On the 8th of October, Sara and I started a life transition. From living in a cabin in the woods in the USA to a group of small islands in Indonesia.
For some people, transition or change is not an easy thing. For others, it is no big deal. In reality, it is a constant whether we accept it and go with the flow or if we dig in our heals in and resist. Either way, time moves on and with it comes change and transition big and small.
For us it has been a big change. We left what was our home and have moved on to a country where we don’t know the language (yet) and have gone from the dry high desert and Cascade mountains to tropical islands. From jobs we knew well and did well to leaning how to make a living from and master our love of scuba diving.
It sounds like a lot to put on our plate, but we have some assistance, back home we have the moral support of family and friends as well as a few people and family members who really helped make this possible.
Now that we are here, we also have the assistance of the owners and staff of Two Fish Divers who are not only guiding and teaching us, but are also there to share their experience with us as we move forward
Today is a Saturday evening and Sara and I have been here at the Two Fish 5 Star Dive Resort on Lembeh for six days. Before that we had spent two weeks or so at Two Fishes’ resort on Bunaken getting settled and finishing up so prerequisites before truly getting started on our Dive Master program. This week we completed our Wreck Diving Course as well as our Search and Recovery Course. Both were work but when you enjoy what you are doing, the learning and work go so much easier. (not that is is all easy, we spent what felt like hours snorkelling over the house reef in a u-pattern search checking different search areas to reduce the area we needed to search underwater yesterday)
In the morning we will go out for two more fun dives here in Lembeh and them make the journey back to Bunaken. Some of the faces waiting for us there we will recognise, others will be new. Some are staff and other students while others are here on holiday. While we have only been here about three weeks, the routine already feels familiar, We still get up and make coffee in the mornings (some things will never change) but instead of heading into town and going to the coffee roaster (Bellatazza coffee co) we go down to the boats and make sure the gear is all aboard and help the boat guy load tanks. Then it is off to breakfast club where we all sit and talk about the things we have seen or want to see…. Again, some of the characters at the table are there all the time and some for only a day or week or two…. The bonds that are formed though last much longer and some true friendships are formed between different people from all parts of the world with one common love: the ocean and the wonderful critters that live with in it.
Computers and cameras are always about as each person shows off what they have seen. Oh’s and ah’s are given in appreciation for the best shots and I am always amazed by the reaction of the people around the table for a good picture of a “hairy frog fish” or a shark! You can almost always tell the difference between a diver and a non diver when you state that you saw a shark on your last dive. Most non divers will react with oh no! are you alright? How scary!!!!! While a diver will excitedly ask you, really? Where exactly were you, in hopes that they will be diving there later and see it too…
The languages my be different, but the stoke and excitement is the same where ever you may have been born or choose to live. For how ever long you choose to stay, Two Fish becomes your village and home.
After breakfast , the boats head out for two morning dives, soon we will have a more active roll in this besides just going out and diving. Assisting the guides and Dive Masters as we learn not only the theory of diving, but what it takes to make a dive business run. Everything from helping out with the guests and giving dive briefings to working in the compressor room filling tanks. It all has to be done but I really hope I get a chance to drive a couple of the boats! I’ll be good, I promise….
After the morning dives it is time for lunch and the swapping of the empty tanks for fresh ones. Some dive theory class work and self study.
Each day is different with different tasks to be performed and different lessons to be learned. Back in the states, I had what I did for a living pretty well down. Not to say that I wasn’t continuing to learn more each day, but this is all new to me. Many of the lessons I learned back then still come into play though. Funny how that works, I hate to admit it, but I even use math during each and every dive. (not calculus or geometry though!) Part of the new routine is to check the Dive Schedule Board each afternoon to see what we will be ding the next day. You never really know what to expect except that if you show up ready to help and to learn, you will be greeted by smiles laughter and some good hearted playfulness.
There are occasional evening dives and night dives happening so you really never know what the day might bring. What I do know is that the regular staff at Two Fish will be there to teach me the skills and bring out in me the qualities needed to be a Dive master.
Thanks go to Jane Kehrwald for the pics below