It wasn’t the usual 21st birthday present, but it was exactly what Liz Tribe wanted – scuba lessons.
“My dad was a commercial diver and he would tell me stories. I’d been asking him ever since I was a kid to learn to dive,” said Tribe, the marketing and Internet manager at Westview Ford.
Less than a year later, Tribe was also a scuba instructor, and she is extremely passionate about teaching.
“It is really important to me that I provide my students with quality training that is thorough but also teaches them to be safe and competent divers.”
She is certified to teach for three different agencies but works with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and Global Underwater Explorers (GUE).
“I received my instructor rating for GUE in 2015 after a two-year process. They are recognized for having the most thorough and rigorous training standards in the world, so when I was selected to become an instructor for them it was pretty exciting.”
There are only 140 GUE instructors in the world, and Tribe is one of the very few females. Recently, she learned she had been selected to teach instructors how to be GUE instructors.
“There’s only 16 of those in the world currently,” she notes.
Tribe has taught all over Vancouver Island, Alberta, the Lower Mainland, Washington State, Halifax and “a little bit in Florida.”
When asked what the best thing is about diving, she replies, “I can only pick one?”
Tribe’s passion is combining diving and history.
“I love shipwrecks – I’m all about the twisted metal. I appreciate the history and I like the structure and the challenge it presents.
“My absolute dream would be to go to the Baltic Sea and dive Mars the Magnificent, a 16th century ship that sunk during one of the civil wars over there.”
With over 3,000 dives to her credit, Tribe has a loyal following of over 300 students on Vancouver Island. One of her favourite local dives is Norris Rocks near Hornby Island, where sea lions cavort and interact with divers.
She notes local waters contain some of the most diverse marine life in the world.
“Jacques Cousteau rated it #2 in the world after the Red Sea. He called the Pacific Northwest his Emerald Ocean.”
When not enjoying underwater adventures, Tribe is active on land. “I love to ski and go mountain biking in the summer. I recently started going to kickboxing classes and I really enjoy that.”
Active in the community, Tribe has competed in Snow to Surf, and helps her mom organize the annual MOMAR in Cumberland.
This year she added fly fishing to her list of interests.
“My dad used to fly fish. My dad and I are very close,” says Tribe, who has a photo on her fridge of her father in his “super old fishbowl mask, and super old, bright red neoprene dry suit.”
Tribe’s father now lives in New York and no longer dives, but she said she would love to go somewhere tropical and dive with him. “That would be very, very neat…just the coolest thing.”
There’s much more information and videos at liztribediving.ca