Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Stupid Rookie Mistakes

Within an hour of my fastboat pulling ashore on Gili Trawangan, I was back in the water acting as a guide for 4 certified divers!  Blue Marlin Dive's shop was so busy that when I walked in the door, they needed me to guide a dive at noon and another one at 2:30pm.  It's a fast learning curve, I went from primarily following and assisting instructors who were leading dives the last time I was here to taking out divers myself, providing them with an in depth dive briefing, guiding them during the dive, navigating, identifying and solving problems that may arise underwater, locating "sea creatures" to show them and identifying the creatures with hand signals.

So far I love it...It is challenging, I'm learning TONS, it's fun, I make a bit of beer money, I feel needed, and I get to dive as much as I want (often 3 dives/day) :).  In order for you to laugh at my expense... here is a list of the stupid rookie mistakes I have made as a Divemaster to date:
* Assembled gear with a yoke 1st stage on a din tank and didn't notice until we were on the boat getting ready to dive (used the spare, crisis averted) - for you non-divers out there.  This is really silly and it's such an obvious thing that a quick glance before setting the gear up would ensure this would never happen.
* I left my SMB (Submersible Marker Buoy) on the boat after the first dive and had to borrow someone elses for dive 2.  For the non-divers, an SMB is an inflatable sausage shaped bag that you inflate underwater and tie it to a line so that boats know divers will be coming up soon so you don't get left behind a la movie "Open Water"... it is pretty much essential gear!
* I guided a shallow dive (max 18m) where one diver couldn't descend due to trouble equalizing his ears and there was a moderate current so by the time we all got down to 18m we had drifted past the main reef and what we could see was way too deep for us to go, so... we spent a LOOOONG time floating out in the blue with nothing to see but jellyfish and plankton.
* I never really know when to go into the water when there are lots of groups in the boat... first, last, in the middle?  The water entry order seems really random.

Gili Trawangan has started to feel quite homey now that I've been here nearly 2 months so I've decided to stay on here diving and guiding until September 10th when I booked a flight to go to Singapore for a little shopping (scuba gear!! camera and underwater housing??) with one of the Blue Marlin Freelance Instructors, and a good friend here on the Island, Esther.  I also hope to ship some unneeded things home in order to streamline my travel luggage and to do a visa run in the hopes that I can extract myself from Gili Trawangan and see a bit more of Indonesia after the Visa run.  I'm also entertaining an offer to join Raf (another instructor here, and all-round awesome guy) in Thailand in the end of October for a cavern and cave diving course (that would be so cool!).  Only time will tell, all plans are subject to change.

A photo from my last cavern diving experience in a cenote in Mexico's Mayan Riviera.  A cenote is a dissolved out limestone sinkhole which forms a cave system).

On an unrelated note, last night marked the return of the "Blue Marlin Monday Night Party" since Ramadan is now over.  The theme was "represent your country".  Sadly all the Maple Leaf temporary tattoos were used up at the previous Monday Night Party which happened to be on Canada Day.  Without tattoos, I decided to dress as a proud Canadian Animal.

Well, it's 11pm and the time-challenged rooster in the garden in front of my room just crowed so it must be bedtime.  Selamat tidur.

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