Today I did a double dive at Puerto del Carmen.
I buddied Derek again who is completing his PADI Advanced course. We have swum together all week and he is a really nice guy whose occupation enables him to identify gliches in the configuration of airplanes cockpits and the software that is used (that is my crude understanding of his job).
The first dive was pretty amazing. After entering the water by a giant stride from the concrete jetty (I wonder whether all dives are going to be begun this way?) we went down to 31m.
Fish I saw included:
• Angel shark (about 1 metre long)
After the dive we exited the water by the steps (taking the fins off is tricky in the surging water, balancing on one leg and trying not to look like an arse).
We had a break for an hour before getting our gear on again for our second dive. The term used at the school for this is a 'double-dive' (for obvious reasons).
The second dive was to concentrate on Derek’s navigation skills. This involved using a compass in submarine conditions.
The task is pretty straight forward.
A line is placed on the seabed at a fixed distance. The diver is asked to swim the length a couple of times to establish how many kicks it takes on average to swim it. After the average is established, say 20 kicks, then they are asked to swim off using the compass to swim in a straight line and return to their starting point.
After this is successfully completed (and the instructor can ask for the task to be repeated if they are not 100% happy with the performance), then the diver is asked to use the compas and swim the 20 kick distance before making a 90° turn, then again, then again. Until in the end the diver should have made it back to the original starting point. Its fair to say that their might be 'some' variance due to surge and currents, but on the whole, the box should be made.
Derek then navigated us back to the steps for exit, and thereby successfully completed his PADI advanced course. Brilliant!
We returned to base.
In teh afternoon, I was given detailed instruction on the RDP (the PADI dive planner) and shown how to remove tanks from the compressor when the noise stops, signifying that the tanks are full (my third tranche of responsibility).
At the end of the working day I swept out van one, and drove it to its overnight position in the car park down the road.
Because Andrew is leaving today, I went along to the drinks and tapas do which the Active Adventure guys do each evening. It was good and I met a whole bunch of new people; some staying a while for the surfing and some just passing through.
The evening ended with a 'TVR' – Tequila, Vodka and Redbull.
Best bit of the day: Laying hidden in a shallow sandy bed, the angel shark was indistinguishable from the seabed, covered in sand. Albeit for a feint depressed outline the fish was impossible to see. The instructor went over and gently touched the back of the tail end, at which point the shark, slowly and without any effort, slowly moved his tail from side to side, moving at great speed into the deep blue.