Sorry – Not many photos for this trip report
I have the best job in the world. Every weekend on a boat, enjoying the outdoors, the sun, the sea, the stars, the company and of course the diving. Best of all I get to torture people during Rescue Diver Courses. Oh, what fun it is.
Tun Lin and Siew Chuin contacted me a couple of weeks ago about completing the PADI Rescue Diver Course. A few emails exchanged and we started to process. I delivered the manuals to Tun Lin’s condo and we scheduled the theory and pool sessions the week prior to the trip.
Both girls breezed through the theory and exams on Wednesday night. Thursday night we were at the pool rescuing each other, there was much laughter and some coughing fits as the victim was dunked underwater by mistake. That’s what the pool session is for, to get the error out of the way before we attempt the senario rescues over the weekend.
Another Friday afternoon at home snoozing on the lounge after walking Halle (my dog). My alarm went off at 5.30pm. Up I jumped, called a cab and headed to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT). My other guest Philip was already there waiting from 6pm. Tun Lin and Siew Chuin arrived a few minutes later.
We boarded The Ark only to find out that 5 people were still on there way. Finally they arrived 50 minutes late and we departed for Tioman. We reminded the late comers that they owed everyone a beer, they thought we were joking, I was not.
The first dive at Bahara Rock was ok with lots of small fish and some parrot fish that followed us throughout the whole dive. The current was strong which made it difficult to move around the dive site, so we pottered around in one area. Tun Lin took a few photos and is was not long before my divers were at 60bar. I deployed the SMB and swam away from the reef for our safety stop.
Dive two was at Ringis. As always at Ringis, the current pushes from the north to the south and we drifted along the reef until the current pushed us around a bend and we could hide from it and enjoy some nice easy diving. I watched this cleaner wrasse work for a few minutes and boy did that guy cover some distance to ensure customer satisfaction. It swam out about ten metres to a batfish, cleaned it, then swam to the left another ten metres to clean a parrot fish. Then back to me to clean a damsal and out again to a snapper that was swimming by. So much action for one little fish.
We swam on top of the reef at around 5 metres and the girls snapped a few more photos. After about 10 minutes we ascended up the nearby line. The Ark was a good distance away, so it was perfect timing to practice a few skills. Back down we went and Tun Lin simulated she was unconscious and Siew Chuin brought her to the surface perfectly. Back down and they swapped roles. Tun Lin also did a good job at surfacing a simulated unconscious diver. After that the girls took in turns at rescuing a panic diver… which was me. I tried my best to launch myself ontop of them, but they learnt too much at the pool and kept a good distance from me.
I ramped it up during the next dive at Tiger Reef. This dive we were doing a lost diver scenario. First thing I did after getting to the reef was to hide a weight belt and make the girls do an expanding circle useing a line to find the weight belt (which was really the lost diver). Obviously I did not hide it well enough because they found it quickly both times. I put the weight belt on and then signalled to Siew Chuin to simulate an unconcious diver. Tun Lin swam over, held the regulator in the victim’s mouth and ascended slowly from 14 metres.
Once on the surface, the rescue and equipment removal started, a quick tow to the boat and then the victim was lifted to the dive deck. Rescue breaths were included and it is a challenge to do these efficiently and not to splash water on the victims head or submerge the persons head underwater with a slight swell of the sea.
When completed, we went back down and the girls changed roles and did it again. Both did in excellent job. There were a few funny moments, but there always is, in the Rescue Diver Course.
The girls dried off and sat in the saloon watching a movie on their laptop. So I snapped into action. Manu (one of the Dive Masters on the boat) was still in his wetsuit, so I asked him to jump in and swim out 10 metres, panic and then go unconscious (head up of course). I went and told the girls, who were a bit unhappy about the timing the victim chose to get himself into trouble. They were comfortable in the beanbags but luckily they had their swimsuits on.
The girls jumped into action and Siew Chuin was in the water with fins on towing the ball attached to the rope. On the way out to the victim one of Siew Chuin’s fins fell off, she did not secure it properly when getting ready to jump in, so she did the whole skill with one fin. Once she reached the victim she started rescue breaths and was pulled back to the boat by Tun Lin. Good thinking I thought, I did not tell them to use the line. Afterwards I told the girls that I waited until they were dry and comfortable before starting the second senario. I love it.
Sunday morning we woke to rain and strong winds. The seas were choppy and unpleasant. We dived at Telok Jawa, which is a sheltered bay. It was surprisingly good with a lot of different nudi’s to see.
The last dive of the weekend was at Rayners Rock. The viz was a bit down due to the storm, so it was not the greatest dive. The white tip sharks were not hiding in their usual places but we did manage to see one large hump head parrot fish.
Once the boat, we headed towards Singapore very slowly. The seas were angry and the wind was strong, good time for sleeping. After lunch the seas calmed down and we competed the Emergency First Response portion of the course, which included some bandaging of our pretend accident prone friend, Alvin. Watched a movie and slept until we reached the ferry terminal.
Congratulations to Tun Lin and Siew Chuin for completing their PADI Rescue Diver Course.
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 11 to 13 May 2012, The Ark, PADI Rescue Diver Course