Back to the bay and the wonderful world of giving people their first taste of the underwater world. My couple are really enthusiastic about the whole thing, as they have always wanted to try it, but been afraid of going fully underwater even though they love snorkelling. After a chat with our night shift last previous evening, they are convinced about how safe and easy it is, so have turned up today looking forward to the experience. The Discover Scuba Diving program is ideal for them, and going from the beach means it’s a simple introduction for those that might find the hussle and bussle of the dive boat a bit overwhelming.
Once I’ve briefed the skills and checked their knowledge via the quiz, we are off to the shallows to practice the all important skills. When we descend, sit on the sandy bottom and I start demonstrating the first skill, I can see the lady start to widen her eyes and stare at me. This is a classic sign of not being 100% comfortable in the water, so I go into ‘distraction’ mode. Oh look at that, as I point to a passing parrot fish (luckily they come very shallow!). She follows my finger and watches as it swims past. Then it’s eyes back to me. Hmm, lets try again. Look at that baby something – even I fail on Fish ID sometimes – as I point again at the bright fish cruising past. This time she not only watches it, but follows its direction until it’s out of sight. This time when she I looking at me, she has a smile and gives me a big OK sign. I’m taking that to mean she feels suitably relaxed to start the skills. A few minutes later I’m proved right when they both sail through the skills, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world (OK, slight exaggeration but you get the sentiment).
We head out to the end of the confined area and they are definitely enjoying the dive. They are holding hands, but not in a nervous way, in a cute way, alerting each other to the puffer fish in the artificial reef and to the nemo who makes his usual appearance. Just as I’m thinking of heading back in, I see what I think is a cloud of sand in front of me. I’ve not seen any other divers, so could it be?? We take a gently swim out and on closer inspection I can indeed see disturbed sand and loose sea grass, indicating the recent presence of the big green sea turtle, but I glance up and around to no avail.
They can’t wait to get in for the second dive, especially after I explain why we were hanging around a cloud of sand. Nor can I. Do we have to wait an hour?