Divemaster Internship 1-2: Arrival & 1st Dive

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
1
29
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Trip End Jun 06, 2013


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Guanacaste,
Monday, February 4, 2013

Today I head over to the pacific side to start my divemaster course. The bus journey is fairly long, 5 hours, but I thankfully managed to sleep for a large quantity of it. I actually managed to get a taxi, unlike last time when I had to walk for nearly 2KMs in the boiling heat with a massive rucksack. Talking of the heat, sweet Jesus is it hot here! I take every thing back that I said about it being cold, because I would much prefer that! On an upside there appears to be hardly any mosquitos, silver lining and all that.

I got to the dive shop and the woman who runs it wasn't there. When she got back in we discussed the course and I now get to choose between doing a shark speciality or a manta ray one. I really want to both and the shark one at least is only an extra $25! In this divemaster course you actually do I think 2 extra specialities so with the shark one I'd only need 2 or 3 more and I'd be a master scuba diver. Pretty cool. I'm going to see if I can do both and if not I'll probably do the shark one as they're a bit more accessible and more common on dive sites than manta rays. All of the people in the shop seem really nice and there are two English people there at the moment which is pretty cool.

I thought I was going to have a choice of accommodations but they only appeared to have one and the woman wasn't calling back. This was kind of annoying as I was hoping to just move straight into somewhere. Instead I'm at another hostel, this one being tiny, hot and ant infested and still living out of my broken suitcase, arg!

My first dive of my advanced will be my navigation aka the one I'm looking forward to least, I have to use a compass to navigate which basically means death for me. I read the stuff in the PADI book on it and it was so mathematical and was dithering on about sea fans being perpendicular to the current, I was like WTF?! And then it gave helpful hints like don't use schools of fish in natural navigation because they move. Yeah really helpful that.

I really didn't sleep well the first night. My bed is really creaky and I kept thinking I was going to miss my alarm. I ended up getting not much sleep and getting up at 6am, half an hour earlier than I needed to. I was rewarded by getting the crap bitten out of me by ants when I kindly let the bartender (of pure vibes, the good part of the hostel) dog out. Lovely wake up call. To be fair it really wasn't going to be my day today, the ants, followed by my breakfast being covered in ants and then it just got worse.

We went to the dive shop and we helped load all of the gear (tanks, bags etc) onto the truck. We then drove to the beach and put all of these onto the boat. I tried to carry two oxygen tanks and then couldn't lift them onto the boat, those things are heavy. I knocked one into the water and generally made a complete mess of it. Then after discussing with Lee, a divemaster, which side my regulator went on (the bit you breath with and how you attach it to the tank). I thought it was the left but he convinced me it was the right. I haven't done a set up for like 7 months so couldn't really remember anything. Suffice to say it was the left and I ended up looking like a complete novice, and just generally doing my first set up pretty rubbishly. I did set up someone else's equipment up fine though, although once I'd put it on wonderfully her regulator was crap and I had to change it, hopefully they won't die. I'm sure the people on the boat think I'm going to be such a useless hinderance!

And then the first dive, oh my. First off, after saying my ears were usually fine when I went down now, they were awful! When I finally got down my mask was so foggy I couldn't see. New masks often do this unfortunately. However I had done all the tricks so hoped for the best and I tried to clear it by filling it with water. Now at the best of times I HATE this trick. I always feel like I'm going to drown because I can't feel that I can breath because I always have to hold my nose when I'm underwater. So I do this when I physically have to. Anyway I tried to clear it and I still had loads of water in it, I did it again and it was the same. By this point I was struggling not to freak out because my nose and half of my eyes were surrounding by water and I couldn't get rid of it. I kept calming myself down and trying again and by the 7th time I just knew it wasn't going to happen so for the first time in a dive ever, I had to resurface. I sorted my mask out, after drifting away from the boat and having to swim against the current for ages (so tiring). We decided to go back down again and my ears were fine but at the bottom I couldn't see anything again. By this point I was extremely agitated about trying to clear my mask again and I knew it was just going to fog back up again, it wasn't like it was a little bit either. I was blind. So I sent my buddy, Lee the divemaster, on while I resurfaced and spent the rest of the time on the boat. Oh and they saw a shark and a huge ray, grr.

So by now I was thinking everyone thought I was an absolute reject and I was like, "Guys I know I seem really shit right now but honestly I am a good diver!" After an hour break we had the second dive. I borrowed a spare mask to go down with this time, which leaked. Seriously no luck! My ears also decided to be bastards again but I got down and just sucked up the leaking mask. Unfortunately I had stuck with my tank from the previous dive so I had to leave early. Today is not my day. Before hand though I got to see tons of rays including one who swam underneath me mere inches away, he was so sweet. I also had to usher on two girls who kept making everyone wait because they were taking photos and mucking about, it's not just your dive ladies!

So I'm really going to need to practice the mask clearing trick, I can't keep being a baby about it! After we finished we went back to shore and unloaded, I was so tired by now! One of the people doing their divemaster, Julian has a spare room so I went round to see it. I was a bit dubious at first but the rooms actually really lovely and huge! And the place is really breezy, the people are really nice too and Julian's girlfriend said she'd teach me Spanish. The only problem is no internet and apparently I can't get a chip for my iPad unless I go to an actual phone shop and there's not one near here. So I probably won't be able to stay there as I do really need internet in my home as I don't have much time in the day to use it. It's a bit annoying because I did really want to stay there, and I'm still homeless! So it was back to the shit ant infested dorm, which has even more ants now, yay! Need my own space SOON. The people there are quite nice though, thank god.
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Comments

jess on

I would have freaked out so much- how deep again? Xx

blondesontour
blondesontour on

I was at maybe 12-15 metres? I'll have to go up to 30 though x

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