Gianluca Lamberti is a PADI Platinum Course Director, and one of the few PADI Course Directors in the world who is also a full-time Marine Biologist.
From 2000 to present, he has been a full-time scuba diving teacher and has worked as a PADI Diving Instructor in 18 different diving centres worldwide including Mexico, Egypt, Kenya, Maldives, Australia, Thailand, China, Japan, Costa Rica, Mozambique, South Africa, and Haiti.
For PADI, he is the author of 'Coral Watch Distinctive Specialty'. In 2008-2009, he also worked as environmental consultant for several environmental consultancy firms and for Fisheries Administration in Cambodia carrying out environmental impact assessments and baseline surveys of coastal and marine areas of Cambodia. During those years he was coordinator for ‘Species Monitoring Extension Project’ in Cambodia, a monitoring program that was granted by Project AWARE. His current research interests are marine ecology and human impacts on coral reefs.
He has trained more than 1400 PADI students. He has a unique knowledge of the local dive sites in Bayahibe since he has logged more than 5000 dives in this area. He can teach in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian.
Gianluca is also the Webmaster and SEO expert for Coral Point Diving, when he is not diving, he specializes in creating multimedia sites and dynamic web programming. He has 10 years of programming and software development experience, and has developed nearly 50 websites and applications.
We are very happy to announce that in 2015, Gianluca was the first PADI Course Director that was able to run Haiti's first ever PADI Instructor Development Course. Hopefully, this will help the diving industry to develop more quickly in Haiti. Special thanks to James, Rolando, Fernando and Bill, who made this dive adventure happen.
by Gianluca Lamberti
Teaching SCUBA diving’... what an excellent combination of travel and beach life. Becoming an Instructor may not be what you specifically desired to do when you were a kid, but if you have always demonstrated a passion for travel and a tendency to enjoy beach life, I bet there is no better way to accomplish both goals by becoming a scuba instructor and hit the road...as did I.
My diving odyssey began in 2001. I had recently graduated with a marine biology degree and, as like the majority of my friends, I had lots of project ideas in my head with most of them involving traveling. At that time, I had already changed jobs six times in Brighton, England. Then finally, I received a phone call from one of my former University fellows, “Hey Luca ! I’ve got a job as a biologist and the good news is that they possibly may need another one. “Let’s go”.
Few weeks later, I was diving and enjoying one of the most inspiring environments a young biologist could desire: the Maldives. I quickly climbed there the ladder of the diving continuous education by becoming in a matter of few weeks an Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and finally I became a Divemaster. I also began to learn how to guide certified divers, inspire open water students, understand currents, predict tides, plan night dives and even spot mimetic frogfish.
Fortunately for me, this was just a beginnig of a long and adventurous journey filled with working opportunities. The same company that hired me in the Maldives also decided to hire me again for and they offered me a job in Egypt. I was a fully motivated Divemaster ready to work and dive in another top diving world destination.
After few months divemastering in Hurghada I went for one of my wisest, smartest and most succcesfull move of mylife and I signed up for my IDC. On St Patrick’s day in 2002 I officially became PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. I had 144 dive in my logbook, I had a scuba instructor certificate on the wall of my apartment and almost no money in my pocket. I was also able to speak and teach in English and Italian . That day, back to my apartment, after succesfully passing the Instructors examination, I started reading Open Water Manuals in German, French and Spanish hoping to be able to increase my teaching skills and my employability. I had to travel more and more. I suddenly felt that the Planet had opened his doors to me.
In 2002, now legendary PADI Emplyoment Board was already existing and already helping ambitious professional like myself to find a job anywhere in the world. It actually did a great job with me several times on the following years too. In just a couple of days since I started my research I found a new job. I went to work 9 full months In Kenya, where I did one of my most memorable dive to date: the same day I logged my dive number 500 I came across a friendly 30 feet long whale shark that decided to swim for 45 minute with me and my divers. It was the year 2003. I also became MSDT few days later. Then I was employed in one of the Resorts in the Dominican Republic where I managed to refine my French and my German. After the DR, I worked 5 months on the Pacific Coast of Costarica where I had a chance to enjoy several times one of my favourite creature: manta ray. I went back to Egypt, Marsa Alam, where I did some awesome dives with the ‘oceanic white tip’ shark, my number 4 on the bucket list of the ‘must see’ while scuba diving. It was the 2005, my number 5, swimming with a school of hammareads had been achieved years earlier in Maldives. In 2004 I worked for few weeks in Southafrica and after casually talking with a friend I was offerd a job in the neighbouring Mozambique where I was finally able to dive a couple of times with my number 3 on my bucket list: the tiger shark. I returned to Egypt 5 months later where I worked again in Sharm El Sheik, and then I went back to Caribbean and I worked 5 months in Mexico. In 2006 I flew from Cancun to the DR for my second time and after 6 months been working in Bayahibe I returned to Egypt, this time Sharm El Sheick, where I free lanced for 6 months. I was now able to speak 5 languages fluently and I was IDC Staff Instructor, over 2500 dives done and almost 1000 students certified. I was also diving 90 times per month and certifying 30 students per month. My back wasn’t the same as year before and I finally realized that it was time for me to have a break. A real one, a long one. It was the beginning of the 2008.
I took the first flight from El Cairo to China.I had a plan, I wanted to gocycling through Mongolia with a mountain bike. I bought in Bejing a Giant Bike and I drove all the way up to the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Bator. I felt like getting to a point, not sure where but I was getting somewhere I spent a couple of months there, in the mountains with my bike, my tent, and a compass. Roads are almost not existing in Mongolia out of the capital but since I was a dive Instructor I knew how to use a compass and I was always able to find my way.
At the end of the Summer I returned to China and cycled all the way down to Nanchong, Sichuan Province, where I run out of money. I applied for a job in a High School and I was accpeted to work there as a biology teacher. I was the only foreigner living in Nanchong at that time but I was feeling like accepted and highly respected by the local community. I honored my job until May 12th of 2008, when an historic earthquake shaked the whole nation and killed thousands of people around me, thousands… I was staying right in the epicenter, lucky enough to survive, I felt the need to getting back on the road again and move quickly to a safer place. My journey was also becoming something epic and I was featured in China Daily in one article describing the crazy ride of a diving instructor through classic China. I cycled all the way down to Vietnam. There one day I saw the sea again. I still can remebmer the first time it glimpsed at me, far between the waiving branches of a palm tree. I run into it, like a child, and submerged myself. It had been a long year away from the ocean. I was finding myself again where I had lost myself.
Arrived in Cambodia I run into the first dive shop I asked if they had any vacancies and on the next day I was teaching an Open Water Course. Unbelivable what scuba diving has done for my life. I had a kind of valuable degree with me. I was litterally able to find a job anywhere with the help of that little instructor card. In Cambodia I also got in touch with a marine conservation organization and in particular with Reef Check. The job was tough though. I still laugh if I think that I was contracted by the Governament to lead wild environmental assessments and expeditions throughout the Kingdom. I was diving into the unknown and mysterious rivers, populated by crocodiles, by the way. Sometimes I had to stick my whole arm into the bottom of a muddy river to collect sediments samples. Without forgetting that I was the country with the highest number of unexplosed mines in the world. The year was 2009. I had more than 3000 dives logged, more than 1000 certs, winkles and skratches all over my body but still an inspiring smile on my face. Ethusiasm cannot be deleted that easily…
After a long rainy season in Cambodia I decided that my tan wasn’t good enough after looking on internet again I found a job in the Maldives. I flew back from Bagkok. I was now back in the Country where I had fallen in love with scuba diving, after 8 years.
Before leaving Asia for a while I had a quick stop in Japan to visit friends that I made during my travels. I could financially sustain myself there by building websites and programming. I was also giving private lessons of French, Spanish and Italian to high school student, a skill that I had developed while teaching scuba diving again. After few month, in december 2009 I went back to the Dominican Republic and this time was for a long term stay. I had a plan again, to move to the next level, I had to become a Course Director and this time no excuses. I changed few dive centers, I became a dive manager at a few dive shops and 7 years later I am still here. I am now Platinum Course Director, owner of a dive business that I literally created from scratch.
Having a look at the past I can happily state that over the years I have been broke 20 times and I also had worked in 21 different dive centers in all 5 continents (the last one is always the good one), what other job could have given me that chance, realistically? Once you become instructor you will never stop. Scuba Diving has given me the ticket for a next-destinantion so many times that I continuosly felt like I was living on a rollercoaster. Believe it or not scuiba diving can change your life too, like it did with mine
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