Gaylene Gomez has gone from the Prairie Province of Saskatchewan, Canada to the Cayman Islands via many different countries. Like many other dive instructors before her, she did not start her career with a job under the waves – she began as a massage therapist. You never know where your path will take you; hers took her to Ocean Frontiers in East End.
Gaylene studied massage therapy in her home country, and once she had finished her course she had access to positions in spas on cruise ships, hotels and other international locations. She applied for an opening at the Little Cayman Beach Resort and was made an offer. It might have been a shock to the system – leaving a place as vast as Canada to live on an island that small, but she fell in love with Little Cayman immediately. It wasn’t long before she was learning to scuba dive, and what a training room she had! Bloody Bay Wall, the world-famous dive site, was on her back doorstep!
Two years into her three-year stay, she met her future husband – a dive instructor who joined the staff at the resort. By the time they left to get married and live in Costa Rica, Gaylene was a rescue diver. They both worked there for while, then went back to Canada, only to return to the Cayman Islands, but this time to Cayman Brac and the Brac Reef Beach Resort. On a vacation to Bonaire, Gaylene attained divemaster status, and she might have gone as far as instructor in the Brac if not for Hurricane Ivan. |
The storm changed all of their plans, and so she and her husband left the Island for Canada once again. This time they went to Canmore, only a short drive from Banff. Gaylene bought a spa which she ran for three years until she started getting itchy feet. She sold the spa and her house and the couple decided to travel. They visited the UK, Jordan, Israel, the Middle East and Egypt. It was in Egypt that Gaylene got her dive instructor certification, and she began working there in the scuba industry.
After Egypt they went south – visiting and working in Baja, Mexico and Bonaire. In March 2010 they felt the call of the Cayman Islands and after living on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, went for the third and largest island of Grand Cayman. Gaylene and her husband were fortunate enough to both get jobs at Ocean Frontiers, which suited them perfectly.
Gaylene is going to stick with diving for the time being. She particularly likes training new divers – seeing their faces as they dive for the first time never gets old. Maybe it’s the serenity she’s learned from so many years working in spas, but she is endlessly patient with clients – a big plus for any nervous amateurs. WH