Dive Instructor in: British Virgin Islands

This is a Life&Dive ProDiver interview. These interviews are given to dive instructors from all around the world to provide you with an idea of their lives, job situations and opinions about the diving industry.
The interviews do not intend to insult employers or damage the reputation of their dive centres. They merely try to provide an honest picture about the working conditions in diving destinations all around the world in order to provide young and aspiring professionals with a helpful overview.

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Name:
Marcus
Age:
32
Nationality:
United States of America
Languages:
English / Nederlands 
Number of Dives:
‘1,400
Where:
British Virgin Islands
Contract:
 Yearly Contract
Position
Instructor
Salary Range / US$:
$1000 – $1750 per month
Board / Accommodation:
shore based job NO / Liveaboard YES
Duty and free time:
6 days a week, 1 day off a week, vacation time available during late summer

Type of operation:
Dive centre & Liveaboard
Size of operation:
20
Location of operation:
Independent dive centers
Job characteristics and/or special duties:
 Teaching, Guiding divers equipment maintenance, store sales, captaining and boat crew duties
Main courses trained:
Guiding Divers and DSD mainly occasional Open water and AOW courses
Mode of Operation:
All boat diving
average # dives per day:
1.5

Medical care situation:
Social Security provides minimal health care, health care standards ok at clinics, low at hospital
Visa Runs:
Yearly Work Permits need to be sponsored by employers 
Administrative duties:
none
Lifestyle:
Need to provide your own hosing and transportation

wreck2
ocean

Your opinion:

The BVI is quite an amazing place to live and work and can yield some outstanding and challenging dives if your willing to explore a little.  By no means is this considered a top diving destination in the Caribbean so large scale dive operations are usually only two maybe three boats strong and dive groups visiting the island rarely number more then 20. What you will find working here is a relaxed atmosphere in most dive shops with guests looking for beginner level dives. All diving is done by boat and most of it involves using mooring systems that mark all the reefs and wrecks. Weather conditions will yield rough seas and currents on some sites on a daily basis but you will always be able to find a divable site somewhere. Most sites bottom out around 20m with nothing over 30m and visibility can range from as low as 10m but high to 35m in the right location and time of the year.

Living on the island is comfortable with all the items you will need to get by. Things here are more expensive then elsewhere (rent, food, fuel) but with a roommate you can usually save some money if your not big in to the bar scene. Plenty of restaurants and bars spread out around the island but you will want to have your own mode of transportation if you plan to get out as public transport and walking dont always get you where you want to go. Hitchhiking is popular but do it at your own risk. Local attitude can be warm and welcoming to hostile and snobby depending on which people you meet, expect a little of each.

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