Posts Tagged ‘Instructor’

We’re open for business!

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

It’s been waaaay too long since my last update, but we’re now finally up and running. Most of my time in the weeks since I wrote last were spent getting things ready, but it has now all paid off.  🙂 The new deck is beautiful, compressor works, we’ve got the staff we need, and we’re ready to go in the water! Our webpage is also up and running, although it needs a bit more work. Check it out at sunlightdivers.com!

Whenever I’ve not been working, I’ve been hanging around not doing much of anything… We got one more employee a couple of weeks ago, Becky from England, and yesterday Mike came over from the Perhentian Besar to be our manager, like last year. As I’ve been writing this we also got our first customer. 🙂 Now I’m REALLY looking forward to finally getting in the water and start teaching.

I don’t know how often I’ll be writing while I’m here, because after the novelty wears off, it’s limited how interesting it will be to hear about my days: get up, eat, dive,  dive, eat, dive, dive, eat, socialize, sleep,  get up, and so forth and so on… However, I’ll go a little bit more in detail about the place here.

I live just upstairs, above the dive shop, so it’s not really a long commute to the office, in fact the office is closer than the toilet and shower… The toilets are the western “chair” type, not squatters, but they have no flush, instead you flush them with a scoop that’s placed in a bucket of water next to it. The showers have quite limited water pressure, and only cold water. Hot water is not something I really need, as the climate here is warm enough that only modesty and social norms create the need to wear anything at all. It is nice to have a hot shower every once in a while, though, because you feel a lot cleaner after a hot shower than a cold one. Thus, when I met a couple of girls from Bryne (near Stavanger in Norway) a few weeks ago and found out they were staying in the fancy Bubu Hotel, I made sure to borrow their shower before they left…

My meals are normally taken in Moonlight restaurant, which is just next to the shop, in the same building. The food is good, but I miss not being able to cook my own food. What I miss the most in the way of food, however, is Sørlandschips, the bes potato crisps ever… If anyone from Sørlandschips or their owners, Valora Trade Norway reads this, please send me a crate of Sørlandschips with sea salt! 😀

I work from 8am to 6pm, and we have a rotation between us deciding who gets up to open up shop at 7:30, and who closes up at 8pm. After a late dinner, I sometimes head up the beach to the shops for necessities, or the bars for a beer and socializing. Last night I spent some time with a cool group of people, a girl from Arizona travelling with her roommates gay lover, two girls from Brighton, two Swedish brothers and a couple from Norway, one of whom used to live across the street from my old house in Misjonsvegen, the other one in Våland! Small world…

My room above the shop is quite simple, but I have what I need: a bed, a fan, a mosquito net, a bookshelf and some pegs to hang my clothes from.

The climate here feels like what I was made for: temperatures during the day normally peak out between 32 an 35 degrees, and sink to 28-29 during the night, while the water is a constant 30 degrees. Most days are sunny with a bit of haze because of evaporation from the sea, and every once in a while we have a day or two of strong winds, torrential downpour and thunder and lightning. The greatest hazard around here are falling coconuts, but we also have some monkeys that can bite if teased (never even saw one) scorpions (never saw any of those either) and the occasional python. The mosquitoes here don’t carry malaria, but they are quite annoying around dawn and dusk.

Okay, now you know a bit about my life here. The everyday life sets in here too after a while, but then I look out at the white beach and the blue sea, consider the fact that I COULD be spending my days in some dreary office, and I’m fine again.  😉

God påske, Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Today is Easter Sunday and I googled church in Sanur, and found  the Gateway Community Church, where they celebrate Sunday Service at 10am every Sunday.  I hailed a bemo and got there at 9:35, and was perplexed that there were no cars outside. When I came up to the door, it said that the congregation celebrated Easter Sunday at another church at 7am this morning…

As some of you will remember, I did my Divemaster course in the Perhentian Islands last year, and one of my friends down there, Richard, headed out to the Philippines to build a boat. The boat is now as good as done, and he’ll be sailing it down to the Perhentians.  I’ll be meeting him there, and I’ll be one of three instructors working with him and his sister in their new company South Sea Nomads. Those interested can read about the build and the people on the Lonely Planet Travel Blog, and follow them on twitter.

I am hanging around Bali for another week, then on the 11th I’ll do the night dive for my Night Diving Specialty Instructor course. We were supposed to do that dive a couple of days ago, but when we got down to Sanur beach around sunset, the boat we were supposed to go out on was beached like 150 meters from the sea, because somebody had forgotten to bring it out to deeper water before the tide went out… Jonathan Cross, the instructor trainer, then went on his easter holiday, so we’ll be doing the dive when he returns.

On April 13 I fly out to Kuala Lumpur, where I’ll arrive after midnight. Rich will be sending me some info by email tomorrow, so then I’ll know more about the logistics of starting up the business in the Perhentians. I’ll be there before the boat gets there, to prepare things, but that’s about as much as I know right now, so I guess this post will be a “to be continued” type cliffhanger…

Uncle Travelling Scuba Instructor!

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Passed my I.E. today, I am now an Open Water Scuba Instructor! Will be in teaching status as soon as the paperwork goes through! 😀

The result wasn’t as good as I was hoping/expecting, but a 4.2 and a 4.0 on the two Open Water Teaching presententations are still well on the safe side. 🙂

I do believe a celebration is in order!

IE – Instructor Examinations

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Since my last post, I’ve been a busy little bee…

iphone-031As you know, I’ve been working hard on becoming a scuba instructor. A definite highlight was this Sunday, when we went to Nusa Penida for an Adventure Diving Workshop. The first of our two dives was a dive to 39 meters, practicing teaching deep diving. We all had different tasks, like showing the difference in colours at that depth, showing the effect of pressure on a closed plastic bottle of air and a tennis ball, having people perform a timed task at depth and on the surface, and breathing from a pony bottle. My timed task, pointing at randomized numbers from 1 to 25 in the right order on a slate, took me 36 seconds at depth, and 24 seconds on the surface. I didn’t feel like the nitrogen was affecting me, but the numbers speak clearly of increased problem-solving time due to nitrogen narcosis! Our second dive was a shallow one, max depth a little under 12 meters, but really beautiful, drifting over a gorgeous coral reef. On that dive we practiced leading Discover Scuba Diving customers, people with no training in diving whatsoever, which means I as the instructor have to do everything for them.

Tuesday and Wednesday we did our Mock  IE, and Wednesday was the last day of my IDC, Instructor Development  course. After finishing off our presentations, we went to a restaurant on the beach for dinner and beers, compliments of Jonathan Cross, our Course Director.

Yesterday was my second day off since I came to Bali. This time there was no enforced rest, so I headed out to find a rash vest. Eeva from Finland also needed to do some shopping, so off we went to do a round of some factory outlets outside Kuta. I was disappointed with the selection, even in the Billabong factory outlet, but I found a decent one that wasn’t too expensive. We also padded around in Kuta for a bit, had lunch, and went down to the beautiful crescent beach there to have a look. I rounded off the day with an hour of relaxing traditional Balinese massage, priced at a friendly NOK 33, or about 4 Euros.

Today was the first day of our Instructor Examinations. We met up at Blue Season Bali around ten a.m. to go through some paperwork, and a little past one we went to Hotel Parigata here in Sanur for the theoretical part of our examinations. It started with a briefing on the logistics of the three days of examinations, and then we dove right into the written exams, first 5×12 questions on general dive theory with no reference materials in an hour and a half, and then 50 questions on PADI Standards and Procedures, open book exam in another hour and a half. My results ended up being:
Physics 11/12
Physiology 12/12
Recreational Dive Planner 12/12
Skills and Environment 12/12
Equipment 11/12
and
Standards and Procedures 49/50

The lowest passing grades are 9/12 and 38/50, so I was in the safe end of the spectrum. I’ve generally not had problems getting passing grades, although in the Physiology part of my Mock Exam I had four mistakes. Still, I’m happy with my results, but curious about what the three questions I missed were…

After the written exams, we went back to Blue Season, to prepare our Knowledge Development Presentations for tomorrow morning. I’ll be “teaching” the rest of the crew, who’ll be posing as Open Water students, about how to find minimum surface intervals, using the eRDPML (electronic Recreational Dive Planner, Multi Level)

After those presentations, we’ll head back to Blue Season again, to prepare for our next presentations, and tomorrow afternoon we’ll be in a pool in a hotel here in Sanur, where we’ll do our Confined Water Teaching presentations. My assignment is to once again “teach” four of the candidates, once again posing as Open Water students, how to establish neutral buoyancy, using the low pressure inflator.
After a skill circuit in the pool, demonstrating Regulator Recovery and Clearing, Breathing From a Free Flowing Regulator, Alternate Air Source Use (stationary), Neutral Buoyancy, and Controlled Emergeny Swimming Ascent (CESA) it’s back to home base at Blue Season to prepare the last set of presentations, which will take place in open water on Sunday.
Early Sunday morning we’ll  head out to sea, and my presentation to my “students” will be Alternate Air Source Use (stationary) and CESA. The final task for the examinations will take place immediately after our Open Water Teaching presentations, when we’ll all do a rescue presentation, towing an unresponsive nonbreathing diver to safety, while removing scuba gear and giving rescue breaths.

And VOILÁ, I’ll be an Open Water Scuba Instructor!