tweed Heads. Call on 07 5536 6622.
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