It’s bay time again, with a house reef dive planned with two guests who apparently have requested me as I taught them to dive. Now this is every dive instructors worst nightmare, as I’ve said before, as your students will always remember you, but we see so many people it’s impossible to remember everyone. So with my game face on, I await their arrival. As they come bounding down the steps, I instantly recognize them as one of the funniest Open Water courses I ever had. Two friends who were, between them, great divers but separate, well……..
Let’s call them Student A and Student B. Student A was incredibly intelligent and breezed through the academics, being one of the few who got 100% in the final exam as I remember. Student A however, possessed very little common sense and suffered a severe lack of co-ordination. Student B was a diving natural, and I spent most of our time underwater trying to figure out if he was a PADI Plant! Student B however was not, how do I put this, intellectually gifted and struggled with the theory side. As I said, put them together, they made one perfect student. However, apart, not so great. They persevered and after a lot of work (and laughs) they both qualified. Now they are back. Well at least my day will be filled with humour (with a small possibility of tears!).
The quick review reliably informs me that Student B has not come on leaps and bounds academically. As we get in the water it become apparent that Student A has not shown any improvement either as he hops across the bay whilst putting his fins on. Student B, as normal, is making fun of a rather bedraggled Student A. If Student A had thought to inflate his BCD, he could at least of retaliated!
However, once in the water, it’s a complete change, and even Student A is looking good, not a stray arm or leg in sight. Even though this is the dive site they learnt on, they are still really enthusiastic about everything, actively spotting fish and even taking the time to show me a pipefish. Bless them. I’m pleasantly surprised that after a year of not diving, I must have done a good job of teaching them as they look good in the water and seem to remember everything they were taught. When I finally persuade them that they really have to end the dive (50 bar remember?) they are virtually kicking and screaming (or is that just Student A having a moment) as we surface. “wow, that’s better than I remember it”, “Can’t believe how many fish are on the artificial reef now” are a few of the comments exchanged as we exit the water.
This is something I notice with students versus fun divers. Students are so busy concentrating on getting it right that they often miss whats going on around them. With fun divers, the act of diving is already lodged in their brain, so they actually spend time looking at their surroundings. Were there more fish? Who knows, but they thought so, and that’s all that matters!