Second to last
15.07.2008 40 °C
It's diary time:
Made the Nitrox course immediately upon arrival. We have 32% Oxygen mix at this dive center. I dived nearly exclusively with nitrox during my stay in Abu Dabab.
Finished my Divemaster formation in late april. started guiding immediately. The pay for mai and june will be used to pay for the DM course. For every subsequent month I will get 500 euro pay.
Early mai: Bought TUSA BCD with integrated weight system and wings for 300 euro (new) and MARES complete first and second stages with octopus and pressure gauge also for 300 euro (used). This means I have to work at least until august if I want this diving interlude to write black numbers.
13. mai: First dive in Elfinstone with Michael. Best diving spot ever! I love this place. It's a long reef in the open sea with a long plateau in the north at around 40m depth. Crazy changing currents there, but high chances to see sharks. But even without sharks it's a very impressive site. Very challenging, too.
12. june: Second dive in Elfinstone with Hassani. We entered in the blue water far north. First time I did a blue water entry. After seeing only blue for a few minutes I got vertigo. This took me by surprise and I got my first panic attack under water. Fortunately my brain didn't stop working and I remembered reading about this in the diving encyclopedia. Looking at the other divers gave my brain a much needed reference point and the vertigo stopped. I finished the dive looking only sporadically away from the other divers. Fortunately I was at the end of the group and noone suspected anything. Anyway, fear like that was a new and very unenjoyable experience for me. But I'm glad I made this experience, now I know how to handle this problem. I still had some residual fear during the next few dives, but it quickly subsided and after a few days I was back to my old self :-D
21. june: Third time in Elfinstone, this time as a guide. I played it safe and we entered the water close to the reef. We saw one white tip shark and one Hammerhead. My first sharks (discounting the whalesharks in Kenja, I still don't know if those count as sharks or whales)!
Early july: Bought a 3mm suit for 70 euro. My 7mm semidry was becoming unbearable in this warm water.
6. july: fifth time in Elfinstone, guiding again. 2 large Manta rays! I've never seen anything like this. They swam around us, it was an incredible sight!
13. july: Elfinstone again. This time Hassani was leading and I went just for fun. We did the blue water entry again. After 10 min still no reef in sight. Hassani went to the surface to check out where we are. 10 more minutes later we're still in the blue. After another surface check from Hassani and another 10min in the blue we finally found the reef. Turns out the current changed direction to south-north while we were underwater and we swam against it without noticing, so of course we didn't move much. We spent 30min in the blue. I found it great, cause I could really test out the time I can stare in the blue before my head starts spinning. No problems this time.
On other stuff:
I bought a new SD-card for my camera last time I was in Hurghada. The other is broken for some reason, but now I can make pictures again. So the next time I have access to a connection with civilised speed I'll upload some pics.
Philippe, Jason, and Salome are here! Philippe and Salome made the advanced course while Jason and me made fun of them. It's been a great time. Good to see some familiar faces. I missed being able to be ironic, sarcastic, and cynical, without having to worry about cultural differences. It's great to eat some real chocolate again. Best of all: They brought me the latest episodes of South Park and Drawn Together. Can't wait to see this stuff! Thanks guys, you're the best!
I got a phone call today. They urgently need someone multilingual in Dahab. So I'll move there at the end of the week and work there for at least 4 weeks. Plans for Soma Bay are cancelled. I'm really looking forward to live near a city! In addition I'll be right next to Jordan and Israel. I plan to be in Israel during Ramadan, which starts early septembre (it seems nobody knows the exact date), because life will stand still during that time in muslim countries (muslims are not allowed to eat or drink -even water- during daytime).