Divemaster at last!


After the class today I had made plans to finish my last 3 skills for divemaster, again.  I am fortunate to have an instructor and others around the shop who are always willing to help out.  The surf was up so we headed to Jameson’s beach just to “knock it out”. 

First, we did the equipment exchange.   We talked about everything on shore and we had a plan.  Well you know what they say about the best laid plans…haha.  We got down to the bottom and started sharing and air source but, unlike what we talked about, my buddy took her fins off right away before we really got a rhythm going.  So I followed suit and took my fins off.  We managed that without too much difficulty.  Then my buddy got uncomfortable and we surfaced briefly.  We went back down and started again.  Again we tried to go too fast.  She took off her BCD and I took off mine.  The trouble started here.  I got my bcd off but I was under weighted for this exercise and I just couldn’t keep it together.  We were sharing one air source, but we had like 7 down there, and I just lost it.  My brain wanted air and it wanted it now!  I totally forgot about reason and I started to bolt.  At this point I did not have a reg in my mouth.  Between the instructor and my buddy (also and instructor) they managed to get me to put my reg back in my mouth and get me to breathe a little.  Before that happened though I was gasping for air instinctually only to get a mouth full of water.  I felt like I was drowning!  I got to the surface sputtering and coughing up a storm.  Exercise over.  I had joked with the instructor today that I only needed 1 point to pass and that I could actually just not do it and take a 1 because a rating of 1 was “student unable to complete”.   But I gave it a shot and it wasn’t much fun.

Exchanging equipment is not something you would ever do or ever have a reason to do.  It’s an exercise to see how you handle stress.  My biggest mistake was trying to go too fast.  I had planned it in my head that I was going to slow and methodical but it didn’t go that way.  I don’t really know why it just didn’t.  I definitely could have done a better job but I learned from the experience.   I learned that taking things slow and not panicking is key.  They tell you this in class over and over but and experience like this really brings it home.  It makes it real.  I also learned what panic feels like.  I experienced “perceptual narrowing” first hand.  Even though I was only in 8 feet of water and there were 7 different air sources down there I still bolted for the surface.  It’s pure adrenalin and instinct.  I couldn’t control it.  I’m a little disappointed in myself for not being able to do it but I gave it my best and that’s what really counts. 

The second task was the rescue assessment.  I surfaced my buddy and completed it without too much complication.  There were some small things that my instructor does differently than the instructor who taught me that hung me up a bit but overall it was a good experience.  I got to see a different instructor’s point of view and it was a good overall experience. 

Lastly, today I felt very honored by my instructor.  He’s been doing this a long time and he knows a whole lot about it.  Today he told me my breathing is as slow and methodical as he’s seen in a long time.  I took that as high praise.  It’s one of the principal things they tell you is to breathe slowly and deeply.  Also, when we got out of the water after the exercised today he said “congratulations you’re a divemaster, and a good one at that”.  Again, I took this as high praise coming from someone who has been doing this a long time.  It really made me feel good.  I am sort of awkward when people give me compliments.  I don’t always show how much the words mean right then.  I tend to play things down because I don’t think of myself as any different from anyone else.  I’m just as fallible.  But I really did appreciate those kind words today.  

So, that’s it!  To date I’ve logged a total of 74 dives since Jan 13, 2012!  I have accomplished my goal and I had a great time doing it!  I am lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the joy of diving and I can’t wait to share it with others.  But, right now everything hurts and I’ve exhausted!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 01:18:05

    congratulations!

    Reply

  2. cravesadventure
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 11:23:03

    Congrats – You have worked hard, so CELEBRATE – YAY!!! Have a Great Day:)

    Reply

  3. oceanboundsadventures
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 04:44:47

    Congratulations!

    Reply

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