Southern Belle, a Free Spirit, and Thor’s Chihuahua

Our first liveaboard on our DMT course… It wasn’t quite as stressful as I thought it might be but there was definitely a lot going on.  The guests on the boat were fantastic, although it was a little intimidating having 3 instructors and 3 dive masters on the list…

The first morning was an easy start (wakey wakey at 7:30am) and as I climbed out of my bunk I was greeted by the massive granite boulders for which the Similan’s are known for and the sun, already climbing high.  The sea was calm and peaceful and the views around the bay where we had moored beautiful.

Our check dive was as serene as the manner in which the day had welcomed us… although the large disc plaques underwater tsunami memorial was both a haunting reminder of the tragedy 12 years ago and as we enjoyed the creatures that grew on them a reminder that life regenerates and continues.

Back on board we ensured that all our guests go back on board.  Canadians, Brazilians, English, Americans, Australians… quite the mix.  I couldn’t help but think of the parallels of what I learned on this trip and the personalities of the guests… The delightful Natasha who I never saw without a huge and beautiful smile on her face, Liza the bubbly southern belle who revealed in her friend’s company, and Noemie the free spirit of the 19 year old Australian who wanted to take theatre to the world and danced without a care to the music on the boat…

So I still hadn’t finished my Rescue Diver course so I had to complete an additional scenario.  On a boat full of Instructors and Dive Masters it’s a little intimidating… I was a little surprised how little it bothered me, having a bunch of strangers stare while we made some rescues and “barked” orders for the fake rescue.  I remember thinking about how uninhibited Noemie was by who was watching as she bounced around the deck to whatever tune was on the stereo.  Liza’s self-assurance and confidence are attributes that I realised carry well when making decisions while guiding.  My initial attempt wasn’t the prettiest and, as I made my second attempt I tried to remember to present more confidence and make more smoothly decisive decisions.

Of course, as always, looks can be deceiving and it’s easy to get into bad habits of making assumptions about someone on appearances or first impressions.  I don’t struggle a lot with meeting people, although I still end up making some assumptions about those that aren’t immediately or quickly appealing.  The loud and brash, or perhaps someone that gives off those porcupine vibes, are easy to judge.  Although I think Thor (who happens to be Icelandic not Swedish) is great, his Nordic ways are quite abrupt at times and its certainly interesting to make you interpret the words with the intent in mind, not the tone.  I’m not picking on him but he makes for a good illustration of how the superficial masks quite a different world… I was rather amused to find out that he has a 20yr old Chihuahua called Loki…. hahaha… seriously… totally awesome.  But as I got to know some of the others beyond the initial impressions we turned out to have far more similar traits and attitudes than I would have thought… either in my current state of mind or perhaps from quite a few years ago… regardless, being reminded to constantly keep an open mind and hear other people’s story and see through the way in which they present themselves goes a long way to prevent you being judgmental.

So, the next step is to assist with some Open Water Courses… let’s see how that adventure turns out!


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