It’s been a long two days… Having put the books down the Rescue Diver course is certainly a fun challenge of keeping your wits about yourself.
Navigating a U shape or expanding square is all well and good on a beach on Khao Lak on an overcast day but wade into 5m deep water where you can barely see your outstretched hand is a rather different experience. With a couple of second takes and between counting kick cycles, and figuring out how to keep a temperamental compass properly balanced on your wrist, I’m almost sure that one of us was looking around the the imaginary thing were were supposed to be looking for! Although heaven forbid someone actually had gotten lost there as it was really hard to see my buddy (the lovely Gloria) never mind what could be a missing diver! Trusting the search pattern I would have no doubt we would have got the job done :p
Reflecting on yesterday really continues to add awe to how professional rescuers do their work, like all skilled jobs what looks easy is far from the truth.
Today, although a considerably earlier than the usually casual 9:30 start (7am) was a day on the boat 🙂
The initial calm and enjoyable cruise out of the harbour past the Thai Navy, and casual breakfast was rudely interrupted by an instructor having some melodramatic chest pains and cardiac arrest… Something quickly sorted out by or, not so, lightening fast EFR training… We could only get better, right?!
Getting ready for our first dive was a little nerve wrecking (as we knew there was more “trouble” on the horizon). All real world problems in diving came up… Making sure our buddies air was on and plugged into the BCD, weight belts attached, darting for the surface, heading off away from the dive site, out of air… Again, all dealt with pretty smoothly… I was generally happy, although not quite recognising the cone shell in the net we cut away from the wreck were were diving on was not the best…! Thankfully the shy mollusc preferred to hide than come out and “play”!
The wreck was covered in beautiful life… Big shoals of fish, dozens of scorpion fish, lion fish, morays, nudibranch…
Not so much to enjoy that though… Post lunch was interrupted by screams of yet another “clumsy” instructor having “slipped and fallen slicing his arm on the compressor”… This resulted in a reasonable amount of ketchup oozing on his arm. Nothing that our heroic Recue Divers could sort out…
Not moments later we had to don capes in broad daylight (there were no handy phone booths to get our underpants on over our wetsuits) we dashed to the rescue of a bunch of half downing or agonised snorkelers. Exhausted, and only having lost a mask to the blue (later found in the sand by our supreme leader (The commanding Keith)!!) we were allowed a fun dive of the wreck (and old tin dredger).
After surfacing the clouds had been rolling in and a storm was boiling overhead. Quite quickly the waves picked up and the rain was bouncing off the Adaman ocean’s surface. With the worsening weather the final exercise was, mercifully, postponed.
The ride back was filled with delicious spring rolls and speculation of how the 4th (and yet to be introduced) Dive Master trainee would look… This only makes sense if I tell you his name is Thor, from Sweden! With images of burly giants with horns and or hammers, or musings that he may be quite the opposite and be a midget with a lisp, we headed to home port.
After getting our wet gear rinsed and story the lovely Alex had organised a belated celebration for Gloria’s birthday… As we at cake it transpires that Thor had arrived and should be down at the accommodation… Finally the identity of the mysterious Scandinavia would be revealed!
Let’s just say he was neither a giant with a hammer nor did he speak with a lisp… Tomorrow we (an Irishman, a Swede, a Mexican, and a Canadian) start our Dive Master Training… Wicked Diving’s first of the season!