Posts Tagged ‘Padi’

Patience, Prayer and Penicillin heal all wounds…

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

… even tropical ulcers.

I had a visit from my cousin ages ago, and we had a brilliant time together. It was magnificent to finally be able to show someone from home what I’m always nagging about… Since then, I have also been able to show my sister Anne Malene and her boyfriend Øyvin, and two of my classmates from primary school and junior high, Gunn Ragnhild and Valdis. I went scuba diving with all of them,  but Anne Malene and Øyvin had to wait for my heel to heal before I could teach them to dive.

I got a tiny little scratch on the back of my right heel about a month ago, so small that I didn’t notice it before it started to get red. It soon started hurting, and then my foot swelled up like a balloon. The assumption when I got to the clinic in the fishermen’s village on Perhentian was that I had contracted a tropical ulcer, and I was put on broad spectrum antibiotics. It still took a good week and a half before I was off the crutches and back in the water, and it still has not healed completely, although it looks very nice.

Seeing my friends from way back when was also really cool. We reminisced about the olden days (about 20 to 14 years ago), and caught up on more current events. I got to refresh old diving skills with Gunn Ragnhild, while Valdis got her first taste of scuba diving.

Days of sun, sea and salt water still have not gotten old, I enjoy every bit of it. I even have one more friend lined up to come here soon, to finally finish a diving course, after having started it several times with several people who for one reason or another had to back out. 😀 If anyone else wants to come and learn to dive, just give me a holler, and I’ll set you up! 🙂

In other news, I have crossed over to SDI, and now teach divers through that organization as well as PADI.  My SDI certification cards and teaching material arrived today, but my PADI cards that were supposed to be sent to Blue Season Bali, where I finished my course in the beginning of April still haven’t showed up… The course director there is now on the case, and is trying to get PADI to send me the cards here.

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Examinations going well

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Really happy about my results today:

Knowledge Development Teaching Presentation: 5.0
Confined Water Teaching Presentation: 5.0
Skill Circuit: 5 x 5.0

Grades go from 1.0, which is a fail, to 5.0.

😀 Happy Uncle Travelling Gjerulf!

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!

Scuba diving and rock climbing on Koh Phi Phi

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

On Wednesday Helena and I left Koh Tao, took the boat to Surat Thani, and then a bus to Krabi. We spent a night in Krabi, and then headed out by boat to Koh Phi Phi on Thursday. Out here we’ve kept meeting people that we’ve met before, and all agree that this island beats both Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. It has neither the forced party atmosphere of Koh Pha Ngan, nor the forced diving environment of Koh Tao, although it offers both the party scene, the diving scene and more. It also seems the locals are more welcoming and friendly, making us travellers feel more relaxed and at home. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but the tsunami on December 26 2004 might have made it clear how dependent society out here is on continued tourism. It was a horrible disaster, and everyone here, expats and locals alike, lost family and friends when the massive wave washed over the island. Some signs are still left of the wholesale destruction left in the wake of the tsunami; a few pieces of land are still just fields of rubble, and some broken palm trees are  still standing, but all in all Koh Phi Phi is just as beautiful as it used to be. The Phi Phi islands have been backdrop for both a Bond movie that I can’t remember the name of, and the movie The Beach, and it’s just as beautiful as it looks on the Silver Screen.

We booked our first dive trip the night we arrived, and on Friday, yesterday, we went out on a dive boat shared by a big diving outfit, and several of the smaller ones. We’re in the low season now, and many don’t have enough customers to warrant taking out a boat each. I had two dives to about twenty meters, while Helena spent the time snorkeling. On my first dive I saw a couple of black tipped reef sharks whizz by, but I missed the sea turtle that some other people spotted just after I got out of the water. On my second dive, I saw another couple of Black Tipped Reef Sharks, was REALLY close to two Great Barracudas, a Striped Sea Snake, and also saw a couple of Leopard Sharks. The second Leopard Shark was lying still on the bottom, and I swam up around to try and lie down next to it for a picture. While I was heading around, someone else got too close to it, and scared it up. The result was that the shark swam up, and alongside me for a few meters, and a divemaster from a different outfit got a cool picture of me swimming less than half a meter from the Leopard Shark! He’s the boyfriend of the divemaster who was my dive buddy for the dive, and he promised to email me the photo! 😀 I rented an underwater camera for the day, and I don’t regret it in the least, even though it cost quite a bit. 🙂 Helena saw a handful of Blacktips during her snorkling too, and also a couple of Leopard Sharks. She was bitten by the dive bug, and is starting her Open Water course tonight. 😉 When we’re heading out to Pulau Perhentian in Malaysia, she can then either do fun dives, or she can take her Advanced Open Water if she feels like it, and her budget allows it.

Last night we headed out to the beach after dark, and watched a really good fire show, with poi, fire sticks, fire limbo and other games. Some of the fire jugglers around here are really good, and they look like they really enjoy what they’re doing, unlike what we saw in Koh Pha Ngan and to some extent in Koh Tao.

Tomorrow Helena is headed out to do her confined water dives, and I am going rock climbing. I suspect my body will be completely beat after seven hours of climbing, seeing as I’ve hardly climbed at all since I left Italy in ’99… I’m going to start out with a few top rope climbs, and if the guide is satisfied with my skill, I’ll be lead climbing some routes after that. Here’s hoping that climbing is like biking, and my body remembers the techniques! Right now I’m sitting in an Australian bar with free WiFi and the France vs. New Zealand rugby match on TV, but once this is posted I’ll bring my book to the beach, and keep Helena company while she’s studying for her OW exam. It’s a pity I’m missing the Norwegian summer, but I’m not complaining. 😛