Someone watching my diving over the last few days would have been thinking that he’s a right plonker, and shouldn’t be allowed in the water. I’ve failed to disconnect my low pressure inflator hose, I’ve put the snorkel on the wrong side, I even had my tank on backwards yesterday. Then once I got into the water, I had more mishaps. I ran out of air, I panicked, I cut my leg, I cut my arm, I went catatonic. I’ve been hauled out of the water at least 10 times, I’ve had rescue breathing and I’ve been on oxygen. Emergency medical services were called out more times than I can remember. Truly, a shocking performance.
But fear not, for while my diving skills still needs A LOT of practice, they’re not quite THAT bad. I have been assisting on a PADI Rescue Diver course. This is a great course, where you get to learn how to handle incidents. A couple of students had pulled out, leaving just the one student. And you can’t have a rescue course without victims, right? So I was called upon to assist with the course – and this meant being the victim. Steven had to calm me down, bring me to the surface, get me out of the water – and then I’d just go and do something silly again. Lots of fun.
It made for a busy weekend, in the classroom yesterday morning, then the pool all afternoon, then out to the Lake today. Unfortunately it was a bit windy, so we couldn’t go out to Matheson Bay, like we had hoped too. But that was OK being in the lake, because then we were near an Open Water course that was doing their last dive. Because wouldn’t you know it, there were two instructors there, and one of them lost the other! So we had to go searching for Colin, recover him, and bring him back to the shore. It was a bit tough on Steven, as when you’ve got a few other students on the course you don’t have to remember everything yourself. When you’re the only one there, then the instructor/DM will only jog your memory a bit, if you need it. But he did really well.
The only problem was that all the ascents and descents got to me, and on one of the descents I had a sharp pain in my sinus, that I’ve never experienced before. So I put in a real incident, just to mix things up. Then of course you have to make it clear that this is not a drill… It’s still a little bit sore, but when I stuck my head down a few metres later on it seemed OK, so I’ll just have to watch it. It had better be OK this week, as I’ve got pool sessions on Monday and Thursday, and then all weekend I’ll be at the Poor Knights.