So, another day, another Scuba Review. After a year of not diving, it’s wise to do a review and using the bay as your hub means you get a really nice ‘fish tank’ to sit in while you do it! Todays students are a couple who refer to themselves as ‘resort divers’. They dive on holiday only, the thought of getting into cold water in a quarry in the UK does not appeal. I have to say, I’m with them on this one!
It does mean they start their holiday with a review, which is a routine they are used to. It turns out this one may be trickier than I thought though. The theory goes well but we hit a problem when I ask them to kit up. It all goes quiet and after a few minutes of confusion, the girl looks a little sheepish as she mutters ‘um, we’ve never actually done this’.
Cue one confused dive instructor. I’ve checked their cards, they are definitely certified. I’ve checked the log books, yup, one year since they’ve dived. What am I missing here? I start wondering if the certification cards are courtesy of Photoshop when a possible explanation springs to mind. The conversation goes something like this: “Where have you dived before?”… “We’ve only ever dived at XXXX (to remain nameless!), it’s our first time somewhere else actually.”…..”And your equipment?”….” our kit was always put together for us”
Of course, should have known. It is common in some geographical areas and in exclusive hotels, for the staff to put equipment together for the guests, but it’s not a practice we encourage here at the college. If you know how to put something together, you are more likely to realise early if something is wrong. Or even more simply, if you are in rental kit, how do you know where everything is if you didn’t connect it all yourself?
Well, Scuba Review is all about identifying gaps in knowledge and remediating, so off we go. Set-up complete (“oh, it’s quite easy isn’t it”) the rest goes without a hitch, as these guys have done this review a few times now.
The Open Water dive commences and its over to Movenpick Reef. My students look completely at ease and in control in the water, which is great as I spot a small starfish that will require some serious hovering to see and not disturb the surrounding coral. Like a pair of pros, it quite a sight as both of them adopt a head down, legs up hover to get the best view. Personally, I get a bit dizzy when I try this, but they seem happy enough, and after a few minutes, like underwater dancers, they return to normal position with just a few graceful movements. I am further impressed when the eagle rays make an appearance, mid water as is usual, and my students are quite happy to sit mid-water as the rays circle around, wondering what is disturbing their morning.
It’s nice to spend a dive where I don’t have to think about pointing out the smallest of critters, for fear of accidental damage or a creating sand-out situation occurring! Its days like this… I love my job! However, check back with me in a week…….