Advanced Open Water cert – day one

Day 56, Monday 20 Feb 2012, Malapascua

Considering the amount of people at the resort who are not diving it was very quiet after dark.  There are lots of Russians and Germans in this particular resort – and listening to people as I walk around, it seems the island is mainly populated with Europeans rather than native English speakers. I slept Ok, not great – tonight I medicate as up at 4.30 or something for the early morning dive to try and see thresher sharks.

I had the morning to read three chapters of the PADI adventure dive book before the review at lunch time and the first dive at two, so I had a leisurely and unexciting, breakfast at the resort – included in the room so I ate a bit. I can tell I am the only backpacker in this particular resort as I am only one who has a deck half covered in washing.

Then again, I guess not many backpackers stay in resorts !  It is great to be static for a few days as I got my sandals and bed liner washed as well as a load of clothes. I bought a small waterproof bag at the dive shop today so tomorrow I can wash my day bag as well as it is pretty feral now.

I spent the morning on my bed studying and listening to music , it was great to be inside and let my peeling back be out of a shirt as well as out of the sun.

Lunch time soon came around so I was off back to the dive shop for my first reading reviews – Peak performance buoyancy and night dives. These are basically rubber stamping exercises and are partly revenue generating tools for someone, I don’t approve really as I didn’t really ‘learn’ much but I got all the answers right…

Bounty Beach – Malapascua.

After the review we hit the water, Jules our German instructor and Moritz (that is how it sounded, and yes I think of ice cream too) a German kid, who was the other pupil. We spent an hour under water doing some basic buoyancy exercises, some of which I was awful at, but we all pass ! I love PADI –  everyone is a winner. At least  I understood the concepts, my old body and complete lack of co-ordination hindered some of the exercises –  that and maybe 1 kilo too much weight on the weightbelt for the depth we were in – 6 metres.  It was fun anyway.

After the buoyancy session is what back to land for a quick break before heading out to the night dive at lighthouse reef – the second of my skill sessions for my advanced open water cert.

One of the “boat guys”, heading out to the night dive. He had to take a dive as the mooring line from another boat got tangles around the prop.

The dive starts at sunset and finishes in the dark. The key feature of this dive is the mating mandarin fish, they are only found in a few locations so this dive was popular.

And by popular I mean chaos  under water – i hated it, far too many divers in a small spot, my lack of co-ordination and fine control just did not work here, trying to slot smoothly into a circle of proficient divers looking at small fish is damn hard ! and not enjoyable.

After watching mandarin fish make out for a while we then spent some time scoping the rest of the reef, again a lot of divers in what was a small space and fairly shallow, so all in all, not my best dive. I did see some nice sea horses which  was most cool.

After the dive it was rush back to the hotel, eat dinner and study three more chapters as up at 4.00 AM to do the deep dive and see some thresher sharks – cannot wait !

Following on from yesterdays post-rock gem from Jakob, I introduce Mono, a Japanese band that have been around for since 1999. They recently played in Auckland and for some reason that I cannot recall now I did not go and see them. I have this album “one more step and you die” on vinyl and it got utterly hammered in my last few days at home. I particularly love this track – Com(?),  ignore the lack of video, turn the volume up and close your eyes  – warning, it does get noisy…