I would like to endorse the skills of Jason Pepper who was my instructor for the Advanced Open Water Certification, which I completed in the Red Sea, Sinai, Egypt, last week. Jason is an Instructor for New Horizons Dive Centre, Macclesfield. I first met him at the orientation meeting for our Red Sea trip and was impressed from the outset by his professionalism, his technical knowledge and his assured calmness. I felt very sure that I was going to be in safe and very capable hands. Jason explained to me exactly what I was going to do to achieve the certification and he never deviated from this plan so I was completely briefed and prepared. I’m not the most confident person in the world. I tend to over-think, over-worry-about and over-analyse situations I haven’t encountered before and I can’t therefore be the easiest student to deal with (ironically, as I am a teacher myself) but he never betrayed the slightest flicker of irritation.

I chose the Night Dive, the Drift Dive and the Peak Buoyancy Dive as my three specialities and in each of these, along with the mandatory Navigation and Deep Dives, Jason provided clear, logical and expert instruction which he combined with a warm but professional approach. It was this winning combination of technical and communication expertise that enabled me to relax, learn and, ultimately, demonstrate the requisite skills. Jason and I discussed the differences between instructing and teaching and I truly believe that he’s an excellent teacher, which means that I learnt the skills properly and thoroughly. I can’t recommend him highly enough. I would also like to thank him. I’m bursting with pride that I achieved this level of scuba diving certification and it’s in no small part due to him.