It’s now on my 10th week and time is near the end. I have a handful of skills and such to complete as well as a few of my specialty courses as well. These last few weeks will be crunch time. Mapping project of Punta Maravilla is done. I didn’t think drawing a map was even possible or within my skill set, but it turned out to be not so bad after all.
I’m rounding out 90 dives now and should have surpassed 100 by the end, which was a goal of mine when coming here. Another thing that I am able to check off of on my list. I also played an unresponsive diver this week and that was an eye opening experience. I was no longer in the driver’s seat that I had been in during my rescue course; I was the victim. It was a great experience to know and see how someone else reacts in the same situation. You aren’t “alive” to give them pointers or help them in getting off your gear.
In the past 2 weeks I have noticed significant changes in the ocean. The high winds and rough seas have passed and with it the low visibility. The last couple dives have been calm and visibility has been spectacular to say the least. In doing the wreck, El Condesito, I felt like I could see so many more parts of the ship and could see the ship from a ways back and it was much easier in my mind to reconstruct what the ship looked like previously. El Puertito has never looked so alive since much of the sand has settled out of the water. The amount of fish seems to have tripled there simply because you are able to see more clearly. The clear water also helped me spot an electric ray at Punta Maravilla as well. They have an amazing camouflage and I think I may not have spotted them had the visibility not improved.
As for me personally, I have traded my days off during the week for the month of March to go spend a few days with friends in Munich. I am really looking forward to going as a few of my friends meeting me there I have not seen in 2 years. It will be a great chance to not only see what Bavaria has to offer, but catch up as well. This also means going back to the cold weather. I am pretty far removed from the lower temperatures at this point and presume it will come as a big shock. I have been very spoiled here on the island with fantastic weather all the time. This is truly an ideal place to live and dive all year round.
I am looking forward to finishing up this next couple weeks and be the Divemaster I came here to be. I’ll be excited to attend the next dry dive for my Grand Rapids Scuba Club and report on my time here. I know many have seen the pictures I have posted online, but I haven’t had much chance to catch up with anyone to tell them of my progress and my divealicious adventures.
Time is flying here. I’m on week 8 of this trip and I can’t believe it. I have a lot to report in this blog so hold onto your hats; it is going to get windy.
I have begun the mapping project of Punta Maravilla with Carly. I have completed the necessary slides for the dive briefing, we just need to collaborate and put together a comprehensive underwater map of the area. I have done the site only 2 times so right now formulating a sketch seems impossible. I know that with more time and maybe bringing a slate with me to sketch underwater will be a big help.
Emergency action plan for El Condesito has also been completed and I have successfully put together a template for an emergency that may arise at this particular site. The plan is comprehensive and contains information on the coordinates, a list of actions to take, dialogue information for calling EMS as well as emergency phone numbers and a map to the nearest hospital.
I have now done a few dive briefings and am comfortable in doing them as well as leading dives. I have a few sites I am comfortable with and would be able to lead in the event I am needed. I enjoy being in the lead, every time I make it back to the anchor it’s like a little pat on the back… you made it Carrie.
I finished watching the PADI Divemaster video and have read the Divemaster manual and completed all the knowledge reviews. A bit of study and I am ready for the exam! I have a now put effort into the water skills such as a timed 800 meter snorkel and a 100 meter tired diver tow. I also need to prepare for the underwater assessment of the basic open water competencies. There are 24 to be exact.
On the more personal side, I went and enjoyed Carnaval this last weekend in Santa Cruz. It was not a Rio de Janeiro size celebration, but it was a great time nonetheless. The amount of effort that everyone puts into their costumes was incredible. Everyone was there to enjoy themselves and it was apparent by the amount of empty alcohol bottles, smiles and people dancing in the streets until the wee hours of the morning. I highly recommend that everyone goes at least once in their life to see the effort put into the festival. I also went rappelling down a valley here. Now that was intense. It looks much easier than it actually is. I was holding on for dear life over a 100 foot drop and caves the size of a two-story house. I finally got the hang of it on about the 3rd drop of 5. It was a wonderful sense of accomplishment to look up from the bottom and see just how far down I had gone.
Next week my intentions are to finish up a few more specialty courses and plug along with the water skills. I had better get off the toilet now…. Dan is probably wondering where I am. I’ll catch back up with you in 2 weeks time.