Thursday, December 09, 2004

looking on the positive side. despite last weekend being a bit annoying, there were good bits. one of the suprise party included a kiwi guy who used to be a police diver over there. he had some interesting stories. diving in zero visibility, looking for bodies (yuck). not a very glamorous job. they don't get to spend a lot of time in tropical destinations taking photos of pretty fish. he said their photos usually didn't turn out, which was just as well.

a lot of divers ended up with ear problems, as they couldn't say, sorry, ear trouble, can't descend. they just had to grit their teeth and bear it. with the resulting ear damage. of course that doesn't (or shouldn't happen) nowadays. oh&s is all over that stuff like a rash. but he told me about his ear operations to try and unstuff the damage, and reinforced some of the things we tell our divers about not forcing the val-salva maneouvre (holding your nose and blowing to clear your ears) and if it hurts, stop. some people still think "she'll be right" and then it's not.

i was given plenty of experience at being a divemaster as well. one diver was very nervous, and needed lots of reassurance. plus a few tips about self rescue and dealing with stress. we were making ground, but unfortunately she's still got a little way to go. i don't think she's ready for the liveaboard experience yet. things can get a bit fast paced with so many people diving at once. and a beginner diver often needs time to get comfortable and confident before being thrown into more testing situations. so she learned a bit, and i learned a bit too.

i tried out my new drysuit. and it was an interesting experience. it's got automatic vents in the ankles, as well as an automatic/lockable shoulder vent. everytime i swam down, with my feet up, it'd vent out the air through my feet. i need to adjust that i think. they did that because people used to end up coming up feet first, and then because the air would expand in their ankle area, they'd get more and more buoyant and do and uncontrolled ascent. and every time i looked around i'd turn my neck too much and leak in water. and when the air vented out it'd squeeze me and i'd pump air back in. some more experimentation required...

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