Category Archives: One Day Dhow Cruise

The Human Factor

Welcome to 2018 and we hope it beats the “you know what” out of 2017 for you and your loved ones.

From 2016 onwards there has been an explosion of YouTube videos, Facebook videos and a host of social media platforms that offer up the “right way” to train divers.

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Personally as and educator and collectively as a dive centre we are prone to the “get your freaking knees off the bottom of the pool approach”. We train buoyancy as the core skill in diving and we allow them to fail. Here is why!

Allowing candidates to fail in a safe and non-threatening environment allows them to be vulnerable and thus the opportunity for educators, (I`m not using the word instructor as that is a topic for another time), to provide critical feedback to the candidate.

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This in turn allows them to take responsibility and be accountable to themselves only. Changing their perception from blaming failure on all and sundry to one of being self-aware and recognizing their own weak points. Is not learning the process of making mistakes and learning from them?

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Instructors, dive centres and agencies all need to hold their collective hands high and say “maybe we got it wrong”. We trained skills, we taught theory but how much of the human factor did we teach? For the learning process to be solid the human factor loop needs to in sync and that simply is accepting responsibility as educators and candidates, learning from our mistakes and recognizing our weak points without blaming anyone else. Most importantly using our mistakes to better ourselves as divers and hopefully as humans to!

 

 

 

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The Week From Hell or From Heaven?

Wow – what a week it has been.  For those of us not used to hard work it has been a baptism of fire and then some.

The week started off last Sunday morning already with a busy agenda.  With 7 dhows,  scheduled to go out over the weekend, the week was spent prepping.  With 54 divers  we had 315 tanks to fill and load, sets of kit to prep and not enough days in the week to get it all done!

Then we went viral!  A seemingly innocuous video clip of last weekends whaleshark was merrily loaded onto our site on Saturday evening.  By Sunday evening the number of people reached, views and shares were already impressively high.  By Monday morning the number of people reached was going up by 1000 per hour.  A week later we are at 30,812 people reached, 6.6k views and 135 shares – SIXTY times the number of average views and shares that we usually have on our Facebook page – WOW!!  Serious exposure or what!  Amazing news but we are still trying to figure out how?

And just like that, our already manic week got busier.  The future monthly 2 and 3 day and bi-monthy 1 day live aboard dhow trips are filling up faster than expected, with an increase in general enquiries coming in from all over the place!  All while we are busy beavering away to get this week’s guests out and into the water.

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We have had sweat, tears and a lot of grit and determination by the team to get the job done.  It is no mean task to get (did I mention this already) 315 tanks filled and onto the Dhows.  Even with the shiny new compressor.  What we failed to mention in our previous post is that the nitrox fills take a little longer to get done than air fills and given that we encourage our guests to dive nitrox where they can (qualified), we clearly are gluttons for punishment.

Despite the monumental task ahead, the team rose to the challenge and did an amazing job.  Even with a few tense moments it all came together in the end – as it always does :).

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Our dive guides did a combined total of 48 dives across the weekend, accumulating a combined total of 2 days spent underwater diving 14 different sites.  Our boat crews and chefs ensured that 54 guests, plus colleagues were fed, watered, transported, entertained and kept safe.  We had some amazing sightings including; a Southern Right Whale (or) Pilot Whale – footage shot from a distance so difficult to identify, a Whale Shark,  Leopard Sharks, Eagle Rays, Reef Sharks, Sea Horse, tonnes of Turtles and a 10 minute show put on by a shoal of Tarpon.  The weather was perfect and although we were close to a full moon, the currents were diveable!

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WELL DONE TEAM!  You are AMAZING with a capital ‘A’!   You gave this week everything you have and showed our guests a great time.  One of the busiest weeks we have ever known and you did good!  Real good!

So, despite feeling at times like we were on a journey to hell and back, it was worth it.  I think our guests would agree that their weekend was spent, not in hell, but in ‘heaven on earth’, or more aptly ‘heaven underwater’.

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A Dive Worth Getting Up For!

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Our inaugural one day dhow took place this weekend.  With a few rain clouds and flash floods filling up social media the previous day, for a short time we wondered if we would have to cancel before we even began.  The gods were with us however and the Thursday afternoon and Friday morning shone brightly, with calm waters.

Guest arrived in dribs and drabs, a little sleepy still from an early start to get over across from Dubai however a strong coffee and Neil’s banter soon cheered them up.  Or may be not?   After all, seeing Neil’s ugly mug early in the day is probably too much even for those of us with a strong constitution.

A relaxing day was scheduled – the dhow would meander up towards Lima with a dive on Lima Rock, followed by a dive on Wonder Wall.  We also had three guests who had succumbed to temptation and had decided to dip their toes in the water to see what all the fuss was about by signing up for a Discover Scuba Diving experience.  All in all, a great day ahead.

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And boy was it a great day!  With the dive group splitting into two, two divers opted for the south side of Lima and the remainder of the group headed for the north side.  The latter were kicking themselves however, when upon surfacing an hour later, Grumpy Pants and KK regaled the rest of us with stories of the Mola-Mola, which ‘allegedly’ was not only spotted about 30 minutes into the dive, but changed direction to come across and investigate our divers.  It then ‘allegedly’ remained with them (and followed them) for over five minutes!  Of course we did not believe a word of it.  After all, Grumpy Pants and KK are renowned for spinning a few yarns to wind us up from time to time.  That is, until the video and photo’s were produced.  Poor old Victor and Neddy were spitting feathers, quite literally!

Despite the absence of a Mola-Mola for the remainder of the group, they all agreed that it had been a great dive and our DSD crew were so excited about their first experience that they were literally jumping back into the water for dive two as soon as the surface interval would allow.

The second dive on Wonder Wall proved to be pretty epic too!  The group missing out on the earlier Mola-Mola made up for it with seven turtles, all congregating in one spot and allowing our divers to take a number of selfies, several cow tail rays and (as described by KK), a monster of a marble ray.  In her own immortal words, “easily the biggest I have ever seen in nine years of diving the Musandam waters”.  We think she was talking about the marble ray?  A leopard shark was also spotted chilling out behind a rock, however he was a little more camera shy unfortunately.

With the end of dive two and a delicious lunch scoffed, DSD certificates duly awarded to our three musketeers, the dhow headed back to port, with the bright lights of Dibba guiding us home.

In conclusion, a great day and the best possible start to our new One Day Dhows.  Held bi-weekly, there are plenty of opportunities for those of you who want to see what all the fuss is about on future trips.  We hope to see you soon!

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