Day 2 of the IE was held at Kakaako Waterfront Park since the surf on the rest of the island was too high. We did most of our training there so it was certainly familiar territory. The only problem at Kakaako is depth. There isn’t any.
I got there at around 6:30 and was the first person to arrive. I found out when I arrived that the ukulele festival was to take place there that morning as well. Luckily everyone showed up between 7 and 7:30 so we were plenty early enough to secure parking.
As we often do, we set up out of the trunk of our cars and as we did we talked strategy with each other. Just the students, the instructors are not allowed to help us. It was fortuitous though because none of us got anything that wasn’t taught in open water during our course. We may not have taught the skill ourselves but one of the 3 of us had.
My 2 skills to teach were neutral buoyancy “hover” from open water dive 4 and mask removal and replacement also from open water dive 4. With the open water teaching skills are briefed before entering the water which makes for a better flow in open water. It also means you don’t have to contend with water movement or currents while you are briefing your skills. All 6 people in the group briefed their skills and then we moved to the water. Three people from the group set out first looking for enough depth to conduct our teaching. We needed at least 20 feet and to get it we had a long swim.
Once we were all around the float we began our teaching with the student that had a descent skill. Once we reached the bottom we took turns teaching and ended our teaching with the student that had CESA. Everything went very well under water and everyone seemed to catch-all the problems.
Back at the surface it was time to do our rescue assessments. Half the class had pocket mask and half had mouth to mouth. I was in the mouth to mouth group. We rotated through the group quite efficiently by having the equipment handlers put on the blank weight belts the current participants had taken off and those two would be the next participants. I completed my rescue assessment near the beginning and that was fine with me. Once that was out-of-the-way and I knew I had passed I could relax.
Everyone passed the rescue exercise and we headed back to shore, under the water this time. Once we reached the shore we went to our cars, took off our gear and then gathered again to debrief. I scored 4.8 on both of my open water skills. I was very pleased with those score. 4.8 out of 5 isn’t bad. I definitely brought my A game on Sunday!
After we were all finished there were a few loose ends to wrap up. There were a few people who needed to retake a section of the written exam from the day before. Once everyone had completed all the requirements we gathered around for some closing ceremony. It was casual but there were lots of photos. We all received Lei from our instructors which was very nice. I have never been given a Lei before.
This whole experience was really great. This week has felt pretty odd because I haven’t been as busy. I’ve had down time at home and that feels odd after spending the last 4 weeks plus prepping for the exam. It still feels a bit surreal and I can’t teach until I get my certification in the mail but it’s an awesome feeling. It’s not an easy process and it feels like a big victory. Some time next week we will all meet and finish up a couple of odd specialty instructor courses that were included but didn’t need to be completed before the IE. After that I plan to take 5 specialty instructor courses so that after I’ve certified 25 people I can apply to be a Master Scuba Diver Trainer.
My instructors and mentors deserve a big thank you! They were patient and kind and shared a ton of wisdom with us in a very short time. Thanks for helping us become part of the club!