Thursday, December 16, 2010

Change of Plans

You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men. Well, the plan was to become a dive instructor and then move somewhere closer to Florida to be closer to our son and his wife in Florida and our new grandson. But that plan was hatched shortly before the financial collapse happened, and then dive resorts were cutting back everywhere. I did get my PADI Instructor's rating and started my own teaching and guiding business on Saipan. I decided with the economy the way it was, it wasn't the best time to try opening a new shop and trying to compete with the already established dive shops here. The one thing really lacking on Saipan though was a full time, English speaking instructor and guide. So I decided to buy several extra sets of gear and just work out of my house. Might as well minimize expenses where you can and maximize your profits.

I have been staying fairly busy doing this getting customers from all over the world. I get quite a few military who come to dive with me from Guam, Japan and Korea. I've also had quite a few of the temporary Immigration officers on Saipan learn to dive with me. And then I get couchsurfers from all over the world, who either come to learn to dive, or just to go diving with me. If you've never heard of it, it's a website where you can find people to stay with anywhere in the world. Just go to www.couchsurfing.com and check it out. It's free to sign up and a great way to meet new people from all over the world. I've had people stay with me from London, Korea, Israel, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Australia, China, Thailand and several other countries I've forgotten about by now. It's a great deal for the divers, or people wanting to learn to dive, they stay for free, and just pay for the diving or the lessons. I pick them up from the airport, take them around with us, give them an island tour and diving. I've made some awesome friends doing this, and hope to get many more in the coming year.

So if you check in on this blog from time to time and wonder whatever became of me, well I'm still on Saipan, just diving every day now. I've got several projects I'm working on all related to diving and tourism on Saipan. I've got a buddy who is looking to buy some dive boats and go into business with me here, that may happen the first half of 2011. Then I'm also looking at putting together an Axe Murderer's Guide to Saipan. My customers are always asking me what restaurants I'd recommend, what else I would recommend to do, and where certain things are located. So I think I'm going to put together a little booklet with my own favorite places in it. I'll have pictures, and even some maps to help you navigate your way around.

If you're considering coming to Saipan to dive, please look me up. You can contact me ahead of time at harryblalock@gmail.com or you are free to call me at 670-287-1295. If you'd like to see what some of my previous customers have had to say about their experiences here diving with me, go to www.axemurderertours.com and click on the More Testimonials button in the Happy Victim's section.