When people think of dive masters they either think of people lazing about doing nothing or carrying 100’s of tanks at a time. Being a dive master is neither of these although we do have to lift quite a few tanks daily! So we always start the day loading equipment and tanks onto the truck, then on to a boat and helping set up the gear. We’re also not constantly diving and today I was taking a family snorkeling. We went to two local sites Argentina Bay and Tortuga. Tortuga you can sometimes see sharks and Argentina is full of eels.
As soon as we got in I saw a golden cow nosed ray, which I think are kind of adorable. I took it for a good sign though. For some reason I could not find any eels for once at Argentina but the water was gorgeous and there were hundreds of fish around. Next we went to Tortuga which I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for. We were in for 5 minutes when I found a beautiful spotted eagle ray which I’ve never seen snorkeling before. For once instead of shooting off it stayed swimming underneath us in very shallow water, occasionally munching on some food. It was pretty special and I told the snorkelers how lucky they were for it to just chill underneath us for a while. We were about to get more luck as the water was so wonderfully clear we could see the whole of the shark channel underneath us. Usually you can’t see this far down and that area is basically reserved for diving only. We beat the divers to the spot and were rewarded with 6 white tip reef sharks at the bottom all ranging from a meter to nearly 2m. 10 minutes later a small baby white tip came out of its cozy cave to check us out and then 5 minutes later I found another 2 sharks underneath a rock shelf. 9 in total, we actually saw more than the divers who averaged out at about 6 sharks. Pretty good for snorkeling huh? I was certainly happy and so were my group.
After all the excitement it was back to normal dive master duties and I had to help unload the boat. Now I have been known for doing many a special thing, and often ridiculous things just seem to befall me! Today was one of those days; whilst I was lifting tanks out of the space under the boat I had cleverly managed to put the huge wooden board that covers this lower space on the wrong side. It was extremely windy and it, of course, blew straight into the ocean. I screamed and jumped straight into the water after it, with my sunglasses still on my face. Luckily it floated but it was starting to sink as the water leaked into it. So I was trying to swim it back with my booties on but they were falling off, with a sinking wooden board whilst shouting, “The ladder, the ladder!” However Barbara, one of our instructors and Jaime, our boat captain, were laughing way too much to help me quickly. Thanks guys!
After all of this we made it back to the shop and I helped to wash all of the equipment and put it away when it was dry. These are pretty much the main duties of a dive master at Rich Coast. The good thing about being here is they don’t treat you like a ‘dive slave’ like many other dive shops do, nor do they keep you constantly in the office instead of the water! I’m pretty lucky I ended up here to be fair.
Now I have to admit that a common conception about dive master trainees is that they spend most of their time going out and getting drunk. I wouldn’t necessarily say this was true, I like to think of myself as a remotely sensible DMT but, like many other people, we do enjoy the odd drink…or 5. The whole dive shop often goes for happy hour together after work as well, which is nice that we actually like each other enough to spend time together out of work! Tonight however it is ladies night (ladies drink FREE!) in Playa Coco. Considering how small this place is they have a pretty awesome night life, even though there are only two bars/clubs! So tonight I took advantage of ladies night, had some of the girls round from the shop and some other ladies and had a cocktail night. After a long day in the sun swimming and carrying stuff it’s definitely nice to relax and have fun too.
p.s. the cocktail night was a success but I somehow managed to go through three blenders, including one that actually set on fire. Yep that’s right I managed to set a blender….on fire….and it wasn’t mine. I told you, only these things happen to me!