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Precious Souvenir (thinking About Going Diving for the First
Twenty minutes after arriving on the dive boat whilst hoping the seasick tablet would work, I took a nervous meander around the floating arena of strangers, foreigners and braggers that I found myself on.
Well, this guy seemed confident; he knew exactly what he was talking about, which was undoubtedly reassuring, as he was the Instructor who was to take me on my first dive.
There was lots of equipment, which I had only seen before on TV, so many scuba tanks amongst other paraphernalia, which hopefully, was going to keep me alive while I was under the sea.
'Barracudas’ said the instructor, I Immediately snapped to attention, as he began the dive brief, ‘Do they not have big teeth and aren't they 6' feet long’ I thought to myself. Then he went onto to talk about Stingray's, “Stingrays, did one not fatally wound the guy who used to wrestle crocodiles for a living, what chance have we got?” asked a fellow beginner.
Sea snakes, was he now trying to put us off the dive? He then went on to talk about sharks -I was frightened, nervous but also exhilarated at the same time. Nervously, I laughed, as he maid jokes about the size of their teeth and not to pull their tails. ‘Pull a sharks tail I thought,’ I'm not going anywhere near a shark, let alone pull its tail.
‘Oh and don't touch the bottom as there may be Scorpion fish down there’, he added (which apparently are so well camouflaged, that they are extremely difficult to spot and can leave you in agony for months, if they sting you).
He had a calming influence, which you need if you take people underwater. He showed great patience in answering everyone’s’ questions. Explaining how deep we go, also the effects of water pressure on our bodies, he told us how long we would be under there for, including how the equipment worked and even how we would communicate underwater (something I was more familiar with, knowing a few hand signals myself, years of driving, had made me the master hand signaler). He was dressed in smart pressed shorts, a save-the-reef-T-shirt (as were all the staff on the boat) and was clean shaven (I must admit I expected more of a beach bum like persona), all in all a true professional.
Reality sets in:
“Wait, now just hold on a minute, let water in the mask, why?” asked a young woman.
“We had to perform several kills under the instructor’s guidance, naturally.
If water enters your mask you need to know how to clear it, otherwise it would make for an uncomfortable dive. “A simple procedure if done correctly,” he assured the group.
The next skill we would learn would be to remove and replace the regulator from our mouths.
“Take the regulator out of your mouth. Are you kidding man, jumping out of a perfectly good plane without a parachute springs to mind.” An American guy joked.
It was also quite easy to perform (especially after watching the Instructor demonstrate all the skills first) and obviously a necessary skill to learn.
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