Saturday, November 24, 2012

Last Liveaboard as a DM

Just got back from the last liveaboard trip as a Divemaster Trainee. IT WAS AWESOME!! We did 3 dives at Richelieu, and I led some fun dives with awesome divers (and sometimes a lot of current... yay swimming in place!). Two of the people in my group were from Tuckee, CA, in their late 50s-mid 60s. Gene is on the Snow Patrol at Alpine, and he works on avalanche control. We talked a lot about Howitzers and other heavy artillery (dynamite, etc) that he gets to throw at mountains to create avalanches. SO COOL! His wife Susie is a botanist for the Forest Service and it was great talking to her too. The third person in my group was Dmitri from Estonia, and he was a fun diver who also likes skydiving.  I really like the people who come to Thailand to dive :)

On the ride out to the Surin Islands, there was a truly massive thunderstorm ahead of us. We stayed nice and dry and got to watch the show! This picture is from George (one of 200+ photos, most of which were all black...)
Thunderstorm ahead of the boat

Since I was leading dives, I couldn't take photos myself. The underwater ones are from Dmitri - enjoy!
Bearded scorpionfish

The staff decided that all the Divemaster trainees should try diving with a pony tank. These are often 6L tanks that technical divers use when they go to depths greater than 40 meters.  In our case, the tank was full of normal air and it was just a good exercise in buoyancy and gear management - we breathed from it during the safety stop and just had to manage it during the rest of the dive.  Of course, it turns out Rhys and John didn't have metal D-rings on their BCDs so they didn't have to carry it - but I got to practice, and it was pretty funny.  Good experience!
Carrying the pony tank
Gearing up on the dive deck with one of Wicked's divemasters, Chok
Breakfast on the boat - photo courtesy of George, another DMT
As another part of the course, the instructors wanted to see us assemble an oxygen kit blindfolded. This is NOT a requirement for O2 training or for the actual certification, but it's a funny activity and it was good to know how to put it together if the lights ever went out. Mostly, it was hilarious watching people try to assemble the bull-nose first stage (much harder to attach than a pin first stage) and we all had a good laugh. Then we had beers.
Blindly trying to save lives
I'm 2 classroom presentations away from being an official Dive Control Specialist and Divemaster! I have to teach open water students about masks and another (as yet undetermined) topic, and then I'll have completed everything. YAY! Time has flown by and I'm SO glad I did this course.

I'm planning to stick around for awhile so let me know if you're in the area - in 2 days I'll be able to guide certified divers, and help with SSI Open Water courses if you're interested in learning how to dive!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting these for global use! You are making the world a better place!

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