Continuing Education

Part of my Dive Master program is to assist with a continuing education class.  Basically any class other than open water.  Yesterday we had 2 Advanced Open Water (AOW) students and 4 fun divers.  So, I was able to get credit for the continuing ed portion of my course. 

We were at shark’s cove and it was flat as flat can be.   The first dive we headed out to the right and the instructor took the tourists in the lava tubes while I took to 2 students up and over.  They were practicing buoyancy.  I really like the dive on the right because I love poking around inside and around the lava tubes looking for little stuff.  I spotted an octopus on the way back and I thought of my husband.  He’s fascinated by octopus  A few of the divers had some buoyancy issues, not being able to get down or popping up at the end but nothing to big.  It was a really nice dive with vis of about 60ft. 

After the first dive we had a surface interval of about an hour and then headed back down and to the left.  On this dive the students were looking for certain things as part of the “underwater naturalist” elective of AOW.  So I picked up the rear of the group in order to be on the lookout for any issues that could arise.  One of the things I love about the shop I work with is that they are very safety conscious.  Everyone is always vigilant about making sure things are done in a safe way while still having fun.  One of the things that I like about being a DMC and will like later about being a DM is watching people in the water seeing and experiencing new things.  I love to see how they enjoy themselves.  Just having them enjoy themselves is enough and it makes everything I do work it.    On the right side of Shark’s cove is one of my favorite lava tubes.  It’s a really large opening where slipper lobsters and all kinds of small things can be seen hiding away in the cracks.  I’m getting better at spotting things. 

After we cleaned up the instructor pointed out something I had missed.  First of all I was trying to tell the divers with buoyancy issues that they have to be vertical in the water to truly let all the air out of the BCD.  What I didn’t see is that they were failing to let air out as they got into shallower water.  It’s something I do without thinking about it now.  Because air expands as you ascend, whatever air is trapped in there at depth will expand and cause you to “pop” to the surface.  We combat this by letting air out as we ascend.  I will be more alert for this in the future and will remind divers to let air out.  It’s not all that easy to signal them so they understand what you want them to do underwater sometimes. 

I also took part one of the written exam yesterday and scored a 93% so I got 56 or 60 questions correct.  I went over my wrong answers with the instructor and 2 of them I knew as soon as he read the questions what I had done wrong.  One of the others was a matter of my having filled in the wrong box.  I’m happy with my score and I hope to take th physics portion of the exam next week.  I also turned in my map project.  So all that is left now are my swim tests and skill demonstrations.  I have technically met all the other criteria but I plan to do some more intern dives so that I can keep polishing my skills.  

I am fortunate to be the only DMC at the shop right now which gives me opportunities to pick and chose the dives I want to do.  I was offered the opportunity to assist with an underwater navigation class next week and I’m excited about that.  I will get to listen to what the instructor says and I should be able to learn a lot. 

On friday of this week the shop is having pro night.  I will be helping out with that and I’m excited to meet new people and help them start a career or a new hobby.  So if you’re local come one down this friday at 6pm at deep ecology in Haleiwa.


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