It was the final trip to Hantu, a local island off Singapore. That is, until after the South China Sea dive season ends around November this year. It was a beautiful morning as I drove to RSYC after collecting Georgie, one of my Divemaster Trainees. The tide table said it would a slack tide round 11am – 12 midday, so we were all hoping for a nice day.
David my other Divemaster Trainee was also rushing to RSYC from his touch rugby coaching session. He and all other 5 divers arrived and we headed out for a two dives at the “World Famous Pulau Hantu”.
The 5 leisure divers, Kelvin, Simon, Charles, Benjamin and Jochum all jumped in for the first dive. My Divemaster Trainees had to finish a few things so could sign them off, later in the day. They were not aware of my plan to sign them off as PADI Divemasters today.
The first thing for David and Georgie was to complete a “dive briefing” about Hantu. Georgie was first and she impressed me with her knowledge. I mean who actually bothers to remember that Hantu is two islands about 1.6 hectares in size? So as you can imagine it was a very thorough dive briefing. David was next and had some big shoes to fill. He followed the PADI Divemaster Dive Briefing Slate and also delivered a very thorough dive briefing.
David and Georgie then completed the rescue skills nicely, each taking turns at assuming the position of an unconscious diver and being rescued by the other perfectly.
After the rescue skills, I decided to go diving with my wife’s favorite watering can weighted with 6 dive weights and I managed to loose it…oh dear….I better find someone that can find it for me…I know just the right people.
David and Georgie’s “Search and Recovery Dive” was on. I told them about my dilemma and said they needed to find my watering can, or else I’m in big trouble. I indicated round about where I thought I had lost it and told the them to go and get it.
After a false start because David lost the lift bag on decent, we finally started the dive (thanks to Rafi for his efforts to retrieve the floating lift bag). Once we descended, the Divemaster Trainees headed out to the area I indicated. Georgie positioned herself and held onto the reel as David started the expanded circle until he finally found my missing watering can. Phew, now Karen won’t kill me!
David attached the lift bag to the watering can as Georgie wheeled in her line. Then up we went with our prized possession. On the surface, I was reminded by David and Georgie, not to go diving again with a watering can loaded with 6 weights.
Note to Self!
Once back onboard the leisure divers told me of their sightings, which included, a Cuttlefish, Blue Spotted Ray, Flat Worms and a variety of fish. The viz was so good you could see the fish from the boat.
With all the DM stuff done, David, Georgie and I of us went for a fun dive, this time it was my turn to false start, I forgot my weight belt. Anyway, once down the conditions were just perfect, 5-7m vis (yes you read that right) and no current.
I made a bit of a challenge to everyone prior to the dive and said – “whoever finds a seahorse gets a beer from all the other divers”.
So all 7 of us quickly jumped in and started looking, the first thing we saw was loads of rabbit fish and pomfrets, than a cuttlefish, a huge flat worm, a sea snake, a big fat pregnant puffer fish and two blue spotted rays. I was thinking, this is all to good to be true, my 6 free beers must be around here somewhere.
After 60 minutes and no seahorse, I decided we better end the dive because there were people on the boat waiting to go home.
Once on the boat, I gathered my Divemaster Trainees and told them I was signing them off as PADI Divemasters today. Both smiled and I could see that were happy.
The course took about three months. They experienced Hantu at its best and worst. They did loads of pool sessions helping with students. They guided leisure divers at Hantu and other islands of Singapore and Riau, Indonesia. They spent hours in the pool doing skills and stamina swim tests. Not once did I ask them to cut up watermelons or clean the toilet with a tooth brush.
Thanks Georgie and David for the use of your photos.
Cheers – Gary
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 26 Feb, 2012 meet GS-DIVING’s new DM’s