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January 23rd 2014

22 Jan 2014 ="post-tag" > Written by  ="post-tag" >

Ask a silly question
silly-scuba-questionsAs you can imagine, we get a very broad mix of people coming to Big Blue to either learn how to dive, or go fun diving. They bring with them every sort of personality you can think of, as well as some you can't. We have quiet students that diligently listen and just get stuck into the learning process, people who don't listen to a word you say as you're trying to teach them, and people who ask very sensible questions that actually make some experienced instructors have to think about the answer. On the flip side of that, we're also asked questions that make us wonder how that person managed to ever obtain a passport, make it to the airport and travel to Thailand in the first place.
One student in the pool once described how they really liked the attention to detail we'd made to emulate the conditions of the ocean by installing a "current simulator". After a bit of head scratching, the instructor realised that they meant the filter that sucks water in to clean the pool! One of our ex-instructors, Tosh, was asked by their student why Koh Tao doesn't drift away.. after a pretty confusing conversation, it turns out that they thought that the entire Island of Koh Tao was like a raft that was anchored to the sea bed to keep it in place! That one is going to take some serious beating. One of my recent students was having a bit of trouble understanding dive planning, and whilst we were going through the dive tables she told me she couldn't understand what "residential nitrogen" meant. Either she meant residual, or I need to look at the tables again. I should have replied that residential nitrogen must always be kept seperate from the central business district nitrogen, or there will be noise complaints about the divers once they get back to land.
On the advanced course we talk about increased pressure from diving to 30 metres, and can demonstrate this by taking an empty water bottle down, filling it up with air, and then on the boat hearing it pop as the lid is removed. We also play tricks occassionally and people do fall for them. One is to show students a large bottle of chang beer on the boat, then take a small bottle of chang down to show them at 30 metres, implying that the increased pressure has shrunk the bottle. You'd be amazed how many people fall for this. We also do the same with small and large mars bars, and convince people that the pressure makes the chocolate taste better.. at least that's what it looks like as they nod their heads whilst taking a bite post dive. Maybe people just prefer the taste of salty mars bars.
At the end of the diving day, as people wash their equipment they are asked to fully inflate their BC before handing it in, so it has a chance to dry on the inside as well as outside. We see quite a lot of people pressing the inflator button, staring at us in puzzlement, before asking the inevitable "why is it not working". 
A really common question we are often asked comes as we are about to descend underwater in the pool for the first time... "Do I need to put my regulator in to go down?" But my favourite was a recent student that came up to me at the end of the pool session on the first day of her open water course, and said, completely straight faced, "Have you ever taught anyone as thick as me before?" How could I possible say no to that!? That just made me think she was awesome.
It's all part of the reason that we love our job, we're not really laughing at you, the questions are often very endearing, and you should hear some of the stupid things we say when talking to students, usually first thing in the morning. In fact, i'll have a chat with my colleagues and dedicate the next post to the stupid things instructors and divemasters have said to their customers.

We've had a mini-relapse of monsoon over the past few days, with very choppy conditions out in the Gulf of Thailand cancelling some of the ferries, and creating some very green looking people. But hurrah, the forecast is set to calm down over the next couple of days. Speaking to the captain of Banzai yesterday, he said that once the weather has died down, that's it... flat seas, hot baking sun and incredible underwater visibility, mostly until the next monsoon! Looking forward to Mr Sun heating Mr Ocean up again so that us pathetic dive professionals can go diving sans wetsuit and instead put on a rash vest and board shorts. We've all acclimatised to the ocean being 27 degrees instead of the usual 31, so we are cold when diving. Our customers that are used to colder conditions anyway will not really think it's cold at all. It seems that the vending machine that supplies cups of concrete has been broken of late.

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Read 1248 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:24

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