Right on time! At 8.30 am the day starts for our instructor candidates. More under water exercises are scheduled this morning. But today the instructor trainers are holding the briefing − not the candidates. This change means they can concentrate on the assigned tasks. Nancy’s students have to practice the more complex skills so these exercises don’t turn into pitfalls during the IE. Some of the skills the candidates will practice include the Controlled Emergency Swimming Ascent (CESA) and how to use lift bags effectively. The trainers will also demonstrate how to conduct safe descents with new divers. When supervising large groups proper organization is extremely important in order not to loose control.
"We will not assign any mistakes today," Hendrik says. "Pay attention today. Be watchful what the others are doing. You can learn if your colleagues are doing something particularly well. Of course this also applies to failures." After an hour in the classroom everybody goes to prepare their equipment.
In the water the instructor trainers start with surface skills. They demonstrate the easiest way to descend with students in open water.
Afterwards the candidates have time to practice the skill. Now and then Nancy and her team give useful tips that will help with the final exam. “Even if you tell your students to exchange snorkel and regulator make sure that they do so. First, it could be one of the assigned mistakes in the IE. Second, it is realistic. Nervous students often are busy with themselves so they might simply ignore you.”
After everyone meets on the sandy bottom the CESA workshop begins. First of all the candidates must check if they are able to do the CESA themselves.
Usually a diver needs to do a CESA when a diver runs out of air and his buddy is not in sight. As a spectator it is quite bizarre to watch ten divers swim to the surface in Superman-like postures. Afterwards the candidates practice the role playing game again. The positioning is extremely important while doing this skill. For example, to maintain control the instructor should always be a little bit above the student..
In the mean time we notice another onlooker. Only a few metres away a stonefish lies well camouflaged on the bottom of the sea. Whether it’s terribly ugly or simply fantastic is in the eye of the beholder but there is definitely no room for arguments that they are masters of camouflage.
Before the completion of the dive the soon-to-become dive instructors have to practice using a lift bag. First the instructor trainers are demonstrating the skill. After that the candidates have time to practice. For this exercise a sensitive touch is required. Lift bags are used to move heavy objects in the water or take them to the surface. If the skill is properly performed you will have an object in the water that is hovering in mid-water.
After the successful completion of the water lessons the candidates have to spend the rest of the day in the classroom. In the evening there is another set of theoretical examinations. The students fill in questionnaires that are similar to the final examination. How the candidates have been doing we will be told tomorrow.
Nancy is a little unhappy while announcing the results. Six out of ten of the candidates have not passed the physics test. “The exams contain nothing new,” she says a bit disappointed, “You should know this stuff from your divemaster exam! Physics is also part of the IE and has to be passed.” Due to the poor results a special physics lesson is scheduled. Yasser also tells us that the exercises under water will be harder tomorrow. He promises that the candidates have to deal with tomorrow will be particularly difficult.
Course Director: Nancy Abd El Wahab
Dive centre: Sinai Divers Dahab
Published on: 09/25/2009
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