After settling in pretty well, I started the week with a bang. The weather and Quepos were wonderful, I’d even got used to the monstrosity of a hill that I have to climb each day to reach work and I’d started to feel more comfortable practicing my Spanish. It was now time to start my surface skills and complete all other components to the Divemaster. Pretty important skills to be had… you need to be on the ball and fit enough to ensure that any incident that may occur you are on it! The surface skills include a 100m tow of an unresponsive diver, an 800m snorkel a 400m swim and a float… all timed! Not a problem, or so I thought, not taking into consideration the number of hours a week I was working, the heat, the not enough water, I thought they’d be a breeze!!… so I started with the float.   Each of these surface skills are measured out of 5… 5 being the best. I jumped in the water and did it. 5/5. BOOM!

Then the next day came. Assisting with the fun dives, and then on the surface interval I jumped in and started my 400m swim. I have to say I’m not sure if its my middle age, my middle age spread or the fact that I’d done no real exercise for the past 6 months that meant this really did take it out of me. But none the less I finished within 10minutes and received an honourable 3. Not great, but certainly not bad.   And I still had a smile on my face!

Gina was now mentoring me. Great.

We set off on the afternoon dive, there was a lovely group on the boat and we had to get back to shore to get one of our customers on a bus. I jumped for joy in me head; even though we’d planned to do my 100m tow there was a big chance it just wasn’t going to happen today. Time restraints and also a nasty looking ocean meant we might postpone. As Gina looked at her Dive Computer in between dives she shook her head, I ‘dad danced’ in my head and pulled a cheeky smile. I’ll never do that again. The 2nd instructor bleated up. ‘You have to do it, come on’ … God damn! Reticent, I jumped in the water, already being pulled the opposite way to the buoy, my marker. I started kicking my barely there fins and off I went… backwards some more!!  I just wasn’t feeling this. My body still aching from the previous days activities. I stopped. Looked at Gina and said ‘I’m not doing it’. At this time, on this day I would NEVER have made it. I’d still be swimming now.  I know when to throw in the towel and quit when I’m ahead… do I knacker myself out even more than I am, lose even more confidence or do I wait.

Of course I’d let Gina down, a woman in a man’s world should never give up so easily.  Having realized that I really needed to prove myself even more to certain people, I took to the boat the next day. Attempted my Mapping of a dive site, jumped back on the boat and insisted I do my 800m snorkel and the 100m tow. Today I was in different fins… they weren’t broken and even though I took my heel off (gross) I made it. 4/5 for that task, and with 20seconds less I would have accomplished a 5. Then the tow. Again 4/5 for that one. Thrilled, I’d hoped to have made Gina proud, but again I had made myself proud so very happy. On return, I shared my glee with the office.

Oceans Unlimited and Go Pro make me a better diver each day. Every person brings something to the table and more of the time each persons’ is difference to the next.

I can’t wait to continue learning here, its never ending.. whether dealing with the compressor, fixing regulators or dealing with customers.

Next up …mapping, my 20 demo skills and my stressful situation to share!

Keep on reading!