|Dive 4 Life|
|Life sucks and then you dive!|
Open Water Course - 13-16 December 2002 (Sandton Scuba and Miracle Waters)
It was our first course outside of Klerksdorp and Amanda and I were very nervous abut getting the equipment sizes correct. Fortunately we had allies in Barrett Roos and his fiancée, Jackie Ettershank, who helped us a great deal with the coordination of the various activities and the fitting of the equipment. We also had our first oversees students in Chris vd Merwe and Jeanette vd Berg, two ex South Africans now living in the UK and currently on vacation in SA.
We used the facilities of Sandton Scuba for this course and I was impressed by the friendliness of the staff and their willingness to assist with whatever was required.
Because of the pending rain, we decided to complete as many confined water sessions while the weather was good. To prevent boredom and getting cold unnecessarily, the eight students were broken into two groups for the pool sessions.
We got into the water at 19H00 and completed Pool 1 for the two groups. We then had a Pizza break (at 22H00!) and completed the second session at 00H30. A long night indeed.
|What? It only my sixth slice||I can't watch how she stuffs her face|
We were back at Sandton Scuba on Saturday and completed the remainder of the pool sessions and the water skills just before 17H00. Thereafter we went to one of the students, Barrett Roos', house where we had another pizza, followed by knowledge development session 1 and Quiz 1.
Man these questions are ambiguous
We all needed an early night so we decided to catch up on the remaining sessions at Miracle Waters.
Note: Unfortunately one of the students had problems and decided to call it a day after completing Pool session 2. Jeanette did complete all the Knowledge Reviews, passed the exam and completed Dive 1. She is confident that she will complete the course soon.
Sunday, 15 December
We arrived at Miracle Water just after 9H00 to find the place already crowding with divers. After unpacking we went down to the water for the first dive. I was shocked by the bad visibility - 2-3 meters at best. We bravely completed the tour dive and just after 15H00 completed dive 2.
We then left for the cabins where we enjoyed a bit of a break before tackling the remaining 4 knowledge development sessions. In between we still had time for a much needed and welcome braai but everyone was dead beat when we finished at 23h30.
Monday, 16 December
Hoping to find better visibility before the crowds arrived, we went down to the water just after 7H00 to set up camp. We completed the 3rd dive without any problems and everyone enjoyed the slightly better viz. - 5- 6 meters.
We split the group into two for the final dive as the compressor at Miracle Waters had packed up and we needed to conserve whatever air we could scrape from the air bank (150-160 bar). Both groups successfully completed the 4th dive and smiles were at the order of the day.
The graduates: From left to right
Top Row: Andrew Sellar, Thinus Bisschoff, Michael Ettershank, Roxanne Smith
Bottom Row: Barrett Roos, Jackie Ettershank and Chris van den Berg (with friend Jeanete)
We then went back to the cabins to complete the PIC documentation and student records and the newly qualified divers were awarded their certificates and the traditional Dive4Life baseball cap.
|From left to right: Michael, Roxanne, Jackie, Barrett, Thinus, Andrew, Jeanette and Chris|
|Kneeling in front: Louis van Rensburg (Instructor) and Amanda van Rensburg (Dive master)|
All in all a very intense weekend with lots of work, little time for rest and sleep but everyone left happy in the knowledge that they are now qualified PADI Open Water divers.
|Showing off his, uhmm, new wetsuit||How long before we can go sleep?|
|Mom, I promise I will tidy up later.||Now carefully watch what I do..|
|Diving sure is hard work||No where did he go?|
|Water skills at the end of a long day||Base camp at Ground Zero (well nearly)|
|Look ma, no shirt||And that's when I hit him with a right jab|
|It hurts right where your hand is||Hurry up or you will eat my fist!|
|My, how tall you've grown||Scared? Me? Never - check my smile!|
|Now where does this thingamagic go?||How many students will we drown today?|
|I told you to remove your contact lenses||I'm really going to do it!!|
|That's how big the fish was, I swear||Wipe away the tears and get on with it|
|Yes mom, it's me||And yes mom, it's me too.|