So this post is going to be a big pile of all the small bits that don’t really fit together but can’t make full posts on their own. Photo-wise it’ll also be a mix of photos that relate to the text and photos that I really want to show but sort of lack an opportunity to use. Okay enough with the introduction, let’s get to it!
So it turns out that my ears were not made for diving. Despite being cleared by my ear doctor to go diving I keep having troubles equalizing my ears. If I was just fundiving it wouldn’t be a problem as I could go down at my own pace or abort the dive if necessary but working as a divemaster doesn’t go well with my ears. After an experience the other day where I took three certified divers for an afternoon dive with an awful current and a crappy visibility and they instantly dropped down to 20 metres while I was stuck at 5 metres almost not able to see them while my head was exploding with thoughts on what would be the right thing to do I haven’t wanted to get back in the water with customers. I eventually managed to get down to them so we could do the dive but I was very lucky that they were fairly experienced divers and therefore didn’t mind that I had problems.
But being a divemaster and not wanting to go diving is not really a good combination. I’m left to being surface support (which means staying back on the boat and doing cleaning jobs while the others go diving) or working at the base. So I’ve filled A LOT of tanks lately (one of the things that needs to be done at the base every day)!
Besides making good friends with the compressor I’ve spent a day learning how to service regulators. That was.. interesting! Eh well, I’ve never really been good at working with tools and even worse at taking things apart and putting them back together so when Neil said to me that I was spending the day doing exactly that I might not have been glowing with joy. It turns out that a regulator is made up of so many different thingies not to mention the thousand o-rings that are everywhere! Servicing a regulator means take everything apart and wash all the metal parts in an ultrasound cleaning thingy with vinegar and rinse all the plastic things with vinegar. When that is done and everything is dried then it has to be put back together which is where it gets really tricky! So the first regulator Neil helped me a lot and supervised the whole thing. With the next I was pretty much left on my own when taking it apart and then waiting for his supervising when I assembled it. The third and last one was where I finally started to almost like the job and I assembled to whole thing myself beaming with pride until at the very end I found out that I had forgotten a stupid stupid o-ring far inside the second stage.. Then the fun was over and I was back to being annoyed!
A couple of days ago when I (surprise) was at the base I managed to accomplish quite a lot. First I spent the morning sanding an old tank while using a diving mask as safety goggles – a great tip is to turn them upside down so it is still possible to breathe through the nose.
The afternoon was used scrubbing the waterline and the hull of the largest boat – unfortunately just doing the portside took three hours so at the moment I’m waiting to have another afternoon to jump in all my dive gear and do the other side. Given that the water inside the marina probably isn’t very clean it might sound like a real bummer to be assigned for that job but to be honest I didn’t mind doing it (as long as I don’t end up getting sick!). However if I had to do it every week I would definitely think differently!
When I went to Cooper on my last day off I just want to mention that I actually did manage to work on my master project! No okay that wasn’t really what I wanted to tell I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to brag! For a long time I’ve wanted to try Stand Up Paddleboarding imagining what an awesome way of exercising it would be. So I jumped at my chance to try it as Sail Caribbean Divers have SUPs for rental on Cooper Island. Luckily it wasn’t as difficult as I had feared considering my poor balance and I only fell off once. I was out paddling around for about half an hour where at least the last 15 minutes were spent thinking about when I could go back in ’cause to be honest it was really boring? Looking back I don’t really know what I had expected from it? Well I’m glad I finally tried it and I’m even more glad that I didn’t have to pay for it!