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Every now and then, we see someone who normally is comfortable with diving have a not-so-perfect dive. In some cases it can even leave them wanting to hang their fins up and take up golf. Luckily it doesn’t happen too often and when it does, instructors try their best to ensure they get back on the horse (well, into the water) again quickly. This is my mission for the day –a lovely guest who yesterday discovered that ‘blue’ diving is not for her and has requested a private guide for the day, no doubt to make her feel more ‘supervised’ than normal as she dives today.  It’s a great idea for anyone who is feeling nervous or a little apprehensive, as the guide is responsible only for that one person and can afford to spend time doing exactly what the guest wants to do, at whatever pace they want to do it.

Firstly, to give us some space, we let everyone else get in the water first, and with a nice clear dive deck, buddy checks are completed and it’s into the water we go. After a mental note to remind the guests that giant stride entry should be just that, a stride – not a jump, it’s round to the mooring line to descend. My guest takes off her mask to re-defog (if that isn’t a word, then it should be) it and with comedy timing, although not in my guests eyes, the waves that the passing boat has produced just start to hit us. Cue salt water in eyes, rope from mooring wrapping itself round her ankle, mask fogging (again) and the mutterings of never diving again.  I can see that if I don’t get this under control soon, she will never get back in the shower, never mind the sea!

Feeling much more confident, I think she is actually looking forward to the second dive. Before we go in however, we need to sort out that foggy mask. Cursing myself for not remembering the Arabic word for toothpaste, and instead having to do some pretty bad miming, the mask is sorted. “No, you won’t need to do it again, but you will still have to spit in it before each dive”. Well, you’d have thought I suggested she smear it with Marmite. “SPIT? Me?.. Never…”. That explains that then.

After a half hearted saliva donation, we are in again.  The second dive goes without a hitch, and about 40 minutes in I finally relax when she taps me on the shoulder to point out a huge crocodile fish.

When a nervous guest starts showing me things, my work is done!!

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