This past weekend was one of the busiest weekends that we have had in a long time. Our days were packed full of training: Open Water, Adventure Diver, Advanced Open Water, Enriched Air Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Dry Suite Diver, Sidemount Diver and dives toward the Rescue diver certification. We told you we were busy!
First of all CONGRATS to all the 38th Parallel Divers on becoming new and more experienced divers, excellent job this weekend we know we asked a lot of you!
In between all of that training we managed to even do a large beach/coastal water clean-up. We pulled several hundred pounds of debris from the local environment, pallets, tires, rubbish even an anchor and pipes. There was some friendly competition to gather the most poundage which resulted in several of our divers winning some sweet Oceanic and Hollis gear courtesy of Aquatic Frontier. Our divers walked away with a Hollis Mask, Oceanic Viper fins and an ultra dry snorkel…. not too bad for a few hours of work, congrats divers!
Saturday was less than ideal for ocean conditions, we had an totally overcast day with a moderate surge on the beach but our divers truly are a tough bunch because they showed up with smiles on eager to start training. Despite visibility ranging from 2-7 meters everyone was able to knock out almost all their dives. We dove from sun up to sun down on the east coast on Saturday so it was no surprise that everyone was eager to wash up and eat some cheese burgers, grilled sausages (and even some veggie burgers). Once everyone was full and paperwork was processed we sat around and talked about diving all over the world and what could be next… for some the only “next” they looked forward to was a good night’s sleep in preparation for another busy day.
Sunday came early with a planned boat dive at 0830. Everyone met at the diveshop and grabbed some fruit and pastries for a breakfast appetizer before dive 1. On dive 1 we had 2 groups conducting different training (deep and sidemount). The deep dive went off without a hitch and the sidemount divers entered the water and donned equipment. On descent the sidemount divers went into their skills and mid gas sharing a diver’s mask strap came off. I was extremely impressed that my student reacted in the perfect manner. He effectively communicated the problem, didn’t panic, held the mask on his face (all while holding a good trim position and constant depth). Situations like these, while irritating, are excellent learning experiences and litmus tests. Unable to correct the malfunction we ascended (ensuring to complete our safety stop) and ended the dive. Great job Austin! Once back on the boat we fixed the mask and prepped tanks for another dive to makeup skills.
After the first boat dive everyone came back to get some FOOD! Sarah, Mandy and I cooked up the bacon and eggs for the divers to slap onto some sandwich bread (or just scarf down) and fill their bellies. With everyone full we extended our surface interval a bit and prepared for the remainder of the day. The remaining dives would finish up Advanced Open Water, PPB and Sidemount. We even managed to get some of our divers their first non-training fun dive.
As we cleaned up and prepared to leave for home George and I processed the student’s certifications. When I had entered in the last certification that I had completed I was finally able to apply for and obtain my Master Scuba Diver Trainer (MSDT) rating. I would like to personally thank all of the students this weekend for being great and being a part of my new PADI rating! I would also like to thank George for allowing me to certify his students, couldn’t have made it this quickly without you, thanks!
As we were heading out we decided to go into Gangneung and eat before we leaft for home. It was a great way to end the weekend, with bellies full of fire grilled bulgogi and kimchi jigae (kimchi stew). Of course because that wasn’t enough we all snuck over to Mango Six for some dessert…now it was time for the long ride home where everyone could fall asleep and be driven home (thanks dive buddies;)).
Stay tuned because now that I have reach MSDT I have met the requirements for some really exciting things that will shortly be available for our club members!!