12th July South Scotland Regional DTP, Loch Fyne

You don’t always get sunshine and apparently this Saturday’s event at Loch Fyne was a wet affair though we were able to change in and out of dry-suits in the dry and enjoyed some pleasantly warm water.

With the usual drop outs and no shows there were still loads of people looking for a dive or a lesson so after our brief, the students were allocated and the lessons started.

Maureen and Fred went off on a navigational exercise exploring the inner reef and reported finding a garden gnome. A good result this and rumors that the find was a result of narcosis were disproved by the following team who also found a garden gnome.

Haydn and Duane were out again getting instruction from Claire, the newest qualified member of the instructor team and reported varying degrees of success struggling with blocked sinuses and weighting issues associated with new equipment. But this is why we support these events, they give us a chance to find out how we deal with these issues in a relatively sheltered environment before we jump into some off shore site and end up calling out the emergency services.

Simon spent the day practicing buoyancy and pilotage skills with Steve and Edwards and great improvements were reported.

Frank, a friend of the Club, who has helped us out on several occasions was around today having recently returned from a diving trip to some exotic location and was involved in Dive Leader training.

I was working with Bethan giving her a chance to try out some instructional skills as practice for future instructor exams. Being thrown in at the deep end with a dive leader Alternate Source exercise the lesson was perhaps a little ambitious so we worked on practicing the preparation and briefing before handing over the inwater mask clearing and AS skills. (Though Bethan does them better ! – Ed). One minor mishaps saw a student coughing and spluttering during a mask clear , cause for concern as he eyed the surface……. Took a while to calm down! AS drills ok and the use of a little datum line proved very useful in controlling the ascents as we bobbed up and down. After lunch we decided to do some dive leader drills and the students took it in turn to plan and then lead the dive. Both, having led several dives before, did very well. From my point of view and as a learning point, simulating a problem by dropping a fin is NOT a good idea when the fin floats away and has to be retrieved!!! The usual problems such as swimming off in the wrong directions, gradual drift down slope and getting fixated on something were all handled very well and I have to say I’d be more than happy to be taken for a dive by both of them or more importantly to see them lead an Ocean diver! Ended the dive by completing the circumnavigation of the reef and tying a small plastic bottle on 2m of line to the 54lb weight that I have been playing with on the inner reef, the idea is that it will be easier to find.

That was it, end of another training day. (the 9th August is the next one). Once again thanks to all those who attended hope you had fun, thanks to Edward for organising and all the instructors and divers who helped out. The dive slate for anyone who is interested is here

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