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January 25th 2014

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

Dive “professionals”
instructorIn the last blog I wrote about the funny things that open water students ask or say during their course. It's a goldmine of stories that just keeps on giving. But I also promised to write about all the silly things instructors and divemasters have said or done. Not as easy as you might think. I spoke to a few people at the bar last night, and every story was about someone else. Who’s really going to admit that they’ve come out with something absolutely ridiculous? I myself have never left my dive gear on land when going on the dive boat, totally fluffed a skill I’ve been demonstrating in the pool, or come out with some kind of Freudian slip when teaching academics... Anyway, I did manage to glean some stories from my colleagues, that they have observed or heard other people say or do.
How about the divemaster that was heard telling their customer that if they had ear problems underwater, they should just put their fingers in their ears! I think the person in question may have been joking- I really hope there are no dive professionals reading this and thinking "well what's wrong with that? sounds sensible". What about the instructor that dived with a whaleshark with their students. Back on board the boat, one of them asked why the whaleshark repeatedly swam up to the surface and then descended back down. The instructor replied that it "needed to go to the surface to breathe"....! But my favorite has to be the instructor that was explaining how sound travels differently underwater, by explaining that sound waves enter one ear, travel through the skull, and exit the other ear, which is why you can’t tell where sound is coming from underwater. That’s like explaining that objects underwater appear larger than they actually are because the pressure of the water has shrunk your eyes!
I also know of an instructor that was showing their student how the equipment should be assembled, and then proceeded to put the regulator on first. I guess when you're carrying your tank under your arm, your BC probably looks a bit more stylish.
I had an instructor intern that I was mentoring, and, for once he was being very organised on the boat before dive three of the open water course. As his students stood at the back of the boat, he demonstrated the easiest and safest entry into the water. “So, I’m going to hold my right hand on my regulator and two fingers on my mask, like this. My left hand is touching the buckle of my weight belt. Now, with my toes over the edge, I’m going to look down to ensure I’m clear to jump, then, I’m going to look straight ahead and take a big step forward, like this”. As he came back to the surface, he fully inflated, signalled to the boat that he was ok, and then, as he drifted further and further from the boat, shouted “can someone please throw me my fins”.

Speedos season
It looks like the captain of Banzai was correct a couple of days ago when he said that the weather is going to get better and better from now on. It’s baking hot, the sea is flat as a pancake and the residents of Koh Tao are happy again. We didn’t really have much of a monsoon this time around, but it was cloudy for a couple of months, so it was slightly colder than the usual 30 degrees centigrade we are used to. The Island has been agog with dive instructors and divemasters wearing hoodies and moaning about being cold. No more, it’s just going to get hotter and hotter from hereon in. In April it will be touching 35-40 degrees, and then everyone that lives here will be complaining that it’s too hot. You just can’t win. The downside to it being nice and sunny is that there will be increased sightings of European men wearing speedos, which no-one wants to see, especially the flesh-coloured ones (speedos, not men). But it’s a small price to pay to live here. All we need now is for the Gulf of Thailand to warm up a little, back to 31 degrees.. because, you know, 27 degrees is practically Baltic isn’t it….

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