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“I’d sooner be eaten by a shark than be rescued by her.”

So says a person who’s actually related to me when asked to volunteer as my unresponsive dive ‘victim’.

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As much as I’m able to ignore that particular lack of confidence in my rescuing skills, I’ve found the PADI rescue diver course with Joe’s Gone Diving to be the most challenging that I’ve ever done in my very…short diving experience these past few years. But everyone speaks highly of it (most shop owners/instructors I’ve met say the same thing) and someone had even gone so far as to say that it should be a necessity for all divers – at all levels – all except my instructor who was dubious from the start of my ability to actually save people.

To expect the unexpected and to be prepared for it is probably the underpinning principle of the course, but isn’t that true of life in general? Well-said and taught…up until the point I nearly drowned my own instructor when using a pocket mask to tow him back to the boat in a relatively strong current. He gleefully brought up that incident time and again, making me wonder if he not so secretly enjoyed Schadenfreude.

It has been a tough 2 days of a full classroom session followed by a pool session and finally acting out those rescue scenarios in the open sea. I’m sort of familiar with the environment (both hotel and dive shop to minimise the unfamiliar) at least; being back in Bali in 2015 isn’t very much different from being in Bali in 2014, and going back to Padang Bai and the Blue Lagoon is like visiting a friend whom I’ve not seen for a while.

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Essentially, I’m treading old ground – except for the dive course – with a belligerent and very sullen travel companion who is determined to think the worst of everything, sometimes comically so. What most Europeans consider ‘exotic’ and ‘ambient-rich’, my TC calls it ‘deluded’, ‘run-down’, ‘dirty’ and ‘incomprehensibly stupid’. The only draw for TC, is that prices are staggering low and the spas heavenly…by TC’s own standards. To be fair, TC hasn’t seen the nicer side of Sanur and its seaside stuff; the only places we’ve been back and forth are the street the hotel’s on and to the dive school.

But I’m glad that TC’s open water course is going fairly smoothly, despite all the complaints, fears I’ve been privy to and the numerous scrapes, cuts and bruises we’ve all miraculously acquired in the pool.

TC and I head to different dive sites tomorrow, of my own making really, because I really need to see a Sunfish.

Tags : BaliIndonesiaPadang BaiScuba DivingSoutheast-Asia

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