Posts Tagged ‘exams’

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. šŸ™‚ 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. šŸ˜€

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. šŸ™‚ 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. šŸ˜€

19 July – My first dive as assistant

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Time flies. It’s been a week since I last wrote already, and I haven’t done any diving before today. I’ve spent most of my time reading, coughing and making gurgling sounds from my lungs, except one day when I spent most of the day in bed, with short trips out to the little boys’ room. There’s a bit of a flu going around, or at the very least something that gives a bad cough and stomach trouble. I was first, and since then at least four of the others have had the same thing. The good thing is that I got a bit of a head start studying for my exams, the bad thing was that I didn’t get to do any diving with Helena before she headed out on the last leg of her adventure.

I’ve been getting to know the other people here as well. It’s a bit of a Nordic outpost here. The Sunlight divemasters, dm trainees and instructors are two Finns, two Swedes and a Dane, plus a couple that I think are Australian, a Brit and two Malays. I might have forgotten someone, but you get the picture…

I had my first full day on “duty” yesterday, and passed my three first exams. Most of it is pretty basic diving stuff, then there’s some physics and chemistry that was mostly just repetition from IB Chem and Phys, but the chapter on physiology in diving is a bit tougher on the old noodle. It’s been a couple of years since I last did any studying, but I still have the advantage of an academic’s skill in reading for exams.

Today I assisted on a dive for the first time. Shamse, one of the Malay instructors, took out three Chinese on a Discover Scuba Diving course, which means a very short introduction to safety and equipment, followed by a confined water dive. Two of the participants had never even snorkeled before, and one of them didn’t speak a word of English… Needless to say, I was pretty busy trying to keep them together while Sham was trying to get them to do some basic skills, but I had fun nontheless. I ended my dive with three meters as the max depth, as I had to swim back to shore with one diver who was unable to equalize her ears.

Tomorrow I am getting up early, as I’m assisting on the first dive at eight thirty. Before that it’s my responsibility to set up the equipment, and make sure everything’s ready. We’re going to a dive site called “Temple of the sea,” which is a rather large pinnacle we’ll swim around. From what I’ve heard, the divers out there almost always see Hector The Threelegged Turtle. Turtles are supposed to be migratory, but since this one has lost a leg, probably in some fisherman’s net, it stays put. Since he’s so easy to recognize, the divers have named him, and he’s one of the attractions of the “Temple.” Don’t ask me why he ended up being called Hector…