Week three and four passed with the blink of an eye.
These weeks I have been, assisting on open water courses, advanced open water courses, scuba refreshers and servicing equipment, every morning in the ocean was immediately followed by hours under the glaring sun in the pool or sheltered in our maintenance room tinkering with the devices one needs for the survival of the gill-less underwater. Following on from days like this, its been nose to paper (not difficult for a nose of my calibre) completing knowledge reviews from PADI’s dive master manual, studying the ocean mechanics and the history of diving in PADI’s Diving Encyclopaedia. The amount of information taken on in such a short amount of time has been a bit tricky at times, but its been the most fun I’ve ever had in terms of learning before.
Over the days and weeks passed we’ve seen changes in the weather which has meant we’ve seen changes in the conditions in the water. Also our big boss Bryce had to leave the resort for Staff instructor Training in Bunaken so it was all hands on deck to pick up the massive workload he usually shoulders.
Being so tall i don’t fit any wetsuit properly. Too tall for a Medium. Too skinny for a Large I’ve resorted to an old wetsuit of Rowan, our resident Ryan gosling-esque instructor (he has bribed me to say this), with the legs cut off just about the hips. A makeshift 3mm rashie of sorts and boardshorts is my current dive attire. With the changes we’ve seen its meant that we’ve had some cold water, at times as low as 18 degrees C. Giving me a taste for what it must feel like diving here in the high season. note to self, GET A WETSUIT!
With this cold water however, its brought some interesting stuff. Theres been quite a few sightings of Mola’s, of course everyone else on the boat saw them except me because of my obsession with crustaceans and having my face almost glued to a marble shrimp. Theres been an increase in the number of Manta’s we have seen and even spotting more turtles in the last two weeks than the previous weeks I’ve been here. On one occasion, during the safety stop robot – a practice thats absolutely integral to master in order to complete my DMT according to some – there was 8 magnificent 4 – 5 m manta’s chaining below us, breaking off in unison to preform the most majestic underwater choreographed dance routine, swimming past each other, barely missing each other by inches and circling back around to do the same with a different partner, almost like a game of chicken. Mantas have a reputation to be quite solitary creatures but my experience so far has shown them to be inquisitive, playful, ridiculously intelligent and just downright beautiful. Especially true the case of the Ninja Manta, or Melanistic Manta, an all black Manta ray that looks like the stealth bomber would have been designed after. Just outrageous.
During the last two weeks I’ve been put to the test as well as having all this fun. Timed Tired diver tow, in which i had to tow both Rowan and our dog Pikachu over the course of 100m in less that 2.00min, treading water and exam 1 and 2, and scuba review assessment proved themselves to be a little challenging but scoring 5’s on both physical tests, scuba review and a solid result on the exams things are seemingly going my way thus far. Ive been guiding and mapping certain dive sites with Rowan and whatever other customers or Open Water students we have and I’m absolutely loving it, turning in my finished map today. All thats left for me is a Rescue scenario (hopefully going better than the last one) Search and recovery scenario and to complete an Emergency Action Plan. And on the physical side I’m looking at 400m swim test and 800m snorkel test…. these should be fun 🙂
Coming into the last week is a bit strange. I’ve gelled so well here and feel so comfortable at Two Fish I’m not going to know what to do when i wake up at 7am and don’t have to load tanks onto the boat before a day of sub Aqua Therapy. Its been like a form of meditation for me.
Ill keep you posted on how it turns out, if i survive the snorkel test that is!