From snorkeling to certified dive star. Jacob saves own pennies to complete dive certificate on island
The VOMO family are always impressed by the maturity of our young guests on island. This was certainly the case with our recent guest, 11 year old Jacob Marriott. Our dive team was amazed by Jacob’s dedication and natural smarts. After just a few days he successfully attained his PADI Junior Open Water Dive Certificate. Go Jacob! (Inspired? Read more about our Fiji Diving courses!)
Jacob tells us he saved his own money to do the course by selling old toys and bits and pieces and his mum and dad generously made up the difference as a birthday present.
Being advocates for natural play we simply loved the fact Jacob preferred to discover the underwater world over the typical Xbox/Playstation/technical gadget present for his birthday.
Since Jacob is now a bit of a celebrity on island we asked if we could interview him. He kindly accepted. Here are snippets verbatim below. When reading his responses do keep in mind this is an 11-year-old. Impressive in every way!
Q. Jacob what is the name of the dive course you did?
A. PADI Junior Open Water Diver – same as open water diver but under for 13 years
Q. Did you do any study prior to arriving at VOMO?
A. Yes I completed the theory course online via the PADI LIBRARY APP – I had to do knowledge reviews for each section completed It was very complex to take in the information, but the final exam was ok. It took me 3 days in the school holidays but you can take as long as you like.
Q. Did the online course give you an idea of what it was going to be like?
A. In January I did Discover Scuba Dive at VOMO and that gave me a really good introduction to diving.
We did that in the ocean, not the pool and we dived 7 or 8 metres.
Q. How long did the course take at Vomo to complete?
A. I started diving on the Monday and by Thursday I became certified. Over that period we did 9 dives.
Q. How many sites did you dive?
A. We dived 4 different sites around VOMO.
Q. Is it different at each site – what did you see?
A. We saw a big puffer fish that was quite long and really wide. We saw amazing colourful coral too. My favourite is the colour changing coral. It’s a soft coral and its brown or green coral and when you touch it, it goes white. There was another that had feelers on it and when you touched it, the feelers retracted which was so cool.
Q. What’s the next diving you would do?
A. I’d like to do Advanced Open Water Diver and once you do that, you can do all the speciality courses.I’d like to do the Enriched Air Nitrox dive course. There is also re-breather diver which doesn’t make any bubbles – used in stealth operations – and I’d love to do that. There’s so many you can do, such as Wreck diver, night diver, drift diver, under water photography and videography and all sorts of other courses.
Q. You used to snorkel and now you dive. Is there much difference?
A. Yes absolutely. Since I became a diver, when I’ve been snorkelling and I see something on the bottom of the ocean, I want to dive down to take a closer look at it. That’s the advantage of diving. You can go right down to the sea bed and see everything much closer. Diving is so different to snorkelling and there’s so much more to see as a diver – its completely different.
Q. What did you love about diving at VOMO?
A. The water is warm and the vision is so good, the coral and the dive sites are really interesting and the people are so friendly and nice to you. I had Kini as my instructor and he was amazing.
Vinaka Jacob! You were a pleasure to teach. And we know your story will encourage other young divers to dive right in to the beautiful world under our seas. See more on our diving page