Ever since I retired from the fire department two years ago, I have been doing little jobs to make extra cash. My latest is my dream job: I am an underwater tour guide/ SCUBA trip coordinator. Let me tell you how a weekend working is for me:

I had to spend the weekend working in south Florida. I made the two hour drive down to West Palm Beach, and spent the day SCUBA diving on the reefs there. My job is to ensure that all of the divers in my charge are taken care of and safe. The biggest issue is dealing with divers who have equipment issues or have forgotten stuff that they needed. I also SCUBA with them, and deal with any issues that come up. Smooth as silk, usually. Other than a broken fin strap and a diver with no anti-fog for his mask, the day looked a lot like this:

Some of the divers on this trip only dove Saturday, some only Sunday, and others did both. For the divers who did both, I had to arrange to get their tanks refilled, then we had dinner at the Outback and headed to South Beach. We spent the night at the Miami Airport Hilton. I am an Honors member, so they fed me free breakfast. Since I never get seasick, I helped myself to a Mexican Omelet with Jalapeno peppers and salsa, some bacon, potatoes, and topped it off with coffee and orange juice.

We headed out to do some diving, and the water conditions were simply perfect. There were no waves, and from the surface, we could see the bottom, 70 feet below us. My partner, Mike, and I took 7 divers out for a sightseeing tour of a wreck. I missed most of the first dive, because it was a dive on a wreck in a pretty brisk current, and a diver got blown off the site about 4 minutes into the dive, so I had to go get her and tow her back to the boat. By the time I got back with her, I didn’t have enough breathing gas left to finish the dive. Fighting a current while towing a diver is pretty tiring, especially since I had to do it at a depth of 30 feet in order to avoid a school of jellyfish that were drifting by.

My partner had to keep up with the group by himself for the remainder of the dive.

Here is a video of the second dive of the day, a reef that is 40 feet under water:

This job doesn’t pay much, as I only made $40 in profit for two days’ work after paying for fuel, equipment, hotel, meals, and everything else, but I have my pension, and you can’t beat the working conditions.

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SiGraybeard · October 29, 2013 at 2:17 am

There was a time in my life I would have jumped at a job like that, but I don't even have gear these days.

Still, $40 net for two days is a labor of love, isn't it?

TOTWTYTR · October 29, 2013 at 2:17 am

So you essentially to go diving for two days and had $40.00 in your pocket?

Makes my post retirement stuff look like work.

If only I could paid for shooting… sigh.

Divemedic · October 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I could have netted more by staying at a Best Western instead of a Hilton, and eating at McDonald's instead of the Outback.

Considering that I "worked" for about 10 hours and netted $40, I suppose I could have made more working at Subway, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.

The way I look at it, is that I got paid to go on vacation.

TOTWTYTR · October 29, 2013 at 8:39 pm

It's really only work if you HAVE to do it. What you did was make money having fun.

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