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Archive for the ‘Scuba Diving’ Category

Great Barrier Reef (Liveaboard II)

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

With one liveaboard trip complete, the second liveaboard trip went smoothly. Coincidentally, on this trip I also dove my 100th dive, which turned out to be a night dive. Apart from Dive #1, Dive #100 is arguably the most celebrated milestone in scuba diving. As for me, on the Great Barrier Reef at night with clear skies and calm waters, consider it celebrated. :)

The finale of my 100th dive.

Nudibranch (Chromodoris annae).

Soft coral (Nephthea).

Another beautiful sunrise over the Great Barrier Reef.

Soaking up the sun on the top deck.

Matthieu doing OK on an incredible “drift” dive.

Great Barrier Reef (Liveaboard I)

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

My 2.5 week divemaster course consisted of theory (classroom sessions) and practical application (pool and ocean sessions). Specifically the theory involved studying stuff like dive physics, physiology, and tables whereas in the practical application, I primarily assisted instructors with the teaching of entry-level Open Water scuba courses.

I assisted with two Open Water courses from start to finish. Each Open Water course was four days: the first two days were spent in the pool learning the 20 basic Open Water scuba skills, and the second two were spent on the Great Barrier Reef refining scuba skills in the ocean (i.e., open water).

The open water portion of the Open Water course was conducted on a 3 day/2 night liveaboard trip to the Great Barrier Reef. In brief, the liveaboard trips included lots of diving (up to 11 dives for certified divers), plenty of sun, and all the food you could eat. Since I was primarily being evaluated on my divemaster duties over two Open Water courses, that meant I got to go on two liveaboard trips. :)

On each liveaboard trip I was evaluated both in and out of the water. In the water I assisted with Open Water and Advanced Open Water courses, and out of the water I helped out with deck duties such as logging divers in and out of the water and filling tanks. In other words, the practical application involved the actual duties of a divemaster, and take it from me that you certainly learn by doing! Here are a few photos from the first liveaboard trip.

Sunrise over the Great Barrier Reef.

The Coral Gardens.

A GIANT clam with my fin for comparison.

From Port Vila to Cairns

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Following Vila, I completed the return to civilization with a flight to Brisbane, where I spent a few short days washing all of my clothes (they needed it), hanging out with Ronan (from Scotland), and meeting his friend Amber.

My brief stay in Brisbane was followed by 3 weeks spent in Cairns; I was in Cairns to complete my PADI Divemaster certification, and inherent to the course, I was able to do some awesome scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. That being said, the next few posts will be highly diving-centric, so buckle up your cummerbunds, make sure you have your diving buddy, and prepare to make a giant stride into the adventures of a Divemaster Trainee. We’re going to have a great dive!

Boarding the plane for Brisbane.

Tiger Shark, Fiji Shark Dive

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Well, here it is: my video of Scarface the Tiger Shark from the Shark Dive in Fiji. At 4 meters / 14 feet, it is truly one of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen.

And for fans of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Starálfur by Sigur Rós.

Espiritu Santo

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I’ve spent the past week or so doing some diving and taking some courses at Aquamarine in Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu. Most of my dives were on the SS President Coolidge. It’s an amazing wreck, and some of the swim-throughs are quite spectacular…

One of the courses I took was my Wreck Specialty, which involved laying line through the Coolidge’s chain locker, taking my mask off (i.e., blinding myself), and navigating my way out. On another dive, I logged my deepest depth yet: 53 meters (174 feet). Great fun!

Pat Pat, my guide through the SS President Coolidge.

Rob loaded with drop tanks.

The Lady and me.

Navigating through the Coolidge.