The Daily – 1/29

Word of the Day: Green

Notable / Highlight of the Day: we threw our gear on a horse cart and Anna, Mike and I walked down to dive site, Bio Reef.
It’s a shore-entry dive about a quarter-mile up the road from Uber’s dive shop. We had to go there instead of back to Shark Point because Uber was off to a rough start.
Remember that shit weather, well it continued through the night and got worse and sank several boats, including Uber’s. Also, Edwin’s son, Finn, had thrown up all over his and Donna’s new sofa earlier that morning. Donna and Edwin, an unbelievably charming couple, were the ones who own Uber along with a few other investors.
So we started the rescue diver training with searching for a lost diver using search patterns. And the visibility was shit. It felt like diving in pea soup and the current was ripping. Mike had an idea of where Anna was so he kept yelling at me under water to basically make a bee-line in her direction.
I don’t actually know how he saw her because after he signaled where she was it still took me about six fin kicks to see her bubbles and a dark blob of a shape.
One skill I’m a champ at is raising the dead from the bottom of the ocean using my BCD or the victim’s. Full check the box on that skill. What I’m still working on getting gear removal prioritized as I forgot to remove weight belts.
As we were catching our breath on shore a few of the blue Marlin guys came to let us know that six divers from Uber had gone missing at sunset reef. I thought they were fucking with us or it was part of my training, but when Mike said, ok, lets start our 2nd attempt, I realized it wasn’t a drill.
Our second search dive we didn’t even find the victim. Poor Anna died (not for real, just for pretend). But we still practiced skills at the surface including more towing, dragging, rescue breaths and gear removal. I did my best to not slice Anna’s bum open on all the coral on the beach.
When we were on our way back to the shop our team of six missing divers were on their way back. The swells had been so big at sunset point the captain couldn’t see them in the water. It sounds like they also went in the direction opposite of the dive plan, so they were being searched for in the wrong spot.
And because Uber’s boat was underwater and they were using Compass Diver’s much smaller boat, we could not go out on the afternoon dive and wrap up because there was not enough room on the boat.
So I got another afternoon off. I didn’t take off from the shop until three though but grabbed some food and got my very smelly laundry sorted out. I was worried it would never dry as it felt like it was never going going to stop raining long enough but I crossed my fingers and toes.
Yvette who I met in Nusa Penida was in town and even though it was absolutely pouring I went out to see if I could say hello. I stopped by all the typical haunts and as I was passing Uber the whole team was getting drunk and discussing how they might be able to change procedures. I hung out for a bit but my stomach was growling and I wanted to grab some food.
I did one more sweep checking Lava, Blue Marlin and Manta but I couldn’t find her so I headed over to Broken Compass to grab a quick dinner.
I bumped into Savannah, Steve the GM of Compass, one of the charming Indonesian dive instructors, and Sebastian and pulled up a seat.
Steve shared some ridiculous dive stories that are not fit for polite company as we ate our burgers and laughed. Our loud, enthusiastic ukulele playing Hawaiian friend from the other night was also still staying at Compass and had found some travel companions to match his personality.
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Mood Emoji: 👀

The Daily – 1/28

Word of the Day: Mask

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I’ve probably never looked so pissed off under water as I did when Mike snatched my mask and threw it about 5-10 minutes into our morning dive. In fact, he even mentioned how surprised he was to see my angry face/posture. But was also amused by how comfortable I seemed without my mask. I found it fast enough, and was thankful I grabbed that florescent orange snorkel.
Side note: When I was little I would always swim with my eyes open, so much so that a couple times every summer my vision would go white from all the chlorine in my eyes.
I’ve probably become too comfortable underwater through, because when he shut my air off and I felt the drag on my regulator, I just signaled to him for his extra regulator… and of course to turn on my air back on. Every buddy I’ve dove with knows how close I tend to stick, even in good visibility. It’s probably a little annoying sometimes.
We were at shark point again, and I saw a little white tip reef shark in a cave, a turtle, and pretty much had my eyes glued on Mike the entire time as I kept expecting things to go wrong. Bill even managed to steal one of his fins mid-dive – better Mike’s than mine :).
Once we got to the surface we practiced rescue-breaths with the pocket mask, towing, and getting into the side of the boat. It was a bit ugly though, I got Mike’s hands up, but I couldn’t even get myself i to the boat. It was in my head though, and I finally managed to get my ass up.
Mike and I grabbed some lunch and reviewed what I did well and what I didn’t do quite so well and started planning our afternoon dive.
But our afternoon dive was not meant to be. We needed a victim and, well, I’m not sure if it was staffing or the hangover, but we had to postpone a day. The weather was shit though, so I was ok letting the visibility and the surge clear up a bit. I was also ok not ending my day with a Bintang.
My evening was quiet, I got some dim sum and marveled at how a little island could have so many awesome food options.
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Mood Emoji: 😡🍔🍴

The Daily – 1/27

Word of the Day: Catch Up

Notable / Highlight of the Day: Nearly all of my time had been focused on my rescue course, so having a day off was a blessing.  I didn’t realize how sore I was from lugging all that gear, towing fake dead people through rough seas, and jumping in and out of the water.
I don’t have much exciting news to report.  I read at a cafe in the morning, bumped into some familiar faces, ate more than I should, replaced my broken purse, studied for my upcoming test, and generally chilled out.
I took a few photos around the close-in area, and am embarrassed to share I haven’t actually explored the whole island yet, but likely that is due to all the rain we’ve been getting.
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Mood Emoji:☕️

The Daily – 1/26

Word of the Day: ‘Stralia Day

Notable / Highlight of the Day: after getting a really solid night of sleep, maybe 12-14 hours, I worked on my assignment which was to create an emergency management plan should someone have a dive accident. Since I was the checklist queen, this was right up my alley, unlike saving drowning victims.
I wrapped it up and took a quick shower but realized I had lost track of time and was now running late. Mike made sure to thank me for the cappuccino I picked up and highlighted my tardiness.
We started by reading the tides and working out search patterns and using the compass on land before entering the ocean. I then set up and broke down my equipment multiple times under time pressure. I had grabbed a BCD that was the wrong size, which had been intentionally left in the wrong spot to make sure I’m checking what’s important. I’ve cut my gear set up from 15ish minutes to about 2 1/2 already, but it can still be more streamlined and I’m learning better best practices like to check the air first in case it’s a bad tank.
We then went on a dive at deep turbo and started out first just exploring and then working on search patterns. We saw a ton on turtles and sting rays and found (the hard way) a whole bunch of blue bottle jellyfish tentacles. We also saw a nudi that moved like a tiny spanish dancer to swim (you tube link to a spanish dancer – http://youtu.be/jQbXnqRtiTg) but was navy with yellow spots and wasn’t as frilly.
When we completed the U search pattern but as we started the expanding square I finally checked my air and realized I was at 50 bar and we needed to stop the dive and ascend to the surface. (Don’t worry, you start with 200 bar, typically head to your safety stop around 60, so I wasn’t in danger).
We grabbed lunch and met a couple of local drivers and took a break from studying/lessons. On the way back we grabbed ice creams and started talking a little bit about the next section until we got back where we set up at a table upstairs to go through the section more thoroughly.
We then headed out on our 2nd dive to Halik Reef which was blissfully free of jellyfish tentacles and full of more turtles and even a couple sharks. We then worked on an expanding square in surge and worked on raising an unconscious diver. We then practiced rescue-breaths in some fairly choppy water and removing the BCD of an unconscious diver.
Once we got on board everyone started falling overboard and I had to perform a number of rescues without the panicked divers drowning me. I succeeded by messed up by not delegating enough – story of my life.
We got back and I booked it to the bathroom because I didn’t want to pee on my rescue victims. And then we reviewed the dos and don’t of what I did over bintang.
It was Australia Day, and as Gili was an Assie hot spot, the island was in full celebration mode. It was also Julie’s last night and Mike needed to move so we decided that I’d go out with the team and postpone the end of the rescue course for one day. I was also secretly happy to have an extra day to review the course content before my final exam.
Mike and I first headed down to Blue Marlin to clean out his locker and for me to buy Bruno’s postcard. I met a few folks there including JT a kid who was just finishing up his Open Water course.
Mike and I hung out for a bit and ate but I needed to head down to meet up with Julie and steve at Lava. As I was trying to go, I bumped into Josie and her parents and chatted with them for about 20 minutes before excusing myself to head down to Lava as the rain started to pick up. I popped into Sama-Sama and saw the Big Bubble crew, but no steve and Julie, so quickly ducked out after one song.
Once I made it to Lava we hung out for a bit. Julie spotted a solo female traveler and went over to chat with her so she wouldn’t be lonely. Steve joined and clearly found her attractive, so I left my books at the bar and Julie and I bounced down the street in torrential rain back to Blue Marlin to find a bit more of a scene. I introduced Julie to my young friend JT and I met Rachel, a bubbly American Tech diver from Colorado who lives in Australia. I was excited to chat with her for a while but she was ready to go and so was Julie who wanted a livelier scene (and as did I).
We pushed off to collect Steve at Lava then back went back to Sama-Sama for some dancing. Savannah and a couple other familiar faces were still there to dance the the night away.
Sama Sama closes at midnight, but Sandbar stays open until I don’t know when because I left around 2am and the party was still surging. I bumped into Josie and Mike on the way home and chatted with them for a bit. It turns out, I may have been the only one to drink conservatively that night, sweet Josie licked my face to say goodbye :).
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Mood Emoji: 🇦🇺

The Daily 1/25

Word of the Day: Not-so-fun dive

Notable / Highlight of the Day: Normally a dive that isn’t to learn a skill is called a fun dive.  This dive was anything but.  It was like hanging out with the most annoying, over-active kid who knows how to push all your buttons.
At every turn, Mike was losing his fins or mask or making uncontrolled ascents. At one point he had taken his BCD off during an air assist and I actually forgot he was a qualified instructor and was fighting him underwater for a minute.  It was actually a good dive though, it was a good example of many of the stupid things that can go wrong underwater.
Between our morning dive and our afternoon dive we reviewed my homework and ate lunch again at the Roast House and got ready for our afternoon dive.  By this point, I had set up and broken down my equipment as practice what felt like a million times and was getting better and faster at assembling everything.
The afternoon dive was first just checking out Sunset Point but went into underwater assist skills, search patterns, and surface skills like breathing for an unconscious victim and towing to a boat.  I was so tired after dragging Mike around the surface for 20 minutes that I couldn’t actually jump into the boat myself.
I had my ususal beers with Edwin and Mike and then grabbed a quick bite while trying and failing to avoid the downpour.  Like I said, I’m not sure if it’ll ever stop raining.
Current Location: Gili T
Mood Emoji: 😐

The Daily – 1/24

Word of the Day: Free Dive

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I had managed to actually sell two girls on diving last night, and because of that I was allowed to go back to Shark Point when they went out.  Mike was on photo duty and I patiently waited for them to descend until I got distracted by a clump of something that I thought was a scorpio fish (it wasn’t) and crashed right into these brand new divers.
Besides Robin managing to not kill me, it was a fairly easy dive with tons and tons of turtles (I actually lost count there were so many).  There was a bit of surge and the visibility was not good, but it was nice being in the water and not having dumb stuff happen.
Mike and I went back to the shop afterward and Bruno swung by to say goodbye before he hopped on the ferry.  After our goodbyes, Mike and I made our way to Roast House for lunch and then headed back to the shop to practice skills in the pool including assisted ascents, how to stop a diver from ascending in the water, and a few other things.
At the end of the day we split a few Bintangs with Edwin at Lava while they discussed possibly trying to wooo Mike to go work full-time at Uber.
As I had stayed up so late and gotten up so early to work on homework I called it a night and simply stopped at the crepe stand to grab a ham and cheese crepe for dinner before finishing my homework for the night and falling asleep nice and early.
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Dollars Spent Today:
Mood Emoji:

The Daily – 1/23

Word of the Day: Emergency First Response

Notable / Highlight of the Day: One thing I never thought I’d be doing while taveling was learning how to give chest compressions.  But that’s how I spent my day, working on my emergency first response skills. I’m also beginning to believe I may never see sunsine again it’s been raining so much.
I did some coursework, watched a very 90’s video on emergency response, made out with Ana the training dummy while learning how to give rescue breaths and giving chest compressions, and other fun first aid stuff.  I also, for the first time in a week, didn’t see Bruno all day.
I hung out with Mike and Edwin at Lava Bar when the day was finished and finally around 8 pm met up with Savannah and Bruno at Skallywags for ribs that were delicious and generously portioned.
As it was actually officially Bruno’s last night, I had to spend some quality time with him after dinner. The three of us stopped at Blue Marlin and then made our way back to Lava bar which was full of Uber Scuba people…and Mike was still there.
We hung out for a while, but once the shots started pouring it was time for me to head back and work on my first homework assignment.  It ended up being a later night than I had anticipated, but I’m so glad I got an extra day with Bruno.
Current Location: Gili T, Indonesia
Mood Emoji:🤕