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Strange as it may sound, but I have spent all of today just giggling. Everyone is starting to feel nervous now as the Instructor exams loom, but for me I am also really excited. Yesterday seemed to be the day when everything just clicked. I am beginning to feel as though I know enough for the Exams, and feel at this late stage there is not much more I can learn in two days, so I just hope that what I know now is enough. My head is brimming full of information to the point where I feel if I tilt my head to far, a PADI fact will pop out.
I figure that it is pointless being nervous, so have spent today annoying everyone by being overly happy, I know Iím near the end of this journey, so I feel best just to sit back and enjoy the rest of the ride.
This morning we went down to Naama Bay beach to complete our last Open Water skills presentations. My two skills to brief and assess are tying a Bowline and CESA. For those of you that know these skills, you can understand why I am nervous, but surely I cannot end in the Ď1í club again can I? We descend, and I have my "students" (other IDC candidates) lined up in front of me, including Jilly! Dipís is floating around behind my head signalling to them what problems are to do. I start with the first skill, tying a Bowline, surely there canít be too many problems? I go to Phil first, he ties it correctly, then Jilly....who after trying to let the rope float away, refuses to tie a bowline correctly, eventually after I try everything to get her to tie it, I eventually give her the information she needed and waa laa, Jilly ties a Bowline. This skill completed I move onto the CESA (controlled emergency swimming ascent Ė simulating a out of air situation), now what you have to do is get your student to ascend in a controlled manner from 6-9m using one breath, exhaling as they go up, while swimming, while looking up, with hands up, while deflating, not touching my reference line, while not going to fast and with all equipment in place..... umm you see why no one likes this skill. Thereís so much that can go wrong and as an Instructor, your positioning is vital for this skill. The good thing is, that over the past few weeks, I have had a lot of practice with this skil. I just hope I remember it all. I take Matt to perform the CESA first, 3.....2.....1....and off we go, Iím ascending slightly above him, Iíve got one hand holding both the line and a D ring on his BCD, and the other holding his regulator in place and my eyes are scanning.....swimming, exhaling, arms up, looking up, not going to fast,deflating.......we reach the surface and I shout "Orally inflate your BCD", he does it and I look at him and say...."What was the problem you had to do?", he replies "I got told to spit my regulator out, but I couldnít as you had your hand on it". Brilliant! I actually prevented a problem before it happened!!! We descend again, and now it's Jilly's turn.....so 3...2...1... nothing. At first I think that Jilly isnít swimming, so I stop the skill near the beginning, and we perform it again. This time I notice the problem..... Jilly's holding onto the reference line. I tap her fingers and she lets go....... oh, sheís so sneaky. I was so busy looking at everything else I forgot about her holding on!! We finish the skill and move onto the next instructor to do their skills, I can breathe again, my skills are done and I donít think Iíve got a "1". Once we exit the water and debrief the skill, I find out that although I was late detecting Jilly holding on to the line and solving her bowline problem, I didnít get a "1", in fact I passed with a good score!!
After lunch in town, we head back to Ocean Club and complete our last knowledge development presentation and I was chuffed I got 5/5, Iím really happy as at the beginning of the IDC, it was the knowledge presentations that I was most worried about. Now the Instructor exams are approaching and although my scores today were good, I feel that itís the open water which is my weakest point. But in reality, I think it is just the free decent incident thatís causing most of this, Iím still really worried that this is going to be my skill on the IE (Instructor Exam).
We end the evening up at the Phoenix bar and Jilly looks at me and tells me to try and get some sleep. She can see Iím exhausted, and Iím too scared to admit to her Iíve been getting barely 5hrs of sleep a night worrying. I sit in one of the chairs in the bar and begin to fall asleep. Jilly wakes me and says sheís taking me home, I grab my bag, hug the guys and leave. Now let this be a warning to anyone doing their IDC. When you begin the course you get given an IDC crew pack, which consists of a huge pile of books in a nice PADI rucksack, be warned though, you then have the same bag as everyone on the IDC. Yep, you guessed it, I get to my front door, reach round into a side pocket for my front door key, and pull out Matt and Thalias Hotel key.....oh s**t! I reach into my pocket for my phone and desperately ring Dips and Phil, hoping they are still with Matt and Thalia, but no.....theyíve all gone home. So Iím stood outside my front door, I could sleep on my feet and I canít get in. I think itís ok for Matt and Thalia, as the hotel will give them another key, but how the hell am I going to get in? I decide to reach back into the bag for the hotel key again to see if thereís a telephone number on it, as I do I notice my bikini, then my towel, then.......It dawns on me, I do have my bag, it's Matt who has accidently put his hotel key into my bag, oh the relief! I enter my house and crash out....... so make sure IDC candidates of the future, clearly mark your bag.
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