I’m feeling quite sad at the moment, as one of the inevitable parts of doing this job has reared its ugly head….Friends leaving. Every couple of years there seems to be a big movement of staff and you end up saying goodbye to some people that you will really miss (and some you won’t!).
Working as a diving instructors with these people, they are about as close to you as you can be without being related! You see each other first thing in the morning (not normally pleasant) before that first cup of coffee. You spend all day with them and then most evenings as well. Infact, I spend more hours per day with my colleagues than my husband – although that is kind of normal for anyone who works I suppose! And let’s not even get into the fact that they have seen pretty much every part your body in various states, good or bad, a topic of conversation popular in the pub of an evening.
Today, it’s a very good friend who is off, and both being office bound today, we decide to go and have one last dive together. The joy of being based on a beach means five minutes after we have made our decision, we are wading out into the bay. It’s with a tear in my eye (well, almost) that I don my mask for our last dive. Diving with mates is actually quite hard, as I’ve mentioned before. We both want different things out of the dive and it’s surprising how separated you can become in what seems like a very short period of time. As we make the most of the cameras we thought to bring (always keep a charged one in your locker, you never know when a day off will come calling), we are constantly finning around trying to find each other. And because we are relaxed and happiest underwater, we tend not to breath a huge amount, so relying on spotting bubbles in the distance is not as easy as with Students. We both get some interesting shots of whatever takes our fancy (translate ‘interesting’ as ‘rubbish in my case’) and our dive comes to a natural end, no need for times or hand signals, we both know it’s coming to an end.
To celebrate what is actually a sad event, we decamp for lunch. It’s then we start chatting about the nature of this job, working abroad, away from family and friends, and we realise you really have to be a certain type of person to be able to make a life you are happy with here. Firstly, you had to have the guts to leave your home country to pursue your dream (surely it’s easier to just find a new hobby or job?), then you had to accept that popping round to your mums for Sunday lunch was no longer an option. Next comes the realisation that you are actually in a much more responsible role that you thought a laid-back diving instructor/bum would have to deal with. Add that to localised problems (no marmite, salad cream or bacon) and you realise how ‘special’ we are.
And lucky, did I mention that?