Archive for December, 2015
Final instalment of the Team Thailand blog
Sorry for the delays in getting this one posted but I wanted Chris to post the side mount course in his own words … if I get it in the New Year I will add a supplemental blog:
After we had completed some fun dives for Scott and the PADI Rescue Course for Chris we were planning on doing some fun dives and getting the guys more comfortable in the water, Tim Lawrence (owner of Davy Jones Locker and Dots cousin) aske if the guys would like to have a try of side mount..
The next day Scott and Chris where in the pool for a try dive on side mount under the tuition of Manu Pelaez, after a bit of configuration and skills the guys came out of the water very happy with how the side mount rig felt and how it improved their trim.
The next day was the start of the course and included how to correctly rig a side mount rig and tank along with Gas analyzing, some theory on why we side mount and the pros and cons. In the afternoon we were on the tech platform to conduct two of the four dives… Dive one worked on the Trim and positioning of the side mounted tanks and S Drills, forward finning helicopter and reverse finning, Scott initially had a few issues with the helicopter and reverse but after some practice started to make great headway.
Dive two we started to build on the skills like out of gas, Long hose donation, run away LPI and free flow regulator with gas shut down drills.
The second day of the course we were on the main dive boat this provided a little more tricky as the side mount rigs and tanks had to be kept separate from the recreational dive gear on the boat .. But with the DJL team’s help we were soon underway for dives 3 & 4. Dive Three saw the guys working on the trip in buoyancy word (where Scott swears he hit his head on the pole for the swim through due to a fish “showing him his Teeth” ) Gas narcosis at 12 meters on air!!!!……
Dive four was the final part and where all the pieces all fell in to place with Manu throwing all skills and drills in to the dive including SMB from a reel while remaining in the horizontal.. Free flow regulator and gas shut down. All in all a great course for the guys and expertly run by Manu and Davy Jones Locker
All that’s left to say for the trip from myself (Simon) and the guys we would like to say a Huge thanks to Sarah and Perry from Sarah Waddington Solicitors for funding the trip, Tim Lawrence for hosting us sorting out accommodation and for all the diving, Dorothy Eaton for the organization of the whole trip, Manu pelaez for teaching the side mount course and to all the staff at Davy Jones Locker for going the extra mile to help out with the guys both on the boat and around the dive centre.
A Final mention has to go to PC Mark Sanna from SO18 at Heathrow for making the outward leg so memorable not only fast tracking the security channels for the guys but also speaking to the captain of the plane to get us all upgraded to Business class on the outward leg .. And all this On his day off (he came in put on uniform and escorted the guys door to door )
The Trip to Thailand was not just for Chris to gain his PADI Rescue diver but for Scott to gain some fun dives to build on the courses from his last Deptherapy Trip:
below is how Scott found the diving and the side mount course a special thanks to Manu Pelaez for you help and patience the side mount course.
The first dive I did was on a place called the twins the first dive was a check dive to make sure our weights were correct. Then we had a look around a pinnacle visibility was a little poor as it had been raining but this didn’t matter as it was my first time back in the water since I had done my courses in march. The second dive was in the same area but we had more time to fully enjoy the area and the visibility was increasing ever so slightly. There was many new fishes and coral I had not seen before like trigger fish which we were informed like to nip and bite divers if you come into their territory lucky they seemed happy enough and we carried on without incident. My next fun dive was quite a special time as I got to go down on a World War 2 transport ship with 5 inch guns. This was the first time I had seen a wreck and has made quite an impression on me.
Side mount course
I found the side mount course an eye opener and quite a big help as my air consumption is still poor. This gives me more dive time, improved trim and buoyancy the course was very well run and at times a challenge as I found the rig was a bit too small and the bungees liked to nip my armpits but we worked through this. Also having to learn my hand signals on one hand and cylinder positions with little clips made things frustrating but this distraction helped me relax and help my breathing patterns out which improve my whole diving skills and experience.
Today saw the start of the rescue course for Chris and some more fun dives for Scott they will be explaining their experiences as below:
PADI Rescue Diver and Emergency First responder Course (Chris Middleton)
When starting the rescue diver course and EFR I was initially apprehensive on how and if I could complete the course, however when Simon explained how we was going to be adapting the skills to pass within PADI standards I became more confident. I started with the EFR course and then went onto confined open water and tried different tired diver tow techniques, the underarm tow was the best technique that worked for me most efficiently. I then had Andre who was assisting Simon as his Dive Master throwing themselves off the boat acting out the serials, which was hard but very fun and enjoyable, I was laughing through all the serials as André and Simon were very good actors and just generally being nightmares. The second day consisted of the 2 dives, prior to the dive I was put in a situation where my dive buddy (Andre) was very nervous, anxious and setting up his kit wrong, in doing this I had to spot what was going on with him and act accordingly, calming him down reassuring him and correcting his kit. During the dive everything that could go wrong in the dive went wrong, this being planned as the nightmare dive. Let’s just say Andre was defiantly a nightmare as he was removing his kit, lost his orientation, swimming off, swapping regulators around, attempting to play with a bottle and hitting coral. My role on the dive as a rescue diver was to calm him down reassuring him and getting him to enjoy the dive and not to panic. I then had to search and rescue an unconscious diver, so I got in the water after explaining to my buddy what was going to happen, I got in and started the expanding square search technique. Upon finding the diver I had to clamp on to his tank with my stumps, hold his regulator in his mouth whilst inflating and deflating his BCD to affect a controlled safe assent to the surface. When at the surface I had to assess the situation, unclipped the quick releases on his chest and removed his weight belt. Then I had to check for breathing, look listen feel. Here comes the tired tow!! Using the technique already practised I began to get him to the boat, giving a rescue breath every 5 seconds. Finally got him to the ladders of the boat so removed the rest of his kit not forgetting to continue with the breaths, once kit was removed I gave a final 2 breaths which gave me 30 seconds to get him up the ladder, the best way to accomplish this was to place his arms over my shoulders and legs around my waist and I used my stumps to climb up the ladder.
I have now completed my rescue course which as I said I was a little apprehensive, but now I feel a lot more confident in myself as a diver and to be more aware of what is going on around me so you can prevent emergencies from happening. This whole experience has been amazing, just like to thank Deptherapy, Sarah Waddington Solicitors and Davy Jones Locker especially Tim Laurence for making this experience 100% worthwhile.
Day one of the Thailand trip blog:
After weeks of careful planning by Dot Eaton and some very generous funding by Sarah and Perry from Sarah Waddington Solicitors, the day had finally arrived to meet the team at T2 Heathrow. Chris had arrive fashionably early (some two hours..) and Scott had come from around 10 mins from the airport .. so all that was missing was Simon Mackay and Dot, (they where sat in the traffic that is London).
Once they had been dropped and sorted out bags we met up with a Member of the Heathrow Armed response police (Mark), Simon had been chatting with SO18 Ops to see if the transit through the airport could be made any more easy for the two guys that where on the trip.. Mark exceeded any expectation that the team could have had.. he got the guys through the VIP security channel followed by escorting the guys while buying some last minuet shopping .. but the pièce de résistance was when having been turned down for a complementary up grade to the flight .. Mark didn’t accept that answer from the gate staff so went to chat to the pilot and crew and got the team bumped up to Business class .. on a 12 hour flight .. it was most appreciated, after a few to many photos with the airport staff and crew (all chris’s instigation) the team got settled in to the great seats and the journey was finally under way.
The Team arrived after a trouble free flight into Bangkok airport and transferred to the hotel. Once there it was a day to catch up on sleep and try to get the bodies on to the new time zone..
The next morning was I nice early start leaving the city and driving two and a half hours north to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery for a tour of the museum to pay respects at the cemetery, and to view the site of the bridge (bridge over the river Kwai). Following lunch Scott and Chris got the chance to visit an Elephant sanctuary and ride an elephant.
Having had a two day stop over in Bangkok it was time to get moving down to Koh Tao (a flight to Koh Samui and a ferry to Koh Tao). The now hot and sweaty Team were met at mai head ferry port by Tim Lawrence (the owner of Davy Jones Locker Dive Center)who is very kindly hosting the team for the 9 days of diving.
First dives: The team were booked on the afternoon boat for two dives at Twins dive site. This was a great opportunity for Simon to not only work out the weighting plan for Scott and Chris but also workout the best way for the guys to ingress and egress the water from the boat. Tim accompanied the guys on the dive to see how they got on. Once safely back on the boat the talk soon turned to the vast variety of fish on the dives with smiles all round.