AsiaRound The World TripThailand

Thailand: Koh Tao

Dive Master in Training – Day #8

First, I have to send a big kiss to my new niece Samantha.  She arrived yesterday with a bit of difficulty but it looks like Mommy and baby are doing OK.  We’re praying for you so hurry up and get home!

Physiology

We started out the morning with a physiology class with Kate and Ela.  What a great way to start the day, right?  Basically we learned about circulation, lungs, ears, sinuses, and the various problems that can occur with these areas when diving.  The lecture lasted about 2 hours and then Jon and I decided to take the exam to get it out of the way.  We both scored just fine and are quickly checking off the DMT “To Do List”.  If all continues as planned, we’ll be done with our DMT within the next few days and will be leading our own dives very soon.

Of course, I’m not sure that any of this matters.  The reason why we wanted our Dive Master Certification was so we could get “cash-in-hand” jobs in Australia at a dive shops.  But it turns out – from what we hear from the DMs and Instructors here – the insurance requirements on the Great Barrier Reef are so strict that most shops won’t hire people without valid work visas.  Of course, we don’t have valid work visas and probably can’t get one so it looks like we might be out of luck.  We’ll see when we get there.

Jon and I had a quick lunch at Ban’s Restaurant and then headed out on the afternoon boat for more diving.

 

Dive #1: Open Water Dive at Twin Peaks

Depth: 16 meters

Bottom Time: 35 minutes

Visibility: 10 meters

So we hit Twins again (I think I go to this place every day) but at least I’m getting to know it better.  Flav did some skills on the bottom and then let me lead the class around the pinnacles.  We didn’t go to the western one because Flav wanted to keep the dive in shallower waters.  And after 35 minutes we ascended to our safety stop.  Nothing exciting on this dive, just a nice quiet swim around the rocks.

Timed 100 Meter Tired Diver Tow

During the surface interval, Thomas, Jon and I did our “tired diver tow” for two laps around the boat – which is approximately 100 meters.  I snagged one of my students – Jarrod – to be my tired diver.  We both suited up and I pushed him around the boat.  The current was pretty strong on the south side of the boat which was a bit of a problem at the stern because we almost got sucked under (or at least I felt like it after two laps).  The strange thing is that none of us needed to worry about the “timed” part of it.  We all had a total of at least 12 points which is considered “passing” for the DMT.  We had to complete this exercise, but we each could have done it in an absurd amount of time and not worried about it.  But there’s something about being timed that makes you push yourself.  So I finished in 3 minutes and 45 seconds and ended the second lap with a variety of very colorful four-letter words because I was so exhausted.  Jon did it in 3 minutes 15 seconds.

Dive #2: Open Water Dive at White Rock

Depth: 16 meters

Bottom Time: 32 minutes

Visibility: 15 meters

This is the last dive for the Open Water class and is their final “certification” dive.  We went down to the bottom, did a hovering skill and an easy navigation exercise and then Flav led us around White Rocks.  We saw a huge trigger fish and a file fish.  The latter was very difficult to see because it blended in so well with the rocks, but it was very big and lovely.

Then we headed back to the mooring point, we waited for the speed boat and then sped back to shore.  There, we put equipment away and then celebrated with our students.  Jon also bought some “chicken on a stick” from a little woman with a mobile grill who parks in front of Ban’s every evening for the afternoon boat.  Her chicken’s good, too!

Jon and I went to AC’s for dinner, but I was having a hard time hearing because my ears were blocked up.  So we headed to the Internet Cafe to catch up on emails and turned in for a good night’s sleep.