Feeling Special?

An quick interview with Roal Van Der Zee.


PT – Hi Roel van der Zee

PT – When did you start Diving?

RZ – October 2013

PT Why did you start Diving?

RZ – In December 2012 I went to Perth, Australia. I googled “things to do in Perth”. One of the things to do was taking a scuba diving course. I was really interested and booked the PADI open water course. A few days before the course started, there was a shark attack, and all of the students cancelled the course. I was the only participant so the course was cancelled.

I decided to go  snorkeling at Rottnest Island, and encountered a massive short tail stingray.


I enjoyed that so much, I was even more excited about taking my PADI scuba dive course. Since I really liked Australia, I decided to come back in 2013 for a 3 month holiday. Perth, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney.


I thought: what better place to learn to scuba dive than in Cairns at the Great Barrier Reef. So I enrolled for the PADI open water course with Pro Dive Cairns. And I loved every minute of it, and realized immediately this was my passion. And many thanks to my ever patient open water instructor: Jason Brown.


PT – What do you like most about Diving?

RZ – Seeing nice corals and big aquatic life: sharks, turtles, manta’s, octopus

PT – What do you hate about Diving?

RZ – In some places, the water is quite cold and the viz is bad.


PT -How many PADI specialty classes have you taken?

RZ – 23 on student level


PT – Why did you take so many?

RZ – I like learning as much as possible about diving and I am a specialty card collector.


PT – Can you list them of the top of your head?


RZ – AWARE Coral Reef Conservation Specialty

AWARE Shark Conservation Diver





Emergency Oxygen Provider

Enriched Air Diver

Equipment Specialist


Multilevel Diver

Night Diver

PADI Advanced Rebreather Poseidon MkVI/Se7en Diver

PADI Rebreather Poseidon MkVI/Se7en Diver

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Project AWARE

Search & Recovery

Self-Reliant Diver


Tec Rec Trimix Blender

Underwater Navigator

Underwater Videographer



PT – Wow well done, I couldn’t name that many. What was your favourite specialty?


PT – Why is that you favourite specialty?

RZ – I just love diving with the Manta rays, I think they are the most beautiful and gracious animals on the planet

PT – When did you finish you IDC?

RZ – 8 November 2015 with Conny Jeppson @ Crystal Divers Bali


PT- How many Specialty Instructor ratings do you have?

RZ – 17 on instructor level. I plan to do more

PT – What was your best Specialty instructor training dive and best specialty?

RZ – Wreck Diver. I also did it on student level, and then I did not enter the wreck, because I was not comfortable with it. This time I did enter the wreck, and it was cool.

PT – What are you plans now?

RZ – Tec 40, and to return next year to Bali for the IDC staff instructor course. I first need to certify 25 divers somehow. I also want to do tec rebreather.

PT – Do you plan to take more specialties?

RZ – Absolutely: DPV, dry suit course,maybe cave diving, and of course distinctive specialties. I heard of a dive centre in Cyprus doing DSMB Deployment, Suunto Computer Assisted Diving, Hyperbaric Chamber. I plan to do these next year.


PT – Have you ever thought about writing your own specialty?

RZ – Of course:

clown fish specialty

nudibranch specialty

cuttlefish specialty

coral spawning specialty

crown-of-thorns sea star  removal specialty

underwater ruins specialty


PT – Thank you for your time and congratulations, I look forward to diving with you one day.

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