Divemaster day 5

Diving again today, but with some extra frills as I had a few tasks to complete and skills to demonstrate. I hopped onto the minibus with a young German couple who I’d met in the dive shop the day before while I’d been working with Putu and we took the lengthy drive up to Tulamben.

The Instructor with us today was Kadek who I’d done the two Tulamben dives with last time. It would be her job to monitor me as I took a little more charge of the dives this time.

At the resort where we got changed, I found the cutest puppy in the world ever. Some kind of laborador, all wobbly legs and waggy tail and with the saddest eyes ever. He also joined for lunch later. It was all I could do not to take him with us when we left later on.

We dived the Liberty wreck first, and on this one I was left more or less to myself while Kadek guided the two Germans. My task was to use mapping techniques to generate a rough layout of the area. Armed with a waterproof tablet and pencil, I counted kick cycles and read bearings off a compass. The visibility wasn’t as good as on the previous dive here, and the current had also picked up.

Still, despite all the other factors I got to see quite a bit of fishy activity and the young couple enjoyed clicking away with their underwater for the first time.

Over lunch we had a nice natter and I gave my first dive briefing. This wasn’t too hard as I’d sat through 42 briefings given by other people by this time. Just the basic details about the site, procedures and the like. Everyone seemed happy so we launched off for the drop-off.

This time I was leading the dive, from entry to the time we came back up. Fortunately, it’s a fairly small area and the prime wildlife are in easy-to-spot sites. We were lucky enough to spot a cuttlefish near the start and found the fan coral playing host to the pygmy seahorses with no problem.

Once we hit the main wall area, the colours and number of coral types increased rapidly and provided plenty of opportunity for clickage of the old shutter. We made it to one of the far corners where once again the current was really strong, and turned back.

For a first “guide” I think I did OK, but could have been better. I dropped deeper than I should have, mainly so I could observe the other two and make sure they didn’t sink too low. Also, we should have swum further towards the entry spot before we ascended to make the return to the restaurant less strenuous – this is a lack of familiarity with the dive site on my behalf.

By the time we drove back, my companions had decided to go for another two dives the next day so I can’t have scared them off! Unfortunately, Putu had other plans for me so I wouldn’t be able to join them but I’m glad they had fun and they wished me well for a day of torture that was to be inflicted upon me…

I had an easy night – couple of episodes of Dead Zone and a nice dinner – before getting an early night and plenty of rest. I was going to need it.

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