Two weeks ago we finished our Rescue Diver Course and we immediately started our Divemaster Course. We received a large bag with two books, a couple of training guides, the training log book with Instructor manual and the Divemaster dvd. The dark blue booklet is my dive log, which I purchased on my own.
This is definitely a different type of course. Erin and I started right away, reading as fast as we could. Paula was already ahead of us, as she started the internship a month ahead of us. The first half of the book went quickly, PADI Divemaster professionalism, responsibilities, etc., but the second half goes into more complex ideas of pressure, volume, density and dive related injuries, like Decompression Sickness. It’s quite a bit more challenging than the first part.
We have to meet certain challenges to become a Divemaster: 800m snorkel, 400m swim, 15 minute float with the final 2 minutes hands free, 100m tired diver tow (literally dragging a person in the water), and the big one is a complete exchange of equipment, underwater, sharing one regulator. These are all timed depending on how fast you are, you get a certain amount of points, of which you need a certain amount to pass the course. We have finished all of them, with the exception of the equipment exchange. I came in first on the swim, Paula was first on the snorkel race, and Erin was first on the tired diver tow. It was nice that we all got the best time on one challenge each. The float isn’t a race, you have to do fifteen minutes; the grade is based on how well you tread water.
We had a very busy two weeks here. We started on April 20th with an Open Water Course that turned out to be challenging, as two of them had trouble with some of the course and one ended up leaving; diving was not for him. The others did great and passed the course very happy, one is even thinking about returning as an intern. Then we started mapping out a site called the Crane. Every Divemaster has to map one site and ours is huge since there are three of us: Paula, Erin and I. It is also covered in Sea Urchins and the depth can very from 9 meters to 20+. We have found it challenging to say the least. Mapping involves literally drawing the most detailed map of the site possible, marking the route with bearings, depths and finding every point of interest possible and then putting all of this information into a presentation so that we can present it, and dive it with our instructor as he grades us. We have dived it four times thus far and we still have several more to go.
Later in the week we were hit with lots of divers, so it was up to Erin and I to go on the dives with them because Paula hurt her ears and has been out of the water. I did 13 dives in seven days, which is a record for me, and I am up to 94 dives total. Coming up is the special 100th, where tradition has it, you dive naked. We will see how that goes.
Things have been good at home. Erin and I have become more productive now that we have a solid goal in front of me. We have spent hours on our days off studying and learning. The cat has made one smelly return since I put out the sensor air fresheners, but I have been checking every morning and I haven’t see any sign of him. So hopefully he is gone for good this time.
The weather is beginning to warm up and so is the water. It’s gone up a degree and the sun is coming out more. Luckily our apartment gets the morning sun so our place doesn’t get too warm.
This the hardest part of our commute to work. We have to go up and down this gorge twice a day. In the back is a bridge that they are building. They were talking about it for six years and they have been building it for four months. In any other modern country it would have been finished in a month.