The third week of DMT experience has been amazing! With the swim tests and skill circuit out of the way, I have been able to turn my attention to more student and customer-facing activities.
I started with assisting Ilse with her Open Water Course (OWC) student, Thijs, who was visiting from the Netherlands. The first day of OWC is always the pool sessions. There was the remove, replace and adjust mask skills, regulator recovery, neutral buoyancy skills along with the surface skills which are a few of the necessary performance requirements to be certified as an Open Water diver. It has been a while since my own OWC, so it was amazing to watch how much had to be covered in a course. It was certainly impressive watching Ilse impart so much knowledge and information to students in such a systematic and seemingly effortless manner. After the confined water sessions were done, we were ready to take Thijs into the beautiful waters of Bunaken. It was very satisfying to watch someone try diving in the ocean for the first time. The hesitant first steps of a newbie who, by the end of the week was also a certified Advanced Open Water Diver (Yes, Thijs enjoyed diving so much he continued on with the Advanced course immediately after the OWC!)
The Advanced course had more students – Russ and Autumn, Thijs, Peter, and Eszter – that was certainly more exciting! Both of Two Fish’s awesome instructors, Sam and Ilse undertook this task together, so I got to assist with different instructors, and with a bigger class size. Sam is also stellar in his teachings. Again, it was unbelievable how much information needed to be conveyed to the students! Sam was also really good and patient with his students as he conveys and teaches the theory and practice of navigation, deep and night dives.
An interesting experience I never ever had as a recreational diver was the Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) course. This is meant to be an introduction to diving, which takes only half a day, so it is convenient for people who want to experience diving but not yet ready to commit 4 days to do the OWC. We started in the pool for an hour or so with Alex, Billy and Cindy, covering the basics of Scuba equipment and underwater breathing. In the afternoon, the DSD students went into the ocean, accompanied by Sam and myself, each of us holding on to a student (2 for Sam and his strong arms!). The weather was perfect for such an occasion with very calm waters and lots of fish and turtles! The 3 DSD students were so excited to be in the water, experiencing something very new to them. Cindy was so thrilled by the experience she came back the next day for a few more times, feeling completely safe with Sam. It would be no surprise if they continued on and signed up for an OWC someday!
Last but not least, I, along with a fellow DMT, Kim, had the pleasure and honor to assist with Uning’s Rescue course for the local dive guides. We spent the day with 5 of Two Fish’s dive guides, repeating the victim role a few times over. I pretended to be an unresponsive diver both on the surface and underwater for a few times. We did the rescue scenario from start to finish, starting with “being found” underwater, surfaced and towed to the boat, right down to being carried up the ladder onto the boat and provided with oxygen. After I was “revived”, my rescuer’s first question to me was: How heavy ARE you? – which really provided much-needed levity after a hectic rescue operation. Well done to the local dive guides who are now certified Rescue divers!!!!
Working with students and customers is so very satisfying, to watch a person’s skill development and improvement, gaining experience and confidence in his / her diving. I am very grateful to be able to experience and contribute a little bit to such a journey with very professional and patient instructors Sam and Ilse!