"There’ll be no penetration today and I don’t want anybody sneaking in the back portholes while I’m not looking". Rather unfortunately this is the briefing my students received for the wreck dive. The humor has been sinking fast since then.
I have 3 students with me on the advanced course, one a relative novice with 7 dives and a couple, Billy & Josephine, with 150+ each … I should have known something was amiss when the pair of them started downing "Divers Drink" ("for the buoyancy you know!") at an alarming rate before the dive – there then ensued a competition of "pee’s achieved on a dive".
Following a peaceful 35min dive trying to stop Billy stroking fire worms and taking them home for pets my buddy, Tony, and I surfaced with instructions to the other 2 to stay below and finish their dive at 5m till they reached 50 bar. Snorkeling above my heart fell when I saw them both giving the signal for 40bar and zooming off in opposite directions. After some stern "quacking" from my duck and orders to ascend they surfaced side-by-side giggling to tell me they had both managed "4 pee’s and two halves of a square …" (for the record they both surfaced on 70bar).
The navigation dive next (and the practice run done) we set off in our buddy pairs to measure a distance of 25m in fin cycles; all of us had a reasonable 20ish – except Billy who managed to squeeze in 59 … now I was sure he wasn’t taking this seriously! However having navigated themselves around Stony for 2 years the skills were demonstrated faultlessly.
With some smiley trepidation therefore I briefed the group to at least try and behave on the deep dive .. and so we set off over the reef to the Cathedral; it was at this point Billy metamorphosised into Spider-Robin – a Rubber-Clad Action Hero, gripping the ceiling entrance of a cavern and grinning wildly .. Narcosis? Nah, Just Billy!
For the rest of the week we have been fun diving..and I mean it.
A new member joined our team and Billy 2 is more than able to maintain the madness of it all, being a disillusioned BSAC Instructor. However, he is still unable to look at Billy 1 directly under water as he has an incredible ability to turn fresh snot into the bubble cycle on a washing machine in his mask, grinning inanely and peeing D.D. (diet coke) liberally into the Atlantic Blue.
With the boat dive to do tomorrow and still another 3 days of this crazy 4-some I can categorically state that Snorkel Safaris and ‘Discover Scuba Crawling’ are long-gone memories!
Bring on the Brits!