5 Sea Bees Instructors vs. 10 Junior Open Water Students – Round 3
Day 3 of the course, the day our SSI Junior Open Water students had been waiting for! Today they would be going on the MV Aragon, one of our two day trip boats in Phuket. MV Aragon and MV Excalibur II are not just the only beautiful yellow dive boats around, but also some of the few actually custom built dive boats, and certainly the safest and most comfortable.
With a limited amount of holiday time, unfortunately Katie had to postpone her open water dives, but the rest of the gang arrived at 9 o’clock as usual at the dive centre. Accompanied by some parents and siblings this time, they met up with the instructors and took off to the pier where the Aragon and it’s crew were waiting for them! All on board and straight for the freshly cooked breakfast buffet! Once on the way to Racha Yai (bay number 3)and after breakfast, Anita, Marcel, Chock, Alex and Dominic took the students down to the dive deck where each of their red boxes had a place under the benches, on which they also found some fun sized tanks! The instructors had them prepare their equipment for the first dive just as they had for the pool dives, but on a moving boat some extra caution must be taken! They listened very well and were ready for their first ever open water dives out at sea.
At the beginning of each dive, the relative skill sets necessary to be an SSI Junior Open Water Diver were repeated, followed by….of course…some time to just swim around, explore the reef, and look at all the colourful fish!
After nearly an hour under water, the eager little divers resurfaced, climbed back aboard and had to be stopped from immediately attacking the lunch buffet to first review how the dive had gone, the importance of the skills, and to change their tanks in preparation for the second dive. After lunch and several front flips off of the back of the boat (some instructors may also have taken part…who do you think had more fun??), the boat crew called them all back aboard and they sat down for their second dive briefing.
This dive had somewhat fewer skills and more time for fun diving! Puffer fish, parrot fish, barracudas, triggerfish and even a few stingrays were spotted and pointed out by the kids…some of them even knew the names of these fish before they were told!
After finishing up a last bit of reviewing, taking apart and cleaning the equipment, they headed back for Chalong harbour. Once back at the dive shop they could not wait to tell their parents all about their first diving experiences and it can be said with a relatively high degree of certainty that they all slept very well that night! How did they get on in the final day of their course on their second set of open water dives? Coming up in our next blog post!