This week has included more different PADI Specialty course dives which have been a good fun and made the week very interesting. The week started with PADI Fish ID course which was to learn about different species that live here in the Canary Islands. Very interesting topic and I learned a great deal more about the aquatic life in Abades. Dives were nice and relaxing. We noted over 25 species during dives. I also did AWARE Coral Reef Conservation which included to spot different corals that one can see in Abades. There were not many but still interesting. I also did my Night Dives on Monday which was brilliant. We didn’t see that many new species during dives but it was amazing to dive at night and see the bio-luminescence underwater. On Tuesday I did my first ever wreck dive which also happened to be my 50th dive! We went to Tabaiba wreck to conduct the first three dives of the wreck diving specialty course. The objectives of the dives were to identify different hazards in the wreck, map the wreck and practice to set the penetration line outside of the wreck. I found that the wreck itself was very interesting dive site and quite convenient as a first wreck to dive since it’s not as intimidating as I would assume some other bigger wrecks would be. On Wednesday we practiced PADI Divemaster skills in water with Dominic in the morning and on the afternoon we went to make our PADI Deep Diver speciality dives in El Poris. We were incredibly lucky and we spotted 4 Canarian lobsters, a species that is very rare and very hard to see. They were amazing, looking like living fossils. On Thursday we ended the week with PADI Surface Marker Buoy specialty dives and practiced with Alice the proper SMB technique.
My second week in PADI Divemaster training has involved different PADI Specialty courses for the PADI Master Scuba Diver program. We started the week with Peak Performance Buoyancy with Sas, Simon and Dominic. From a rusty beginning it was a good fun practice different positions, play with hoops and basically challenge oneself with different approaches. Next day’s agenda included Underwater Navigation course learning first the basics of the compass and then applying the same skills underwater.
Firstly we figured out our fin kick distances per 10 meters and then we did basic mapping with a heading directions underwater. I enjoyed to see the new part of the reef as I haven’t dived in Montana Falda before and it was really interesting to see the big rock formations. The navigation practices gave me more confidence for my own diving and trust to my compass and sense of direction. Mapping was an interesting challenge but I enjoyed the brain teaser. I also did my first Project AWARE dive picking rubbish and killing black longspine seaurchines. Seeing the areas where the black longspine seaurchines have started the invasion really gave me a new perspective of the problem in hand and I think that should be every diver in Tenerife should be aware of. I spend Thursday studying skill courses theory and PADI Divemaster manual and Friday we completed Emergency Oxygen and Nitrox courses. So now I’m certified O2 and Nitrox diver. I also observed Stan’s PADI Rescue course scenarios as a part of PADI Divemaster training. On a personal note I said goodbye to my room mate Charlene this week. The house is definitely more quiet and now I’m just waiting for new room mates.
Seventh week at the Tenerife Diving Academy.
Sunday Hazel and I were to do search and recovery dive however when we got into the water we were then told it was going to be kit exchange underwater. Apparently you are not told that it will be kit exchange with lots of time to plan as it’s a problem solving exercise, first time we tried to descend with one regulator I was not able to get a good enough breath so we came back onto the surface and tried again but this time it was hazel who couldn’t get a breath so the instructor Tania advised she would do it one on one with us. In the end I got top marks.
Monday I went on 2 fun dives with Hazel and Simon in the morning and that afternoon we went on a skills practice dive and helped each other recognize our mistakes.
Tuesday I done another skills practice dive with the instructor Laura and the new girl Kate and Hazel. In the afternoon hazel and I were buddied up to do a search and recovery and the boys Simon and Dom were buddied up the girls found there item in 2 minutes but the boys took 30 minutes we also learned how to take an item to the surface using a buoy.
Wednesday it was my birthday so we all went on a fun dive to Tabaiba where there is a shipwreck that was really awesome to see and then the boss took us for Non alcoholic beverage when we got back to the shop we had to do the 100m tow and I had to do kit exchange with Kate and she needed to be marked for hers.
Thursday was a skills dive practice again as my assessment is next week so all the practice is needed. In the afternoon I had my dive master written exam which I passed meaning I have 1 week left till I become a dive master.
Lucky to return to diving on Sunday however was thrown right into it and ended up having to do a kit exchange with Charlene. I panicked a bit but managed to get through it. I also was shown the skills by Tania and Sass which seemed to be a lot of skills to have to learn which got me a little worried. We also got to meet a new student who was doing the PADI Divemaster this week – she seems very nice but she had signed herself up for a lot of work.
On Monday I had my first dive as a leader ! I was lucky in that I didn’t mess up the navigation and we ended up getting to trumpet fish cave ok! Killed a lot of urchins and saw a baby cuttlefish and a very big pink dentex fish followed us around the urchin patches. This was followed later by practicing the skills with Charlene and Simon. They were both really good and I felt quite far behind and I also struggled a bit with the mask skills- but practice makes perfect so hopefully I’ll get it eventually ! Tuesday was more practice as well as completing the search and recovery part of the course , I was buddies with Charlene and we found our item quite quickly whereas the boys were taking a while to find their item. Simon’s equipment was malfunctioning all over as well so we didn’t spend too much time in the water. We were also taught how to tie a bow line knot and inflate and use a recovery bag lift.
Wednesday was Charlene’s birthday so we got to head out on a wreck dive to Tabaiba. It was quite deep but really fun to get to do a dive in a new place. Dominic apparently saw a huge stingray and there were really big starfish there too! We took some fun pictures underwater too. Afterwards we came back to Abades for the afternoon and did the 100m tow. We also went and practiced skills for a little while and I got a really good hover while Simon and I were waiting for Charlene to come join us.
Thursday was skills practice with Laura down with us at the bottom to tell us what we were doing wrong – I was just having a really back day of it and so didn’t get a lot of good positive feedback on the skills. I later went on a dive with Dominic and Stanislav to trumpet fish cave and was hoping to do the three 20 minute dives but only ended up doing two dives because I had taken only a 12 tank and we went out quite far. Managed to get back fine though and had 70 bars left so it wasn’t too bad. My briefing is getting better and so are my skills so I think/hope that I’ll be better with next weeks practices!
Sunday started off with a fun dive lead by Charlene with Craig, Abi and Dominic. I did the dive check as we walked down to the beach. We headed out towards trumpet fish cave and got a little lost along the way so tried to get our bearings again, going back on our tracks we passed over the sea grass and saw a baby stingray! After our surface interval we were snorkeling for a bit to swim back towards the cave and saw seven more rays from the surface! They were all relaxing and eating some of the sea grass. We descended again and kept our distance but watched them for a while, after one of them swam off Craig tried to measure the size of them with his arms. Coming back to shore was really difficult as we had a strong current working against us (this didn’t do us any favours in the stamina that morning either…) Later on Tania joined us on another dive and we tried to find the rays for her again but failed in doing so, we hung around the reef saw a Plain fish and killed a few long black spines sea urchins and Tania spotted an octopus which was really cool. Next ( again on a difficult swim back to the shore) we saw three more rays. At this point everyone was really tired and we shared tows going back. Eventually we all got out and everything worked out fine and by the end of the day I had gotten up to 30 dives ! Only 10 more until I can start the PADI Divemaster!!! Monday was my first dive with Simon and was lead by Abi ( I was asked to do the brief but didn’t have all the notes so was unsure what to include … ). We saw some really cool starfish that were so contorted they practically looked like sea cucumbers. We all spotted a baby cuttlefish and Abi thought it was really cute. Then somehow Abi spotted a hermit crab in amongst a tangle of seaweed. Again sticking in around the first reef we saw a lot of the usual things but I didn’t mind because I felt it was a good dive to get to know my sense of direction a bit better. This being said, we ended up in the shallows and were practically crawling out of the water as we were at 1.1m! We collected so much rubbish from the reef and sea floor. Saw another mature cuttlefish and he got very close to me which was close to see up close. We had our surface interval and then descended again to swim back in towards the shore because Simon was getting low on air (which was a first because normally it’s me that is low on air and causes dives to end sooner!) on our second descent we swam through clouds of ink and ended up seeing that it had actually been a dead cuttlefish that caused it. That night I also did my first night dive -I was very excited so took my camera. We saw more rays which was really cool at night time and Tania said she saw an octopus and I only managed to see part of its tentacles as it crawled around under a rock. I also had improved on my air usage and ended up finishing the dive with about 90 bars (possibly a record for me!). Overall, a very good experience and I would love to do another night dive soon.
Unfortunately the next morning the back pain I have been experiencing had gotten to such an extreme that I couldn’t get out of bed without a struggle with pain. I decided to pass on the diving for the day to see if it would improve after a day of relaxing it. Unfortunately this was not the case and I ended up have to go to the doctors and I was told to rest and given anti-inflammatories to take for my back. Hopefully I can start back again soon! Only 6 more dives until I can start the PADI Divemaster course!! WOOHOO!
Sixth week at the Tenerife Diving Academy.
Sunday I went on five fun dives with hazel, Dom, abi and Craig with myself leading the first 3 dives. We went around the Abades reef and went to trumpet fish cave we managed to see eight stingray which is the most that we have seen on the reef. After the dives they gave me some constructive feedback, point things out more and to check that everyone has completed their safety stop.
The other two dives Tania joined us and we see more stingray and a white spotted octopus. We also picked up loads of rubbish that was found in the sea.
Monday I was assisting on the rescue course for Robert, Miia and Lucia we complete all 10 rescue course exercises however on the Tuesday only Miia could complete here rescue course as the other two had issues with their ears.
Wednesday we went to El Poris to do our deep water entry with Simon, Tania and I, I scored a 4 out of 5 as I forget to check for objects or people below me before entering.
We then went out of 2 fun dives with Miia leading for the first time, I handed her my dive slate as she had not prepared a dive brief so I tried to help her as much as I possibly could and give her some hints and tips, she was then to lead the dive on the reef but she had not yet been in the reef to dive so she wasn’t too sure where and how to get to places. She buddied up with Abi so she could lead the dive. Beforehand we discussed how best to buddy people up and I was asked how I would of done it and the way I explained the instructors agreed they would of done it the same way which made me feel more confident in my own dive briefs.
Thursday I was granted a day off as I had an issue with my back muscles.
Let’s see what next week brings.
This has been my first week in Tenerife Dive Academy.
I arrived on Friday which meant I had one and half day to get to know to Abades and other divers before the actual course began. Upon arrival, Tania showed me my housing facilities and I met some of the other interns and house mates.
The course started on Sunday. First day was full of information that was poured onto us with a quick pace with all the gear set ups and other practicalities. Since I had no idea what to expect from a first day, this was lot to process and the day left me overwhelmed. I started my Divemaster training as Open Water Advanced diver which meant that first weeks agenda was to complete the PADI Rescue Diver course. First training day we practiced different rescue techniques and skills in water. We also went through all the daily routines from setting up gear to cleaning it and going through daily jobs.
Second day included training session in water with two different rescue scenarios to practice skills learned the day before. I practiced to use the compass for the first time in missing diver scenario and towing a unresponsive diver to the shore with relatively big surf was definitely a challenge. The rescue course exam was on a third day. I passed the exam which made it officially me a PADI Rescue diver. Excluding two rescue training sessions I hadn’t yet dived in Abades reef and that’s why decision that I was to lead the fun dives in the afternoon was a surprise. But well, I got to see the trumpetfish cave for the first time and killed my first black longspine seaurchine.
On Thursday was more fun dives, which include a lucky sighting of a common stingray.
We end the week with a good scrub of the dive center so that it would be in a top condition for the PADI inspection.
Next week I will be absent due the visit home to Finland and in weeks time I’ll be back to continue my training.
Fifth week at Tenerife Diving Academy.
Sunday was the start of my PADI Rescue course where we learned how to help an unresponsive diver under water and how best to hold the regulator and when you should and should not put it back into the divers mouth and how to cradle the tank so you are able to ascend with them. We also learned how to tow the unresponsive diver and how to give rescue breaths and get them out of the water to begin CPR. We learned how to approach a tired diver and a panicked diver learning how to take control of the situation and how to calm them down when towing them back to the shore.
We learned how to search for a missing diver underwater.
Monday we put everything we learned into practice but with a much further distance and depth than before which we all managed to pass. In the afternoon we were shown how to provide oxygen and showing the different ways to administer it.
Tuesday was classroom day where we learned the complete emergency first response with Anne the doll that is used to practice on, we had to make sure we knew he correct term to help someone so we were protected by the Good Samaritan Law and how to perform CPR, in the afternoon we were given real life scenarios to help us understand and give us the confidence to help the person in need.
All exams passed and officially a rescue diver now.
Wednesday we came in to find that most of us were going on a fun dive to a new area called Turtle Bay half way across the island we were not lucky enough to see any turtles but surprisingly the boss and his wife came along which was nice as it was my first time diving with both of them and on the way back we stopped for a quick refreshment which was nice as the boss paid.
Thursday I went on a fun dive with Craig and Hazel, was nice a relaxed and I showed hazel how to kill a Black long spined sea urchin and she was amazed to see that all the fish follow and know exactly what you are about to do before doing it. They knew it was dinner time.
Let’s see what next week brings.
Beginning my diving adventures in Tenerife on Sunday I began my PADI Rescue Diver course and EFR training. First dive was with Tania to be taught underwater rescue navigation, how to rescue an under water unresponsive diver and we also completed a short version of a tow of surface non-responsive diver.
On Monday we also repeated the exercises but were tested in them to make sure we had the correct techniques and procedure order. We completed a longer tow of a surface non-responsive diver as well as removing the victim from the water and beginning rescue breaths and CPR.
Tuesday we had EFR training taught by Alice, Tom and Charlie. We were given scenarios to test us in how to respond to an emergency situation. We then followed up the training with exams in both the PADI Rescue and the EFR theory.
Wednesday – Finally got to go on a Fun dive! Went with Pete and Alice and some of the other interns in a place called Turtle Bay. Unfortunately the memorable part of the dive was that we saw a lot of ray skeletons. Got the chance to have a good chat with everyone on the way back – along with one or two of us getting a quick nap before disassembling the gear. Luckily for me I had another fun dive on Thursday with Charlene and Craig! Went to the famous Trumpet fish cave that everyone has been talking about and got to see a lot of the local marine life! I also was shown the invasive long spine Black Sea Urchin and how some of the divers kill them in order to feed the fish. The wrasse went crazy for it and all the while there was a little black fish who was very curious and followed us around for a while ! When we were coming back in Craig found a 5€ note and myself and Charlene were picking up rubbish for Project AWARE – including a pair of underwear… I guess some people have all the luck!!!
Fourth week at Tenerife Diving Academy.
Sunday I went on a dive to do my first ever map of the Abades reef with Charlie who is studying for his IDC, Lucas was to count the kick cycles and I was to take notes of the depths while Baptise was to take down note of bearings. When we got back to the dive shop we were to then make a map showing what we learned including natural reference points, however the kick cycles were nit accurate so when I attempted to do my map to scale it was not correct and I had to redo the map three times. Also managed to get 2 minutes 30 seconds off my original 800m snorkel swim.
Monday I went on a fun dive with Baptiste and Lucas and was able to learn some more fish and also managed to kill a few Black long spined sea urchins.
Tuesday I went on fun dives with Baptiste and Craig this time and we managed to see Barracuda for the first time at the trumpet fish cave and then out of nowhere there was a whole school of them but they were pretty far away to get a good look at them.
Wednesday I was out on a fun dive with Baptiste and Lucas but before that it was my turn to do my first diving brief, Pete thought I done really well.
Thursday I done my second briefing in front of another instructor this time I felt more confident and was able to do it without making any mistakes, Baptiste, Lucas and I went on our fun dive but this was a dive I would remember as on our way to trumpet fish cave we came across a large school of white bream and it was mesmerising all of a sudden there was a large school of barracuda right in front of us in between the white bream it truly was amazing to see and I loved every minute of it.
PADI Rescue course begins next week so let’s see how I get on with that.
Third week at Tenerife Diving Academy.
Monday I was put on fun dives with Craig, Abi and Álvaro it was my first time I got to dive with the 3 of them.
Craig was leading not sure if it was his first time but he done really well making sure all points were covered including the pre dive safety check and his de brief (nervous still not done mine yet) we had a really good dive got to see a cuttlefish for the first time also so that was pretty awesome.
On Tuesday I got to do some more fun dives with Craig and Abi and this time it was Abi’s time to lead she also done very well but we did advise that she had to check on us more often and turn around to check on us and also ask us about our air. Though we did have a great dive and again got to see Abades reef.
On Wednesday we went on a fun dive this time with Baptiste, Lucas, Charlie and I but this time we done some project aware dives and killed some longspined Black Sea urchins for me it was not the first time but I still found it difficult but I finally got into the swing of things and managed to do what was required, however the fish love to eat them so was cool how close they got to me and I could see them much closer in person.
On Thursday some of the team at the dive centre had their skills assessment coming up so they were doing the last skill dive practice so we went out and I watched and tried to pick up things I may of missed before but I was easily distracted when I seen an octopus (love seeing things you don’t see everyday) however my attention was back on the other divers watching them finish their practice I have my fingers crossed for them this week hopefully pass with full marks.
Second week at the Tenerife Diving Academy.
On the Sunday I was able to go to Las Eras and do my first deep dive this was going to be my first dive with one of the instructors called Tania.
I’m sure this women was a fish in her past life we managed to get down to 24.4 metres furthest so far I have ever dived. I have never felt a current as strong as it was in this dive location it was impossible to move without pulling yourself along the rocks but we managed to all get out safe and sound.
On the Monday unfortunately I had a common cold so stayed at home and out of the water, on the Tuesday I was still not feeling too great but went into the dive centre anyway to try and help out whatever way I could, we had paying customers in that day so I was able to help wash all their kit and do some daily jobs to try and help the other interns finish quickly and go home.
Wednesday I was better and knew I had to finish my advanced so I was able to dive I completed my peak performance buoyancy, fish identification and navigation with Sorcha.
Thursday we went out and done a 1 hour fun dive with one of the interns leading he took me to trumpet fish cave for the first time it was a really nice and relaxed dive when he got back to the dive centre we were advised we could go a night dive which would mean it would be my last thing to complete my PADI Advanced Diver certification.
So at 8pm we went on our night dive it was really good learning new signs using the torch. Once in the water it was very surreal I couldn’t see much and the torch only goes so far but in the dark ocean you really do feel very small in the big blue. I seen very large sea urchins and an octopus also an angel shark.
Let’s see what week 3 has in store for me.
Arrived in Abades in a taxi and all the houses looked so alike that even the taxi driver took a long time to find the house, though when I finally found it I was greeted by a Spanish gentleman who was visiting his cousin who I later found out to be one of the instructors.
With his broken English we managed to establish that the instructor was on a night dive and suddenly an Italian girl arrived at the house and was able to give me access to the property. She showed me around the house explained the house rules and general everyday rules. We then went down to the beach where you could see the others doing there night dive.
Sunday arrived and it was my first day at the dive centre after going through some paperwork and buying some scuba gear I was ready for my first day in the water, however I first learned how to assemble as dismantle my kit, I done this 3 times while the instructors watched, then it was time to pack up and go home for my first day in the water.
Monday morning we geared up was shown how to do this on the previous day and headed out with 2 instructors to do my PADI DSD.
Tuesday morning more weight on my weight belt to see if this would help me descend better as I was now beginning to learn skills along with a customer, only issue I had was having to remove by BCD on the water surface on the afternoon dive.
Wednesday morning more skills with the same customer who was doing his PADI open water course also, this time more successful except I lost my right fin twice and my mask keep flooding but I was able to handle the situation well, that evening we learned some more skills and this again was a very productive and successful dive.
Thursday morning we kitted up went out in the morning to do our first part of the PADI open water course, in the afternoon we went back out to complete the open water course and complete the open water course exam, Woo hoo I passed so now I am a PADI OPEN WATER DIVER.