Divemaster Internship Blog – Ben

Diving
Today marks one month in Tenerife and I have about 20 dives thus far. Erin made a full recovery and she quickly began diving. The first week back for her was not too busy, but with some still having colds that meant extra work, which is great; you don’t want to just sit here all day. Besides a lot of diving we were able to get moving on our courses. Erin, Paula and I finished our EFR (Emergency First Response) course and we are almost finished with our Rescue Diver Course, we just need to take our final tests. Tara was really good at being our panicked diver and we all laughed at each other as Tara overpowered us in the pool sinking us to the bottom to simulate how dangerous a panicked diver can be. We also learned how to pull someone out of the water by ourselves, get an unresponsive diver to the surface and give rescue breaths while towing a victim in the water. It was very fun.

Last week was busy with 2-3 dives everyday. Tuesday and Wednesday were crazy because we had 6 dives to coordinate on Tuesday and 6 others, on Wednesday plus we had a family of 4 as well as Tara’s brother doing an Open Water Course. It was nice to review the skills and lessons as, it has been 9 years since I took my Open Water Course, but it was hard being wet all day.
On Tuesday, Adrian and I drove to the other side of the island to the El Peñon wreck sitting down at 30 meters (98 feet) underwater. We had two instructors visiting who wanted to do this and I was excited.. We started heading down and at about 14 meters I could not clear my right ear. I tried to go up a bit and then slowly come down, but the slope was steep and I continued to drift further and further down, which did not make my ear feel any better. I finally called it quits and turned around to abandon the dive when I came up to 10 meters and my ears cleared! I went down to 12 meters with no problem, then 14 meters with no problem, so I dropped down quickly rejoined the group who were down at about 20 meters. I’m really glad that I was able to equalize because I love wrecks and challenging dives. It was a purposely sunk ship, but it was still fun and it makes me want to get my Wreck Diving Certification.
After that we went to Las Eras, on this day there was a wicked current.. I got a bit cold and I was just done after these two long but good dives.
El Penon Wreck

 

Las Eras Dive
Above: The El Penon Wreck and Las Erason the right.

Wednesday morning was nice. The staff  had a meet and greet with the family from South Carolina, and we filled out some paperwork and finished their theory learning. Then it was Paula and I in the pool for 3.5 hours.  The family did great and they learned very quickly. The next morning we went to El Puertito, our house reef, for their first two open water dives. They did well, but it was so busy at the shop that we had to wait for our van to arrive from dropping off and picking up so many different divers. After we had lunch and we were back in the pool to finish off their skills..  That was a late night for us as Erin was off with Adrian finishing off two dives with some more customers. We did not get home until 8:00pm and our day started with us leaving the apartment at 8:15am.

DSCF4112 copyEl Puertito Dive: Two of the four turtles. Jose is on the left and Juan on the right.

Friday, was our last day with family and they did really well on their final two dives. My mask was having problems with leaking and my alternate air source came loose and while fiddling with both, Erin and I lost the group. We were in the center of El Puertito and in that section it was really hard to determine which way was which, so we chose a direction and off we went for our allotted 1 minute of looking. We did not find them and so we surfaced and swam back to shore as we knew that the group was around 70 bar and headed in. It sucks surface swimming in full gear, but it was a short swim and everything worked out in the end.

To thank us, the family invited us out for lunch. It turned out to be more of an early dinner as the final paperwork took a while to finish. It was really nice chatting with them and relaxing at a nearby restaurant. They even treated us to a few pitchers of sangria. At the end we said goodbye and quickly headed off to celebrate Jay’s birthday. Jay is Tara’s brother from the UK and he was our extra on the Open Water Course. To celebrate we went out to go Go-Karting. I had never done this before and due to the fact that I have been living abroad for so very long, I haven’t driven much at all. Needless to say I came in last. Dan, the winner of the evening, said I looked like I was simply cruising about. After a few turns around the track we went out for dinner at a traditional Canarian restaurant that serves huge portions. Even though most of the group was full from the awesome lunch/dinner that the family had treated us to, we ate and drank beer and laughed. It was a great night and Erin and I got the weekend off.

Photos of us at the Go-Kart Track and Dinner
Living 3Living 4Living 1Living 2

So our small studio is doing great. The cockroach problem is under control. The poison and roach motels are working and we only see one now and then. We finished buying the bare minimum to live comfortably and we even managed to find a cheap sheet to cover the broken down couch on our balcony. It’s pretty comfortable too. The problem is, we are on the first floor and a wild cat has decided to sleep there at night. Not a big deal, but now the cat is marking the couch and I cannot stand cat pee. It is so disgusting. I have been trying various methods to get the cat out. My latest is two air freshner dispensers that spray on movement. I’m still playing with the setting to make sure it works but hopefully it will. I’ll keep you updated on the cat situation.

The weather has been nice and keeping steady. This is a nice change from the super hot days we had when we arrived and the incredibly windy days that we had earlier in March. The time-shift means it doesn’t get dark until about 9pm and the sun comes up around 7:45 so it’s still dark for our morning runs.
We are doing really well and having a blast. We just finished our Rescue Diver Course yesterday and we are on our way to finishing Divemaster Certification.

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