Monica Winn • Instructor
Monica tells her own story best:
“I started as a bubble watcher. I was always that friend that tagged along. It didn’t take long for me to realize how jealous I was listening to other divers share their underwater adventures.
“This led me to my first underwater experience doing a discovery dive in Weeki Wachee, with the mermaids, and eventually my open water certification just a few weeks later in South Carolina.”
Since then, Monica has logged more than 500 dives in many different parts of the world.
“The majority of my diving has been in the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, St. John, Isla Mujeres, Roatan and Utila. If I had to pick my favorite dives, I would say:
- “The cenotes in Tulum, Mexico, are must-see. The stalactites and stalagmites are such an amazing natural feature.
- “A manta ray dive in Hawaii.
- “Diving the island of Utila, Honduras. This will always have a piece of my heart.
“One of these days I’ll make it to the coral triangle in the Pacific Ocean and check-off a couple of bucket list destinations like Indonesia, American Samoa, Palau and Great Barrier Reef.”
Monica says her favorite dive activities include shark dives and going on scavenger hunts for elusive aquatic life such as flamingo tongues, Pederson cleaner shrimp, scorpion fish and flounder. She says night dives are fun, too, as the bioluminescence looks so magical underwater.
Becoming an Instructor
Monica became an instructor in 2020. She has taught or assisted with several classes and certified a number of students. Among her instructor ratings:
- NASE and SDI Open Water Instructor
- PADI Divemaster
- Snorkeling Instructor
- Computer Diver Instructor
- Boat Diving Instructor
- Equipment Specialist Instructor
- Computer Nitrox Instructor
- Research Diving Instructor
- Search and Recovery Instructor
- Shore and Beach Diving Instructor
- Marine Ecosystems Awareness Instructor
- Underwater Navigation Instructor
- Night-Limited Visibility Diving Instructor
- Advanced Buoyancy Instructor
Additionally, Monica holds certifications in:
- Workplace CPR/AED
- Oxygen Administration
- Adult and Child Emergency Care
- VIP Tank Inspector
What does Monica like most about being an instructor?
“I love seeing students continuously overcome the physical and mental challenges that come with scuba diving. Once they are equipped with the right skills and knowledge, our students become confident divers that allow them to enjoy their dives and the beauty the underwater world has to offer.”
Monica and Aquatic Ventures
Monica has worked at Aquatic Ventures for more than two years. She both works in the store and teaches classes. About the experience, she says:
“I love working with such a diverse group of individuals. We all have different strong points that contribute to a dynamic dream team. The owner of the company truly goes above and beyond to make sure our squad is fully equipped and knowledgeable so to provide customers and students with excellent service.”
Monica also tells us:
“My love for the outdoors and respect for nature eventually led me to my Environmental Science and Marine Biology B.S. degree at Florida International University. In addition to working with Aquatic Ventures, I also work for Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation monitoring baby sea turtle hatchlings. So basically, anywhere that surrounds me with nature and animals, I’ll be in my happy place. Outside of diving, you can find me often kayaking, hiking, and camping every opportunity I get.”