07 September 2012

Divemaster Internship Week 3

Evolution Divers as part of the Search and Recovery effort
picture from The Philippine Star
The BIG news on my 3rd week on the island was a plane carrying Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo that crashed into the sea just short of the runway for Masbate City airport (about 150kms north of Malapascua) on Friday afternoon and on Monday morning the Evolution Dive Team were helicoptered along with all their gear to  assist in looking for the wreckage of the plane and hopefully survivors.  Unfortunately the body of the plane was found with the 3 missing persons (Jessee Robredo and pilot and co-pilot) on the 2nd day at a depth of 65m.  The shop was really quiet at this point and because my instructor was involved in the search and recovery operation I went on a couple of dives with clients, but for a while I had a pretty open schedule.

One of the highlights of the trip has been the people who've come to dive with Evolution.  A large proportion are people who teach in either Korea or Japan and are traveling in the region, there have been a couple of people who have come through from Singapore and Hong Kong for a long weekend and some Europeans and American's on holiday.  Since we all have diving in common, conversation around the bar is not a problem and there is a great deal of sharing of people's dive experiences.  "The Attack of the Puffer Fish" definitely stands out as the weirdest story I've heard and amazingly enough they got it all on video (The fish went for the dive guide first and then the client.)

Evolution Divers has a great policy of encouraging all their staff to become certified divers.  In addition to the obvious benefit of giving the staff an opportunity to understand / share in the experience of the clients that come to the shop, the staff sometimes also play the role of "clients" for DM trainee's and I privileged to observe Evon (centre above) as she did a scuba review and then take her for a local dive around Bantigue.  Jo Jo (on the left) is a dive guide and Elgin (right) joined us for a dive on a quiet day in the shop.

Towards the end of the week my formal training recommenced where I re-did my search and recovery segment and a scenario dive.  I'm finding it quite difficult to assert myself over the group of divers as I tend generally to try and lead by building consensus, but in order to be a DM I'm going to have to learn to be more assertive and take control.

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