Ever since I first tried scuba diving in 2011, in a pool in Willoughby, I've loved it. I never thought I would, given I hated deep water, and snorkelling, with the burning passion of 1000 suns. Frankly the idea of it scared the crap out of me, but I was a scout leader taking the scouts for the trial dive so there I was doing it along side them. I'll never forget the moment as I lay on my back at the bottom of the pool, looking up at the surface, breathing comfortably.
The next year I did my open water scuba course, and my advanced open water on the Great Barrier Reef the year after that, followed by a bunch of random dives over the next few years whenever I was on holidays and found a dive shop. After a couple of years of covid and no dives, I recently rekindled this love of diving when I was an emotional support diver for Mala on her open water course, where I decided I would do the training to become a divemaster.
Today I completed the first major step in that process with the Rescue Diver course, which is basically underwater first aid and rescue techniques specific to dive related emergencies. After all the classroom work and a number of search and rescue scenarios (in very low visibility conditions) we practise "air sharing", where all 4 of the members of our course share a single respirator underwater, taking one breath at a time and passing it around the circle. We got sold on this as a good practise of breath control and staying calm underwater in an emergency, but once we get down there we find its actually just the instructors way to mess with us. As we complete the air sharing drill the instructor circles us, like a shark circling its pray, and messes with whatever they can. At first it was simple stuff like removing one of your fins, or pulling your mask off your head, but when they turn off the air supply just as you try to draw a breath I'll admit I did actually get a bit scared. Overall I enjoyed the experience, and I certainly feel a lot more comfortable that I'll be able to handle these types of emergency situations underwater in the future.
As I complete each course, I'll keep my Divemaster training progress up to date in the list below.
- Open water diver (2012)
- Advanced open water (2013)
- Nitrox- enriched air (March 2022)
- First aid and oxygen (March 2022)
- Rescue diver (April 2022)
- Inspect and fill cylinders (May 2022)
- Deep diver (June 2022)
- Divemaster (December 2022)
- Knowledge skills
- Water skills
- Dive site mapping
- Assist on 2 open water courses
- Guiding experience
- Minimum 60 dives