Another week and the penultimate before the Christmas holidays.
This week we had a dive on Monday to burn the dinner of the night before. Tara and myself went to dive to “El Puertito”, where again we spotted the majestic Butterfly Ray, who was fast asleep, fully camouflaged, and barely looked silhouette and eyes when he woke up, but did not move, Spotted by Sven. We also saw several cuttlefish, an Octopus and Jose with a desire to play. We then went to Marazul Arch, where in the cave we found an Angel Shark in 26-27 meters. Tara let me lead these two dives. The first one I had no problems, perhaps I need to learn where to stop for customers, better adjust the speed of dive, but overall Tara congratulated me. In the second, well let’s say I have had better days… because I made a mistake with the orientation, Tara had to correct me, but luckily she was with me and divers enjoyed both dives, due to different air consumption I took one diver to the exit point, while Tara went to the Blowhole with the other diver who was better on air. I have to say that after the dive I was pretty disgusted with myself, but seeing how much the customer enjoyed it and that both congratulated me it gave me a lot of moral, they certainly didn´t realize how important it was. It’s all part of the learning curve.
Later in the week, a little carpentry and painting work to continue giving a facelift to the center, slowly improving things, this time was the classroom, totally remodelled, painted and with new furniture (desk, kitchen, shelves), It was a pleasant job since Tara delighted us with a nicely spicy Pizza (Dan and I had to drink at least 2 litres of water each after the pizza) when we were still painting at midnight!!.
A Snorkelling trip to burn the pizza the following day. We were lucky to spot a banquet that a Fang tooth moray had in El Puertito in front of my eyes. From Wednesday to Friday my first full Open Water course, helping in the pool and after leading all dives except first one. Noted that in the first of the dives, our beloved turtle Jose came to us for help, because in his left fin had a fishing hook stuck, despite trying several times, we were not able to take it off.
At the end we calld the rescue centre, who informed us that they could not do anything unless we took the turtle out of the water, took him to the dive centre, and once there, we call them for them to come, being an 1 hour drive , so that Jose would have to be at least three hours out of the water, which meant, highly stressed turtle, and tourists would look at us carrying a turtle out of the water without knowing anything etc … We decided to go back and have a look without removing him out from the water, try to take off the hook, or…who knows. I think Jose smelled what to expect and decided not to appear. (Julio and Juan did). The next day we returned, and to our surprise, the hook was gone, so we avoided the ordeal. (Rescue centre workers exonerated because I guess it is the protocol to be followed, but it seemed a lot of stress for the turtle just to remove a hook from an animal, but anyway …).
Course ended with excellent results for our new diver Eetu. A couple of dives on Saturday, in Turtle sites (El Puertito and Alcalá), and for the first time since I arrived in Callao Salvaje, we did not see even 1 turtle !!! Visibility was pretty bad, so maybe one passed by, that we couldn’t see.
To finish the week, Dan and Adrian took me to Radazul to make two more skills as Divemaster. First, I experienced first Twinset use, Dan left me his old one and adjusted it for me the previous day, bringing two bottles and reaching my milestone of 42.2 meters (maximum until today), where we were playing with an egg (yes, how hitting it and seeing how when it was opened did not break, even let us take a little game of tennis). Going to this point we pass through a memorial for a diver lost in a cave 12 meters deeper than us, 19 years ago. The diver was trying to dive where no-one else had gone before. Probably he got there but he wasn’t found ever).
Finally, as Dan and Adrian wanted to go see the pyramid on the right wall in Radazul, we used it for the Search and Recovery exercise. I had to find an object previously hidden by Dan and using a lift bag, and knots previously taught to carry it to the surface. On this dive we found a majestic Dentex (close to 1 meter I would say), a big grouper, a large group of barracudas, one cylinder anemone dancing with the current and a few anemones .
That’s all for now, next week I will write my last blog before the Christmas break, where it seems that although the centre is closed, work is still continuing for dives and courses pre-booked for these days.
Have fun and keep diving!!