January and February have traditionally always been a slow period and it has been no different this year. However, we did have a Dive master intern to train which has kept us busy. Please join us in welcoming James to the Sheesa family. Contrary to the perception you may have from his mug shot, he hasn’t come to us straight out of the slammer. He was just a bit nervous, having met some of our regulars 🙂
The rule of thumb when it comes to training is once a diver has progressed to the rescue diver and dive master programs then all gloves come off. Young James suffered the same fate many of us did whilst we eagerly lapped up our instructors` sage advice and spent time doing slave labour that would put the young mining kids in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) to shame.
There is method in the madness philosophy as they learn to handle pressure as well as making difficult decisions that are needed to be made when the proverbial pooh hits the fan. The internship we offer is vastly different to the same old DM programs that are rolled out by certain training agencies and conducted by dive centres that basically teach someone to kneel at a bottom of a swimming pool and become a brainwashed zombie with no lateral thinking. We spent time on time management, cooking skills, dealing with difficult clients (we know who you are and you know who you are), troubleshooting techniques at sea, guiding in currents, office administration, guiding small and large groups, rope work, personal budgets, and life skills to name a few. James is now able to plan and execute his own itineraries, cook for himself, make his own bed and wipe his own posterior. I think his parents are going to get more out of this program than James.
On the diving scene, we have just finished our monthly sharing live aboard and it was great to see the new faces on board. We do know that we had new faces because the old faces are too freaking scared of cold water to join us the latest Antarctica expedition to Sheesa. It was cold. So cold in fact that we are certain on at least 2 occasions a polar bear was seen swimming around in a dry suit. The visibility on the other hand …. Wow! It was beyond clean. Devil rays, queen fish, barracuda, cow tail rays, scorpionfish, pipefish, trevally, turtles (and a bus of one at that), were all seen (and photographed) by the great Julian Palmer and Brigitte Chemla. The night dive was averted by the dive guide by having a GnT readily available upon his return after the 3rd dive and thus the no diving and drinking rule was applied and strictly enforced. A certain gentleman who goes by the initial JP was keen for an early morning dive at stupid o clock and found a willing buddy in GP and then followed by LW. NM however was really impressed with their skill levels and thus they were able to brave the frigid waters on their own while the brave dive guide kept an eye on the safety of the dhow that lay gently at rest in a secluded and sheltered bay.
On a sad note, whilst we welcome James on board, we bid farewell to Chucky and Nedy. Please join us in wishing them both the best of luck with their new endeavours (freelance photographer, Canadian resident). They will sorely be missed.
Don’t worry though, you will shortly be seeing new faces at Sheesa and we trust you will give them the warm welcome that we all have received from you, our valued clients (there is absolutely no tongue in cheek in that statement), when we first arrived.
With that, all that is left to say, is to brush off those 3mm`s, as the water will start to warm up soon and we will soon be heralding the arrival of the 3 day trips.