It’s the last day of my latest Open Water Course and we are staying in the bay for our final two dives. The resort is obviously having a quiet spell, so with no local boat today (but a Thistlegorm and Tiran – weird how it works out!) we are beach diving. The great thing about the bay is the range of depths, so after previous dives yesterday being restricted to 12m in depth, our 18m limit today means we can do two completely different dives.
With the weather heating up, the water in the bay is getting really nice and toasty, so its shorts and rash vest! Less weight, less resistance, less buoyancy adjustments,….it’s a lovely way to dive. That’s why the instructors ditch their suits as soon as possible! Remember, copying your instructor is a clever move… we are always in the coolest/breeziest/shadiest areas. All those years of experience count for something you know.
So as it’s the last day, we have very little to do in terms of skills. All the flexible skills, which we can put on any dive, are done so it’s just the standard ones to go. With my one student, this should mean we can get them out of the way first thing in the dive and enjoy some nice long dive times.
He aces the first dive so as we start the second there are just two skills and a swim around standing between my student and his certification. Mask removal has become second nature by now, so that one is in the bag. Perfect. The last skill is a no brainer. I know he can hover. But standards are there for a reason so off he goes. But just as I’m mentally planning my route for this dive I stare in horror as he starts flapping around to avoid hitting the bottom. This isn’t meant to happen. He’s spent over 2 hours on Open Water dives so far without a hint of a wobble. Now is not the time!! So, with the best underwater hand signal explanation I can muster (along the lines of STOP.THINK.ACT!) and trying not to get my ‘angry eyes’ out, we try again. Trying not to hold my breath I watch with great anticipation as……..he pulls off possibly the best hover I’ve seen in years. Mystified, and visibly shaking my head, a quick handshake means we are off for a swim around. The normal bay posse are around… parrotfish, pipefish, butterfly fish and the moray all make an appearance, and although I have a niggling question in the back of my head, the dive itself proves to be a lovely one, gotta love the bay.
So, having met all the requirements he is PADI’s latest Open Water Diver. But, I’ve obviously got to ask…..What happened?? “I started thinking how I was going to explain what a fantastic time I’ve had with all these fish to my niece, who’s favourite film is Finding Nemo, and I couldn’t find the words…” was the best he could do. I didn’t have a reply……J