Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting Acquainted

The dive season starts on Monday, so we've had a very busy few days preparing to assist with Open Water Courses and Divemastering.  It's great having a bungalow to call home base, and I have space to hang my things outside so they dry (mostly, since there's a thunderstorm of truly epic proportions at 3pm sharp every day). 
I live in the right half of the bungalow with a queen bed, porch, bathroom, sink, fridge, and FAN. It's very nice!

The pool is quite small but there are only 4 of us taking the class, so we have plenty of space to practice our skills.  Right now we're learning how to demonstrate, which is SO much harder than just being able to do them in cases of emergency. I truly believe that teaching is the best way to learn and I think my diving has hugely improved in the last 2 days of pool sessions.  ~4 hours each day in chlorine is exhausting though. John and I are both working on the SSI skills (I'll do PADI as well) so we are trained by Anna, an amazing and fiesty woman from Barcelona. She and her husband have been instructors for years and have made a living traveling from exotic location to exotic location - awesome role models, and great to work with!

Me and my dive trainer Anna.
Of course, all work and no play wouldn't be any fun. I think diving is the best way to combine work and play, but there is also a vibrant dive community in addition to learning skills and taking tourists on dive boats.  Tuk and Ploy, two of the staff at Wicked Diving, are native Thai who know the area and took us around to some of the best bars and restaurants. It's awesome having their experience because otherwise we would have no idea where to go! 

Eating at our favorite street food stand, Orchids. AMAZING food!! 

Fruity drinks at the Monkey Bar, a local hot spot for divers

Thai funk band at the Happy Snapper, which has live music daily. The band & singers played songs ranging from "Price Tag" by Jessie J to  Sublime and Bob Marley. They are so talented!
We also had a big welcome dinner for all the staff at Wicked Diving - here's the photo :) there are 8 instructors and 4 of us taking the Divemaster Training class, plus Aldo (standing up) who coordinates the shop and Ploy who helps with international bookings. It's a very fun, welcoming, and exciting group of people with INCREDIBLE life stories. For example, Danny is the other Barcelonean dive instructor and he used to be a business formal, professional lawyer. Now he's living the dream! The instructors are all experienced and come from all over, so it's going to be an AMAZING experience learning from them. I can't believe it's already been a week!

The Wicked Diving team

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