Teresa Moh - Communications Officer for The Reef-World Foundation, (Green Fins)
Teresa is a dive pro who also has years of experience working in the design and creative fields. Ever since the first time she went diving, she has been hooked on blowing bubbles underwater Deciding to leave her corporate job, she went on to pursue a career as a dive instructor. After witnessing the beauty and destruction underwater first-hand, she knew she had to do something. She now works as the Communications Officer for The Reef-World Foundation, the international coordinator of Green Fins.
Personal IG page:
When did you start diving?
In 2013, in Malaysia where I am from.
What made you want to become a diver/ dive pro?
I’ve always loved the water, and I remember as a kid, I was intrigued by a person that could stay underwater for such a long time while I could only hold my breath for 5 seconds. Then I saw the tank behind… When I started earning money and had annual leaves to clear, I knew what I had to do. The very first dive changed my life. It felt like I was in a BBC documentary and wondered why it had taken me so long to do it! I became an instructor because I wanted to share my passion for the ocean with as many people as I could, showing them the underwater beauty in the hope that they, too, would fall in love with the ocean and be motivated to protect this precious ecosystem.
What is your best/most memorable dive?
Too many! But if I have to pick one, it would be the one where one of my divers and I helped untangle fishing lines from a manta. We were on the surface, waiting for the boat to pick us up and while waiting, we popped our heads underwater again to watch the mantas below us. One manta caught our eye when we saw fishing lines trailing behind. The manta seemed to be “waiting” for us below, so we descended and tried to approach slowly. The whole time he (it was a male) was flapping gently, allowing us to cut the lines off him and when the lines were cut, he swam away and came back around as if to say “thank you”. It was sad to see the manta tangled in fishing lines, but so incredible to experience their intelligence first-hand and be able to help.
Most gratifying course you ever taught?
I taught a couple in their 60s whose son did his open water course with me just a few months before and enjoyed it so much that he recommended to his parents to do their open water course too! They were brilliant students, and I got to guide them in the amazing Sipadan after they graduated. Their expressions of everything were just so gratifying. They enjoyed every bit of it underwater and were excited by all the marine life. I just love seeing students and guests enjoying their time underwater. Everything else besides the present moment doesn’t matter.
5 qualities of a great dive pro?
Attentive and adaptive - spotting problems and “fixing” them quickly have got to be the superpowers of dive pros!
Follows environmental best practices for diving
Passionate about the ocean
Talks a lot - whether in teaching, briefing or debriefing. They’ll push you to ask questions!
Positive attitude - a big smile in any situation is always great
Do you think women are different divers than men and why?
Haha! This is a tricky one! While not trying to stereotype, from my personal experience, women tend to listen and follow instructions/briefings better. Both observe very differently, not one better than the other, just different. Sometimes it feels that they are on a separate dive! Most female divers last longer on their air too, but that could be the same for both with practice.
One piece of advice for someone starting diving.
Keep an open mind on every dive and keep learning to be a better diver. There’s always something to add to your knowledge and skills, from learning about the environment or perfecting your buoyancy.