Just finished another great week of diving and teaching. While my friends in Luzon complained about bad weather, it couldn’t be much better here in Dumaguete. Blue Sky, flat water and great visibility in the whole area.
Mike from the Adventure Dive Shop called me up last Sunday to teach some classes for him so I started Linda from Australia and Nicky from England to teach them the Open Water course.
The whole week together was just a blast and I had so much fun with that lovely couple. They were well prepared and paid attention to everything. I am sure the great conditions and the turtles on their very first open water dive was also encouraging them to run through the theory and skills with flying colors.
Midweek Dave from England joined them to do a refresher after some years of being out of the water. The week ended with a great trip to Apo Island. We were guided by some dolphins on our way to Apo Island, were the two finished their last course dive at chapel point, a nice wall with wonderful coral-gardens on top to do the safety stop.
So it was time for the first real fun-dive. I decided to go with them on a drift-dive, as they I was sure they are confident in the water and stay close to me. When we came to the huge school of Jackfish, I grasped both at the tank-valve and pulled them into the middle of thousands of Mamsa (Local term for Jackfish). Nose in the current and hard fining we spend a couple of minutes in the middle of these beautiful creatures.
The third dive on Rock Point was relaxing and just before we went on the boat to head back to Dauin, a turtle passed and waved us bye-bye.
Well, back at Mikes Diveshop we finished the paperwork and I signed the log-books. Here is where things started to become a bit weird. I am really not sure what made Linda and Nicky drawing that stuff in their Log-book, but I guess they will have to answer this question each time they enter a Diveshop…
Hope you two guys have a great time in Palawan…. and don’t forget body position and exhaling are the secrets of diving… Thanks for diving with me… I had a great week with you two
Like mentioned earlier, there was a Typhoon warning and that tail of it hit Dumaguete City with full force. When we reached the divesite big waves were rolling in and the visibility was less than one meter in shallow water. A strong surge was present and pushed us with each wave some meters to the left and pulled us back with the outgoing water. We rushed to get below 5 meter where the visibility was acceptable and no strong surge anymore. We rushed through the skills and headed down to 18 meter, the maximum of Open Water dive 3. With the “little” work out on our way out we reached quickly half tank and made our way back. Due to the decreasing visibility and increasing surge we surfaced quite a distance from the shore and the waves helped us to push us in.
During our surface interval the wind increased dramatically and out changing area was totally under water. This place is usually such a peaceful spot where locals meet to have a great BBQ and to chill out on a lovely beach. Not today…. The place was flooded and the ocean showed his force. I wanted to skip the dive but Mike told me he wanna finish even with a short 20 minute dive. So we geared up and try to enter the water. This was very clear against Neptun or Poseidons plan. A huge wave grabbed us and spitted us out back on the beach, or what was left of it.
Mike didn’t wanna give up and after 10 minutes of catching breath we gave it another try. I was counting the waves, height and strength the whole time and figured out a rhythm when it’s the best going through them. We helped each other through the breaking waves and swam out as far as necessary to descend into a brown soup. I could not see the end of my own arm and we were holding each other until we hit the ground. Again, we rushed to go deeper but even on 12 meters the visibility was below one meter. Deeper at 16 meters we had about 3 meters, enough to let each other go. The surge was still there and even the Clownfish were all over the place, but not in the Anemone, where they usually belong. The underwater navigation was even for a UPS Pilot a drama but finally done. We decided quickly to return and get back to shore. Somehow we managed to get out of the water… not without the help of some locals, thanks for that. We quickly disassembled and rinsed before we were heading back to Dumaguete for a hot shower and a cold beer. If somebody can dive in this condition he can dive everywhere. Great Job Mike !!!!
Typhoon Frank hit the Philippines badly and left huge damage and plenty of victims behind. We were lucky ones this time to “catch” only the tail of it. Everybody says that the Central Visayas and the area around Dumaguete is safe and very protected, but who does really know ??? If the nature wants you it will get you.
all the best
My alarm rang at 5:30 in the morning to run through my daily online-routine for being ready to bring Mike into the “Big Pool”. I picked him up at Coco Grande and we drove out to Dauin. The water was calm and clear, even the Medias told that Typhoon “Frank” is rolling in. We prepared our Equipment and I gave the briefing what we gonna do in the water. Open Water dive one is a great dive for the diver as the OW-student don’t have to do anything but breathing and watching the fish.
We entered the water and submerged to 2 meters. Mike took a few deep breaths and I could hear how nervous he was. I was close to him and together we swam out at the sandy bottom just next to the colorful reef of the marine sanctuary of Dauin North. In 5 meters depth we just kneeled down and watched the marine life. He relaxed big time and when he reached 100 bars I decided it is time to go back. I made a small tour on top of the sand and he took care of his buoyancy and tried to control all by him self. Sure, there were a few up’s and down but all in all a great job for the first dive.
After an hour surface interval we changed the tanks and went back for dive 2 of the PADI open Water course. The second dive has a lot of skills and I always try to have most of the flexible skills (which have to be done some when during the course done at that open water dive 2. All skills went fine and even the mask – clearing was not a big problem. So we exit the water, disassembled and rinsed our gear before heading back to Dumaguete City before 1 pm. Not that I am pushing things, but knowing the small amount of time we have I let him do the quizzes and exams before we had a beer and went home tired to have a good sleep before the final dive next day.