We are anxiously waiting for our group Leonardo who will arrive in Hurghada this afternoon to do a liveaboard with us on the Red Sea. This group is really great fun because they come from my city of Leeuwarden. Originally we were supposed to receive this group 3 years ago, but due to the infamous … Continue reading DIVE LIKE THE GUIDE DIVE
Yesterday we started together, me and Nina, with the open water course. She has already done the necessary theory and the first training dives are a fact. Things are going really well, but as with most students, there is a challenge to overcome. For Nina, that's clearing the mask.
It all started about five years ago. I was working in advertising at the time and after all those long days at the office I wanted something new. It was time to change course and I did so drastically, grabbed my bag and jumped on a plane to go diving. Nowadays I jokingly call myself a professional holidaymaker and no I don't lie on my ass all day, although I can enjoy it immensely. What do I do? Well what else than; diving, diving and more diving, as a guide on safari boats. You probably know them, one of those luxurious floating hotels that takes you to distant dive sites for a wonderful diving adventure. And so I visit quite a few countries, from Egypt to Indonesia and from the Maldives to the Bahamas, as long as it's slightly warm and the diving is fantastic, then I'm up for a trip. And so one day I set out from Hamata on my way to the deep south of Egypt. We had a British BSAC diving club on board and the atmosphere was great from the start. On the first day we did some check dives , check the equipment, make buddy pairs, go through procedures and most of all relax and enjoy. It is, after all, a holiday for our British guests.
It's great that everyone is diving again on their holidays. We have missed that so much in recent years and how nice it is to see mother nature again. As a guide, I am of course extra happy to see you in the tropical waters again. Great diving together, although for most it takes some getting used to. Suits shrunk a bit, and quite the job to set it all up again and then that first dive. Still need more weights than the last time on vacation a few years ago and the air consumption, oops goes sky-high again. Well that's part of it for a while, but after the first few dives almost everyone is enjoying themselves again and they don't worry about weight and air any more.
That we like to take an underwater stroll and preferably as we have planned, is the general rule for us divers. The strange thing is that when we plan it, we also expect and sometimes oblige ourselves to go diving. We don't want to disappoint our buddy or have been looking forward to the dive for so long and how about I traveled half the world for it. All bad reasons to take the plunge if you feel a sense of doubt before entering the water. Of course it depends on the reason of doubt, for some it's okay if you go, but for most it's really better to sit out the dive and get help if possible.
Sooner or later we all play with the question: is it perhaps better to stop diving? I myself have been a big fan of this sport for over 20 years, but sometimes life doesn't turn out the way you expect and you may not feel fit enough to dive like you always did. So is Sue, a fantastic lady I met on the liveaboard trip from this week. With a lot of young people on board Sue is a relatively mature lady, I don't know her exact age, but it's obvious that she belongs to the seniors. During our trip to the 'golden triangle' of the Red Sea (Brother Islands, Daedalus reef and Elphinstone) Sue realizes that these kinds of trips might be a thing of the past and she even considers stopping altogether.
Finally we can go out again after the pandemic. I'm going on the day boat from Voodoo and we have a super nice family on board that regularly make me pee my pants from laughter as they are doo funny and joyful. I am therefore very surprised to see the always smiling daughter Eva with tears on our aft deck. What is going on? She can no longer equalize het ears.
A week ago a friend bumped into me and told me about Martina, a Swiss lady, experienced dive master and a friend of a friend of a friend, who was not feeling well after diving. Oh Martina, yes I do know her from a day of diving 2 or 3 months ago. She dived twice and after the second fantastic dive, back on board she got very dizzy after an hour when she got up and vomited immediately.
With its beautiful beaches surrounded by an azure sea on one side and a row of palm trees on the other on almost all 1200 islands, in the middle of the Indian Ocean and on the equator, the Maldives is a dream destination for many divers. One chooses a resort on an island where they go with a water plane and the other prefers the liveaboard to visit entire areas while diving. And most of us come for the Manta and the Whale Shark, but did you know that in the Maldives they have 42 registered shark species that show themselves during a dive depending on the current. And in order to fully enjoy the sharks in strong currents you want to stay in one and the same place and so they use reef hooks. A practice that is not applied in every country nor is it allowed everywhere.