Over the last few weeks....
...I've been diving pretty much every day. Because you know, that's my job. And even when I don't have to, well, I still want to dive. (Now seriously, which one of you guys want to do their work things when they don't have to go to work? Who? I bet NO ONE. Mwahahahaha.)
Let me tell you a few little stories of the past weeks then, with the sole purpose of entertainment.
Some time over the past couple of weeks, it finally started to slow down a bit after a few months of super super busy. I'm looking at the dive board (see below) and my name is NOT on it, which means I don't have to dive the next day, and also there is space on said board. After asking, I am told that sure, I can go fun diving (for the first time since June, I think).
When you take people diving every day and you are responsible for their safety and general enjoyment, going diving with NO ONE to care about is something you do not get to do very often. So I easily gather a couple of volunteers (hence friends who are also divemasters and that I don't have to care about underwater because they know what they are doing, bless) and we go down at Toyapakeh, my favorite dive site on this island. The general rule is "let's go up when someones runs out of air". What an AMAZING dive it was. Not only the visibility is super good but also there is no current, which is not a daily occurrence on this site. We find LOTS of cool stuff. Not even crazy stuff, just cool stuff. To start with, I get in the water and somewhere around 35 meters deep I get to witness in a couple of seconds a fight between a octopus and a titan triggerfish. Ensues biting, ink throwing, octopus escaping, and me beaming. I am in my own little happy place, I just turn my head around every 10 minutes to make sure my lovely buddy Jacqui is still here, and we all swim along, each lost in our own ocean of joy and peace while watching fish carrying on with their fish business. I can wave at fish like I do because no one cares, I can stay in front of the same coral for 5 minutes because no one is following me, I can go around and upside down and sit in the water and watch stuff without people trying to do the same and not succeeding and landing on the coral. I got back on the boat with a grin bigger than my own face.
During these past few weeks, I also had a really GOOD open water student (who also was Brazilian and very handsome which was the icing on the cake so to speak). When it's like that, it's really super awesome. You do your pool thing, it's fine, you get a feeling the guy is going to do well, you get him in the ocean and two minutes into the dive he's got it. Of course he is still going up and down a lot, but instinctively, he knows. He looks at me while floating up a bit and breathes out and sees how it works and smiles and gives me a billion OK signs with wide eyes and when we spot a turtle he looks like it's Christmas. That was a cool one. I took him for a couple of fun dives afterwards, he ended up hovering upside down next to a turtle just like he had been diving for six months. Bloody awesome. I also had a couple of dives in different dive sites, for a change, because with less customers you can be a bit more flexible and try new stuff. Always nice. One of those was in 20 degrees water, less nice. Finally, I had a very rewarding trial dive with a couple who was probably close enough to my parents' age. He was totally fine in the pool but she wasn't, she was freaking out and wanting to come up all the time and telling me she wasn't sure she could do it. So I explain that it's fine and she doesn't have to, we'll take her kit on the boat just in case and she can snorkel or she can try if she wants to. We get to the dive site and it's very shallow, we can see the fish below, and she goes "Is that OK if I hold your hand a bit?" and of course I say that sure, she can hold my hand. So we get in, we go down in 4 meters, and this lady who was very scared and panicky two hours before did a 35 minutes dive while holding my hand and did a good job at it. She was very proud of herself when she came up and so was I, and she thanked me a billion time which is always nice, isn't it.
You know what I'm doing next month? I'm taking a dive vacation. I will get to follow someone, said someone will point out things for me, I will not have to care about anyone underwater or if everyone took their weightbelt. Oh and wait, I'm diving Sipadan. SHARKS! Can't wait!