My first time guiding a paying customer!

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July 15th 2010
Published: July 15th 2010
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Yesterdays dive was to a site I had been to before and it's a pretty good place for beginners. The maximum depth is about 9 metres and it’s called blue lagoon for a reason. Another divermaster trainee was assisting with an open water course, the first course you do, whilst I guided a certified diver while the others were doing their skills underwater. I have to say I thought it was pretty funny to watch the instructor and other divemaster having to deal with these people. There was a polish man who had dived before but didn’t really listen to what was being said so that made things a bit harder to start and there was a couple from Singapore. They were so small and couldn’t have weighted more than 40kg and 50kg and they were shivering on the boat because it was cold (I think it was 33 degrees on land and 28 degrees in the water so I don’t understand). When they were first in the water they had too much weight on so they sunk and instead of holding on to me when I went to help they just froze as water was going over their mouths and noses. They say people get perceptive narrowing when they are scared - this was the first time I had ever seen it. When they were finally sorted with weight, by this time I had to take an extra 2 kg to take down myself. I have never seen people so unnatural underwater. When you’re scuba diving, you’re meant to swim using only your legs and kick nice and slowly. These two were swimming with their arms and it looked like they were trying to ride a bike as to swimming with fins on. Let’s put it this way, by the end of the dive the instructor was dragging both of them at the same time to just get them moving underwater. The other divemaster had to dart up to the surface every 30 seconds when they put too much air in the BCDs. I don’t even know how people just shoot up to the surface for what looks like no reason but it’s bad for you to go to the surface so quickly because of the nitrogen in your body so it’s hard work having to try and pull them back down by their fins. At the end of the dive, these two didn’t realise that the instructor had been putting little bags of weights on to their tanks to stop them shooting up. I don’t know else an instructor is meant to do to make things run smoothly because we were swimming along very slowly and they never panicked. I was guiding my certified diver though so I was just watching as all of this was happening infront of me.

I was meant to know this dive site from the 40 minute dive I did last week so I thought I would make my life easy and just take her on a simple circular circuit so we would end up where we started at the end. There is pretty coral and fish everywhere so I didn’t think it could be that bad. I was looking at the depth we were at and knew I was getting close to where I was meant to finish but I still couldn’t see anyone else. I have to say I started to get a bit nervous thinking I have no idea what I’m going to do if I can’t find them and more importantly, how am I going to hide the fact that I’m lost. I decided that I would just continue the circle but make it slightly bigger second time round so it would end at the right sort of time and just pretend we were never meant to meet up half way through the dive. I would just hope that the boat was close to where I would decide to finish. Everyone else was doing their skills in the sandy area, away from the coral so I thought my time was running out before the diver I was with realised I was lost as swimming along the sand looking for the others isn’t much of a dive. Thankfully I saw the group out of the corner of my eye and it was all ok. Although I had finished early so I did circle around the same small bit of coral twice!! I think that was the only part of the dive that I was actually looking at the fish or coral. I desperately wanted to find an interesting fish to point out so we had an excuse to stay there longer. Anyway, I think I got anyway with it because she didn’t say anything on the surface and my score for assisting that day was 4.6/5. I hope I’m always that lucky!!! Not being able to talk underwater has the advantage that no one can ask you if you know where you are going or what you are doing, they just follow. I wonder how many times I’ve dived with someone meant to be guiding me, but really has no idea they are lost!


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