|So, you guys got the Instructor side, here's what REALLY
Friday night was pretty much the way John said. The O2 Administration
course was “normal” and (relatively) uneventful (the way a class is supposed
Saturday morning we all meet at the pool to “get started.” Things
are pretty normal so far. We buddied off and started practicing/refining
our rescue skills, tows and breathing. For those who haven't taken
the course, we don't just tow the “victim” for a while and then quit.
Oh, no! We actually exit the water with the victim. Exits included
from the pool, up the beach and up a boat ladder. This is
probably a good time to point out that, as the photo shows, we had three
ladies in the class. All three chose a man as their dive buddy.
What does that mean? It means those little ladies had to haul our
dead-butts out of the water. Impressed? I was!
So after we do some “normal” work, its time for the "panicked diver
on the surface” exercise. But, hey, we can handle it, right?
Like any good instructor, they tell ya and then they show ya. And,
since John was telling us, Jack got to show us. Gale wasn't going
to “sugar coat” it for us… and gave Jack quite the ride. Undaunted,
Lainey took the first shot and, like the rest of us, came out victorious…
calming the victim and earning the "I rode Gale for 8 seconds..." patch.
Needless to say, the rest of the day was cake.
Sunday, we did the Florida Hospital Hyperbaric Chamber. I think
it was an eye opener for the rest of the group. For me, it was a
case of déjà vu.
So much for the easy part… Sunday afternoon brought the big test.
Did we learn anything? Could we function as a team? Sure….
Could we do better than the last Advanced Rescue Class? I
John's perspective is fairly correct. The water was cold, the
vis was non-existent, and we had two big guys that wanted to be creative.
I think everyone had the chance to rescue John and Gale at least once.
Somehow, I went out on three rescues and ended rescuing John twice and
Gale twice (must be the new math).
Despite their best efforts (and because of their best efforts),
we came together as one helluva team. Response time kept improving,
with our worst time still be extremely quick. The scenarios may not
have run exactly as planned (twice because the victims decided to try
to be elusive [but we caught you anyway] and once because Gillian wanted
to control Gale [like John says, "Anybody can rescue the little guy."]),
the results of each one was the same – two divers alive and out of the
water! I'm pretty sure the instructors were pleased (maybe to the
point of proud).
Special thanks to the Wayne, John, Jack, and Gale for some excellent
To the team… hey, Ill dive with you guys any time.
And to my dive partner … after hauling this fat old-timer around like
you did, you can be my partner anytime!
Clear water and calm seas.
Bill (the diver formerly
known as PADI)