94-95: Swims, Is it over yet? And Tamarindo

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
Trip End Jun 06, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Guanacaste,
Thursday, May 9, 2013


Oh my the beginning of today was not fun. Me, Zack and Julian are doing are swims for our dive master today, these are; 800m swim with fins, mask and snorkel, 400m swim with nothing and a 15 minute 'float' aka doggy paddling or floating for 15 minutes. I thought we would probably be doing to in the ocean which, minus the current, would be good as you just swim in a straight line. Instead we're doing it at the pool which means lots of laps.

We started with the 400m swim which I kind of fucked up. I basically thought that I had a lot more time to complete it in so did it really leisurely and didn't find out till two thirds in that I was going to get a fairly low score because I was heading into the 3 point time limit (out of 5) - oops. For the 800m we had to do 89 laps, which was a bit ridiculous and with fins it became pretty hard to turn and wasted a lot of time on each end. We all did pretty rubbish on this one, partly because of the turning times to be honest. Obviously we all did perfectly in the 15 minute float, a child could do it to be honest. Then we headed back and it all went crappy.

Basically we had apparently done the swims wrong and they didn't now count. Of course we did not know there was a set way to do it in a pool and just did it the best way we could think of. Apparently we can't touch the sides and just have to swim in a circle which means I HAVE TO DO THEM AGAIN. ARG. not only do I have to them again but I have to go do them again, TODAY. We couldn't go back to the pool at toro blanco so I suggested heading to Zack's apartment and using their pool as its much larger. I was not impressed to be honest and I was tired from hauling ass on the 800m and wasn't really sure I was going to be able to improve on my scores when my muscles were already tired. But hey ho, give it a go right. We started with the 400m, which Zack and I both did. We didn't really improve that much on our time so Zack decided he wasn't going to do the 800m and was just going to do it another time as he has way more time than me. Must be nice to have that luxury, I unfortunately did not so on went the fins and mask and snorkel. I think I had to do about 9 laps of this pool so much better than 89. It was pretty brutal though and I ended up motivating myself by imagining I was swimming to save my sloths. Yes really. To be fair sloths are good swimmers but it worked for a lap or two anyway. I kept thinking I was going to be so angry if I had done this twice and I hadn't improved my score but when I finished I found I had done better, hurrah! So it was at least semi worth me swimming 2400m in the space of an hour and a half!

I was also rewarded because I have the afternoon off today to go to Tamarindo with Tabatha, Mary and her cousin. Finally going to Tamarindo after saying for ages I was going to go. They picked me up straight from the pool in Tabby's cousins van and we headed out. We went and purchased a bit of alcohol to enjoy on the beach and went to Playa Grande first so the guys could surf. It was a really nice beach actually but the waves weren't that great so we went into Tamarindo instead. The girls and I headed straight down the the beach whilst the boys went to skateboard. Tamarindo beach is much nicer than I was expecting and I had a great time finding tons of awesome shells on the beach. Tamarindo kind of reminds of beach towns in California, very in Costa Rican but I actually really like it, it's a shame I'm only just going for half a day.

The girls and I just relaxed on the beach, drinking some beer and watching the sunset. It was a lovely afternoon and totally made up for my hellish morning! On the sun had set the girls and I went to get some dinner and did a bit of shopping. After they'd had a drink we went to find the boys to head home. They were still at the skate park and procrastinated for over an hour before we head back to Coco. On the way back we then stopped for food so by the time I got back it was gone 11pm and I was definitely knackered. I've got my final search and recovery dive tomorrow and an IDC dive for Taylor so I had to do a tiny bit of reading before bed. My aim to have a shower therefore went out the window as I finished gone midnight. Gonna be tired tomorrow!


Another less than fun day finishing my dive master. Today was my last day of diving and it wasn't exactly the best. This is all getting a bit stressful to be honest. We started the day with Taylor's IDC dive. I had to do all of the dive site set up, the biggest thing of this was the buoy set up. I had measured out the line so that it would be the perfect length under the water. Martin had told me to use the whole line but I hadn't. When Laura and I went down to check if the buoy was in the right place it firstly took me forever to get down thanks to my wonderful congested sinuses. When I did get down the buoy was totally at the perfect height but it was near to some rocks so we moved it. I had a lift bag with me and I just completely didn't think to use it, totally my fault. Mistake number 1. I then moved it using the lift bag but it took me a while to find a spot because there were tons of urchins and the spot Laura and I had wanted to put it in, Martin didn't want us to put it there. Anyway by the time I found a spot we'd moved from 13m to 16m so now the buoy was slightly under the water. My line was perfect for 13 but not for 16, I should have just used the whole line like Martin suggested but I apparently like to make things difficult for myself. Martin therefore moved it back to the spot Laura and I had originally chosen at 13m. He was not happy with me. But as I still haven't been shown how to do this I can only learn from my mistakes, which is not a bad way to learn at all because now I know what is a better way to do something, or in my case, how not to do something.

The drama continued. Taylor wasn't have much luck with her IDC stuff either and Laura and I were sat on the ocean floor for a good 45 minutes. The water wasn't that cold but we were freezing from not doing anything. Two good things came out of this dive, 1. I did a perfect, totally awesome, Buddha position float under water. I hadn't really got this great before, I usually tilt to one side or upside down but suddenly I just had it, woop. 2. Laura, Jade and I ended up having a pet fish whom we called Phillip. He was so cool he just coming right up to us and nibbling at us and was right in our face. Totally cute. This is pretty much the yay part to this dive.

I raised the weight belt that the buoy was tied to and made mistake 3. I had to tip the air out of the lift bag at one point but I could not remember how to do it because I hadn't needed to do it before and I actually don't remember seeing it anywhere before as the book doesn't really cover it. So after all of the buoy and IDC drama Martin was not a happy bunny on the surface, or under the water for that matter. He decided to cancel the next dive and exclaimed loudly to Barbara that I was never going to be a dive master and I was only in it for fun. I was mad, I thought that we genuinely weren't doing the next dive so I packed my stuff away in my bag and told Taylor that I was just going to attach myself to the buoy weight belt and that when my body surfaced I could be the surface marker.

Eventually Martin stopped being super angry and we ended up doing the search and recovery dive. This went a lot more successfully. We had some initial mistakes with the navigation but afterwards me and Jade, my partner, kicked ass and we found the item. After me and Jade did knots, Jade did amazingly on her first attempt, I was totally proud of her. Mine was very nearly perfect, Martin just wanted me to use less line on my bow line. But that w it! Boom, knots in the bag. Taylor was having less luck. She did absolutely fine when we'd practiced earlier but under the water is always more difficult. In the end I showed her how to do them, it was kind of fun to teach actually. Then as a team we did the lift bat and that was it, search and recovery done. Martin wasn't happy enough with my buoy though so I'm now going to have to dive on the day I leave. Talk about squishing it all in!

Laura was going to the pool with Julian for the afternoon to practice skills so I ended up going along. We ended up going to my pool at my apartment, it's not like anyone will complain. Julian went through the skills and I did a few of them as we're doing them again tomorrow. When we were doing the skills it seriously started raining for the first time in ages! It was still going when we got onto the next bit, tired diver tow. I was going to be doing this in the ocean but we did it in the pool instead. Julian has whopped all of our scores in speed so far so I was really happy when I beat him this time! Woo :)

It was still raining when we finished and I soon discovered my rain jacket now has a leak in it, wonderful! We were meant to be all doing drinks after work but when we got back to the shop we found it in absolute chaos as the extreme amount of rain had nearly flooded the shop, the water was nearly knee deep and they were trying to clear the water out. Luckily it stopped Ewing soon aft we got back and they managed to drain it away. We all headed to coconutz for drinks and Leo invited us to play poker. I really wanted to go but I had promised Taylor I would go and help her with her presentations for tomorrow. So being a good friend we headed home after a few drinks and got her prepared for tomorrow.
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