Advanced course today, so it’s in the bay we go for the first two dives. My guests is already kitting up when I get in, just as well I’ve sneaked in a second coffee before work. On chatting to my guest, I learn that he is on a last ‘family holiday’ before he embarks on a year travelling around the world. He has been told, quite rightly, that he will probably have a access to more dive sites around the globe if he has his advanced. Even in Sharm, although nearly every dive site can be dived by any level, you can dive the same sites at deeper depths and it really does seem like a different site altogether!I am expecting mum and dad to show up any moment, but it turns out he has managed to ‘escape’ leaving the family to soak up the sun, with the only condition being that he meets them for lunch, a sacrifice he is happy to make!
We ease ourselves in the day by starting with Fish Identification. Not really too challenging in the bay. Spot and name numerous species of fish? 6 done by the time we reach 5m! Symbiotic relationship? Let’s find the clownfish. Even the infamous ‘draw you own fish’ game was made easy by a Picasso standard sketch of a pipefish!

Navigation is our last task of the day, and as he informs me he breezed through is Duke of Edinburgh Award I do allow myself a small snigger. As if that is going to prepare you for the comedy that is adding water to any normal land based task!  In the water it does appear that he will prove me wrong, until we reach the square patter swim and I get out the ‘I might move, I might not, so don’t watch me for reference’ trick. I’ve been doing this for long enough to know that students will make their life easy (aka Cheat) if at all possible.  With visibility this clear, students can easily orientate themselves at the start point and do a seemingly perfect square. My instruction that I might move is to try to get them to use the compass, not just head back to me on the final leg. As I follow for the first 3 legs, I have to say he is pretty much perfect, so I go on ahead (zig sagging to add to the illusion) and sit myself at our start point. As he spots me in his direct line I can see him double, triple check the compass, have I tricked him or not? He decides to trust instinct and carry on. I congratulate him on genuinely being my most able student at the dive for quite some time as I pack him off, somewhat reluctantly, to meet the parents for lunch, as promised.

Suddenly, somewhat sadly, it occurs to me that he has something I don’t – the ability to have lunch with his parents. I do, however have Skype, so have to settle for a virtual lunch with mum, although she’s still on Breakfast!