What a way to start the third week of my divemaster course in Bunaken! After surfacing from a fantastic dive, our captain tells us there’s been a pod of dolphins swimming by. He drives the boat over to where a pod of around 20 dolphins are cruising. They start playfully swimming with the boat for about 10 minutes or so before deciding they’ve had enough and we part ways. Wow!
But back to the course: to be a Divemaster you have to be physically fit and therefore this week has been a week of timed fitness tests. First the 100m tired diver tow (both in full scuba gear). On paper this sounds like the easiest of the tests but it is surprisingly hard and by the end it was very much me who was the tired diver, but unfortunately the favour was not repaid by my ‘buddy’ and I had to swim myself the full 100m back to the resort.
Next up the 400m swim, no equipment, any stroke you like. This was my favourite of the four tests because if one stroke tires a group of muscles too much you can just swap stroke. Not to say I wasn’t knackered by the end. The 15 minute float was a doddle, even though you have to keep your hands above water for the last two minutes.
Worst of all, the 800m snorkel swim. Again, on paper this didn’t phase me, but due to the “no arms” rule it’s all down to your legs and ankles. Within the first 100m they get unbelievably tired moving the large fins though the water. After I completed this one I chose to float for a few minutes (see the picture) and watch a shrimp, fighting the tide blowing sand in his hole. Phew!