As an experienced Dive Leader, going a particular route along the reef is day to day. You go from this landmark, then take a slight turn to that other landmark etc…Oh, and on the way there’s a turtle in this cave, or a cleaning station on top of that coral bombie. It seems so easy, but for people who aren’t used to it, it takes practice.
As part of the Intro phase, the CDC students this week,ams have been mapping their own dive sites on 2 mile reef- Wayne’s World, and 4 Buoy. They have to map the topography, depth, and common critters found along these routes. This has proven challenging but ultimately rewarding as these sites offer some of the most interesting topography. The sea life has been equally awesome. Just this week we found a shark cave on Wayne’s World with two Whitetip Reef Sharks. On Four Buoy we had a turtle on every dive we did. Good visibility and small swells has made the team’s job easier. Trying to draw underwater while rocking back and forth isn’t easy. Trying to convince the guys to practice their drawing is hard enough. But as they say, practice makes perfect. It’s been great seeing how it clicks in people’s mind about how these reefs look underwater, and being able to recall on demand.
We have our candidates do this, not only to learn these routes, but they also give a presentation to the rest of the staff about what the route is and what they can expect to see – passing on the information they have collected, while improving their public speaking. It’s an educational experience for all, and one i always look forward to. Going into their Divemaster course next month, they have already started to learn the skills needed to learn routes. It isn’t just about relying on a compass, or learning landmarks, but a combination of both that allows them to lead a dive with ease.
by Robert Arthur