After a rather wet and stormy week, today should be an easy one. I’m out guiding, and it’s nice to spend the day fish spotting! Well, that’s what everyone thinks we do, but actually it’s a multi-tasking nightmare! First you have to make sure everyone has the right kit, then the kit has to get to the boat, we have to carry enough tanks for everyone, the passports have to be collected for the jetty checks and we have to make sure there are enough refreshments on board. Once we leave the jetty, we have to remember to hand the passports back (I have once, a long time ago, opened my bag at home and realized I have 12 passports!), allocate dive groups correctly, make sure all Nitrox tanks are analysed and logged and help with weight belts. Then the briefing has to be clearly delivered and guests coerced into getting ready at the same time so we can enter the water together. (Invariably there are guests who, believing they are quicker than others, wait until the last minute to start kitting up and 9 times out of 10 they are the diver who only realizes that he has a leak somewhere as he kits up!).
Once in the water, as we descend, we have to check everyones ears are ok, kit is functioning and everyone is generally comfortable. During a dive, it’s our job to keep everyone in sight, issue instructions in the case of an unexpected current, and remind people to check their air. Once out of the water, we might have time for a quick chat, but then it’s round 2 – the second dive. On the way back, we are debriefing about the next day, organizing which boats equipment is going to, getting ready to unload guests who are finished and calling the centre to tell them what’s going on. On the jetty, it’s time to unload the days tanks, reload for tomorrow, send equipment to the right place and make sure the guests know where they are going (ie back to the dive centre). When we get back to the centre, we need to make sure the guests have paid, sit with them to do log books and do a bit of fish identification, consulting our trusty Red Sea Fish Guidebooks.
Once all the equipment is back (and not left on the boat) and washed, and guests have been safely dispatched on the bus back to their hotel (hopefully the right bus), only then do we sit down, beverage in hand and prepare ourselves to do the same again tomorrow.
So, a heart felt plea to all my guests today – please forgive me if I missed the nudibranch!