It was a busy week leading up to this weekend’s trip with the in-laws in Singapore for a couple of weeks, also busy with pool and theory so there was no time for the traditional happy hours at Vie bar with Karen’s olds.
I finally got around to writing this on Sunday afternoon on the way back to Singapore. It started out as another rough windy day. The seas eventually calmed down about 4 hours after leaving Pulau Aur, Malaysia after our last dive of the weekend at Pinnacle Two.
I was happy to see that all my students, Paul, Phillip, Matt and Georgina completed TDI Decompression Procedures Course.
Matt also completed TDI Advanced Nitrox Course.
Phil was a technical leisure diver and Matt’s girlfriend Simone joined us as a non-diver for the weekend too.
On Sunday, the second dive at Pinnacle Two was relaxing, but not much to see because we were doing a deep dive to 30m out along the sand. I did manage to see some Nudi’s in the sand whilst we cruised back and forth for the prescribed 25 minutes.
This was Paul’s second time as dive leader and he seemed happy just to continue on at 30m, but I reminded him it was time to go up shallower. We turned 90 degrees to the right and came straight back to the line we used to decend from the back of the boat. We spent the next 15 minutes swimming into the current on top of the Pinnacle, found the mooring line and ascended to complete our 10 minute deco stop at 6 metres.
The boat had already left to collect some divers. Then all of a sudden about 10 more divers arrived and the carnage began. I let go of the line and swam against the current for the last 5 minutes of our real deco.
The first dive on Sunday was at Rayners Rock at 7am. Phillip was leading the dive, the plan was 35 metres for 10 minutes and 20 minutes at 25 metres before we started to ascend to complete our deco stops.
It must have been a bit to early for Phillip, because his navigation was, well let’s just say, all over the place like a dog’s breakfast. Left, then right, then left again. I signalled to Phillip to go down deeper then turn right, I turned around and gave Phil, one of the lesiure divers following the group, the same signal, he pointed at Phillip who was heading to the left. What happend to, down then right?
Off I swam to point him in the right direction, he was going ok for about 30 seconds. We managed to see one big hump head and during drift deco we saw this huge grouper, that Mune later explained, had come right next to him and was as big as him. That’s one huge grouper. Phillip got his navigation sorted (kinda) before we had to do our simulated deco stops. I told him after the dive, that I would not allow myself to follow him into battle.
On Saturday we did 4 dives at Tioman, Bahara Rock, Renggis, Chebeh North and Chebeh Bolder City. All four dives were skills, skills and more skills, “boom” drills (value shut down drill simulating an explosion or ruptured o-ring in your back gas tanks), no mask swim, out of air swim, deco tank on and off, more “boom” drills, toxed diver tow at depth (simulated oxygen toxicity unconscious diver tow at depth), simulated deco ascent, which was a bit like Phillip’s navigation at first, but I was happy to see that the students got it togther during the rest of the day.
The fourth dive was completely up to the students, they planned the depth, run time and who was leading the dive. The objective was to return to the mooring line after 15 minutes at 40 metres with another 25 minutes at 25 metres. Paul was leading the first part of the dive and was off like a shot and we all had to swim fast to keep up, I lost him a few times, at the 20 minute mark I started to wonder if he was going to turn around or continue his swim towards Singapore. Georgina was banging her deco tank and Paul heard the noise and finally turned around.
Matt and Georgina led the dive back towards the rope and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they found the rope with 3 minutes spare, so we looked around before doing our deco on the rope.
Matt managed to lose his SMB’s from his pocket shorts not just once but about three times, luckily the boat boys retrieved them each time. He also manged to lose his knive, torch and his sunglasses. On top of that he did the most unusual exit from the water I have ever seen. On Sunday the seas were rough and Matt decided not to wait for one of the two ladders to be free, but instead roll on top the platform at the top of the wave. It kinda did not work as he intended and he ended up rolling around like a beached whale and hurt his hand. Thankfully his hand took the brunt and not my regulators he was borrowing.
All in all a fun but tiring weekend and with all the skills and having to look after 4 tech students. I did not take my camera on most dives and a forgot to take it on the dives I could have taken it. Bugger.
Heading back Sunday was pleasant with a slight breeze and a few well deserved nana naps amongst our happy chatter.
Additional photos may be viewed on our Facebook page here – 6 to 8 July 2012 – The Ark – TDI Tech Courses