First two (plus #3) ocean dives with an Open Water class as a DMC at Breakwater

Today I also finished my EANx specialty.

I signed up with Ron Angell as a Divemaster Candidate in February this year. As part of becoming a Divemaster, I must do an internship in two Open Water classes, one Advanced Open Water class, and one Rescue Diver class. As an intern, I am required to assist the instructor in a very limited fashion. My only function as a DMC is as a rescue diver. I worked with the instructor Chris Latam, DM Rolf, DMC Louis and two students (Chris and Jason). I was diving nitrox for the first time (pO2=0.353 MOD=99 ft.). I felt less tired when breathing nitrox, but I felt colder underwater--it may all be psychological, but that was my experience with nitrox.

The day was beautiful. The wave model predicted waves above storm level, but the morning was great. Rolf and I set out the float and tag line while Chris and Louis got the students to the water. When placing the tag line, make sure it runs parallel with shore. This first dive was the tour and getting comfortable with the gear in the ocean. No skills were performed. During the tour, we saw many sand dabs Citharichthys sordidus, some sea cucumbers Parastichopus spp., bat stars Patiria miniata, and a Sea Lemon Nudibranch Anisodoris nobilis.

Dive two was the start of skills. The students performed well. On the second tour dive, we saw many of the same biota as before.

The class decided that they could make dive number three and leave only one for the next day. The wind had picked up quite a bit and the ocean was showing white caps. The waves were much larger and the shoreline water was getting very turbid and brown. After getting out past the waves, the students dropped down and performed their skills. Louis removed the float and tag line and started toward shore while I followed Chris and the students on the last tour dive. When we surfaced and started heading in toward shore, Louis was being pushed into the breakwater by the waves. He had been near shore and removed his fins to carry the float out, but a large wave had pushed him off of his feet and pulled him back out into deeper water. I swam over and started a tired diver tow.

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