Another great enjoyable weekend on the Seaborne (live on board). She was filled with students from a local international school. They have a Diving Club called “The Barracudas”, which runs as a co-curricular activity (CCA) on Tuesday afternoons.
Over the weekend we had sightings of a bamboo shark, crabs, so many nudibranchs that we lost count, several stingrays and a huge cuttlefish. And all this was seen as students either completed their PADI Courses or for those who were already certified, participated as recreational divers.
Gary Savins and Denise, GS-Diving PADI Instructors went over with the students earlier in the afternoon together with the allocated teacher from the school. Everyone enjoyed the facilities at Nongsa Point Marina and Resort and the pool was used thoroughly.
I met GS-Diving PADI Instructor, Eva at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Friday night and we caught the last Fast Ferry to Batam, Indonesia. We arrived at the boat around 9.15pm local time.
It started out really quiet during dinner on Friday night. Students took turns to introduce themselves to us. It was interesting to learn about them. We all intended to have an early night so we could get enough rest for the 5 dives scheduled for the next day, until we found out that one of the PADI Open Water students did not complete the PADI Knowledge Reviews.
Eva made sure that he completed all of these before he went to bed. He was lucky to have 3 PADI Instructors and a PADI DiveMaster sitting with him while he did his homework. Perhaps a little stressful for him, but we all enjoyed the experience.
Saturday morning was busy for the PADI Rescue Diver student as he had to save 3 panic divers. He drew the illustration on the whiteboard of his experience and picture is on the left.
During the first 2 dives students did their open water skills. Visibility was not fantastic due the weather but we still managed to complete the skills with the students and they all performed well.
We changed dive sites for the 3rd dive. We did some leisure dives to reward the students for doing their skills so well. The dive was simply amazing! Spotted several stingrays, nudibranchs and I even spotted a moray eel! Everyone was excited again as the visibility was around 8 metres with lots to see and explore on the wreck at Kerang Gelang!
The Night Dive! It had great visibility. Everyone was excited as it was the first night dive for the PADI Advanced Open Water students. We spotted a little crab and crowded around the poor little crab, then we spotted another hairy crab followed by a bamboo shark, stingray and lots of shrimps. The students described the dive as the most exciting dive of the day. The group surfaced and though everyone was exhausted after 5 dives, the great BBQ dinner was very much appreciated and devoured.
On Sunday morning, we were back at Kerang Gelang Reef. We dived the wreck. On the 1st dive, there was a little bit of current which made the navigation skill, quite challenging for students. I surfaced with 2 students when they reached 50 bar. Denise continued with the rest of the students and they surfaced not long after.
The last dive was a leisure dive for everyone as all of the students had completed all their skills and passed their respective courses. We spotted many fish and the reef was beautiful, colourful and vibrant.
I then pretended that I had suffered a jelly fish sting. Denise had prepared some instant noodles put them on my leg. This was part of the practical lesson for the PADI Rescue Diver so he would know what to do in the event of a real jelly fish sting victim. Well, I got fooled by Denise. My leg had to be shaved by the PADI Rescue Diver student. Everyone had a good laugh. Well, it’s ok my hair will grow back eventually . . . and lucky I wear long pants to work.
Congratulations to Trung, ShuChang, Henri, Conan, Ryan, Emma, Giana, Siobhan and lastly Marcus (who was responsible for shaving my leg. Thanks!)
Cheers, Gary Lim.