My experience with Pacific Divers was one of the highlights of my life thus far. To this day the back of my mind is plotting a plan to return to Rarotonga to live permanently.
I researched for a long time before applying to do my internship with Pacific Divers. The owner, Steve, helped me arrange my housing and one of the instructors was there to pick me up from the airport in the middle of the night. I was in a shared house with other interns right down the street from the shop.
I found the staff at Pacific Divers knowledgeable and highly professional. The shop was a relaxed environment but we still worked hard. Duties included helping in all aspects of the business. I worked with guests at the shop, on the boat, and in the ocean. I became very comfortable assisting divers, and could answer questions and solve problems with confidence. The shop was busy, tourists were mostly from New Zealand - they are friendly, kind, and a pleasure to take diving.
You are given plenty of opportunities to dive, and the diving is stunning! Visibility is off the charts, and there was rarely a dive that I did not encounter something to get excited about. The shop was very supportive of my interest in marine biology and environmental stewardship. I was able to learn the majority of the local species, any guests with questions about marine life got pointed in my direction. Steve is very active in environmental issues on the island. We took part in a reef clean-up and a lagoon education day while I was there.
The training was thorough and hands on. The instructors were helpful and supportive. They were flexible with their training schedule when I had personal issues that arose and had to take time out of the water. I have worked as a Divemaster since Pacific Divers and feel I gained plenty of experience to stand my ground in a competitive industry. I since have done more specialty training on the west coast of Canada and will be starting my Instructor Development Course this week!
Living on Rarotonga is a lifestyle most only get to dream about - a tropical paradise with friendly warm hearted people. I found the island extremely safe and full of culture and community. I knew my neighbours well and they were always bringing me fresh fruits. In my free time I would visit the market, go for hikes, or simply relax on the beach. Some interns joined sports teams or tried out kite boarding and other activities. Small restaurants and bars dot the island and pizza at Trader Jacks, dancing at Whatever Bar, and karaoke Wednesdays were some of our nightly activities.
I made amazing friends with staff and fellow interns. Most of which I am still in contact with almost 3 years later. Two of those friends have now gotten married (a wedding I most definitely did not miss)... so don’t be surprised if you find love on the island! Everyone is spread out across the globe and still very active divers. As a bonus, I now have dive connections all over the world!
I would highly recommend this internship to individuals with outgoing personalities, who are passionate team players and put their heart into everything they do. I have stayed in touch with Steve and Pacific Divers over the past few years, and will be returning very soon for a visit!