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It’s a day one Open Water today, and as I watch my guest walk in I get a funny feeling. My guest is part of a couple and I already know that he is going on the boat and she is staying with me to start her open water. However, the face that greets me is not a happy one. After checking them in and packing the partner off to the boat, I get a chance to find out what the face is about! I’m dreading the old ‘my boyfriend loves diving and has paid for me to do the course’ answer, only made worse when followed by the immortal words ‘and I don’t like the sea’. Once we sit and have a chat, it turns out to be slightly different. She reveals that she really wants to do it, but is worried that she will let her partner down because she thinks it will be hard.   Well, hasn’t she got a nice surprise coming!

sand sand and more sand…

We breeze through the theory, have a lovely relaxed lunch and then get kitted up and briefed ready for her first experience of the Red Sea. So, all set, we deflate. I check she is ok and then move on to demonstrate the first underwater skill…regulator clearing. Having shown her how it’s done, I gesture to her to repeat the skill she has just seen. And that’s when it happens. The big freeze………Followed by the refusal! An exaggerated shake of the head and a thumbs up tells me that its time to surface. On the surface she is apologetic, and admits that the thought of taking her regulator out is all a bit much. After a bit of banter we descend again. And the same happens. Surfacing again, she is not upset, angrier at herself! I make the decision that maybe just swimming around would help, so in knee high water (and we are both short!) we swim around, dodging the snorkelers and kicking up sand (nothing to do with our lack of technique….its shallow!).

Roll on 1 hour and she decides she is ready to give it a go. With all the enthusiasm I can muster I demonstrate the skill again and then hand over to her. With a slight hesitation she puts her hand on the regulator and…….

It’s out! And back in again and cleared!

I won’t tell you the rest of confined session one was a doddle, because it wasn’t, but today I don’t care.  I know the role that I have personally had in getting her this far and even if it all stops today; she achieved something she didn’t believe she could.



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