I’ve been trying to write this for a few days now, but time gets away from you easily here. That, and I still haven’t managed to get my hands on a 3G internet stick yet. Always “mañana” at the store. Hopefully this week.
So I’ve arrived and had a ridiculous start to my time in West End, I managed to somehow get absolutely blackout drunk the first night (see photo below regarding my arrival on the board at a local bar). Oops. I don’t know how I went to the dive shop the next day for my first day, but I did and I only made it out for one dive before nearly puking off the boat on the way back. Nice first impression, I’m sure!
My friend that I was supposed to be living with and diving with at the shop is indeed leaving (this week actually) but I am still staying in the house I thought I would be, just with different people. It’s now a DM house for the shop so the girl and two guys I live with are all doing their courses at the shop too. They are all pretty awesome and I’m not just saying that because they might read this. I like all the interns a lot. I was worried that being out here not knowing anyone would suck but they’re all cool people and that makes all the difference when you’re spending all day every day with them.
The second night everyone from the shop went out together for some snorkel test fun (when you become a divemaster, they concoct an awful brew of booze and you have to chug it through a snorkel and then try not to die) and it was nice to be invited. They are kind of a tight group and I felt like an outsider the first day but now I’m starting to feel like I fit in a bit more.
I have a lot of diving to do before I can start my courses so I have done 7 fun dives so far. I think I have already made some big improvements in my diving skills but I have a long way to go. Had some mind-blowing diving yesterday on all three dives… the first was at a great location and I managed to find a turtle, the second I found a seahorse which was probably the best moment of my life as its hard enough to see them, much less have only 17 dives under your belt and find one, and then a barracuda was all over us at the end (I actually got a little nervous about this one, he was clearly hungry), and on the third dive we saw all kinds of rare stuff like a worm that no one knew and a pipe fish. And while the instructor was showing me the pipe fish a green moray eel snuck up between my legs and was about to take a chomp off my fingers before the instructor noticed and shoved my hand away!!! So an awesome day diving.
Other than the first night gong show, I have been taking it really easy here which is a nice change from my last two trips. I don’t feel as much pressure to be out doing crazy stuff all the time now that I live here. It’s a lot more chill and I’m happy about that because the last six months have been incredibly stressful. Last night I went to bed at 7pm and got up this morning at 6am… That’s all the sleep I missed out on for the last six months! We have long days at this shop because it’s a 25 minute drive out of the town we live in. So we get picked up at 7am and don’t get back till 4:30ish. It’s good actually – keeps me out of trouble!
I have been reading all your comments but can’t respond properly till I get my laptop set up here. Should be this week. I have been lucky to be diving with some guys who have cameras and mad underwater photo skills so some pics are coming once they post them to Facebook and I steal them. In the meantime, here are a few. Hopefully they don’t post weirdly, this app I’m using is not the greatest. Also please excuse all the typos as I wrote this entire thing on my iPhone!