Archive for August, 2009

Diving with a cracked rib

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Approximately a week ago I was diving the Sugar Wreck, and my hand slipped while I was pulling myself up into the boat. I put a little to much weight on my chest, and there was a popping sound accompanied by a sharp pain. When I got back in the boat I tried to lift another diver’s scuba unit out of the water, and the pain was suddenly so strong I had to struggle to get the unit into the boat…

Since then I’ve been feeling quite useless, seeing as I can’t do any heavy lifting. I was also a bit curious as to whether there are any negative effects of high nitrogen levels on healing bone, but there are none, so I keep diving. For the first few days, under water was the only time breathing didn’t hurt… It got a little better, and I tried to carry some cans of fuel for the boat, and now it’s worse again… 😛

All in all, though, I’m having a great time. It’s extremely busy here now, so it’s not every day I can dive, since all our equipment is in use, or the boat is full or something similar, but it’s good to have a break from the water every now and then.

Yesterday I had a bit of spare time, so I did some research on the Sugar Wreck. What I found was quite sparse, but apparently she is the 3,500-ton M/V Union Star 17, which had run aground on Pantai Sri Tujuh, and was dislodged Dec 13 2000. She was then sent on her way to Batam in Indonesia for repairs, but she sank between 4pm and 5pm on Dec 16, six nautical miles off Kuala Besut, due to a leak. The captain and 16 crew members were rescued in their life boats by marine police. About 1,000 tons of sugar were transferred to the M/V Union Star 20. 

I have not been able to find out who owned her, but it would be cool to find someone who has blueprints. 😉

Go with the flow

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Sunlight diveshopI’m back behind the counter in Sunlight Divers. This morning I went to the divesite called the Vietnamese wreck for the first time. The Vietnamese wreck is in fact an old Japanese landing vessel used to transport Vietnamese refugees, and it sank while going in for repairs. When we got to the site, the current was so strong that we had to struggle to hang on to the buoy line, and after we’d been swimming around under the upturned wreck for a few minutes, we headed out into the current again, and spent the rest of the dive drifting along the sand. 🙂 This was my first time drift diving, and also the first time I saw a seahorse! Some of my dives lately have been quite boring, watching an instructor teach skills to new divers, but it’s all part of the deal. Other dives have been REALLY cool, with lots of barracudas, sharks, stingrays, turtles, nudibranch, groupers, snappers, damsels, wrasses, lizardfish, razorfish, filefish and colourful corals. 😀

One night a few days ago some of the other staff here at Sunlight saw a nesting turtle right here on Long Beach! I wish I get to see it, and that I still had a camera, so I could film it…

I am now starting the third week of my six week course, so I’m done with the first third. I’ve got one theoretical exam to go, and one of the four stamina tests. The theory exams for the divemaster course are “Supervising Certified Divers”, “Assisting with Student Divers in Training”, “Skills and Environment”, “Physics”, “Physiology”, “Decompression Theory and the Recreational Dive Planner” and “Equipment”, and I only have the “Equipment” left to go. I’ve also had to take the Emergency First Response, since I don’t have the diploma from my Norwegian Rescue Society EFR with me. On the practical side I’m done with my Rescue Assessment, where I had to satisfactorily simulate rescuing a submerged nonresponsive, non-breathing diver, and get him to shore. I’ve also done my my 400 meter timed swim, my 800 meter timed snorkeling, and my 15 minute tread. That last one was pretty heavy, once I got to the last two minutes, where I had to hold both arms out of the water from the elbows up… The only stamina test I have left is the 100 meters timed Tired Diver Tow. 🙂 When I’m done with those, all that remains is actual diving, assisting courses, leading students and leading certified divers, i.e. the fun stuff!

In a couple of hours, I’ll be assisting a really fun one, the Rescue Diver course. It’s gonna be a lot of fun, I’m sure, ’cause doing the course myself was cool, and assisting as a divemaster looked like even more fun. 😀