Monday, February 23, 2009

Divemaster Course

So, after Christian’s comment last week, it struck me that maybe lots of you don’t know of our exciting plans for the spring! Oh you’re going to be so jealous!

Nick and I have wangled 5 weeks off work using a combination of annual holidays, working extra days, unpaid time, and begging. We are going to Eygpt to take our Divemaster course.

This is a 5 week internship and is the first step to being a professional scuba diver. We will be with an instructor for the month and will learn to assist on diving courses, guide groups of divers in the water, take groups out on boats, map dive sites, and loads more stuff. We are also doing some technical diving courses including decompression diving and advanced Nitrox, which will enable us to go deeper for longer.

It will be a busy time – pretty much 7 days a week working at the dive school or on the boats, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to dive every day. We should rack up another 40 or 50 dives while we are out there.

I’m also looking forward to helping on the beginners courses. I remember very clearly the Divemaster on my first course. I was quite nervous and kept freaking out and shooting to the surface every time I got a drop of water in my mask. The Divemaster was so kind and reassuring and always next to me. It’s sometimes hard to remember how scary diving was at first. I really hope I can make a difference to someone else when they are diving for the first time.

The next stage after the divemaster course is Instructor training, which we might do next year.

Yesterday we were diving in Loch Fyne again, just outside Invarary to see the annual dogfish spawning season. Dogfish are related to sharks – they look quite similar in shape but have dark spots and are oooh, yay long (that’s just under 2 feet) The brilliant thing about them is they don’t swim off when you get near them so you can get a really good look.

I am still getting used to Scottish diving, which is markedly more difficult than jumping into the warm waters of the red sea in a thin wetsuit. Kitting up in the rain in a car park in the highlands is hardly comparable to kitting up with a helpful crew on a dive boat floating on azure waters in 35 degree sunshine.

My new dry-suit is still getting the better of me on occasion, but I am impressed with it’s ability to keep me warm. So far I have done 4 dives wearing it and I’m just about in control. I thought it was snobbery, but I now know what divers mean when they say ‘you’re not a proper diver unless you dive in the UK’ Everything is harder: Lugging 16 kilos of lead down the beach, putting on neoprene gloves when your fingers are blue, and trying to swim while wearing a clothes over an inch thick, amongst other things.

It will seem like heaven when we get to Egypt. (which is 3 weeks today, just to rub it in a bit more)


Blogger Christian Briddon said...

Sounds good. :-)

Why do I picture you and Nick buggering off to somewhere warm in the next few years and opening your own dive school?

12:46 PM  

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