With shark sightings abound and given my recent run of luck, it’s best that I stay in the bay, at least no-one is disappointed then! In fact, it’s getting to the part of the season when I love the bay the most. The water is bath-warm and crystal clear and the reefs are alive with juveniles of every fish imaginable.
For my Open Water guests it’s a dream come true, in more ways than one. A father and son are my students this week and we are on day 2 of their Open Water Course. It’s a dream come true because the father of this pair never thought he would be able to dive due to being Diabetic. It was unfulfilled wish until his son started bugging him to get a diving license. Spurred on by his enthusiasm he went to a doctor at home that specialised in diving medicine and was informed that research has moved on considerably since his last enquiry 20 years ago and that it was no longer considered to be an automatic barrier to diving. After being thoroughly tested, it turned out that in his case, he was given the all clear. Fast forward a couple of weeks, and here we are.
I always love teaching students who are enthusiastic, but it can become a slight problem in the bay. Because it’s a ‘live’ environment, I can’t stop the parrot fish deciding to do a swim past during the CESA. The Napoleon is famous for his beady eyed appearance during a no mask swim (my god, he looks huge when you have no mask on!). And on cue, both turn up today as well. To be fair to my two, they manage to keep the regulators in, don’t throw the mask away and remember not to take a breath in as the wildlife makes its entrance (and exit). With the water this warm, we can really enjoy the fun part of the dives, hovering around, watching the world go by. After a great encounter with a baby pipe fish in the shallows, we make our way back and after a quick rehydration stop the guys finish the day in the classroom. Dad is a little hesitant at the academic side, but I’m quite used to that. People convince themselves that because the last time they studied was at school, that they are not going to be able to learn it all, but the beauty of diving theory is it is all applied practically during the course, so if it doesn’t ‘stick’ initially, when they ‘need’ the knowledge it all makes sense!
Already questioning me about the plan for tomorrow, these two really do have a passion for diving, and although I can tell the father wishes he’d been able to do this years ago, both him and me are genuinely thankful to all the people who have spent countless years studying and researching diving and medical conditions to bring diving to as wider audience as possible.
And I suspect the son will be in for some pretty awesome diving holidays in the future!