Mowing the pool
If the pool in the resort would have been the yard, I would have mowed the whole area at that time. One of the Divemaster assignments is to be able to demonstrate the confined water skills and one of them is the BCD removal and replacement. The first time I practiced the skills, I used my pocket weights instead of a weight belt. Well, I will never make THAT mistake again… Markus, the instructor, was hovering around looking at my attempt to demonstrate the BCD removal and replacement. First, release all the clips, then taking off the BCD, and put it in front of you. Until then, no problem. But when I had it in front of me and having no weights on my hips, I was hanging on my BCD while my body was floating upwards. Having my BCD in my hand and trying to drag myself down, I was more pushing the tank rather than trying to keep it in its position. After 5 minutes mowing the pool and trying to put it back on, Markus was “kind enough” to help me out.
In diving resorts, there is this weird animal obsession, or that is what others might call it. If I have to guess, at least eighty percent of the conversations are about fish: what we would like to see, where to find it, and a lot of funny experiences. Actually, the first (open water) course I assisted with, was with a young couple and the guy was a fish biologist. He knew all kind of funny facts and theories: did you hear about the theory of the bioluminescence lighting up to attract bigger fish who will eat the thing that disturbs them?! Or the largest fish of an Anemone group is female and the second one male, but when she dies, the male changes sex to female and the next largest fish in the group matures to male. Nevertheless, the guy was a fish biologist and never dived before, so we changed that! Piia and Oliver passed their open water course and were a bless to have as guests!
Cleaning up the ocean
In the same week, we organized a dive site clean-up. Unfortunately, trash ends up in oceans mainly due to people, but also bad weather conditions flushes it in the ocean. In the Pacific ocean between Hawaii and Japan, there is a garbage patch of the size of Germany floating around and no one feels responsible to clean it up. PADI came up with Project AWARE to increase environmental awareness through diver education. They collect ocean garbage data trough dive centres who adopted a dive site. Two Fish Divers adopted the dive site named Muka Kampung and I was fortunate enough to organize the clean-up of March 2017. Together with 10 amazing volunteering guests and staff, we snorkelled through heavy rain and picked all the trash we were able to find. In total we collected almost 11 kilos of mainly diapers, cloths, wire, plastic bottles and more. What a great feeling it was to have so many people helping to keep/get the ocean healthy!
Piet, the bird!
…”Awh, look at that bird. Is he stuck?” I asked Markus, the instructor. We had a surface interval on the boat between the two morning dives, so I was able to keep an eye on the bird. After a few attempts to fly away, the bird was still in the water. I took my snorkel and fins, jumped in the water, manoeuvred myself between the Chinese snorkelers, or were they cycling, I am not sure, until the bird was in hand reach. Back on the boat, we found out that Piet, the bird, was not able to stand because he had a broken foot or he was just too exhausted. At the resort, I gave Piet some water and tried to feed him. After three days of recovering, Piet was ready to fly out. The moment I left the classroom door open for Piet to fly away, Piet flew to the water gallon in the dinning area, had a little sip of the spilled drops on the floor and then left. I am pretty sure that the feeling I had comes close to the feeling when your first child moves out of the house. Nevertheless, life goes on. So in the afternoon, Dion, the other instructor, and I went in the pool with our gear to practice the confined water skills. As we came up at the surface, Dion looked at something. THERE HE WAS AGAIN! Piet was actually chilling at the pool! He went in to have a little swim, went out to wash himself and this continued for the rest of the afternoon. The next day, he was gone and we have not seen him since. The type of bird is still unclear, the same goes with the sex, but I found that the name Piet suited him well, so that is how we will remember him.
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