Thank you for scheduling this past weekend’s PFI class here in our own chilly northern California ocean. Having been an avid abalone diver and marine archaeologist for the past 30 years, my expectations for this class were quite high but also intimidated after hearing about the rigid safety and rescue requirements.
Your three instructors were excellent and this class could not have been any better. Shell Eisenberg, Chris Bustad and Andrew Miramontes were excellent presenters, knew their material, had great patience with the class clowns but kept the agenda moving forward, and were completely hands on in the pool sessions. They had relaxed and positive attitudes that made the classroom sessions most enjoyable. All three were a real pleasure to spend 4 days with.
They also dealt with three crappy days of windy, dark, choppy Monterey Bay conditions and each day went out and assembled their rigging and took us through two hours of very strictly enforced immersion dive procedures. Do something incorrectly and it was pointed out and you repeated. Safety was key and for those students whose only goal was bragging rights back home about 4 minute breath holds and 20-30 meter dives, it was like being sent to the principal’s office. The instructors very clearly communicated that this class had very strict and specific performance requirements and if not met, you wouldn’t pass. Same time, they couldn’t have been nicer or more positive.
For me, my satisfaction was having made all my scheduled dives to the required depths with the kick cycles and timing. But even more rewarding & challenging were the skills learned about rescue and revival techniques that have no room for sloppiness.
Let me especially compliment Chris Bustad for his leadership with me this weekend. Chris was extremely articulate & had a great attitude, clearly explained our required exercises in the ocean, and was most patient with mask leaks, calf cramps, and ear pain. After successfully completing my final 25 meter dive on the last day, I was ready to join the others already on the boat. Nope, Chris made sure we all completed our rescue requirements and tolerated being stabilized on his back with wind waves crashing on his face. My rushed last rescue exercise pushed his patience but we kept going until it was correct despite all the other divers already being out of the water. I will always appreciate that gesture and his patience out there.
Thanks again for a great experience. Much appreciated!