Sunday, 13 December 2009

Dive Island - 13.12.09

It really is the last leg of this amazing journey for everyone out here and a few lucky individuals have ended their expedition on Mamutik ,where they get to complete their dive training and one of those individuals - was me. All groups complete 12 days of trek and 5 days gaining a PADI qualification during their adventure phase. Since I have been out with the team I have a few photos of the last few days to show you. Here is the team arriving back from their trek....

It is an idyllic location but the team still have to set up their own bashers on the island and work as a team to run the camp. Dive training isn't all larking about in the sea either! Training begins in the classroom with the team learning about the theories behind pressure change so they can dive safely and all about the equipment needed to dive.

The next day is confined water sessions. On land the instructor shows you how to use the equipment after issuing it, then runs through the first set of skills. Then underwater, beginning in shallower water you learn to use a regulator to breath, how to clear it if water gets into it, how to remove it and replace it, how to use your buddies regulator in case your air runs out in an emergency and how to clear your goggles when they fill with water. You also learn how it feels when you run out of oxygen, your instructor turns off your tank so you can anticipate how it would feel and know when to react in an emergency.

The next days training involves emergency controlled ascents, establishing neutral buoyancy in the water (so you can control your movements and don't damage the coral reef) and how to remove and replace your equipment in the water. A few other skill sessions and we were halfway through our open water training sessions.

Yesterday saw us complete our training by going out in a boat to Suluk Reef and descending to 18m whist swimming along the coral reef and checking out life under the sea. We then completed the course with an exam of 50 questions and are now qualified open water divers!

I have left the island now but the rest of alpha 6 are going to use their new skill to plant some coral and do an underwater clean up, to help protect the beautiful coral reefs. Then they all descend back again into Kota Kinabalu for Endex!


lisa L. said...

OMG- you look sooo happy!
And I'm very envious of that fabulous looking beach...soak it up- winter has arrived in NY! It was so great to hear your voice the other day and know you are alive and well- and putting the mask to good use. I noticed in retrospect, however, that from the list of foods you're craving, none of it is food that your dear old mom makes!! What's up with that??!

Can't wait to see mom

Anonymous said...

Great pictures from the Dive Group Ruthie! Winter now arrived here in ole England - got your coats ready and received the food instructions..... Hope you'll find some mail awaiting you at Fieldbase and looking forward to seeing you in a week or so - much love from all at no.22 xxx

Anonymous said...

Julian -- you not only look happy but COMPETENT! Now there's a concept (just kidding). We're all very proud of you and expect you to share all your newfound skills and knowledge with us. SEE YOU SOON!