Harry’s Divemaster Diary – Part 5

songkranSorry for the delay in Diary writing, it’s been a hectic few days. Not only because of the course, but also because we had to have a day off to celebrate the Thai New Year.  For those of you who have never experienced a New Year celebration Thai style, you don’t know what you are missing!  There’s no waiting for the midnight chimes, no linking arms and singing songs that no-one really knows the words to, in fact, by that time most people were already at home tucked up asleep! But it’s not like we didn’t party. The difference is we started at 10am! And so commenced the biggest pool party I’ve ever seen. Held at the dive centre, we grabbed anything that would hold water and proceeded to soak everyone who arrived to celebrate with us. Water guns, buckets, washing up bowls, you name it; someone was merrily soaking the nearest person. A water pistol was my weapon of choice, but I soon realized I had a very big logistical problem…. Filling it up! The only source of water was the pool, and to refill, it had to be submerged, which meant I had to be balanced on the edge of the pool. This sadly made me the focus of many peoples’ amusement as I was continually pushed into the water. Accepting my poor choice and fate, I quickly forged a method of at least keeping my sunglasses on as I was continually dunked. As the day wound down, I remembered we had to be in tomorrow to carry on with my Divemaster course.  So off home I went thinking it was the best New Year ever!

The next morning, a little bleary, we carried on in earnest and we were at the beach before we knew it. Time to demonstrate to Dave that I had retained some skills he had taught me earlier in the course. Whilst I had thought I’d cracked the knot tying, I quickly learnt that being underwater and tying the same knots was a whole different ball game. I can’t put my finger on why this task suddenly became mission impossible, but it did (for a few minutes anyway).

compassMy last task of the day was to demonstrate underwater search and recovery skills. This involves Dave hiding something and me using different search methods to locate the item and use a lift bag to return it to the surface. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?  As I start my chosen search pattern I suffer from the same problem as earlier, from now on referred to as ‘Water Induced Stupidity’ – WIS for short. It would appear that the influence of WIS has meant that my compass has become an incorrectly functioning piece of kit instead of the friend it used to be! Then I remember the old saying ‘user error’, have a word with myself, and get it together before Dave notices. Brain restarted, I fin off and easily find the missing item and safely send it to the top, where I’m reunited with it and Dave.

My lesson for today is when a student is on the surface and practicing with a compass before they try the skill underwater, and they appear to have mastered it, remember that can WIS affect anyone and often hits without warning but is easy to recover from if you remember to Stop, Think, Act.